- Accurate record-keeping -- you can't keep the cash flowing unless you invoice in a timely manner and follow up when it's appropriate. Make sure your accounting records are up to date and accurate. Hire a small business accountant if you don't have the time or knowledge to maintain your own records. Invest in accounting software like QuickBooks, which lets you see your receivables at a glance. Two other websites that could also help you are QuickBooks and intuit.com
- Plan ahead-- budget your income and expenses for the coming year. This will help you anticipate when you might have shortfalls so you can plan ahead for getting through the lean times. The QuickBooks budgeting feature can help you do this, as can the sites liveplan, com and score.org.
- Jump-start your receivables-- Invoice your clients quickly, reduce payment terms and be aggressive about collecting. QuickBooks e-invoicing feature can help, as can invoicesherpa and com
- Manage your payables-- Don't tie up all your cash in inventory. Extend your payment terms with vendors and schedule payments in advance. Sites like com and online banking bill pay can help you manage your payables.
- Line up funding sources before you need them-- Check out the Small Business Administration website for programs and offers that can help small businesses. Talk with professional accountants for advice about funding sources you can tap when cash flow isn't where you hoped it would be.
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This article first appeared on the CA4IT Blog on January 27, 2016
We told you in November about some things we learned at QuickBooks Connect 2015, which took place in San Jose. The national event brought together small business owners, entrepreneurs, professional accountants, and developers for a weekend. We heard talks by famous people (Oprah, Jessica Alba and Brian Grazer, for starters) and by people like us -- business owners sharing what they've learned with their peers.
The conference was great; in addition to providing accounting advice, speakers also offered life lessons and inspiration for building our businesses. One important lesson we learned at the event concerned cash flow, which is important for every business. Here, according to QuickBooks Connect speakers, are five tips to help your business maximize cash flow.