Start-up idea: a gym named Resolution that opens in January, collects the annual fee and then turns into a bar named Regret for the rest of the year. Don’t set yourself up to fail. Instead, Richard Stonier, partner at Tally Accounts, provider of cloud-based accountancy software, explains six realistic financial resolutions that you can stick to.

Learn from 2017

Even the best business owners make mistakes, but it’s how you react to those mistakes that determines your success. Perhaps you lost business and you are well aware of what caused this. Maybe your pricing wasn’t right, for example? Don’t take this underlying issue into 2018. Equally, you may have done a lot of good things in the last twelve months, which you should definitely take forward into the new year.

Chase debtors

Visualise your cash in the pockets of the people that owe you money. It’s annoying right? You can sell thousands of products on credit, but if you don’t have the cash to pay your suppliers, then you’re going to face a road block. We know you have to be flexible with your customers’ payment options, but if a customer has owed you money for a long period of time, then it’s time to chase that cash. Accountancy software like Tally does this automatically.

Take it to the cloud

Cloud-based software and storage brings heaps of benefits to your business. It means your staff have access to everything they need from home, and it makes relocating premises much easier than it would be with on-site servers and hard drives. The same principle also applies to your accountancy tracking. Cloud-based accountancy software will offer you a real-time view of all your financial information, from any device that has an internet connection.

Monitor those overheads

When the cash dries up, it is game over. This means you should shop around, haggling and calling in favours. It’s not being stingy, it’s being smart. Cash is king and you need to keep the king happy. Keep a vigilant eye on those purse strings by updating your account balances every day. Cloud-based accountancy ensures small businesses have a realistic view of their cash flow by providing quick and simple reconciliation of your bank accounts and putting this data at your fingertips.

Keep all of your receipts

Scan in expenses as you go. By claiming all your allowable expenses, you reduce your company profits, meaning there is less tax to pay on them. Uploading receipts electronically keeps all your records in one place, especially as HMRC can choose to investigate your accounts up to six years retrospectively. Software like Tally even lets you use GPS to track business mileage, automatically updating travel expenses on the go.

Talk to your accountant

Going digital doesn’t mean closing the door on your accountant and never speaking to them again. We’re nice people! What you need with any new accountancy technology is traditional accountancy support. Sometimes you need a real person for financial advice. Who better to help you to prepare for growth and help you to secure business loans?

With these six resolutions, 2018 shouldn’t be a year of regret. Resolution Gym may have to stay open for a little longer than expected.

Further reading on making financial changes in 2018

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