Does your marketing agency have a clear goal for gross profit margins? Learn from successful agencies and accountants what your goal should be and how to track and attain it. By FINSYNC  Setting a healthy gross profit goal is the first step towards the success of your marketing agency. It can help you price your marketing services more strategically, track how well you’re using your company’s resources to deliver your services, and assess your sales and marketing spending. However, setting a goal isn’t enough. You have to track it on a monthly basis as well. That way, you can spot problems and notice trends in your business. A change in gross margin can indicate several things, such as a problem with a particular client or cost overruns for the company as a whole. It can also show profitability trends and how your business measures against industry standards. Essentially, setting a gross profit goal will give you an understanding of how successfully you’re running your marketing agency. But how high should you set your gross profit goal?  The Average Gross Profit for Marketing Agencies Gross profit margins for marketing and advertising agencies have been fairly stable in the last couple of years. In 2019, the average gross profit margin was 23%, only a little bit higher from the margin of 21% in 2018.  Mike Rowan, CEO of KPI Target, says their ideal gross profit is close to the industry standard, landing between 20%-25%. This margin encompasses all the costs that go into running a marketing agency. “When you’re working with an agency versus an independent contractor, we have the cost of office space, the cost of employee salaries, equipment, software — quite a few factors that go into what we are providing. While an agency is in its purest form is essentially outsourced marketing, behind the scenes there are a lot of real costs that go into that. So we factor all of those things into our blended hourly rate.” Mike also points out that many agencies forget some important expenses that drive the burn rate up and eat away at the gross profit. Technology is one of those expenses. One of the big benefits you offer your clients is that they don’t need to invest in things like data providers, marketing automation systems, CRM systems, and other marketing solutions. However, for you as a marketing agency, these software solutions can result in thousands of dollars in expenses every month, which can increase your burn rate significantly. To ensure profitability in your business, make sure to factor technology expenses into the rate you charge your clients.    The Importance of a Healthy Gross Profit A healthy gross profit will put you on the path to a good net income, and enable you to cover all other costs of running a business, such as salaries, office rent, insurance, and other overhead costs. It will also leave room for investing in sales and marketing.  Sales and marketing activities are crucial for the profitability and growth of your business. Yet, some marketing agencies neglect to invest properly in these activities, despite recommending it to their clients. KPI Target does the opposite.  “Because we drink our own Kool-Aid,” says Mike, “we run our own sales and marketing programs, and we recommend that clients do the same because we recognize the ROI from it, and it helps us grow.”  Once you’ve set your gross profit goal, you can calculate the level of sales you need to aim for. After that, you and your team can put together a list of actionable tasks that can boost sales. It might be helpful to ask yourself the following questions: 
  •     Am I charging customers enough?
  •     Have I included all expenses into the rate?
  •     Am I allocating enough funds to sales and marketing?
  •     Are there any services that are underperforming?
It can be very useful to reach out to past and existing customers to ask about their purchasing intention and future marketing needs. The responses might provide you with good indications of where to focus on future sales. How FINSYNC Can Help You Achieve Your Gross Profit Goal One of the key aspects of achieving your desired gross profit is good cash flow management. With FINSYNC, you can analyze and forecast your cash flow for the months ahead so that you can make insightful business decisions based on real data. “The beauty of FINSYNC is that it’s obviously not just bookkeeping software,” says Mike. “Their ability to provide things like cash flow analysis and cash flow projections provides you with the visibility you need to make intelligent business decisions so that you avoid either overspending or not spending enough. It allows you to make better business calls on where you need to allocate funds moving forward into the future.” FINSYNC’s project tracking is especially helpful for marketing agencies, as it allows you to track the profitability of specific projects in real time. This can help you make adjustments as needed, and keep you on track to reach your overall gross profit goal.
Learn how FINSYNC’s all-in-one accounting solution brings together all your financial information to accurately project cash flow in real-time along with what-if scenarios to help you plan for your company's future. By FINSYNC Meet Sarah. She runs a small marketing agency with two employees in her home town of Smallville. The total workload fluctuates a lot, so she relies on a few trusted freelancers from time to time.  Despite turning a profit every year, Sarah still experiences periods of cash shortages, which prevent her from hiring more employees. Even when she sets some money aside, it’s rarely enough.  Does this sound familiar? If the answer is yes, your business would benefit from cash flow forecasting.  Benefits of Cash Flow Forecasting A cash flow statement provides a realistic picture of your business’ income and expenses. Forecasting can: 
  •     Help you understand how various scenarios will impact the future of the business, including hiring, big purchases, or an increase in production.
  •     Highlight customers that consistently pay invoices late. This can help you figure out if you need to change your due dates or negotiate different payment terms with your vendors.
  •     Predict and plan for cash shortages and surplus cash.
  •     Prove your repayment ability to a lender.
In Sarah’s case, a cash flow projection might uncover that some of her clients are perpetually late with payments. Not making a cash flow projection can, in fact, put your business at risk of failing. Around 82% of small businesses fail due to poor cash flow management and a lack of understanding how cash flow impacts their business. Why Small Businesses Struggle to Project Cash Flow Cash flow forecasting is time-consuming and often manual work. In order to put together a cash flow projection, you need to gather copies of invoices, paper and electronic bills from all vendors, payments made with a credit card, salaries, taxes, etc. Even if you’re working with some sort of software, this process requires manual input, and if you’re working with a spreadsheet, all of this data needs to be inputted manually. The biggest drawback of using a spreadsheet is the need to update it regularly. Every time Sarah wants an update of current cash flow, new numbers need to be added, and the old ones removed.  Instead of doing this work manually, you can save significant time and improve accuracy by relying on software like FINSYNC to do it for you.  How FINSYNC Projects Cash Flow FINSYNC offers a real-time update of how your business is doing. The platform gathers financial information from your bank, payroll, accounting, invoicing, and accounts receivable, and updates the cash flow projections daily for the month ahead.   You start by connecting all your bank accounts through FINSYNC. Based on this data, the platform sets a starting balance for any given month. To calculate the money coming in, FINSYNC pulls information from invoices and deposits made in your bank. Overdue invoices are not included in the forecast. The money that goes out is retrieved automatically from payroll and the accounts receivable inbox in your FINSYNC dashboard. Since you can also pay your bills directly from the FINSYNC dashboard, this is also accounted for in the cash flow predictions. [caption id="attachment_6361" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]A business seeing tightening cash flow models the impact of a line of credit A business seeing tightening cash flow models the impact of a line of credit.[/caption] FINSYNC allows you to get a detailed overview of all your payments in one place. All bills and invoices from vendors have a status, so you know if they’ve been paid or not. They’re broken down by these two categories regardless of their due dates. All of the data is displayed in a graph, which provides a visual view of the month ahead, and makes it easier to see potential cash flow problems so you can make any necessary adjustments. In addition to a monthly, graphical view of your data that helps you plan for the overall health of your business, you can also benefit from a daily calendar view. Being able to drill down specifically to the day will help you identify specific dates where you might run into cash flow issues. Often with vendor payments and payroll, a week or even a day can make a big difference. Account for What-If Scenarios For a cash flow statement to be valuable, it needs to be based on accurate numbers. Unfortunately, many small business owners predict their future sales incorrectly. They also fail to account for the financial impact of big decisions, such as hiring, investment in equipment, or taking out a loan.  To help with these issues, FINSYNC has a “what if” feature. Instead of guessing what the impact of a major decision will be, Sarah can create potential cash in or cash out situations to see how it will hypothetically impact future cash flow. She can even make multiple “what-if scenarios” and toggle them on and off to view their individual impacts. You can customize each “what if scenario” to occur on certain dates, repeat each week or month, or simply set it as a one-time expense or income. This can help you visualize big purchases along with the impact of hiring new employees, or opening a line of credit. With this feature, you can also quickly and easily see what a bad month would look like for you, and plan accordingly several months ahead.  Cash flow forecasting is an indispensable tool for running a successful business, even if you’re doing it alone. FINSYNC’s all-in-one platform offers many useful features, such as payroll, which is a huge component of cash flow projection on the expense side. With FINSYNC, payroll is automatically factored into cash flow projections along with other expenses and income through invoices. The best part is every time you create a new invoice or bill or add someone to payroll, it gets included in your cash flow projection automatically. Are you ready for a more strategic approach to your business? Get started today.
How consolidating control of payments, invoicing, payroll and other financial tasks can optimize your business to save you time and money. By FINSYNC  One of the first realizations that strike entrepreneurs when they set out on their own is just how much multitasking is required to operate their small business day to day.   You have to explore ways to grow your revenue, maintain existing customer relationships and ensure you’re managing costs, all while somehow staying on top of payments, invoicing and myriad other key accounting tasks.   That's a tall order, especially when you’re running the show alone or with a handful of employees. Often the technology businesses rely upon to help streamline their accounting tasks end up complicating matters.  It can be time consuming enough to learn how to navigate a typical bookkeeping program, never mind when you add on other software for making payments, managing payroll and invoicing. Pretty soon, the time it takes to switch between multiple interfaces just to get a handle on whether you have enough cash flow to cover expenses at the end of the month begins to add up. Even the most skilled multitaskers will be hard-pressed to keep up with that approach. Of course, there's a far better option: Consolidating all of your financial accounts and tasks within a single software operating system. That's what you get with FINSYNC's integrated accounting and cash flow management platform.   Centralizing control of your financial tasks within a single platform will optimize a large swath of your responsibilities, saving you time and money while providing you with insights into how you can grow your business that would be far harder to come by with a decentralized accounting approach.   One-Stop Accounts Management  Streamlining financial tasks begins with consolidating your various accounts under one software platform. Once all your accounts are linked, essentially talking to each other, you can automate a variety of back-office tasks, including making payments, sending out and tracking invoices, and even processing payroll.    This means you can quickly confirm whether a bill was paid or a customer received an invoice. A system like FINSYNC also automatically sends out invoices and email reminders to customers whenever their payment is past due.   Every transaction, regardless of which bank or credit card account, is easily accessible — no more bouncing around from one application to the next and struggling to keep passwords straight.   More importantly, the integration of your accounts makes it possible to set your bills to be paid automatically. This consolidated approach also generates an accurate, electronic data trail of all your payouts and accounts receivable.   Payroll is another area that can be greatly optimized by linking it to your other accounts within a platform like FINSYNC. An employee time-tracking feature can slash your processing time and minimize mistakes when calculating payroll. A time-tracking application can also eliminate the data entry associated with physical methods of keeping tabs on employee work hours, and ensures that your payroll is in compliance with employee tax withholding requirements. This not only saves you time — and stress — it saves you money. Consider that FINSYNC customers, on average, save 30% on payroll alone.   A Consolidated, Comprehensive View   Perhaps the most important benefit of combining all your back-office tasks under a single platform is that you gain a real-time, accurate view of your business' financial condition. This enables you to optimize how you manage your cash flow so you can spot potential funding shortfalls well in advance.   Need to make sure you have enough cash coming in to cover a big expense later in the quarter? FINSYNC enables you to set the time schedule for your customer invoices so that you can allow enough time to increase the likelihood that revenue will be coming in on time to help cover your costs.   Consolidating your accounts within FINSYNC's platform also helps make it easier to keep your company in the black, with built-in time and expense monitoring and tools that can more accurately deliver project cost estimates. You can even track expenses and profitability on a task, phase and project basis.   More Payment Options  A platform like FINSYNC can also help you manage your cash flow, giving you the option of using credit cards to cover costs for goods or services even if the recipient doesn't have a merchant account.   The platform allows you to send and receive payments with full remittance details with an email address alone. That means you can send anyone a payment using a credit card, without your customers or vendors ever seeing your credit card details. And if you use a credit card that offers cash back or other rewards, you'll accrue rewards any time you send a payment using the card.   The ability to use credit for all types of payments can come in handy, especially when you're trying to preserve cash.  You have a lot of important tasks to juggle as a small business owner. Why struggle with tasks that can be handled more efficiently with a simplified, all-in-one approach? See how FINSYNC can help you consolidate your efforts with a free 7-day trial.
