Is your small business running as efficiently as you’d like it to?
Are you issuing invoices on time and making every effort to ensure that those outstanding invoices are paid on-time? Most small businesses would like to think they were on top of the situation, but as accountants we regularly come across instances where clients are not quite as up-to-speed as they thought: occasionally this can lead to financial difficulties that could potentially threaten the very existence of the business in question.
Are such oversights unusual?
Well, not if the information contained in the latest independent survey is correct. The study found that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could be collectively out of pocket by as much as £3.7 billion due to poor internal systems such as invoicing.
The report, carried out on behalf of business and software provider, Exact, found that 20% of SMEs admit to having forgotten to invoice for goods or services at least once. Among those, around 12 per cent confessed to not invoicing for a job worth between £5,000 and £10,000. As if that weren’t bad enough, a further six per cent admitted to having completely forgotten to invoice for projects worth more than £10,000 to their businesses. The nationwide survey was carried out in order to gain a wider understanding of the working relationships and processes in place between small businesses and their accountants.
Hartmut Wagner, managing director of cloud solutions at Exact, commenting on the survey said:
“We don’t want to blow this issue out of proportion, but these findings do highlight that many SMEs who are eager to grow are not doing themselves any favours, particularly with so many of them expressing concern over their cash flow.”
Further data from the survey showed the two biggest cause of stress for SMEs was fighting for new business, (31%), closely followed by worries over finances like cash flow issues, debtors and business planning, (23%). Worryingly, 25% of the business owners surveyed accepted that they didn’t feel fully in control of their accounts and business finances.
What conclusions can be drawn from the survey? Well, we would suggest that the data clearly shows that there is a genuine need for improved working practices and processes, and that now, more than ever, SMEs and their accountants need to be working together for the good of the company.
Steven Glicher accountants understand and appreciate that SMEs are busy and are focussed on making their businesses as successful as they can be. Unfortunately this single-mindedness can sometimes mean that errors and omissions are allowed to creep into working practices and processes. That’s why Steven Glicher accountants offer a tailored and personalised accountancy service to start-ups, sole traders, partnerships, limited companies across the country. We offer core added-value business services like management systems, strategic planning and information technology and accountancy software. We can put systems in place that will create new invoices which can be printed or e-mailed to customers at the touch of a button, and give clients all the financial information they need about their business instantly.
For more information about Steven Glicher’s core added-value business services contact us on 0161 485 8007.