From saving time to getting paid faster, your business can benefit in many ways from automating your back office. By FINSYNC There are many factors that can determine the success of a business, but the three most important considerations are: how well you serve your customers, the quality of the goods or services you produce, and how you differentiate your business from your competitors. The best way to excel in all three of these areas is to focus on them. Back office automation improves the efficiency of your operations by eliminating redundant tasks and generally making it easier for your employees to do their jobs. In this article you’ll learn about back office automation, its benefits and five reasons why you should automate your back office as soon as possible. What is Back Office Automation? Automating your back office is a simple way to eliminate antiquated, inefficient, paper-driven or man-in-the-middle processes. This is done with financial software that can store and organize customer data for use in tasks like invoicing, accounting and managing cash flow. Automating your back office not only eliminates paper-driven processes, it minimizes human error and enables company employees to complete their work with greater ease. It can also greatly improve the efficiency of your back-office operations, and the speed at which your employees respond to customer demands. Put simply, back office automation frees up your employees to do what you hired them to do — grow your business. 1. Save Time A back office with zero automation is a back office that is inundated with paper documents and handicapped by tedious physical processes that slow down your internal operations. Automated work processes like electronic record keeping reduces the time your administrative employees spend on unnecessary tasks or steps. 2. Save Money and Reduce Cost In the world of business, time is one of your most valuable resources. It’s best to work as quickly and efficiently as possible without sacrificing quality. We just learned how much time back office automation can save your business, but how does that factor into cost savings? The answer is simple. Back office software does more than automate repetitive tasks — it provides your employees with tools that increase the speed and ease at which they can do their jobs, and minimizes the number of employees that you need to hire to run your business. For example, if you pay an employee $35/hour to create invoices and it takes them three hours to complete that task, you owe that employee $105. However, if that same employee has access to invoicing software that enables them to create twice as many invoices in half the time, they can get twice as much done for half the cost. 3. Get Paid Faster Manual invoicing is more than a tedious task, it’s a barrier to profitability. A business that manually creates invoices is driving up its labor costs, slowing down the invoicing process and increasing the amount of time it takes to get paid. By automating your invoicing or accounts receivable process you make it easier for your customers to do business with you. When you make it easier for your customers to pay you, you can focus on how to deliver better service, speed up the payment process, increase your bottom line and add value to your customer relationship. 4. Manage Cash Flow Better Good decision making is critical to whether your company succeeds or fails, which is why cash-flow management is so important. To make sound decisions, your employees need accurate and reliable financial information. Automating your back office helps you understand your cash flow with powerful tools like heat maps of daily cash balances and forecasting models that show cash flow shortfalls. Your employees can use this information to understand your current and future cash flow situation in order to make sound decisions that benefit your business. 5. Simplify and Consolidate Your Back Office When a business implements financial software with automation capabilities, it immediately simplifies and consolidates many tedious yet important processes like storing and accessing data. In fact, most back office automation software includes cloud storage and backup, which makes it easier for employees to search and find what they need from a central repository. By making it easier for employees to find and access the data they need, back office automation software makes it easier for your team to answer queries and respond to customers quickly and efficiently. Intuitive software can also connect your team members with chat tools and comment sections, which can help them quickly communicate and make decisions. This eliminates bottlenecks and generally makes it easier for your team to work together to further your business goals. The Best Back Office Automation Software Besides saving time and money, automating your back office improves the efficiency of your business and enables your employees to effectively do their jobs with maximum speed and ease. FINSYNC’s suite of financial software streamlines your back-office operations to help you manage your business better and with less effort. It's a convenient solution for the antiquated, inefficient processes that are dragging down your business. If you’re ready to automate your back office and grow your business, get in touch with us today.