A bit of planning and foresight can help your small business avoid crippling cash flow problems, no matter what challenges you come up against.   By FINSYNC Few small businesses get going, much less succeed, without hard work, tenacity and a tolerance for risk. Having a good idea for delivering a product or service better than the competition doesn't hurt, either. None of those attributes matter much, however, if your business is chronically low on cash.  This is the reality for many small businesses, and it can be their undoing. Nearly a third of small businesses fail because they run out of money, according to an analysis by business intelligence company CB Insights.   Of course, there is no shortage of ways businesses can end up in dire financial straits. Sometimes the economy hits a downturn and projected sales dry up. Or there's a problem with a key supplier that spoils what would have been a big payday.   Even so, forward-thinking entrepreneurs know there are ways to put their business on the best footing to ride out the inevitable swings. All too often, the source of small business cash flow problems are within your control. Have you set up your accounts payable and accounts receivable to maximize your cash flow? Are you able to accurately forecast your cash needs six months or a year from now?   And are you certain you're doing all you can to ensure your company can withstand a big, unexpected and unavoidable expense?  Here are three common reasons small businesses run out of cash — and what you can do to avoid a similar fate.   Badly Timed Invoicing   One of the first places to eliminate potential cash flow issues is in your business's own back-office operations. This is where poor planning in how you set up your billing and other accounting practices can have costly ripple effects months or even years down the road.   One big red flag is when businesses fail to coordinate their accounts payable and accounts receivable. This comes down to sending out invoices to your customers on a deliberate schedule that takes into account when you will need to meet your most pressing cash needs, like covering payroll, paying your bills, or other key expenses.   This isn't likely to work well if you're still sending out invoices by mail. Even sending email invoices can be hit-or-miss, if you opt to do it yourself or rely on an employee. There's always going to be some distraction that ends up delaying when those invoices go out. And why risk that, when there's technology you can use to ensure it gets done on time, every time?   FINSYNC allows users to automate bill payments and invoicing, along with payroll processing and other back-office tasks. Sending out invoices automatically increases the likelihood that you'll be paid sooner, which reduces the possibility that you’ll come up short on funds to cover your business expenses.   Lack of Foresight   A big part of managing cash flow is having good insight into what it will take to financially navigate through the predictable ups and downs of your business cycle. For example, retailers need to ensure they have the funding to place orders for goods in the spring so that they have fully stocked shelves in time for back-to-school sales in the fall, and so they can hire more workers for the holiday shopping season in November and December.   Your business has its own seasonal patterns when demand — and the potential for more revenue — is perhaps strongest. And, conversely, when sales are likely to slow. By syncing up all your financial accounts, FINSYNC can help you better manage how you plan for these cash flow swings. FINSYNC’s accounting and cash flow management platform provides you with an accurate, comprehensive view of your company's finances, making it easy to get quick answers on questions such as which bills are coming up, the status of accounts receivable, and where you stand on covering payroll.   This data is key to forecasting your cash flow needs so that you can take steps to avoid any funding problems well in advance. Features like built-in time and expense monitoring and employee time tracking can also make it easier for you to manage your cash flow.   Things Outside Your Control Sometimes things happen that are well beyond your control in business, and all you can do is hope that you've done enough to ride out the turbulence. This is what many businesses had to do more than a decade ago, when a booming economy, housing and stock market skidded, triggering the biggest economic slump since the Great Depression.   