Without enough income, businesses can’t pay employees, produce products or even keep the lights on. That’s why it’s important for business leaders to manage their expenses and keep a steady supply of cash in reserve.

Sometimes, unmanaged expenses can throw a wrench in otherwise well-laid plans. It’s easy for entrepreneurs to lose track of their finances without a monthly system in place. Below, 15 Forbes Business Council experts offered their top tips for making sure monthly finances always reflect current purchases and that income always outweighs expenses.

1. Use Automated Tools Or Block Off Time

Admin is part of the gig, but you need to keep it as straightforward as possible for yourself and your staff. Block 15 minutes a day to do your admin if you don’t have the infrastructure today to automate the admin instantly. There are plenty of excellent tools that can immediately capture your financials for that month (including VAT), do all the calculations and make your business trustworthy. – Bram Weerts, Kea | Analyst Relations

2. Set Expense Thresholds Low

As with most things in business, verbalizing clear expectations and remaining consistent tends to help drive the right behavior, especially as teams grow and are more spread out. When it comes to expenses specifically, set the expense threshold low to allow room for unexpected spikes. Then, make it a habit to track expenses regularly to avoid any major disruptions to the business. – Sabrina Shafer, Transformation Continuum

3. Store Extra Cash For Emergencies

Keep your accounting system intact and keep your creditor’s balance less than your cash or bank balance. For that, allocate three to six months of funds and invest them in bank deposits so they can be helpful in unexpected or emergency situations in the business. Initially, it might be difficult but it will be much more helpful in a buffering period. – Kiara Streater, Extraordinary Headhunters LLC

4. Keep Constant Track Of Finances

You need to take the time in the moment to stay on top of tracking your finances. Make sure you have an app, notebook or checkbook where you are recording your purchases as they happen. With the number of digital solutions we have at our fingertips for managing our finances, there is little reason for any significant sum to remain unmanaged for long. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC

5. Develop Cash Flow Forecasts

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, but it’s often a big issue. Maximizing the cash-to-cash conversion cycle ensures that the company has access to capital. In addition, companies should develop cash flow forecasts based on historical performance and current conditions and make sure they account for contingencies like industry shifts or economic downturns when making these projections. – Bhaskar Ahuja , Originscale Corp

6. Stay Organized And Consistent

Organization is key when it comes to keeping expenses under control. We use the same banking app for all members of our team, so it is easy to monitor, track and approve expenses. At the end of each month, we generate reports and take the time to look over them to identify places where we are perhaps spending too much. It is important to budget in a little cushion for unexpected expenses. – Johan Hajji, UpperKey

7. Enlist Employee Assistance

I personally have my own mental threshold on how much I would permissibly spend each day based on the financial position I aspire to be in. For the business, it is much more efficient to set clear rules for all employees on how they should document business purchases, expenses and reimbursements. The goal is to have everyone help the designated finance person to reflect the financial position in as much real-time as possible. – Georgi Putra, Gravel Inc.

8. Open A Business Checking Account

Being diligent about using a business checking account is crucial. Opening a business banking account and being strict with putting all related expenses on that card is the easiest way to make sure that you are constantly updating your records to reflect your current business spending and earnings. Also, using an app like Mint is helpful to categorize and visually see your monthly spending trends. – Mo Mostashari, AMIBA Consulting

9. Trust Your Employees

In addition to your processes and technology solutions, create a culture where your people treat the company’s resources and funds with the same respect that they do their own. This comes from fostering a deep sense of belonging and responsibility to their organization and to one another. – Esther Kestenbaum Prozan, Ruby Has Fulfillment

10. Reduce Expenses Through Outsourcing

Don’t rush into hiring a huge staff to cover all the needs of your venture. Instead, try outsourcing or hiring freelance for some tasks. In the early stages, this approach will help you reduce expenses and allow you to hire world-class talent without spending huge budgets in the long term. – Vlad Vahromovs, Intellectsoft

11. Rely On Automated Software At First

I recommend using turnkey software like QuickBooks Online in the early stages of your business. There are a number of amazing tools business leaders can manage independently without engaging an accountant. Having everything in one place via a program updated in real-time is the best way to ensure there are no surprises. – Muraly Srinarayanathas, Computek College

12. Create A Rainy Day Fund

Most entrepreneurs don’t have a rainy day fund to operate for a few months without revenue. Covid-19 forced many businesses to shut because they couldn’t keep the lights on. Put cash into a basic savings account each month and forget it. Hopefully, you will never have to touch these funds. In the unfortunate event that you need to tread water, it will help you stay afloat. – Evan William Kirstel, eViRa

13. Link Your Credit Cards And Bank Accounts

Link things like your company credit cards and bank accounts to your accounting system. If you do this, they all talk to each other and create live updates in the accounting system. This will allow the entrepreneur to stay on top of their expenses. – Scott Snider, Exit Planning Institute

14. Keep A List Of All Income Streams And Expenses

I have a list of all income and expenses for every month and every year. This way, it’s possible to plan and understand how much money is left in the bank even if there’s no income. The same thing applies to the business as the startup needs to know when to fundraise and the actual run rate. Hiring the right CFO and financial managers and preparing several budget scenarios is critical. – Alexander Zheltov, Educate Online

15. Hire Someone To Monitor Or Reject Expenses

Don’t be scared of tracking expenses. The mirror of expenses can expose flaws in our plan, but it is the only way to know where we need to do the hard work. Capturing unmanaged expenses can be just as significant as pursuing growth. And as soon as possible bring in someone to act as a controller, and it should be someone with the authority to say “not yet” or “not now.” The tension created will inspire creativity. – Christopher White, Eques, Inc.

Source: Forbes
By: Expert Panel®