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How to make your SME budget more robust

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Budget 2015: How can you make your SME's budget more robust[/caption] DON’T you pity the poor accountants, company directors and financial officers who have to decipher what the Chancellor’s annual Budget means for them? For individuals of course, March might just mean worrying about fuel duty or how much their favourite tipple is going to cost them. If you are running a business however, this time of year can be a real headache working out what new rules concerning corporation tax, interest rates or VAT will mean for your company’s bottom line. As the implications of the Budget kick in, you will naturally be keen to make your corporate budget more robust, so here are a few tips based on the questions that SMEs often ask:- I’m keen to develop my business in 2015. How can I be sure that my company is setting aside enough money for successful growth? Perhaps you are thinking of launching a new product or service, but when you ask your accounts department for a forecast, they drag their feet. Maddening, isn’t it? Or perhaps you are recruiting - either way, you’re feeling antsy about your company’s financial future. Sometimes, the best laid plans are thwarted simply because a company’s records are not up to date, or because someone is sitting on them. Whatever the size of your organisation, there are four key points to remember if you want to grow:
  • Keep all your transactions up to date
  • Make sure your reports are distributed and collated on time
  • Ensure your forecasts are accurate
  • Invest in software that keeps it simple – and the simplest and most effective way to go is the Cloud.
How can I effectively monitor our day-to-day income and outgoings, when I’d rather be concentrating on the work I enjoy? Is your business a ‘people’ business, or one that requires lots of travel? Many directors of SMEs have built up their business from scratch. They love what they do and really believe in what they offer; it’s just the admin they loathe. Unfortunately, like death and taxes, some paperwork is unavoidable, especially if you need to keep a tight control of your spending. The best advice is to invest in a Cloud-based accounting system that allows you to do all your accounting wherever you are, with just a few clicks, giving you more time to meet your clients, do the tasks you enjoy - or even play golf! As long as you have an Internet connection, here’s what your accounting system should help you do:
  • Reconcile your accounts
  • Create forecasts, analyses and reports
  • Stream-line and speed up your budgeting process
  • Manage your payroll
  • Calculate your tax liability
  • Raise invoices and make payments
  • Involve more people in your team
  • Best of all – save time by doing away with spreadsheets!
Any advice on how I can keep track of my costs throughout the fiscal year, rather than wait for the end-of-year? It’s a question many SMEs ask when they no longer find end-of-year accounting effective, quite simply because it doesn’t give them a clear picture of their day to day cash flow. A top tip to avoid horrible end-of-year shocks is to wise up and opt for a continuous approach, which allows you to: Allocate recourses when necessary
  • Keep track of your profits or rein in your costs
  • Ensure all your financial processes are compliant with new legislation
  • Make your company’s financial information accessible at all times
  • Store all your data in an easy to use, secure Cloud application.
Find out the advantages of moving to the Cloud for SMEs and why it is a no-brainer – in our previous blog post. LINK Financial Driver is a Cloud-based application that replaces spreadsheets to prepare and collate plans, draw up budgets and forecasts and consolidate results for analysis and reporting. Contact us (LINK) for a free WebEx demo or live demo if you want to know how Financial Driver can transform and strengthen your budgeting process.  Download our free No-nonsense guide to budgeting: (http://www.financialdriver.com/nonsense-guide-corporate-budgeting/  Image by Stuart Miles: Free digital Photos. Net