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What Might Unpaid Invoices, Debt & Too Much Stock Be Doing To Your Business’s Cash Flow?

After the stress of the holiday period, there are plenty more times throughout the year that cashflow issues can become a recurring problem that you need to get on top of.

Small businesses with cash flow problems may put themselves at risk of failing or suffering significant financial hardship.

Cash flow provides a business with stability so they are able to pay employees, avoid loan defaults and pay the overheads necessary to keep their business up and running. Follow these tips to boost your cash flow so you can secure your business’ future.

Perform A Business Health Check

Preparing financial statements will give you an objective insight into the health of your business. Identifying if you have a cash flow problem is the first step to coming up with solutions. Looking into the following reports will allow you to see if your cash flow is up to scratch.

  •     A balance sheet will tell you what your business is worth on any given day. The value of your business is calculated by subtracting your liabilities from your assets.
  •     Profit loss statements reveal if your income is meeting your expense requirements. If your profit is dipping below your expenses, it is time for a change.
  •     Cash flow reports reveal the money that is going in and out of your business over a set period and identify peak and off-peak periods

Use A Business Budget

After analysing your cash flow situation, is your cash flow cyclical?

Creating a yearly budget is not only imperative to receive financing in future, but will also help you identify the best months to save to cover the quieter months. Where applicable, business owners can consider flexible rostering, whereby employing casuals and using a flexible roster can help you cut back on hours when you need to improve your cash flow in quiet periods.

When you have identified your quieter periods of the year, try to find additional revenue streams for when cash is low. Is there a product or service that could be introduced? Work with your team for new ideas to cover low cash months.

Get On Top Of Your Accounts Receivable

Allowing late repayments jeopardises your cash flow and can put you in a tight financial spot. Avoid being out of pocket by implementing some of these credit policies:

  • Collect the debts on time – allowing late payments means that you’re without those funds for longer
  • Offer an early bird discount to incentivise early repayments – it pays to repay that kindness
  • Set credit limits and payment terms – know exactly what your terms and conditions are so that you can make sure that those who owe you are abiding by them
  • Make credit applications and carry out credit checks on all new customers
  • Penalise late payments with interest – set a specific interest rate that will apply and which you deem as fair.
  • Consider cutting down on inventory – unsold stock can be a waste of funds, and if you’re finding yourself with plenty of it, you may not need to be ordering as much.
  • Request upfront payment or a non-refundable deposit where viable, especially when dealing with large orders.

If you’re looking for assistance with invoicing, chasing payments or a general checkup of your business’s cash flow situation, accountants like us are equipped to help. Speak with us to find out what we can do for you.

If you’re someone who often finds it difficult to make large lump sum payments for goods or services, you may want to consider looking into “Buy Now Pay Later” services.

Buy now pay later essentially means that, rather than paying in a full lump sum payment for a product or services rendered, there may be an option to pay through instalments of a certain amount over a set period to make the sum of the full amount in total. This method should allow you to pay in full for the product or service without overly straining your finances – you pay back what you can, as agreed upon when you begin the buy now pay later service.

Some popular buy now pay later services include Afterpay, Zip Pay, Brightepay, and some credit card networks such as  Mastercard and Visa, can offer buy now pay later arrangements.

Though it can be a convenient, immediate solution, it may be challenging to juggle the necessary repayments with other financial commitments. It’s not always the most appropriate method for people, and you should bear in mind your situation and ability in paying back the amounts. 

Before you sign up, keep in mind: 

  • It becomes easier to overspend with buy now pay later services, so know your limits on what you can and can’t afford.
  • You will be charged fees and costs to use the service, which can add up to a princely sum in and of itself.
  • Keeping track of your payments can be tricky if you’ve signed up for multiple services.
  • It could affect your loan applications for a car or mortgage as lenders consider buy now pay later spending just as much as your credit score.
  • Late repayments can appear on your credit report, which affects your ability to borrow money in the future.
  • Layby can be a cheaper alternative to buy now pay later, with no account-keeping or late fees to consider

If you are someone who could make use of BNPL services, you may wish to:

  • Ensure that when using the BNPL service, you stick to a set limit on what you spend so that you can comfortably pay it back later. 
  • Aim only to have one BNPL account at a time to manage payments through, rather than confuse yourself with multiple payments across different providers.
  • Always budget for bills, loan payments and BNPL payments, and 
  • Rather than use your credit card for payments to your BNPL account, consider linking to your debit account instead.

If you would like assistance in planning your financial future, help in managing your budget or some friendly advice, see us for a chat about what we can do for you.

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John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier

David and Alison Parker

I have been consulting J L Noller and Co. (more specifically Jane) for six years and during this time I have found her to be professional, efficient and easy to discuss all accounting and taxation matters with. Her office team are all polite and friendly also.

David and Alison Parker

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Carl Gillmore

I have used Jane & the team for the last 6 years for all of my business & personal accounting needs. They have always been professional, easy to talk to & available when we have needed assistance.

Carl Gillmore

Carl Gillmore Landscape

John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier