Why you should care about the yin and yang of business finance

Faced with company financial difficulties, the CEO of a multi-national manufacturer once said: “The business is about staying in business.” Everything every employee did had to be focused on that one thought, he said. And that meant every employee had to be focused on expenses management.

With its back to the financial wall, it’s easy for a company to fall into the trap of taking business at any price. Big mistake. If a company is going to survive, the business it needs has to be profitable. That’s been the case for ever, and is highlighted by the plight of the company that built The Spirit of St Louis, the aircraft in which Charles Lindbergh made the first flight over the Atlantic. So strapped was it for cash before that historic flight that it turned to making furniture in order to survive.

But with reduced income comes pressure to reduce spending to match. All well and good, you might say, but when times get tough it’s too late to start cost-reduction exercises driven by financial fear. Far better to be careful with money all the time, recognising that income and expenditure are linked; seemingly opposite or contrary, and yet interdependent.

And that calls for making business as profitable as possible every time a contract is signed, a task undertaken, and an invoice raised. Stand the thought on its head, and it means tight control on spending throughout every business process, because one clearly leads to the other.

But that’s not possible without a clear picture of spending, and the patterns behind it. That can’t be achieved in the old-fashioned way, using spreadsheets and printouts. It’s not cost effective, for a start, never mind all the other lurking inefficiencies. The modern way is to turn to small business expense tracking software.   And the place to do that is online.

Key role of small business expense tracking
Online expense management software accessed through a smartphone is the effective way for an organisation to view all its spending; to claim and approve expenses; and to analyse what it spends, how, and why. The understanding those patterns, delivered by online expense management software, means any company can keep its operating costs at a manageable level without detriment to the financial health of the operation.

The beauty of a smartphone-based business expense tracker app is that everyone in the organisation can have access to it no matter where they are, or when they want to access it – subject to having a WiFi connection, of course.

It needs to be simple and intuitive to operate, or the complexity will put users off, and it needs to have more features than simply recording what’s been spent, which will maximise the value of investment in it.

For any company not using a business expense tracker app, the best suggestion be to try one, so as to experience the benefits first hand.

What to look for in business expense tracking software
Not all expense trackers are the same. Will the one you’re looking at:

  • Photograph receipts
  • File spending in bespoke categories
  • Collate reports
  • Export data to accountants
  • Manage receipts
  • Allow you to set up cost centres
  • Allow two-step or pre-determined approvals
  • Do tax calculations against rules and rates you’ve set up
  • Define an expenses policy
  • Work in multiple currencies
  • Control ‘own car’ mileage claims using GPS
  • Integrate credit cards
  • Perform analysis

Solo Expenses does all of those things – but only if you want it to. We operate a ‘cherry picking’ pricing plan, offering a range of features you can turn on at a moment’s notice through an easy-to-follow dashboard. Until you turn a feature on we won’t charge you for it, and when you no longer want it, and turn it off, we’ll stop.

Our software is scalable, and priced accordingly, on a per employee per month basis, and we don’t expect you to be burdened with a long-term contract. And users in 98 countries rely on our software.

Picture: Sergey Khakimillin | Dreamstime