Many businesses didn't make it, especially as the credit markets dried up. Those that survived learned that certain strategies can help, such as building up cash reserves to cushion against times when sales slow. And lining up capital before you need it can be key, especially during a severe economic downturn that could lead to banks pulling back on lending.  Even if you've been turned down in the past for a business loan from a traditional bank, there are more options than ever for small businesses to obtain the financing they need.   The pullback in traditional lending after the 2008 financial crisis helped give rise to online lending companies that use technology to speed up the loan application process and broaden how they gauge a borrower's creditworthiness, including looking beyond a business' collateral. That's led alternative lenders to become a key source of financing for small businesses in recent years.   FINSYNC’s Lending Network matches applications from small businesses with a variety of lenders in a matter of minutes, making it easy for you to choose who has the best option for your business.   Finding other ways to extend your cash flow is also a good strategy when funding needs increase suddenly. FINSYNC Pay will allow you to use your credit cards to cover costs that you would normally only be able to pay with cash, such as your rent, freeing up your cash for other needs.   While there are many trajectories for growth, successful business owners know investing in sound financial management will only help get them there faster, no matter the challenges along the way. Try FINSYNC for free to see how the platform can help you easily improve your cash flow management and avoid those dreaded dips into the red.
From saving on supply costs to renegotiating your rent, these simple steps can help you reduce small business expenses and build up your bottom line.  By FINSYNC What small business couldn’t use a bit more cushion in their bank account? Improving your cash flow isn’t just about increasing sales. There are several small steps you can take to lower your business expenses and keep more cash in your account.  Chances are, you don’t even realize all of the places where your business could save a few bucks, and even the smallest changes add up over time. Start considering every dollar that goes out, and get ready to find money you never even knew you had.  Here are 10 ways you can reduce your business expenses to boost your cash flow: 
  1. Minimize Nonessentials
Do your employees really need fresh bagels every Friday? Perhaps it’s time to treat them once a month instead? Job stability is way more important to your team than a bit of breakfast, especially in tight times. From unnecessary maintenance to little extras here and there that your business would probably never even miss, chances are there are a lot of nonessential expenses that you can cut. This is also an excellent time to take stock of old inventory and unused equipment. Let’s be honest, does that dusty old cappuccino maker spark joy? Be brutal, Marie Kondo style. If you no longer need it, or simply can’t use it anymore, sell it for a quick and easy influx of cash. 
  1. Review Recurring Expenses
Take a hard look at all recurring expenses to see where you can trim the fat. Even seemingly minor things can add up. Are you still paying for insurance you don’t need? Services you no longer use? Outdated subscriptions? And do you really need that landline? You know what to do with all of those unnecessary expenses.
  1. Lower Supply Costs
If your business relies on wholesale supplies, finding the best prices can dramatically impact your cash flow. Have you been loyal to the same suppliers since you started your business? It may be time to shop around a bit and see if there are any better deals out there. Did you find a better price? You can always go back to your current supplier and see if they’ll match it. If not, it could be time to move on. Keep tabs on sales to stretch your dollar even more.
  1. Hire Contractors
Paying a full-time employee can be difficult for a small business, and the hiring process is often arduous and time-consuming. More and more, contractors are stepping in to offer a cost-effective solution to fill an employment gap. These days, freelance networks make it easier than ever to find the help you need, exactly when you need it.  Getting financial expertise can be especially challenging for a small business. Hiring a full-time bookkeeper or accountant is cost prohibitive, but the insight these financial professionals provide can often save you money in the long run. With FINSYNC’s Network, you can get matched with a financial professional for help with bookkeeping, accounting, human capital management, financial analysis and corporate strategy.
