5 Ways to Optimise your Cashflow

Cashflow is a crucial aspect of running your business operations. So, what happens when your cashflow is running low? 

Let's dive into these 5 most common problems and solutions to avoid running low on cash. 

1. Technology Spending

Is your business spending more than it should on unnecessary or un-utilised technological applications? A study by Genpact Research Institute found that nearly 70% spend their expenses on un-utilised applications.

Do plan ahead and set aside a monthly fixed budget for all necessary application subscriptions, so your business won't run in the red zone. 

2. Slow-Paying Invoices

How does your Receivables Aging look? Receivables is an indication of the amount outstanding that your customers owe you. A Receivables Aging is the duration in which your customers have yet to be pay from the time of billing these customers.

Let's break the Aging down into 5 standard categories; 

i. Current
ii. >30 days
iii. >60 days
iv. >90 days
v. >120 days 

Always prioritise to chase all old debts first, starting from those who owe you for more than 120 days. Alternatively, to ensure that your customers pay you on time, try for example, offering a discount if they make payment within 14 days. 

3. Poor Relationships with Suppliers

Prioritising payment to suppliers is also an important factor to the cashflow.

Discuss with your supplier beforehand on the payment terms. Most suppliers do allow up to 30-day to 60-day credit terms, while some have a cash on delivery policy. 

Do plan your cash outflow in advance in the form of a weekly or monthly cashflow forecast, to ensure that your suppliers are paid on time.

4. Excess Inventory

For companies that manufacture goods or resell products, excess inventory can also affect cashflow. The amount of stock on hand would depend on the sales volume, sales forecasts, and available cash. Ideally, prioritise the stock on hand for products that have a medium to high sales volume. For slower-moving goods, it would be best to order the minimal quantity required on hand. 

5. Insufficient Gross Margins

Insufficient profits will naturally lead to a lack of cash. Businesses in highly competitive industries tend to have constant pricing pressure. This usually results in businesses selling their products or services at a low price that it is barely covering the costs. A possible solution would be to determine the all-inclusive cost of the product, coupled together with a sales markup percentage to gain better control of your profits.  

Conclusion
A poor cashflow can definitely impact more than just the financial performance of the business. To ensure that your business stays cashflow positive, project future cashflows based on historical financial data and plan ahead of time. 

 

7 Discounted Apps for Non-Profits

Non-profit organisations play a crucial role in the social and economic development of countries around the world. Hence, non-profits rely heavily on donations and government grants to fund their organisation's growth. 

These 7 apps provide discounted rates for non-profits move towards modern technology and stay within their budget. 

 1. Xero - 25% OFF

Xero is a cloud accounting software with brilliant features to manage your numbers effortlessly. With 1.2 million Xero subscribers globally, Xero continues to thrive as a cloud accounting leader providing value-added features for small to medium-sized businesses. 

Managing cashflow is especially critical for non-profits, hence Xero is offering a 25% discount for non-profits to help streamline their tasks and increase their efficiency. 

Are you a non-profit? Find out how to apply by clicking here!

2. Zapier - 15% OFF

We mentioned Zapier in our previous article, Zapier helps automate workflows between apps, reducing time spent on routine processes. With Zapier's goal to help more non-profits organisations, they are offering a 15% discount off their plans. 

Are you a non-profit? Find out how to apply by clicking here!

3. Hootsuite - 50% OFF

Hootsuite is a social media management platform that connects all of your social media channels, for convenience to compose and schedule posts without having to login to the respective social media account and updating separately. 

Hootsuite is offering a 50% discount off their plans, to help non-profits save time, allowing them to concentrate on more crucial goals. 

Are you a non-profit? Find out how to apply by clicking here!

4. MailChimp - 15% OFF

MailChimp is an email marketing automation platform, to engage with your customers and building your brand. 

MailChimp is offering a 15% discount off their plans, for non-profits to create awe-inspiring emails to update their subscribers of their latest activities. 

Are you a non-profit? Find out how to apply by clicking here!

5. Box - 10 Free Licences

Box is cloud file-sharing and content management application, providing non-profits with the technological tools they require to innovate and fulfil their charity's mission. Non-profit organisations are entitled to 10 free user licences for Starter Plan, subject to a one-time administration fee of SGD 126

Are you a non-profit? Find out how to apply by clicking here!

