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The Benefits Of Automating Your Small Business

Updated on March 20, 2011

In any business cutting costs and increasing profits are necessary to ensure the ongoing survival and success of the venture. Because many regulations and restrictions govern small business today, there are special administrative issues that need to be addressed, not just bottom-line dollars and cents. A key factor to successfully managing your business is automating your record keeping. Maintaining consistency, accuracy and efficiency is crucial to a stable and profitable business. Automation provides many advantages, as well as saving valuable time and money. It's hard to believe in this day and age but there are still some small business managers who shun computerization! By all means any business manager should leave the hand written ledger back in the 19th century where it belongs!

Automation allows information such as addresses, phone numbers, emergency contacts, work locations, and rotation schedules to be maintained in one central location within your system. Additional information such as inventory and income levels can also be recorded. When this data is computerized, it becomes a fountain of information that is immediately obtainable and easily compiled into hundreds of helpful and insightful reports.

With the proper software, you can automatically post every single transaction your business undergoes. Management software reduces a task that typically can take hours down to a matter of seconds. As an added benefit, the information may be reflected in financial reports designed for internal auditing or to provide customers with updated balance statements.

As an added benefit, some of the more advanced accounting software programs offer electronic funds transfer (EFT) capabilities. This feature allows business to transmit customer balances directly from their programs and, as a result, receive payments automatically from a customer's checking, savings or credit card account. This feature greatly lowers collections and improves overall revenue flow within the business.

In addition to tracking your business' incoming revenue, automation helps you manage payroll, payables and general ledger accounting functions. The benefits of performing these functions yourself include increased control of your business' finances and a decrease in outside expenditures.

Maintaining employee schedules and payroll timecards is a simple process with automation. From within your system you can easily add timecard hours, calculate gross pay (based on straight or overtime hours), deduct state and federal taxes, and post and print checks. Training, vacation and sick time can also be monitored and calculated.

An integrated small business accounting system also offers the capability to quickly review every aspect of your business' financial status. The final components to an integrated system are the accounts payable and general ledger functions.

Automated accounts-payable systems provide the ability to manage vendor accounts and to post and print checks. The general ledger portion combines all accounting information and provides an overview of the money flowing in and out of your business. This information is then reflected in helpful reports that outline your business' profit and loss status.

Automating your business will help maintain consistent and accurate files, as well as save valuable time and money. But perhaps the greatest benefit is it gives you more time to do what you do best... take care of your valuable customers!

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