  1. Downsize or Sublet
Whether you have office space, retail space, or both, paying for the place where you do business can be one of the biggest expenses small businesses face. If you have a lot of unused space, consider downsizing to reduce your monthly rent costs. You could also invite another small business or independent contractor to share your space in return for covering a portion of your rent. Utilizing a co-working space is another budget-friendly option.
  1. Work From Home
If you don’t actually need physical office space, consider becoming a home-based business. Employees generally appreciate the freedom that telecommuting provides, and it’s easy to stay connected with today’s technology, from video conferencing to cloud sharing. You can still get your local team together for weekly in-person meetings, even if it’s just a standing lunch meeting.
  1. Negotiate Rent
If having a physical space is crucial to your business, and you’re happy where you are, why not try to negotiate a lower rent? You could offer to sign a longer-term lease to make it worthwhile for your landlord, especially in a favorable rental market. Even if you don’t really want to relocate, it pays to shop around for comparable spaces so you can bring any lower rental rates to your landlord’s attention.
  1. Consolidate Your Online Tools
How many subscriptions and software packages do you pay for to manage payroll, track cash flow, invoice clients and track time? Relying on a single platform to handle all of your back-office tasks not only makes for a more efficient workflow, it can save you a lot of money.  A tool like FINSYNC offers a complete solution for payments, invoicing, bill pay, payroll, accounting, financing, cash flow management and services. Bonus: Having all of your financial data in the cloud is a great way to consolidate, always have the latest software updates, and save on IT services like data storage or an on-site server.
  1. Barter
Bartering is one of the oldest ways in the books to save money on business expenses. Do you have excess inventory that’s collecting dust, or specialized skills to offer during a slow month? Think of what your business needs, and make an even exchange without cash ever changing hands. For example, a design firm that’s looking for a place to hold events could offer to update an event space’s website in exchange for use of the space. A restaurant could offer to trade some excess produce for coffee from a local roaster and café. Find service-to-service bartering opportunities on Craigslist’s bartering section, or a fee-based online bartering exchange.
  1. Go Green
There are several small steps you can take to reduce your business expenses while doing something good for the environment. Let’s start with energy. Save on heat and air conditioning costs with a smart thermostat. You can also easily reduce your power consumption by turning off and unplugging computers and equipment when you leave for the day.  And what about all that paper? Print less and share documents online more to reduce both paper and printing costs. These things add up. While we’re at it, are you still sending out paper invoices and cutting checks manually? What about paying for postage to send checks through snail mail? Automate your invoicing and make online payments to minimize these unnecessary expenses.  Focusing on even a few of these 10 ideas to reduce expenses can have a dramatic impact on your cash flow. Stash your savings away in a business emergency fund, or pour the money right back into your business to take advantage of a growth opportunity.
Learn how to leverage cash flow analytics, brand your business as an expert advisor and deliver real value to your customers in a more strategic, advisory role. By FINSYNC Thanks to sophisticated Fintech software like FINSYNC, repetitive tasks like data entry have become virtually obsolete. Accountants and bookkeepers can stay relevant, win new business and strengthen their brand by offering new, more strategic and value-added services. Cash flow advisory services are a major opportunity for you to position your business as a partner and financial expert that your clients can rely on for services that tap into your technical knowledge and ultimately provide valuable insight. Why Cash Flow Advisory? If your accounting or bookkeeping business has been around for a long time, data entry, reconciliations and other repetitive tasks were likely a big part of the services you offered in the early days of your business.  More strategic services like cash flow advisory were probably reserved for when your clients had sudden fires they needed help putting out. Now, integrated Fintech software helps businesses streamline and automate many of these more routine accounting services.  The benefit of integrating payroll, invoicing and other administrative tasks is the data that comes out of it. Analytics and projections provide insight for cash flow management, payment schedules and long-term planning. This opens up an opportunity for more proactive cash flow advisement that can help your clients make better decisions for their overall business growth. As a financial professional, you have valuable access to client data and a wealth of experience from which to draw insights. Cash flow advisory allows you to put those skills to use in more strategic ways now that the industry is shifting away from tasks that can be automated.  The data that your clients’ Fintech solutions generate allows you to start conversations around better financial management, and helps you sell your expertise before potential problems arise. Cash Flow Advisory Services to Focus On Based on your experience and the data that you have access to, consider which cash flow advisory services would be right for your business. These choices will help you determine how to brand your bookkeeping or accounting business to reach new and existing clients looking for more strategic accounting help. Consider the issues that your current clients are facing. What services would they benefit from the most? Here are some of the best opportunities available to you:
  • Cash Flow Forecasting: Annual or periodic forecasting is a great way to learn from past business trends and add consistent value by helping your clients stay ahead of any potential cash flow issues.
