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Cashflow Series: 5 Tips to Manage and Improve Cash Flow in a Small Business & Instant Write-off Update

Cash flow management is key priority for any business. Effective cash flow guarantees that businesses continue operating with adequate funds for growth, as well as the means to pay salaries, suppliers, and bills on time. It is crucial to meet your financial obligations, and having low cash reserves causes stress on any business.  

Fortunately for Aussie business owners, the Australian government has recently announced an update for instant write-offs, meaning eligible businesses can claim an immediate deduction for the business portion of the cost of an asset in the year the asset is first used (or installed ready for use)Below, we’ll discuss how to best utilise these instant write-offs for your business, in additional to several of our other top cash flow tips. 

 

What is the update for instant writeoffs? 

An instant write-off allows small businesses to claim immediate deductions up to a given amount for new or second-hand assets purchased, such as office equipment, vehicles, and other tools. In light of the COVID-19 and impact on Australian businesses, as of 12 March 2020, the instant asset tax write-off has been raised to $150,000 (up from $30,000) for those with an annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). This is providing the asset was purchased by 31 December 2020, and first used, or installed for use, between 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2021.  

The amount you can write-off will depend on when the asset was purchased and the associated threshold amount (the cost of the asset must be less than the threshold). It is important to note that the cost of the asset includes both the amount you paid for it and any additional amount spent on transporting the asset, improving it or installing it for use. To see your eligibility, you can check the ATO website for further details. 

 

Cash flow Tip #1 – Take advantage of the instant write-offs 

Always be sure to consult with your accountant or tax advisor to assess how an asset will benefit your business before purchasing. However, you should be sure to make the decision based on the needs of your business if you’re considering taking advantage of the instant write-offs. Would this purchase be in line with your business plan? Do you have enough cash flow to support the purchase/s? Can you have the asset either operational or ready for use in this financial year? If so, now may be a wise time to purchase in terms of staying cash flow positive. A good example might be purchasing a vehicle for deliveries to expand your business operations to help achieve your business goals. 

 

Cash flow Tip #2- Use Credit Cards to Make Payments 

There are other strategies you can employ to improve your cash flow. Namely, using your business credit card to cover expenses that you would normally cover with cash or cheque, you can free up additional cash for the costs that can’t be covered by card. Extending your cash flow becomes a whole lot easier when you are able to take advantage of your card’s interest-free days, which means you can make payments in advance of receiving funds if necessary. Provided the balance is paid off by the end of the interest-free period, you’ll be able to stay on good terms with your suppliers even while extending your cash flow.   

A business credit card can also be helpful for spreading out large business expenses while keeping finance costs low. This can often work out to be more cost-effective than an up-front financing plan with a business loan. Having more money accessible and in your account day-to-day sets you up to more efficiently be able to cover unforeseen costs and to expand your business. 

Additionally, many credit cards offer rewards programs, which can help with business expenses. You’ll be able to use rewards points to pay for a range of business expenses and may even receive extra bonus points for certain types of purchases.  

If you sign up to make payments with B2Bpay, you’ll be able to pay ALL of your bills using your credit card (as well as by debit card or bank account), regardless of whether or not the biller accepts card payments. With B2Bpay, you’ll also earn Qantas Points or Credit Card reward points from your card issuer on all business bills paid, including full points on payments for ATO, government, telco and insurance. With many cards, you’d earn no points or reduced points when paying these expenses directly. And in addition to boosting cash flow by taking advantage of your card’s up to 55-day interest free period, you’ll save money with digital payments because of the reduced paper-based processing, admin, approval overheads and banking costs. Sign up to start making payments with B2Bpay here 

 

Cash flow Tip #3- Get Paid on Time 

Many businesses have a high percentage of their monthly revenue held up in accounts receivable. Ensuring a strategy for steady cash flow is crucial for having sufficient cash on hand to pay bills and suppliers on time, as well as to maintain employee salaries and purchase new capital assets.  

If you want to ensure you’re getting paid faster and on time, offering an online card payment option is essential. Offering multiple digital payment methods gives your client more options, such as payment by debit card or bank account, allowing clients to take care of payment easily and instantly. 

When accepting payments through B2Bpay, you’ll reduce payment chasing, and be able to get paid online, 24/7, at no cost to you. ‘ Pay Now’ link on all your invoices will enable you to get paid and as all your invoices will be linked to a branded payment page, where your customers can pay you online, faster with any card. Payments will be made using your customer’s nominated card, and funds will be transferred to you by EFT or BPAY within 3 business days. Plus, you’ll earn Qantas Points simply for getting paid on eligible business payments. Click here to start receiving card payments from your business customers.  

 

Cash flow Tip #4: Utilise Accounting Software 

Accounting software allows you to track your cash flow and easily streamline your payments, all in one place. Speed up cash inflows by emailing invoices directly from your accounting software, using a mobile app to process bills on the spot, and regularly check accounts receivable. You can slow down cash outflows by automating tasks, such as setting reminders for bill payments and automatically invoicing regular customers. 

B2Bpay offers integrations with XeroQuickbooks, and MYOB to allow you view all of your invoices in B2Bpay to click + pay, pay all of your invoices using credit card, and save time with automatic reconciliation. Find out more about our software integrations here. 

 

Cash flow Tip #5: The Big Four 

There are four key factors to take into account when managing cash flow, which include: staff hours, improving sales, managing inventory, and managing costs of operation.  

If you have a physical location where you sell a good or service, a temporary reduction on operating hours can help save cash in both overhead expenses and also payroll. You might also consider postponing any outsourced work, or temporarily reassigning this work to employees to complete.  

Effective inventory control can also boost your cash flow, as holding too much inventory stock ties up cash that could be invested in other areas of the business. To avoid a loss of sales, be sure to provide adequate stock to align with customer demand. Inventory software will allow you to review previous sales trends in order to determine which items are most popular vs those that are slower-moving, and provide clear indication as to which inventory you should stock up on. It might also be a prudent choice to investigate if you can get any inventory cheaper, or if you buy in bulk if you can get a reduced cost. A lot of business owners can set and forget inventory, missing out on a valuable opportunity to save on expenses. 

When it comes to reducing costs of operation, begin by cutting overhead waste. Review your software and subscription fees, energy costs, etc. Consider offering part-time or virtual work options to downsize your physical office space. And audit your supplier agreements, to see if you can negotiate more favourable deals.  

 

Cash flow BONUS Tip #6: Seek Professional Advice 

Consult and speak with a financial adviser prior to starting a new business. Small business owners often find themselves responsible for taking on many different roles and acting as the virtual head of a variety of different departments. Aexperienced financial advisor would be designated to help assess the viability of your business model and outline new strategies and timelines to meet your goals and accelerate your business’ growth and success. They can make help you to make your business more efficient and profitable by focusing on actions that deliver results. Plus, they will prepare your business for future developments and different phases of business growth, allowing you to handle these new challenges confidently. 

While no single strategy works for every business, choose one (or several!) that best suits the needs of your brand. Adopting a new approach may very well get your cash flow up to speed, allowing your company to survive and grow even during times of financial instability.  

To use B2Bpay to save money and get paid on time, be sure to reach out to our locally based Sydney team at 1300 205 575Or, click here to sign up for B2Bpay for free.