Three tips to improve your cash flow right now

- March 5, 2024 3 MIN READ


Unexpected shifts in how the market is doing can reduce buyer demand, which can mean less money coming in for a business. This can be a problem even for businesses that usually make a lot of money, because when they’re growing quickly, they often have to spend more money too,  and this impacts cash flow, explains  Scott Wiltshire, vice president and general manager, Oracle NetSuite ANZ.

With this in mind, it’s important for business owners to keep a close eye on how much money is coming in and going out, regardless of the current cash position, If your business is growing and cash flow is tight, here are three tips to help you get a clearer picture of your finances, maintain a positive cash position, and build a more resilient and sustainable business.

3 tips to improve your cash flow

Say goodbye to manual bill processing

Processing invoices manually can be a time-consuming and costly process. In Australia, the average cost to process an invoice manually is AU$20, according to data from AusDigital. When automated, invoices can be processed at AU$3 each, representing a large cost saving.

Proven accounts payable software can automatically capture essential data from bills, record it, and match invoices to purchase orders and delivery receipts. This helps businesses save time and money and enables them to take advantage of early-payment discounts (and avoid late payment fees) to protect cash reserves. It is worth noting that the best accounts payable automation tools are also integrated with broader business management systems, which minimises the risk of duplicate payments or errors in billing information.

Time and cost-savings aside, accounts payable automation software improves supplier relationships, provides clear visibility into the payment cycle, and enables accurate forecasting so that leaders can anticipate future cash requirements and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Take a closer look at cash inflows and outflows

Taking the time to analyse cash flow can help businesses identify patterns and opportunities to improve results. For example, examining fluctuations in cash flow throughout different seasons can uncover trends in consumer behaviour and help to inform inventory management strategies.

It’s important to update forecasts frequently, so leaders have an up-to-date view of business performance. However, time-consuming manual processes for cash flow analysis can put significant strain on finance teams, particularly in organisations with complex finance requirements. The right business software can help leaders access information on their cash inflows and outflows, including the underlying details about the transactions, in a matter of minutes. With this data at hand, more informed decisions can be made about budgeting, investment, and operational plans and the whole process can be both fast and accurate.

Build a cash flow culture

To achieve and maintain a healthy cash flow, fostering a culture of optimising cash flow at all levels is important. To do this, managers — if not all employees — should have access to relevant information and understand how their department’s performance affects overall cash flow.

A business management system that can bring data from across the company into a single, centralised database will go a long way to highlight the importance of a healthy cash flow. With complete visibility of financial and operational data, managers can make informed decisions around capital expenditure and human resource allocation. In short, empowering employees with the information they need ensures that every decision is made with the impact in mind.

There are multiple tools and tactics that leaders can implement to ensure that they have the cash at hand to run—and grow—the business. Automating accounts payable, updating forecasts regularly, and instilling a company-wide cash flow culture can help to ensure that a business remains resilient and sustainable.

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