Understanding how your cash flow changes over time and how to grow it is a vital element of running a business. Learn more about how you can track your business’ cash flow in this article.
We’ll outline the options modern business owners can choose from when trying to find a system that works for them and ways you can improve your cash flow regardless of which route you go for. Find out:
- How to track cash flow
- Why tracking cash flow is important
- How to improve your cash flow
- How to track other business metrics with Countingup
How to track cash flow
Cash flow analysis offers businesses insight into their performance on a number of fronts: indicating their spending habits and their investment. Cash flow values can help determine whether a business is chasing the right target market or isn’t cutting enough costs while it grows. However, how can you analyse cash flow effectively?
You may already be using some form of spreadsheet system and while it may be effective, it’s prone to human error from input and calculations. Further still, it’s something of a static tool; while the values are available for your viewing, many small business owners invest a disproportionate and draining amount of time. So what else is available to you?
Written records and bookkeeping
It may be understandable to think that this is something of a step back but written records may still have a place in the modern era of business.
Studies have shown that physical books seem to provide readers with a better understanding of written content, and business owners shouldn’t let this advantage pass them by. While other systems might make running your accounts fast, you could stand to gain a deeper understanding of your business’ cash flow trends and changes using a written record.
However, this method of accounting has been phased out for a reason: it’s awfully time-consuming, emotionally draining, and full of possibilities for human errors – meaning that while you might think you understand your finances better, you might not be getting the right picture. Coupled with the fatigue after documenting your business’ cash flow, you could be left vulnerable to making strategic and investment mistakes, costing you crucial business opportunities.
So what’s left for small business owners who need to save time and want to limit exposure to their business?
Luckily, we’re at the start of a new era for small business owners, allowing them to automate huge aspects of their financial admin and grow their business with confidence and access to accurate analysis.
Software solutions to tracking your business’ cash flow and accounting go further than spreadsheet methods as they limit more sources of error in your accounting, process cash flow calculations faster and provide charts and graphics to show you trends. However, few currently available apps properly integrate with your business current account, meaning you still have to perform admin tasks just to get access to routine business information.
That’s why apps like Countingup offer a two in one solution with full business current account and accounting capabilities. Not only can you benefit from the same amount of confidence in automated and accurate systems, but you can also save more time since our software integrates with your bank account to reduce your workload even further.
Why tracking cash flow is important
Cash flow is a more holistic measure of your business’ performance as it shows other aspects of your financial behaviour, not just your sales record and profit success. Critically, you can be profitable while having poor cash flow or have strong cash flow while losing money.
And so, having an awareness of this relationship between cash flow measures within your business is just as important as your gross and net profits. If you’d like to learn more about cash flow, including the different sub-categories of cash flow across your business, read our articles Why is cash flow important? and What is the difference between profit and cash flow?
How to improve your cash flow
If you’re at a further stage in your familiarity with business financials, you may be looking for ways to improve your cash flow. There are lots of different options to choose from, so which are more effective and why?
One critical measure is in changing how you handle your assets and opting to lease equipment rather than buying it. While this route still has a drain on your cash flow (versus paying for goods outright), the sums you pay are often smaller as you’re only looking to rent their usage.
Other effective routes can even be simple administrative solutions like providing customers with invoices quickly, or investing in your marketing to build a more robust sales cash flow. Find out more in our dedicated guide How to improve cash flow for your business
Track more useful business metrics with Countingup
Countingup offers more than just real-time cash flow insights. Already, thousands of UK business owners are using the Countingup app to save time on their financial admin and focus on growing their business.
Countingup comes with key business tools like automatic expense categorisation and invoicing features so you can save time from common business chores. Countingup also lets you update your accounting records while on the go with its receipt capture tool so you can always rest assured your business’ financial records are always up to date and accurate.
Gain complete confidence in your business’ accounting needs, understand your cash flow better and save time to put your insight to good use. Find out more here and sign up for free today.