Managing your finances is one of the most important parts of running a business. Having cash flow problems is the biggest cause of business failure. Chasing customers for payment, writing out invoices, and creating storage systems for receipts are very time consuming if you're a small business.
"But there is hope!"
We live in an exciting time in history, where the internet has revolutionised our lives, and the software solutions offered through the internet can save us a tremendous amount of time and make our lives a lot easier.
At Paykeeper, we pride ourselves not only on our accountancy expertise and close personal relationships we build with customers, but also on our knowledge of the best software solutions out there for helping our clients with their business needs.
In this blog post, we've put together a list of the top four financial tools we think you should be using if you're a franchisee or a franchisor to make life simpler.
Cloud Accountancy Software
As an accounting firm, we are constantly testing and reviewing the best accountancy software. When it comes to finding an accountancy package, you need one that is simple to use, easy to understand, and saves you time and money.
You want to use an accounting software that stores its data in the cloud and can be accessed from wherever you are. Ideally, you want it to have a mobile app too.
You don't want to be spending lots of time creating invoices every month so having the ability to set up automatic monthly recurring invoices that are emailed to customers is a must. It also needs to be easy to add in expenses, upload receipts for safe storage, and integrate with your bank account so you can ensure accurate record keeping.
Having software that integrates with payment solutions such as GoCardless or Stripe will make it much easier to collect payments from customers, whether a recurring direct debit or one-off payments.
Finally, you want accountancy software that can give you monthly and yearly reports with a few clicks of the mouse (or have them automatically emailed to both you and your franchisor), keep track of any customers whose payments are overdue and automatically submit payroll to HMRC.
When it comes to Cloud Accountancy Software options, we like a few including Xero and Quickfile, but we are very impressed with one particular software called Quickbooks (www.quickbooks.co.uk). It's easy to use and we recommend it to all our clients.
If you are a franchise which charges a recurring fee, such as a membership or session fee, or you want to take payments online for any reason, there are two great software solutions available which are GoCardless and Stripe.
GoCardless (gocardless.com) is designed to take recurring payments from customers by direct debit. With a simple form you send to customers to fill in online, you can have their direct debit automatically set up ensuring regular payment with little effort. It also integrates great with Quickbooks but note, it has a 1% fee per transaction which is capped at £2.
Stripe (stripe.com/gb) goes even further, it allows you to receive recurring payments, but it also allows you to take any payments online or mobile from a variety of debit or credit cards and in different currencies. It even supports Apple Pay and Bitcoin payments. Unfortunately, it only integrates with Quickbooks via third parties.
Receipt Management Software
Another essential software package which can save you hours of work is receipt management. This will allow you to get your expense receipts, bills and invoices into your accountancy software without having to type it all in manually. You can just take a simple photo, and the intelligent software reads it and uploads the information automatically to the accounting software.
Another advantage of receipt management software is that it stores everything safely in the cloud, so there's no need to keep hundreds of bits of paper. You can often use mobile apps to submit the receipts and invoices when you're out and about, so there's little chance of things getting lost or forgotten.
One of the best known in the industry is Receipt Bank (www.receipt-bank.com). This is a very intuitive and simple to use software that will save a good deal of time if you have a lot of receipts and expenses to input each month. It is less cost effective if you only have a few expenses to deal with.
When it comes to managing the finances of your business, it has never been easier. Whether it's keeping records, understanding reports, entering expenses or accepting payments, using financial software such as the ones we've suggested above can make life a lot simpler, save you time and allow you to focus on the important stuff: helping customers and building your business.
Headquartered in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, PayKeeper specialises in helping franchisors and franchisees to understand their finances and expand their businesses. By working closely together, we enable franchisors to create unique franchise packages that help sell more franchises, understand what's happening throughout their network and increase the turnover of each franchise.
Through personalised mentoring, hand-holding with challenging aspects of accounting, and using cloud accounting software to make book-keeping easy, simple and compliant with HMRC, PayKeeper gives franchisees peace of mind and more time to focus on what really matters - growing their business.
"PayKeeper is re-imagining accountancy for the 21st century!"
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