From cash flow analysis to automating back-office tasks, adopting these three best practices will keep small business owners on the road to success. By FINSYNC    Successful businesses may get their start by coming up with a great idea for a product or delivering a service in a new way. However, innovative ideas and a welcoming market aren't enough to keep a business growing.    That takes effective management, especially when it comes to the bevy of key financial tasks that have to be handled to operate a business.    How you handle your company's cash flow, meet your payroll needs and set up your back-office operations to run efficiently can make a huge difference in whether your business will thrive or just get by, dogged by problems borne of ineffective financial management.    Here are three financial practices that will keep your business on the road to success.    Focus on Your Cash Flow    Cash flow is a key factor to keeping your business running smoothly, and managing it effectively is crucial to success.    Some 82% of U.S. businesses fail because of cash flow problems, according to online business trends portal Visual Capitalist. 29% of those businesses fail because they run out of cash altogether. If you're still cutting checks by hand or using limited financial software that doesn't provide a real-time, future-facing snapshot of how much money will flow in and out, there’s a better way to operate. That's where an online cash flow management system like FINSYNC's can help. The software can send out invoices to your customers immediately after you've fulfilled your end of the transaction, as well as manage and forecast cash flow, among various other accounting tasks.    Such systems optimize your accounts receivable and accounts payable processes in order to ensure that your bank balance is sufficient to fund payroll or other large expenses.    Let's say you're a retailer. Effective cash flow analysis can help you plan ahead and seek extra financing to avert a projected shortfall or get access to the funds needed to add seasonal workers ahead of the holiday shopping season.    Sync Up Your Financial Accounts    Staying on top of your company's finances can be a challenge, especially when you're busy handling everything else that your business needs to function. Often the task is left to a bookkeeper or, in the case of a small business startup, the owner — when they can find the time to spare.    Armed with off-the-shelf accounting or spreadsheet software, you do your best, but it's often a scramble to keep track of receipts you'll need when it comes time to file your business tax return, or invoices that have yet to go out, or even your own utility bills.    Inaccurate financial tracking ultimately costs your business money and undermines your ability to plan for next month and beyond. Avoid this pitfall by syncing up your business' financial accounts.    Software like FINSYNC links up all of your financial transaction-related functions, including paying bills, tracking bank deposits and withdrawals, invoicing clients, and cutting paychecks, so that all of your transactions are tracked automatically.    How does this help? In addition to streamlining your financial data tracking, integrating your accounts will give you a comprehensive view of your costs. That's essential in gauging the health and profitability of your business.    Automate Back-Office Tasks  The technology that allows for the integration of financial transactions and other data can also be leveraged to optimize your back-office tasks, which can save you significant time and money.    Intuitive software goes beyond just connecting various transaction data, and can be used to automate various back-office tasks, including paying bills, invoicing clients electronically and processing payroll. Automating your invoicing process will also help your business stay on the path to growth by making it easier to collect payments. Overburdened business owners often struggle with this simple task — especially when they still rely on paper invoices that must be mailed.    In addition, an online invoicing system can help you set up a recurring invoicing schedule, along with automatic reminders and alerts to notify customers when payments are due or past due. The automation approach simplifies the payroll process as well because it can be used to track the hours that employees work every week. That data makes it possible to consistently generate paychecks that are in compliance with tax withholding requirements.   Wondering if your contractor should actually be classified as an employee? Have a question about calculating benefits? Payroll can be complicated on a lot of different levels. The best payroll software is backed by live support in the form of a dedicated, U.S.-based representative that you know by name.    When you set up your payroll within an accounting platform like FINSYNC, which syncs up all of your small business finances in one place, taxes are calculated automatically. This automated bookkeeping not only saves you a significant amount of time, it can also dramatically improve the accuracy of your payroll. So what are you waiting for? Implement a few changes and get back to what got you in business in the first place.
