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How To Shorten Your Invoice Cycle With Financial Accounting Software

Posted by Frank Gerome

Nov 20, 2017

For many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), longer invoicing cycles cause confusion, accuracy issues and serious cash flow problems.

Without powerful financial accounting software to rein in these complications, SMBs wrestle with maintaining the integrity of their bookkeeping. This struggle makes it difficult — if not impossible — to forecast or make sound business decisions without questioning the validity of the data.

Here are three key invoicing issues that SMBs frequently deal with, along with an explanation about how financial accounting software helps to eliminate these problems, effectively speeding up the cycle time and saving the company money.

  1. Some SMBs store their invoicing information in more than one location: Keeping financial information on several spreadsheets or in more than one system makes it difficult to track anything. What money is coming in? How much money is actually in the bank to pay the bills? Is there enough to make payroll? Without storing all of this information in one location, or at least integrating the different systems that require financial data, it’s much too easy to make mistakes. That’s because these spreadsheets and systems are not communicating with each other. In other words, there’s a lack real-time updates between the systems.

    Let’s say, for example, someone in accounting pays a bill for $1,000. Unless that accountant logs that payment into the spreadsheet and all four of the company’s various systems, someone else in another department could go into one of these systems — which haven't been updated — and assume there’s $1,000 more in the bank than is the case. Without integration between the systems, the second person could easily bounce a check.

    With financial accounting software, all financial data is updated in one location and in real time.
     
  2. Storing invoice data in multiple locations means your accountants must use time-consuming processes to maintain accuracy: This particular invoicing issue — which is related to the first problem listed above — happens when the accountants must invest significant effort to make the data on each of the different spreadsheets and systems produce the same truth.

    If the accountants have to update two spreadsheets and three systems for every transaction, they’ll spend far too much precious time juggling manual processes. Plus, should they forget to update even one of these locations, the accuracy of the bookkeeping goes out the window.

    A fully integrated financial accounting system doesn’t require any data to be tracked on spreadsheets. So when you correct the information in one system, it’s corrected across all of them. You don’t have need someone to enter it in system A, system B and system C. When a change is made in any of these systems, everything is updated. This ensures that no matter what system you’re in, you’ll receive the correct and most up-to-date information.
     
  3. Longer invoice cycle times cause customers to take longer to make payments: Studies show the longer you wait to send a bill, the harder it is to receive full payment. By using disparate systems to invoice customers, the process takes longer and delays payments.

    Financial accounting softwareincludes fully integrated sales order processes. This means accountants have fewer steps and no manual processes to send an invoice, drastically speeding up delivery time and billing cycle time.

Here’s the bottom line: SMBs don’t have to endure the confusion and headaches that come with long invoicing cycles. Thanks to its integration abilities, quality financial accounting software is able to vastly improve the quality of your data, enabling business leaders to make better decisions.