6. JotForm - 50% OFF

JotForm is an online form builder which is helpful for activities such as generating leads, conducting surveys. 

JotForm offers a 50% discount off their paid plans to help non-profits in simplifying their donation process, sending event invitations and integrating JotForm with other applications.

Are you a non-profit? Find out how to apply by clicking here!

7. Canva - Free for up to 10 Team Members

Canva lets you create stunning graphic designs and documents with the help of their drag-and-drop feature. 

Canva offers a free subscription for the Canva for Work plan, up to 10 members of the team. With the premium version available free for non-profits, the work of beautifully crafted content will not only inspire the community, but also bring non-profits' vision to life. 

Are you a non-profit? Find out how to apply by clicking here!

 

We are offering a 20% discount to all non-profits for our accounting packages! Contact us for a free consultation. 

 

5 tools to help clients get organised

Are you working more hours just to get tasks done? Studies have shown that working more hours doesn't equate to being more productive and organised. 

In order to achieve maximum productivity in the focused hours of the work day and minimal cost, here are some useful tools that we use to get through the day, and highly recommend to our clients.

1. Asana - Pricing Free

Asana is a project and task management app that facilitates team communication and collaboration. 

Why do we love Asana

- We're able to upload an unlimited amount of projects, categorise individual tasks by columns and streamline workflows
- Assigning individual tasks to team members and converse via Asana
- Keep track of all deadlines via the calendar
- Upload files to the project
- Free for up to 15 team members

Verdict:
We definitely saved time by doing away with back-and-forth email conversations amongst colleagues, and important attachments that we may have missed through email. And it's free! 

2. Zapier - Pricing varies

Zapier connects various apps together in one platform to automate workflows, without having to open apps separately. 

Why do we love Zapier?
- 1000+ apps to choose from
- Create workflows to trigger and automate your daily tasks, for different functions like Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Administrative.
- Pricing is free for a 2-step workflow and $20/month for 3+ step workflow

Verdict:
No more hassle of missing out important attachments by clients via email and straight to our shared drive.

3. Pandadoc - Pricing varies

Pandadoc is an e-document management app that allows users to create, deliver, and share documents online and place their legally binding signatures for faster paperless transactions and processes. 

Why do we love Pandadoc?
- Do away with signing physical contracts
- Easy drag-and-drop fields for customised contracts
- Many templates to choose from, if you do not already have a standard contract. 
- Integrate with Xero for billing purposes
- Audit trail when client views and signs contract
- Pricing is $19 per month per user for up to 5 templates, and $39 per month per user for unlimited templates

Verdict:
As compared to the previous e-signing solutions that we have used, Pandadoc is by far the best, because of its convenience and easy-to-navigate interface. Reasonable pricing too! 

4. Toptal Tracker - Pricing Free

Toptal Tracker is a time-tracking app, which allows team members to track the amount of time spent on each project. 

Why do we love Toptal Tracker?
- Unlimited number of projects and users
- Track time for each team member in each project
- Timed screenshots to help clients and managers track work activity of team members
- Easy-to-generate timesheet reports for projects
- Pricing is free! 

Verdict:
For clients who work with freelancers, this would be a great add-on to keep track of hours utilised for projects. 

5. 9 Spokes - Pricing Free

9 Spokes is a highly intuitive and intelligent business dashboard that centralizes all your essential business data and presents them in a way that you prefer and easily understand.

Why do we love 9 Spokes?
- By connecting apps in one dashboard, you're able to gain insights to different metrics, from marketing to customer support, inventory and accounting
- Great for managing social media in one dashboard
- Pricing is free! 

Verdict:
As compared to opening different apps in a new browser tab, managing all our connected apps from one dashboard is definitely a time saver and convenient. 

 

 

5 questions to ask yourself before starting a business

Thinking about starting your own business? Before you begin your journey of entrepreneurship, here are some questions to consider.

1. What societal problem does your product or service solve?
Whether your product or service is an interruption to the technological world, or resolving an environmental and societal issue, you have to think about what gap it is filling in the market today. 

