Follow the money – All you need to know about the money trail for your small business

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If you’ve heard of “follow the money?” in the movies, have you really thought about how you could ‘follow the money’ in your business? Well in reality, ‘follow the money’ would mean that if you want to figure out someone’s intention behind an act, you first look in the direction of who stood to benefit most from it.

When any transaction is made between two parties, a ‘money trail’ is formed. It is this money trail that helps you find the root, route, or outcome of any transaction. For a small business owner like you, ensuring that a money trail is maintained, helps you to track your finances by helping you to keep your business legal and compliant. You can make your cash-handling employees accountable too!

As a small business owner, the sheer volume of transactions, administrative tasks relating to managing the transactions and financial information you need to deal with can be overwhelming. Depending on what your business type is, your hundreds and thousands of transactions can be in paper or electronic form or both. This creates the possibility of you missing some key information or overlooking smaller transactions that could be the catalyst to your next big business move or your day to day decision making process.

Also read: Tips and Tools for Small Business Owners

Here’s a few ways for business owners to rethink, track their money, follow the money trail and find all that hidden information you need, to make an informed decision. Fill gaps in your business performance and dive deep into the micro-level understanding of all your transactions to be able to confidently plan your next step for your business.

business owners to rethink

What should you do to find the money in your small business and follow the money trail?

Ask the right questions! 

  • How much money is invested in my stock?
  • How much money have I spent on my inventory this month?
  • How much inventory am I holding today?
  • How many orders have I booked?
  • How many orders have I delivered?
  • How much inventory have I moved this month?
  • How many invoices have I booked to date?
  • How many payments have I received?
  • How many payments do I need to make?
  • What is the percentage of my delivery vs orders?
  • What is the percentage of my receivables vs invoices?
  • What is the total average for orders placed by different types of customers?
  • What are my top moving products?
  • Which are my top orders and from which customers?

As a business owner, why do you usually not have access to all this information easily?

It all depends upon how you manage your business data. Every business follows a different data management process. For example: An accounting package may be used to handle finances, an excel sheet to handle the stock, employee, and HR data in a smaller HR application or an excel sheet!

 manage your business data

When data travels through multiple systems, processes, and multiple hands, it is not possible to have a consolidated view and central access to this data becomes the biggest challenge. So, when business owners operate on a day-to-day basis, they find these challenges daunting and time consuming. This would mean that they neglect deep diving into all information, get a non-comprehensive look at all the transactions, make use of the easiest and quickest available data and to take major business decisions.

This deprives your business of the analytical approach it needs, to make the right decisions and could be a big hurdle to your growth. The collection or consolidation of data against every process from every area of business is critical in identifying the pain points or the best performance areas of your business, so that you make the right decisions.

So, what is the solution to these and how can you easily follow your money trail?

Firstly, put all your processes into one single digitized solution. Using automation software for your entire business gives you the advantage of doing intelligent business. It simply means that you get all your information consolidated in one single place, that is easily accessible, but also holds the key to better and faster business decisions, without the headache of manual intervention.

Watch our webinar: HR Digital Transformation Journey

How can automation and data consolidation benefit your business?

Other than making your data easily accessible, it also enables you to have your business information on your fingertips dynamically at any given point of time. Plus, you can authenticate the data and restrict the number of hands that have access to such critical information. Thirdly, rather than spending a lot of time and effort in consolidating excel sheets, simple and automated dashboards are easily available in one place for quicker report generation and data analysis.  It eliminates all time lost in data collection, manual report preparation and generation which ultimately gives you more time to analyze your business and make intelligent decisions with readily available data! Also, when legal or statutory compliance issues arise, you have everything in black and white, quickly, and easily, saving you heaps of money and time!

Read our blog: I’m a small business owner. Should I automate?

How can automation solutions support your small businesses?

At arête, we don’t just sell automation solutions. We support your business by helping you focus on what is critical to your business growth. We help your small business bring your focus to where your data is and then support you with the automation you need to bring all this data into one single window. Once this step is complete, we make sure the data is updated by defining roles and responsibilities for your team members to support you with this process.

For any business, it’s not enough to only buy an automation solution or implement it as a onetime project. If your team is not updating operational data in a timely manner, this could create another significant reason for your business failure, even if you have made the digital switch. Therefore, identifying automation utilization as one of your main employees KPIs becomes a prerequisite and supporting factor post automation. And this, of course, comes with the right training to the right people, so your data is not just consolidated, but retained and refreshed from time to time.

If you’re a business owner, buried under heaps of data and finding it difficult to manage, consolidate and analyze it, speak to us about our automation solutions. We’re here to handhold your business by supporting you and your business dream.

Look at our small business at arête automation solutions and find the answer to your questions.

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