Managing Your Online Business’s Finances through Automation
As your business grows, so will the financial transactions you have to oversee. Automating your business’s finances and bookkeeping allows it to more easily grow without your books becoming a mess or payments getting lost. It’s essential for any company that plans to grow beyond a small business.
Before you start taking payments online, it’s important to have an online payment processor. The most popular payment processor is PayPal. This service handles your sales transactions for you, as well as offering other tools such as its ‘pay now’ button. This button allows site visitors to make payments instantly by clicking it and then logging into their PayPal account.
Signing up for an online payment processor is much easier than getting a credit card merchant account. There are a variety of services beyond PayPal, such as Google Checkout, Amazon Payments and Authorize.net, and the more processors you sign up with, the more options you give your customers. The best part is that transactions are fully automated through the web.
There are also many ways to automate recurring billing and invoicing. This can be done through most payment processors such as PayPal by creating ‘subscription’ payments for clients, customers or services. You can easily change your subscriptions if their price or frequency changes.
Automatic payments are also offered by comprehensive bookkeeping programs like Quickbooks. Quickbooks is designed to handle all of your accounting so that you don’t have to do it yourself. A similar program is Freshbooks which, although it doesn’t offer comprehensive bookkeeping, offers many other features that help you track your money and manage your time. Both of these programs can also be used as payment processors.
If you have employees or are planning to add employees, automated payroll programs are helpful. These are systems that store data on your employees and automatically pay them so you don’t have to. In addition to making your job as manager easier, they also improve your payroll’s accuracy by reducing human error. In addition, they keep good records of payment data which you can refer to easily. These can be either software programs or web-based services like ADP.
Not everything can be done through online payment processors or bookkeeping programs. Most banks offer online banking services for businesses to pay recurring bills such as utilities. Banking services and credit card companies offer small business billing plans to make running a business easier.
Automating financial tasks relieves you of a great burden, but it’s something that should be done slowly, one step at a time. Making too many changes at once can cause confusion and problems. Instead, get one system implemented and wait until you and your staff are comfortable using it before you implement the next.