2. How are you going to fund your start-up?
Should your start-up be fully funded by investors or should it be invested with your own funds?

Investing with your own funds allows more freedom on decision-making. Start-up owners would have to think about how to stretch those funds wisely for the survival of the business, and also strategise on being cash flow positive and breaking even in the shortest time possible.

There are of course, benefits and setbacks, to being fully funded by investors. One benefit is that businesses can grow faster with more financial resources at their disposal. Start-ups will also be able to tap into the investor's wealth of knowledge and network. However, with external funding, start-up owners may have to give up a portion of their ownership in the company. 

3. How are you going to keep your business organised?
In this digital age, there are so many technological tools to choose from to keep your business organised. Many businesses use CRM systems to manage their contacts and potential leads. Other tools can range from cloud storages to task organisers, as well as accounting and financial tools to manage their day-to-day operations. 

4. What should your accountant be doing for you?
An accountant's role is more than just filing taxes, and advising you on the statutory regulations to abide by. 

Here are some traits to look out for when choosing the right accountant for you:

Organised: They have the right technological tools to keep them organised in order to maximise their productivity. 

Efficient: Your accountant should be able to save you time on the finances, in turn you should be able to focus on generating more leads, and your day-to-day operations. 

Flexibility: A good accountant embraces challenges and is adaptable to changes in the business environment. 

Help you to grow your business: Even though there are many accountants who have accumulated years of experience, the right accountant should be able to tap into his wealth of experience, ask the right questions and advise you on the next steps to take to ensure your business is on the right track.

5. Do you have the access to the right people that can help your company grow?
There are entrepreneurs who would prefer to be lone rangers, but at some point, the tasks at hand become too overwhelming to handle. If you really want your business to grow, you would need an "A" team to achieve your goals. 

So what kind of characteristics should you look for to build your "A" team?

Cultural Fit: The right hire envisions your mission, goals and values. Is this person passionate about your industry and how well do they interact with others?

Passion to learn: Hire people who want to learn. People who have a desire to learn, have a more competitive edge over your competition. 

Adaptable: A versatile employee is highly valued and crucial in the success of your business. To be adaptable is to be open to change. The person you're looking to hire must also be forward-looking and resourceful.

Calm: Will this person be able to handle stressful situations? The right hire should know how to be level-headed amidst the fast-paced working environment. 

 

6 reasons to switch to cloud accounting

Accounting has always been an integral part of any business startup. We understand that many businesses are still weighing out their options on whether to invest in a desktop accounting software or cloud accounting software. Our choice, of course, is the latter. Here's why you should consider cloud accounting. 

1. From paper to digital

We know the struggle of having to keep all hardcopy records properly. In the digital age, many businesses have transitioned from hardcopy billings and receipts to electronic invoices and scanned receipts. You'd be able to view all documents and records from one source, instead of having to flip through the hardcopies. This also allows auditors to view and analyse real-time data at their fingertips. 

2. Ability to access financial information on the go

With more business owners on the move, you'd be pleased to know that your financial information can be accessed from your mobile device, anytime anywhere. You'd also be able to communicate with your accountant through Xero and comment on information that requires their attention. 

3. Security

Worried about security? No fear, the cloud provides backup functionality to prevent the possibility of data loss. You're also able to control the restriction of your team's access to certain financial data on Xero. 

4. Integration of other apps

With the combination of Xero and other add-on applications, the opportunities are limitless! From bank feeds, Paypal & Stripe, to reporting and inventory apps, working efficiently all in one dashboard has never been easier. 

5. Team Collaboration

Cloud accounting allows multi-user access, without having to pay for "extra licences" on the software. If you're choosing Xero as your preferred choice of accounting software, you would only need to pay on a per-company subscription basis.  

With multi-user access, communication among team members becomes easier and coordination in team effort becomes more efficient with real-time data. No more having to rely on "end of day" backups in accounting systems.  

6. Reduction of costs

According to Microsoft, 8 in 10 business leaders in Singapore agree that cloud computing and the reduction of IT costs have made it more affordable for businesses of any size to transform digitally. 

By moving to the cloud, you not only save on operating costs, but also save time and effort to maintain physical servers and IT upgrades. 

Hence, less costs = more cashflow!