For many business owners, managing cash flow day-to-day can be a time-consuming challenge. Significant resources may be tied up paying for the goods and services necessary to run your business, and differentiating between product and non-product expenses can become overwhelming.
Surprisingly, too few small businesses take control of these expenses by making the switch to electronic purchasing. According to SunTrust Business Owner Research, only 35 percent of owners reported using cards, automated approvals and entitlements to control employee spending. For the remaining two-thirds, there’s an opportunity to gain more control of these expenses with far less time and paperwork. Here’s how:
Electronic Payments Bring Many Benefits
It’s more affordable than ever for you to consolidate purchases using debit, credit and prepaid cards, as well as online bill payment and the electronic automated clearinghouse (ACH) network. Business owners today are even using cards for large commercial purchases like raw materials and equipment.
Making purchases using electronic or payment cards allows small business owners to:
- Take advantage of vendor discounts with faster payments
- Control employee spending with authorizations and limits
- Prevent fraud associated with cash, check and expense reports
- Streamline cash flow management by minimizing the hassle of expense reports and receipts
- Earn discounts through rewards programs
Online Tools Simplify Purchase Tracking
Consolidating your business transactions online provides 24/7 access to your purchasing patterns and trends. Your online banking solution offers you a single, secure resource for consolidating, tracking and controlling the complete range of business purchases, so that you can more accurately project your cash flow needs.
Expense Analysis Identifies More Ways to Save
It has never been easier to code and allocate expenses. An online cash manager allows you to easily import electronic information into your accounting software, which allows small business owners to:
- Group expenses and identify opportunities for volume discounts.
- Track purchases by employee or project quickly and easily. Most business owners agree that tracking an expense budget on a regular basis is the single most effective way to improve cash flow.
- Optimize inventory levels without risking shortages.