Guest blog: 11 tips for spring-cleaning your small business finances

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When you are a small business owner, being responsible for all the day-to-day operations tasks may leave you with little time to regularly organize your company’s finances. If you’ve decided to make some time for financial spring cleaning, however, here’s a checklist.

1. Reevaluate your credit cards

You may be building credit using a small-business credit card. Reflect on your service during the last year and determine whether the rewards you received were relevant to your business. If not (or if you don’t have a card for your business), look at what your business spends money on. Whether it’s travel, office supplies, advertising or “a bunch of random stuff,” there’s a business credit card that caters to that.

2. Reevaluate your loan(s)

Most businesses operate with a finance partner. Check in to determine if you can qualify with a lender with more flexible terms and a better rate. For example, if you have been bootstrapping funds from investors, you may want to look for an alternative lender and hold on to your equity.

3. Get a handle on your business’s credit health

Checking and tracking your business’s credit rating is much more complicated than keeping tabs on your personal credit scores. Use this guide to learn about business credit. A good credit rating for your business can play a big role in securing funding, getting business services and getting lines of credit with suppliers.

4. Return credit merchandise

Businesses that work on credit systems order products then sell them and reimburse the manufacturer. If your business uses this system, try to return merchandise that is sitting around. You may be amazed at how much you can collect from this move.

5. Balance checking accounts

Even though balancing your checkbooks can be one of the most mundane chores, it is crucial to ensure you do not have any outstanding checks.

6. File all quarterly reports

Make sure all quarterly reports have been filed. Pay your taxes in time to avoid penalties arising from late tax payments. All reporting should be done at the beginning of each quarter.

7. Have a plan B

A cash flow forecast is crucial, as it can help you prevent a cash shortage or warn you when one is coming. A growing business will need access to working capital to ensure lack of funds does not impact its trajectory. Do not rely on business credit cards because they have limits. Look at the various finance solutions available for your business at each stage of growth.

8. Review subscriptions

Monthly, quarterly and annual subscriptions may be an unexpected cash-drain on any business. Conduct a scrub on your expenses and assign every expense to a category. This way you can track items you should routinely check on to determine if they need adjustments.

9. Search for cheaper insurance plans

Every year or so, look into the cost of switching insurance providers. This should be the case when you plan to hire more workers as there may be lower rates for group plans.

10. Review vendors and employee contracts

There is never a bad time to do a review of existing deals with contracted vendors, workers or any other people who do business with your company.

11. Complete business audit

Last, but not least, perform a complete audit of your company to ensure you are making as much money as possible. It will show you if your processes are not being done as efficiently as possible or are too complex. The audit can also show whether your employees are as productive as they need to be.

Author bio

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.

 
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