Streamline Your Business Efforts with the ABCs of Efficiency Want to run your small business more efficiently? Follow these three simple steps to minimize your efforts and maximize your results. By FINSYNC Who doesn’t wish they could run their business more efficiently? Get more done in less time? And save money while you’re at it? Yes, please — said every small business owner in America. If only it was as easy as that. We’ve got some good news. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to see real results when it comes to running your business more efficiently. With just a few small changes, you can free up enough time to get back to those big-picture priorities that have been sitting on the back burner for way too long. Ready to start small? Try these three strategies for cutting down your administrative tasks and streamlining your operations. With a little effort, improving your efficiency can be as easy as A, B, C. Automate Your Back Office How much time do you spend on administrative tasks? How would your business benefit if you could use that time and mental energy to map out goals and plan for growth? We know what you’re thinking: Easier said than done. We’ve been there. Small business owners wear many hats, and are some of the most over extended folks out there. All the more reason to take some tasks off of your plate. Sophisticated online tools like FINSYNC can help you put your back office on autopilot. Start with your accounting. Once you sync up your finances online, they’ll be categorized automatically on a complete general ledger, which makes it simple to track expenses, reconcile your accounts and streamline your tax prep. How much time do you spend tracking down invoices? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could pay vendors or collect payments with a single click of a button? You can. Simply set up auto payments and recurring invoice schedules to save endless hours on these tedious administrative tasks.  Simplifying your financial management can help you redirect your efforts into matters that need your immediate attention, from sales and customer service to celebrating a recent win with your team. Block out Interruptions According to the experts, interruptions at work are killing your productivity. Perhaps not too surprisingly, 71% of people reported frequent interruptions at work, while only 29% said they’re able to block out everything else while working. If only we could all be so skilled. While it’s not exactly realistic for small business owners to block out every interruption throughout the day, protecting your most productive hours can make a huge difference. When do you do your best work? Get the most done? Whether it’s 7 to 10 a.m. or 2 to 4 p.m., alert your team that this is now your “do not disturb” window. Use this protected time to tackle your most pressing tasks. You should know exactly what these priorities are in advance, so take a moment every day to consider your goals for the following workday. You’ll need to be disciplined about protecting that precious time, as will your employees, but you’ll be amazed how much you can get done without interruptions.  To be truly productive, you’ll also have to protect your time from digital distractions that can pull you away from the task at hand. This is not the time to Google gift ideas for your significant other, or catch up on social media. Resist the temptation to go down these alluring rabbit holes so you can focus on what’s truly important to your business. Note that it may take a bit of practice to focus effectively in today’s digital landscape. Be disciplined about your efforts, and your uninterrupted focus will pay off. Consider the Basex survey that discovered that distractions cost companies in the U.S. $588 billion every year in lost productivity. Ouch.  Consolidate Your Tools How many different applications do you toggle between throughout the day to run your small business? Do you need an app just to keep track of all your different passwords?  Bouncing around from accounting software to a payroll app and yet another site to track your work hours isn’t exactly an efficient use of your time. Perhaps it’s time to get organized. Managing your small business finances from a single platform (with one password) is a streamlined way to operate. Synching up your small business finances also allows you to harness the power of your financial data to give you a complete picture of where your business has been — and where it’s going.  Simplify your workflow with an easy-to-use all-in-one system that not only takes the drudgery out of day-to-day tasks, but also provides actionable insights that can help your small business grow and thrive.  From smart online tools that can tackle your administrative tasks to protecting your most productive time, follow the ABCs of efficiency and you’ll be rewarded with dividends, with a capital D.
Overwhelmed by your “to-do” list? Learn four smart strategies for prioritizing tasks so you can get more done with less effort.   By FINSYNC Ever wish there were about five more hours in the workday? We know the feeling. As a small business owner, learning to manage your time effectively can help you minimize your efforts and maximize your results. As author Tony Morgan said, “You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don’t decide, others will decide for you.” Ready to tackle that endless “to-do” list? Learning to prioritize tasks is the first step to effective time management. Using a proven strategy to help you prioritize will allow you to make the most of your time — and knock out that list once and for all. In the training course Time Management for a Small Business, the SBA introduces four different ways to tackle prioritization: the Pareto Principal, the ABC System, the Eisenhower Method and the POSEC Method. Trust us, these “methods” sound more daunting than they actually are. Here, we give you the basics of each approach so you can choose the strategy that works best for you and your business. 