Congratulations! You are part of a growing business. There’s nothing like being so busy. You know how valuable you are. You’ve got customers. They like your product or service. They’re paying you good money for it. That means business is booming and money is coming in. Are you concerned about it? You should be – overly rapid growth can be deadly to businesses.
Overly rapid growth brings problems including cash flow crunches, operational inefficiencies, thinning profit margins, customer service issues, personnel shortages and management challenges caused by less attention to detail.
While you’re obviously doing well on the revenue side, it’s now, more than ever, that you need to pay attention to the other side of the coin of success: saving. You need to save time to address all of the above issues. You need to save money; revenue growth does not automatically mean profit growth. The old saw about “time is money” is especially true for companies in this situation.
It’s not just a matter of delegating work. Automating some essential tasks while outsourcing others has to become part of your strategy.
One of those essential tasks is financial management. You’re probably now using spreadsheets and/or some standard accounting package to get it done.
It’s not too early to consider a move to a cloud-based system to manage your finances. A move to the cloud is both a step in the direction of outsourcing and a move toward more automation. The savings, in both time and money, may well be worth it.
What is “the cloud,” anyway?
In a way, the advent of cloud-based computing is like a return to the good old days of time-shared, mainframe computing. All the horsepower and storage capacity resided in a big box somewhere. Users rented time and capacity as needed.
That big box is now the internet. There’s much more power out there and much more expertise for you to tap into. Let’s take a high-level view of the major benefits of going to a cloud-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) approach to support your growing treasury needs.
Cost savings and planning
- No surprises. You know what you’re going to pay each month. It’s fixed.
- Payroll and personnel. You need fewer people on staff to do the blocking and tackling of order entry, cash flow projections, managing liquidity and paying vendors.
- Budgets and visibility. Nobody, except for finance geeks, loves to work out, line-by-line, the fine points of cash-in and cash-out. But it must be done, and your cloud-based system will allow you to do it in less time and in greater detail, than you could manage with a manual desktop method.
- Analytical capabilities. Any good SaaS solution will let you make cash flow projections and perform what-if analyses on variables such as pricing, margins and accounts-receivable turn. You could use spreadsheets for these tasks, of course. However, it would take much longer, and you’re more likely to make mistakes by mislabeling a cell, forgetting to link formulas, or inadvertently deleting one.
Security, efficiency and convenience
- Responsibilities. It’s your vendor’s responsibility to keep your software up to date and fully patched with the latest functional features and security enhancements. That full-time job is best left to the experts. They’ll also back up your online accounts and make their technical support team available whenever you need it.
- Work from anywhere. You don’t need to be at your desk or in your office to pay your vendors or check your liquidity. That means you can spend more time on the strategic side, figuring out proper banking relationships and managing currencies.
- Agility. Sometimes you need to make a payment right away, whether or not you have the cash. A cloud-based solution lets you act quickly, drawing cash if needed or sending it if you must, at any time and from anywhere. It’s all in real time.
- Working capital optimization. Closely related to the above point on agility, you’ll be able to determine and attain the right mix of working capital: the ratio of current assets to current liabilities. On the asset side, that’s cash on hand, accounts receivable and inventory. On the liability side, it’s accounts payable along with bank interest and principal payable. Usually, a ratio of 1:1 up to 1.5:1 means you’re in good shape. If you’re higher than 1.5:1, you have investment opportunities for the extra funds. If you’re below 1.0, it might mean your operations need some adjustment – or more. In either case, your cloud solution gives you early warning.
Your own sanity and peace of mind
How much time can you save? How much money does that represent? Sorry, there are no fixed answers to this one. But you know where your time is going; and if it’s on mundane and repetitive tasks, it’s not well spent. With a SaaS based treasury system, you’ll have more downtime to recharge – and don’t underestimate the value of that time!
At the treasury center of a successful and growing business, you have enough to do. Let the power of a cloud-based treasury system make life a little easier.