  • Cash Flow Management: For shorter periods when cash flow may be a higher priority, or during specific projects that put a strain on finances, helping your clients manage their cash flow can be an invaluable service. 
  • Opportunity-Based Cash Flow Projections: Running projections for specific scenario planning such as capital expenditures, hiring and more can present your clients with options when making critical business decisions.
FINSYNC Supports Cash Flow Advisory Services While advisory services help leverage your specific expertise, they will also be significantly affected by the payroll, invoicing, bill pay and accounting software available to your client. Using a true cash flow management solution like FINSYNC provides the tools and analytics necessary to offer insightful cash flow advisory services, in part because future transactions live in the same database as accounting, but also because the system contains purpose-built tools for managing cash flow.  Here are a few of the main benefits FINSYNC brings to cash flow advisory: Relevant Analytics From an Integrated Platform By offering a complete cash flow and accounting solution that integrates everything from making payments to processing payroll, FINSYNC can analyze data from every angle of a business. This presents a more complete, intelligent forecast of future cash flow and business performance. In terms of cash flow analysis, the ability to view employee time tracking in real-time and client pay schedules in an integrated financial software allows you to more accurately predict if the business will have an issue making payroll, or the client needs to adjust to better manage invoicing and bill payments.  FINSYNC Pay Offers Control Over Cash Flow With FINSYNC Pay, your clients now have the ability to use their credit card for traditionally cash-only payments, which gives them ultimate control over cash flow. FINSYNC Pay provides a simple way to send vendors that aren’t set up for credit card processing a credit card payment that can be accepted with a few simple clicks. This capability allows you to advise your clients when they should free up their cash flow by using credit for expenses such as rent. With more flexibility, you can present better cash flow advisory strategies and your clients can worry less about making payroll or missing a vendor payment. While solutions like FINSYNC help automate repetitive accounting tasks, they also present a wealth of data your clients will look to you to help process. Should they make payments now or later? Should they secure financing? What financial pitfalls are on the horizon?  By offering cash flow advisory services — and supporting clients with a solution like FINSYNC — you can be an early adopter of this emerging form of advisory services that’s seeing rapid demand growth and delivering exceptional value to clients.
