The year 2020 will be recorded in history books as a bit of a calamity. The COVID 19 crisis and subsequent lockdown has had a major impact on all areas of our lives, especially business. But this article isn’t about how best to structure debt, manage cash flow or how to claim the government funds accessible.
Instead, let's look at the dissemination of information to the public from various sources. Whether that be governmental sources, scientific communities, the BBC or Karen on Facebook, the information we have received has come in thick and fast. This has led to a huge amount of confusion over what the actual rate of infection is, the mortality rate and what the lockdown rules actually are.
Now, replace the public with a business and the information about the virus with business critical and financial information.
A business in 2020 is likely to have an influx of data coming from different places. Let's take a small auto repair garage for instance. It may have a garage management system that holds customer data and raises invoices, a stock management system, supplier accounts with various motor factors, an invoice discounting facility and then some mismatched spreadsheets to track the accounts, invoices and statements. If the business is paid via a card terminal, bacs, cash and the occasional cheque, keeping a hold on finances can be almost impossible. This is an overload of information in too many places; not unlike the information on the epidemic.
While there is not much the general public can do about the information flowing into their brains about Covid, a business in 2020 can implement tools that allow all company information to flow into one centralised financial system, most of it automatically without having to key in data. Most software these days have API’s which are not dissimilar to phones for software, allowing one to talk to the other.
The benefits of this can be enormous for businesses. Advantages include:
- Up to date financial information, always!
- One centralised finance system
- A better handle on how well the business is functioning
- The ability to use data to identify areas of the business that requires improvement
- Identify costs that are escalating as they escalate
- Know what tax payments are coming up in advance
- Access vital data required for forecasting
- Identify any cash issues
- Save time by not having to spend hours inputting information into spreadsheets that don’t make sense
In our experience, the business owners that know their numbers tend to do better than those that don’t, and automating your finance function is one of the best ways to know your numbers.
“Centralising financial data is very important for businesses and even more so now that the future is more uncertain as it has ever been. Lime Advisory has the knowledge to set up systems. Allowing this to happen has a track record of success for our clients” says Jamie Williams, finance specialist and Director at Lime Advisory.
To discuss bringing your business’ finances up to date, please contact the Lime Advisory team today. With many years of experience supporting businesses of all shapes and sizes, we are well equipped to help businesses not only navigate through the pandemic, but thrive during and following the outbreak.