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One of the most important lessons entrepreneurs have to learn, often painfully, is that cash really is king. I'm not talking about paper money -- I'm talking about CASH FLOW. Simply put, it doesn't matter how much money is coming in the future if you don't have enough money to get from now till then. Keeping an eye on your company’s cash flow is as important as watching the fuel gauge while driving a car.

Here are 5 smart moves to keep your company in the black:

1. Monitor your cash flow regularly.
SAGE software provides an Age Analysis report which gives you a snapshot of the money that is outstanding and due to you by your customers, current and up to 120 days. It helps you identify customers that are falling behind on their payments which could indicate a possible dispute or misunderstanding. You'll find it an indispensable management tool & you can easily stay on top of your cash flow wherever you are.

2. Cash in on assets.
Do you have equipment you no longer use or inventory that’s becoming obsolete? Consider selling it to generate quick cash. If your company has assets, like a company car or office equipment, you can record them as fixed assets in the SAGE Asset Register. When you next run the month end option it automatically calculates any depreciation for these assets. This keeps track of what your company assets are actually worth, which is important when accurately valuing your company.

3. Stay on top of invoicing.
Send invoices when the work's completed or products are delivered—why wait? Issuing your invoice by email from your SAGE software will mean it will get there immediately and you will have a record of it being sent. Design your invoices so they’re straightforward and easy to read, with key areas like due date, amount due and most importantly bank details for payment.

4. Establishing clear payment terms.
If you don't start off knowing what your payment terms are, it is difficult to know when you are going to get paid. If you don't know when a payment is overdue, how are you going to manage your cashflow?

5. Get paid faster by using different payment solutions.
Ask for deposits or partial payments on large orders or long-term contracts.

Consider offering your customers incentives, such as a percentage off the total, for early payments. You can also add Interest to overdue accounts to get clients to pay on time.

One excellent way to ensure payments remain stable is to establish direct debit as a business norm for collecting receipts. It gives a business a stable inflow of cash.

If you sell products or provide services at customers’ homes or offices, get paid on the spot with mobile apps that use your smartphone or tablet to accept payment by credit and debit card. You can also issue invoices on the spot with SAGE software.

Staying on top of your cash flow is key to your business success. Don't let a few cash flow missteps put you in a money crunch.

The convenience of having reliable accounting software and advice available 24/7 is the key so give us a call for a free assessment of your current setup.

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