If you work with complex processes in a corporate environment, ERP is a great fit. But what’s the right solution if you are driving an SMB? What’s the most efficient way to handle your invoicing and keep track of your expenses and tax declarations? QuickBooks meets these needs with its accessible and innovative accounting software. Add the right dashboards, and you’ll have everything you need to optimize your financial performance. That’s why ClicData and QuickBooks have joined forces. Together, we offer all of the essential features that support the successful financial management of small to medium-sized organizations.
“Simplicity.” It’s the magic word for any SMB boss.
For software to be simple, it must be accessible via SaaS Cloud, making accessibility a requirement for SMB decision-makers. In fact, a GetData study reveals that the ease of deployment and management of SaaS solutions is the number one reason nearly 40% of SMBs prefer cloud-based solutions.
The speed of implementation comes in second for those in the study (14.6%). Faced with those long months of audit, negotiation, configuration, tests, and corrections that accompany on-premises solutions, the cloud delivers an advantage by offering an alternative that can be implemented almost instantly.
The third benefit most cited by SMBs as the reason to choose cloud-based solutions is that they require less internal technical assistance. IT departments are already overworked, so bosses and CIOs are delighted to see software outsource its support and maintenance—and along with them, its headaches.
SMB decision-makers are won over by the simplicity, speed of installation, and outsourced maintenance of cloud apps, in general, and QuickBooks’ superior ease of use and lower cost, in particular.
The QuickBooks/ClicData Promise
Let’s look more closely at the eight key success factors that contribute to the QuickBooks/ClicData promise.
1. Faster Availability
The SaaS model offers turnkey solutions for which a simple browser and an internet connection are often sufficient to connect to the service. No need to worry about installing the software on your PC and updating it. It’s a big time-saver for your IT department and all your employees.
2. Cost Distribution Over Time
From a financial standpoint, SaaS solutions make it possible to avoid significant initial investment in infrastructure—hardware and software license, anyone?—in favor of expenditures spread over time. It offers a new model of consumption of IT, going from a CAPEX logic—of investment—to an OPEX logic—of operating costs. Better cost management offers a measurable advantage for SMBs whose financial resources can be limited.
3. Ease Of Management
When you subscribe to a SaaS application, you always benefit from the latest version of the software. Updates and any backups are made regularly by the editor. Your IT department is therefore relieved of that task and can be redeployed to other projects.
4. Consuption As You Grow
The cost of the SaaS service subscription depends on your use—from the number of users and the quantity of GB stored to service settings. Is your company growing? Do you need to add more users? Your SaaS subscription will be adjusted according to your needs. This flexibility lets you only pay for the resources you consume, and that can be very advantageous. Consider seasonal activity, for example.
5. Scalability Of The Solution
SaaS software editors often build their offering with multiple tiers, allowing you to choose which features and services you want to use. Thus, if your activity evolves and requires more advanced features of the software, you will be able to make it evolve. This parameter is important in the vision of a startup and an SMB, whose objective is to develop quickly after its creation.
6. Mobility Of Use
SaaS software has the advantage of adapting to mobile use, so your employees can access data and tools from anywhere. This accessibility adapts perfectly to new work habits (e.g., home office, business trips, etc.) and allows increased productivity for your staff.
7. Tool Performance
Cloud service providers have efficient infrastructures and qualified personnel to keep them up-to-date, so they can guarantee their level of service. It is interesting for an SMB to benefit from this shared equipment, to access applications that only large companies could previously acquire on their own. Warning: there’s one parameter you must be vigilant about—the quality of your internet connection. The performance of a SaaS solution is inevitably dependent on it.
8. Green It
Computer equipment, especially servers, consumes a lot of energy and requires air-conditioned rooms to operate sustainably. Using SaaS solutions hosted in data centers reduces energy consumption for the business. You will be happy to see your electricity bill decrease. Also, by pooling resources, you meet the challenges of sustainable development for companies.
Innovative Focus on Essentials
For accounting to be truly efficient, it must rely on several fundamental activities. This is where QuickBooks can be of great help:
1. Invoicing Management: Tailored and automated
Invoicing management is the ultimate step of the sales process. It’s critical that your invoices look as professional as your sales pitch. It can be quite a misstep to go to great lengths to gain the trust of your customers-to-be only to end up giving them an error-filled quote or messy invoice. A professional, clean invoice template that matches the quote goes a long way. Secondly, automated missed payment notifications that ensure invoices get paid on time is another essential feature.
2. Expense Tracking: Easily captured and monitored
One major challenge for accounting concerns tracking expenses. You want to be confident that all receipts are stored properly so that your accountant doesn’t have to run after each piece of documentation every time they want to declare taxes or provide you with an accurate view of your business expenditures.
3. Cashflow Management: Live!
As an SMB currently undergoing dynamic growth on a global level, decision-makers at ClicData have firsthand experience that a live view of the cash balance across all bank accounts is a great time-saver. Being aware of your cash position at all times ensures that you can manage your suppliers’ payments more efficiently. Plus, by centralizing everything, you can draw projections and master seasonality.
4. Dashboards: Finally!
KPIs are one of the essentials for managing your SMB, allowing you to monitor your daily performance and adjust the focus to increase your chances of success. The idea is not to make you an expert in financial analysis by equipping you with dozens of sophisticated dashboards. The idea is to give you a few performance indicators that are highly effective and actionable to help you keep your SMB on track.
Here are four essential KPIs to keep an eye out for:
- Turnover. How are your sales doing?
Obvious? Maybe. But as important as sales are—they’re your main driver after all—you need to be monitoring them. The day you no longer sell, you no longer generate cash—you are at a standstill. Monitoring sales inevitably involves your turnover, in particular, by comparing it to your budgeted projections. Also, don’t forget to look back to see your progress in the form of your growth rate. At the same time, take into account what is “in process.” Indeed, a good manager must take a look at the past, be sure of the present, and not neglect the future—short term and long term.
- Cash. Do you have enough “fuel”?
We’ve discussed the importance of keeping a close eye on your cash flow and not confusing it with your profit. Without liquidity, you will not be able to meet your business obligations—suppliers, tax administration, etc. Your cash also allows you to survive in the event of a setback, from bad payers, the loss of a customer, a large unforeseen expense, and other issues.
This indicator requires special attention because cash flow fluctuates daily and because you can’t just account for what’s on your bank account today. Will there be enough money available to pay your bills tomorrow? And in three months? This is why the use of a cash flow statement is essential.
- DSO and DPO. What do your payment terms say?
Behind these acronyms are two crucial indicators for monitoring your cash flow. The DSO—Days Sales Outstanding—indicates, in number of days, the average payment period for your customers. The DPO—Days Payable Outstanding—gives you the same information for your suppliers. Your goal is to have as much liquidity as possible in your accounts. So, how do you proceed? You “push” your customers to pay quickly and negotiating with your suppliers to pay as late as possible. The strategy will also help you stay on top of possible late payments that are straining your cash flow.
- Profit Margin. Is your business profitable?
Your profit margin is another important indicator of the health of your SMB. Among other things, it lets you know if your activity is profitable. Of course, one of the fundamental goals of being in business is to generate profit—a financial margin that allows you to develop other products, hire staff, make investments, and grow. This KPI can also help you set your pricing policy or review your spending. Indeed, if your sales are doing well, but you are not making a profit, then there is a concern to investigate. The price might be too low, or your cost structure might be too heavy.
Here are some inspiring dashboards for your financial KPIs.