Simplifying small business finances with technology

Small business growth has exploded during the pandemic, with business applications increasing significantly in 2021 compared to 2020 and 2019. As these new businesses grow and evolve – many of which sell their services or products online – manage ordering and purchasing across state lines and global borders while ensuring compliance with different tax regulations is becoming increasingly complex.

To successfully navigate today’s digital world, small business owners and online product sellers are more frequently turning to technology to automate processes and reduce background work, such as research. manually and entering unique regional sales taxes. Automated technologies help speed up the completion of the sales process, reducing the time it takes for the customer to get their purchase. This increased efficiency not only builds customer loyalty, but also allows information to be readily available in real time for reporting and decision-making – allowing business owners to focus on what really matters: putting product between the hands of consumers and grow their business. Having access to automated and innovative technologies is no longer an asset, but rather a necessity to succeed in a globalized economy.

Integrated accounting and business technology

As a small business owner, having visibility into all aspects of your business is extremely important. Everything from inventory availability to products sold and general accounting can make or break your ability to succeed. However, it is impossible to wear so many hats and do everything right. This is where integrated solutions can dramatically improve your business operations and simplify tedious administrative tasks.

For product sellers or online retailers, inventory control is a massive organizational function and its complexity multiplies as your business grows. This is especially true for e-commerce businesses due to the number of items sold, the competitive landscape, and the inherent volatility of the industry. The pandemic has dramatically accelerated the adoption of e-commerce, forcing online sellers to streamline and optimize their business processes.

To optimize overall sales and operations, having access to a modern, integrated platform that automatically connects all aspects of your business – such as sales channels like Amazon or your own website, to your available inventory – helps to organize everything, automatically records all sales, profits and losses, and stores this data when you need it for reports and forecasts.

This is especially important if you are selling through multiple channels, including individuals and businesses, as business-to-business (B2B) selling requires deep integration into accounting software to effectively manage quotes, pricing, and contract terms. . None of this is possible if your software doesn’t work well and doesn’t integrate seamlessly with others. For example, business partners expect specific integrations to manage contracts with automation of the process from procurement to payment. If you don’t have a platform that can integrate with the various service providers (e.g. shipping integrators) needed to fulfill contracts, business growth can be stunted as the solutions” one size fits all” no longer apply when working with third parties.

Integrated and cloud-native solutions also automatically calculate shipping costs, regional taxes based on where your product is sold or shipped, and can show you where an item is along the supply chain. – from leaving the warehouse to shipping, and finally when the item is delivered.

Take control of record keeping

Tracking business expenses manually or with legacy systems is nearly impossible these days. With so many moving parts, collaboration with third parties, and the increasingly digital aspect of business operations and sales, it can be extremely difficult to accurately track everything that comes and goes from your business.

Investing in the right software for your business – and software that can grow with you as you grow – can save you countless time and money in the long run. By implementing this technology in all facets of your organization, you gain significant control over financial aspects such as total sales for a given period, taxes, compliance related declarations and all accounting record keeping. In turn, you can better plan cash flow with better insights into fast-moving or slow-moving products, expenses based on historical data, seasonal trends, and more. features that will allow you to grow and reach more people.

It’s also important to ensure that your software is cloud-based, as all business data is available to you at your fingertips – wherever you are at any given time – and an increasing number of business partners expect automated integration with their existing systems. systems, making integrated, cloud-native software the industry standard. These technologies also allow employees to work remotely if needed, improve productivity, and automatically back up and store data.

The running costs of legacy on-premises accounting software are huge, but often well hidden. While older platforms can invoice customers, record expenses, and maintain a general ledger, modern accounting products have native application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable powerful extensions to their core accounting , resulting in drastic improvements in efficiency and profitability. And as supply chain challenges, inflation, labor shortages and competition for talent become even more difficult in the months ahead, technology will be a critical driver for success. companies – and the sooner you implement an integrated software solution, the better prepared you will be for whatever comes your way.

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Jayson Naidoo is an accounting evangelist at Cin7, a provider of inventory and order management systems.

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