80/20 Rule Most of us know the Pareto Principal as the 80/20 rule. The idea behind this rule is that 20 percent of your time and effort will produce 80 percent of your results. Just as 80 percent of your customers likely represent 20 percent of your revenue. Say your goal is $100,000 in sales. Around 20 percent of the time and effort you spend to achieve this goal will likely result in $80,000 in sales. The remaining 80 percent of your time? That’ll only get you the final $20,000 to reach your goal. So how can this idea of unequal distribution help you manage your time more effectively? Your job is to identify the tasks that produce the best results. Then bump those tasks to the top of your to-do list and tackle them first to get the most bang for your limited-time buck. ABC System As a small business owner who juggles a variety of responsibilities, you need to make sure that the most important tasks get done first. The ABC method is a simple way to prioritize your to-do list in order to accomplish just that. Go down your to-do list and label each task A, B or C. “A” rankings are reserved for your most urgent tasks, “Bs” are slightly less pressing and “Cs” are your least important to-dos. Once every task has a letter, prioritize subtasks for each major item with numbers (1, 2, 3 …). You’ll complete task A-1 first, followed by A-2 and so on until you get to the Bs. This straightforward method helps you get organized quickly and leaves you with a road map that can make an overwhelming to-do list look much more manageable. As every small business owner knows all too well, things can change quickly, so you may need to re-prioritize in order to adjust to outside factors. Eisenhower Method It you prefer a time management method that’s slightly less precise than an ordered list, the Eisenhower Method may be for you. This strategy helps you distinguish between urgent and important tasks. As Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said: “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” Once again, you’ll want to start with your list of tasks. This time, group all of your tasks and activities into four categories:
  1. Urgent and important
  2. Important but not urgent
  3. Urgent but not important
  4. Neither urgent nor important
Now that you’ve got your tasks categorized, tackle them by taking the following actions: Priority 1:  Do it now and handle it yourself. Priority 2:  Schedule a time to do the task. Priority 3:  Delegate to someone else or push it to lowest priority. Priority 4:  Skip it. These unimportant tasks may or may not ever get done. POSEC This odd acronym stands for “Prioritize by Organizing, Streamlining, Economizing and Contributing” (POSEC). To put it to use, work your way through each step, starting with “Prioritize.” Similar to the other strategies we’ve looked at, this one starts by ordering your list of daily tasks from highest priority down, based on your daily goals and how much time you have. Next, you “Organize” your day-to-day tasks. This entails setting a schedule and providing a structure for basic tasks that you do on a regular basis. After that, it’s time to “Streamline” the responsibilities that you must do even though you’d rather not. The point is to simplify the annoying tasks that you’d rather avoid. When you “Economize,” you’re tackling things that you would like to do, should be done, or are enjoyable — but are lower priority in the scheme of running your small business. Finally, once you’ve achieved everything else on your list, it’s time to “Contribute,” or give something back to society. Beyond Prioritization Now that you’ve prioritized your to-do list and daily tasks, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. The biggest challenge here, of course, is finding the time to get it all done — from those high priority tasks that you start with through the items you’d simply like to complete for your own enjoyment. Maximize your productivity by working more efficiently during the hours that you’re allotted in any given day. FINSYNC can help you free up some valuable time by automating time-consuming back-office tasks like invoicing and payroll. Putting your accounting on autopilot may even help you feel like you’ve found an extra five hours in your workday.
Top 5 Reasons It’s Crucial to Manage Your Cash Flow Why cash flow analysis may be the single most important area for small business owners to focus their efforts. By FINSYNC Who has time to manage their company’s cash flow when there are bills to be paid, products to be made and inventory to order? We get it. Small business owners are among the busiest, hardest working people out there. While managing your cash flow can feel like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be — and even minimal effort is well worth it. Consider these 5 reasons why cash flow analysis is crucial to the success of your business.
  1.  Qualify for a Small Business Loan
Access to working capital is a challenge most small business owners face at some point. Getting a handle on your cash flow can significantly improve your chances of getting approved for a small business loan. While different types of lenders have different requirements when it comes to qualifying for a loan, one common factor unites them all: cash flow. The strength of your company’s cash flow is one of the primary factors that lenders consider when reviewing your loan request In addition to a history of positive cash flow (when more cash is coming in than going out), lenders are looking very closely to make sure enough money is coming into your business to cover all of your regular business expenses plus a loan payment. Now that you know what lenders are looking for, it’s crucial to shore up your cash flow before applying for a loan. With a little foresight and regular cash flow analysis, you can make sure your cash flow is ready for scrutiny — and will give lenders the confidence they need to grant you a small business loan.
  1.  Learn from the Past
Taking stock of where your business has been is an invaluable exercise when it comes to managing your company’s cash flow. This is an opportunity to learn from mistakes, spot trends and plan accordingly. Analyzing the numbers from past cash flow statements will allow you to quickly pinpoint shortfalls, recognize seasonal trends and identify unexpected costs along with unpaid invoices that may be affecting your cash flow for any given period. Cash flow analysis doesn’t have to be complicated. FINSYNC’s intuitive online tools can automatically track your cash flow and help you visualize patterns with charts and other helpful graphics. These tools make it simple to tackle one of the keys to managing your cash flow: timing.
  1.  Avoid Unexpected Shortfalls
Unnecessary strains on your cash flow are often a simple matter of timing. Once you have a clear picture of past trends and patterns, you can schedule payments based on your projected cash flow to avoid crippling shortfalls. In addition to helping you plan ahead for seasonal business fluctuations, cash flow analysis can help you identify when your customers are submitting their payments so you can adjust your outgoing payments to suppliers accordingly. If you spot significant lag time between when you invoice your customers and when their payments are coming in, you may consider ways to get paid faster. A crucial part of cash flow management is timing your incoming and outgoing payment to avoid dips into the red — and make sure both your employees and suppliers get paid when they’re supposed to.