From payment flexibility to on-demand financial expertise, these five tools can give your business momentum to propel you through the year ahead. By FINSYNC Whether this year has been your best yet or most challenging to date, take steps now to set yourself up for success in 2020. This doesn’t have to be an arduous process. Today’s sophisticated Fintech tools make it easier than ever to save time, save money and work more efficiently.  Next year, why not let intuitive online tools do the heavy lifting for you so you can spend more time growing your business? Here are five ways FINSYNC can help you run your business better in 2020. Payment Flexibility What if you could pay your business rent with a credit card? Cover traditionally cash-only bills with credit to free up your finances for payroll? Now you can with FINSYNC Pay. Whether you’re having a seasonal downswing, or need access to capital to take advantage of a growth opportunity, FINSYNC offers payment flexibility along with unprecedented security. That means never having to share your credit card or account information over the phone to make a payment.   FINSYNC offers simple, secure payments that are automatically reconciled and include remittance details. Pay all your bills by check (printed and mailed for you), ACH or credit card from a single consolidated platform. To pay by credit card, all you need is your vendor’s email address. FINSYNC makes it easy for your vendor to accept your credit card payment in a few simple steps, even if they’re not set up to accept credit.  The ability to use a credit card to cover your bills can help you avoid having to dip into your operating funds or take out a loan in leaner months when you need to leave a little more cash in your account, which gives you tighter control of your cash flow.  Control Over Your Cash Flow You’ve probably heard the alarming statistic: 82% of small businesses fail due to cash flow issues, according to a U.S. Bank study. Beyond keeping your doors open, cash flow management is critical to qualifying for a business loan and attracting investors.  In addition to freeing up your finances by allowing you to pay virtually any bill by credit card, FINSYNC offers a host of cash flow management tools that make it simple to track the money coming in and going out of your business. Learn from your history of financial transactions, easily visualize where your money is going, and project your future cash flow to plan for upcoming expenses and projects. The best part? You don’t have to open a single spreadsheet to get an accurate picture of your cash flow.  Linking up all of your business’ financial transactions, from payroll to invoicing, makes it simple to monitor your cash flow on a daily basis, and gives you visibility into future transactions. Access to Low-Cost Capital At some point, your business will face expenses that go beyond the scope of a credit card. When you need quick access to capital for any reason, FINSYNC’s Lending Network takes the sting out of the loan application process. Alternative lenders in FINSYNC’s network are more likely to extend loans to startups and businesses that may have trouble qualifying for a traditional loan. Unlike traditional lenders, online lenders can tap into your cash flow data to quickly determine if you qualify for a loan. Rather than asking for two years of business history, alternative lenders often only need to see a few months’ worth of bank transactions. Less-than-stellar credit? These lenders may look beyond your personal credit history and base your creditworthiness on the health of your monthly revenue.  No collateral? That’s usually not a problem with alternative lenders, who are also generally more willing than traditional lenders to make smaller loans. With FINSYNC, the application process takes a matter of minutes, and as your cash flow improves, your access to additional capital increases — in real time.  Easy Access to On-Demand Financial Experts Many small businesses don’t have the budget, or the need, to hire a full-time accountant, bookkeeper or other financial professional. So when a need arises, it can be difficult to tap into these invaluable resources.  FINSYNC’s Virtual Assistance Network makes it easy to hire a financial professional on a freelance basis, which is a more cost-effective and accessible way to get the expertise you need, exactly when you need it.  Get matched with a financial professional that’s best positioned to help your business, whether you need support for bookkeeping, accounting or financial analysis. You can even get help with human capital management, whether you need to hire or onboard an employee, or just get some help with payroll, HR and benefits.  Looking for some guidance on a more strategic level? FINSYNC can even connect you with a virtual CFO for sophisticated projections, strategic advice and more.  Streamline Back-Office Tasks Perhaps the best way to position your business for growth is to free up time to put your focus where it will make the biggest impact. We know what you’re thinking — how? Start by taking all of those administrative tasks off your team’s plate, or let’s be honest, your own to-do list. Juggling spreadsheets and tracking down invoices is simply not the best use of your time. For many small businesses, the key to improving efficiency lies in automation. Forget cutting paychecks or spending endless hours to make sure employee pay is in compliance with tax withholding requirements. An integrated financial platform like FINSYNC enables you to automate these tasks, and reduce potential errors in the process.  Automating accounting tasks like sending out invoices can help you time your incoming payments to support your cash flow needs, and you’ll never have to hound your customers for payments with automatic collections reminders.  You can even automatically track your employees’ work hours with time-tracking software — no data entry required. Use this data to minimize errors when you generate the monthly payroll and calculate payroll taxes.  Put your accounting on autopilot to free up your time and energy to focus on growth in the new year. FINSYNC’s all-in-one cash flow management platform can help you get there with minimal investment of time or resources. Take advantage of the software’s game-changing capabilities to position your business for success in 2020, and beyond.  
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.