  1.  Plan for the Future
Cash flow projections are key to anticipating upcoming business needs and timing payments to avoid shortfalls. They also provide you with a level of visibility that allows you to avoid guesswork and make better business decisions. Forecasting may also help you qualify for a small business loan. Showing lenders where your company is headed with the help of their funds can greatly improve their confidence in your business — and in your ability to repay the loan. Perhaps most importantly, tracking the trajectory of your cash flow will allow you to capitalize on timely opportunities and plan for growth.
  1. Stay in Business
If you’re still not convinced that managing your cash flow is worth the effort, consider this unsettling statistic. Perhaps you’ve heard about the number one reason small businesses fail? You guessed it: cash flow. A whopping 82% of businesses shutter due to cash flow problems. Just because your business is profitable doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. An unsettling number of profitable companies fail simply because they run out of cash. When there’s more money going out of your business than coming in, you’ve got a serious problem, no matter how profitable you are on paper. FINSYNC makes it easy to manage your cash flow, with intuitive tools that do the hard work for you. It’s just one more way that getting your finances in synch can help your business succeed.
Free up time to focus on mission critical areas by putting administrative tasks on autopilot with intuitive online tools that can do the heavy lifting for you. By FINSYNC Running a small business can make you feel like you’re stuck in a circus-juggling act. It’s difficult enough to keep the doors open and make sure your employees get paid without the added pressure of tracking your cash flow and keeping your books. It can seem near impossible to find the time or energy to harness the passion that got you into business in the first place, much less focus on sales, customer service and other areas that require your immediate attention. Financial management shouldn’t feel like a full-time job. There’s no better time than right now to get a handle on overwhelming administrative tasks so you can get back to the heart of your business. FINSYNC is here to help: We’ve got three intuitive tools to help you win the battle against runaway financial management once and for all. Automate Your Accounting Are you tired of spending endless hours filling in spreadsheets? Is your budget a little too tight to hire a full-time bookkeeper? We hear you. Fortunately, there’s an easier — and less expensive — way to get a handle on your accounting. In a word: automate. It’s never been easier to sync up your finances with a sophisticated online tool that can take care of your accounting automatically. Simply import your bank transactions, and they’ll be automatically categorized for you on a complete general ledger. Easily track your expenses, tackle month-end reconciliation, and prepare your taxes in a fraction of the time. You can also generate reports that make it simple to drill down to the details you need. Bottom line? Automating your accounting is a shortcut to actionable insights that can help you make better business decisions. Invoice on Autopilot Are you still spending time writing checks, preparing invoices and mailing all of the above? What if you could pay vendors or collect payment for your goods and services with the click of a button? It’s that easy with invoicing software that can save you hours on administrative tasks. Set up recurring invoice schedules and auto payments to shrink your to-do list, and skip those excruciating calls to overdue clients with alerts that automatically remind customers when payments are due — or past due. Invoicing on autopilot saves ample time and makes it easier for you to both collect and make payments. The benefits extend to your clients by making it easier for them to pay you, which can help you get paid faster and keep your cash flow solidly in the green. Simplify Cash Flow Management You know how important it is to monitor your cash flow, but somehow keeping track of the money that flows in and out of your business can seem like an overwhelming task. What if we told you that cash flow management doesn’t have to be difficult? Beyond helping you get a handle on your current cash flow, intuitive online tools can make it easy to spot trends and plan for the future with automatic projections based on your history. Once you can see where your cash flow is going, it’s easy to make adjustments and schedule payments to avoid a dreaded shortfall that can put you in the red. Visualize your past, present and future with the help of automatically generated charts and graphs that give you a picture of your cash flow that’s easy to comprehend — and act upon. The Power of Consolidation How many different apps, passwords and software systems does it take to run your business? If you’re still keeping track of a slew of disparate systems to handle various financial management tasks, consider improving your efficiency by consolidating your efforts onto one system. When you sync your finances on FINSYNC’s platform, you get access to all of the tools you need to automate your accounting, invoice on autopilot and easily analyze your cash flow. In other words, you can automate your back office from a single platform with one password. Simplify your financial management to save time, get more mileage out of your resources, and maybe even get back to all of those things that inspired you to build your business in the first place.
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Cash Flow Management