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Maximize Cash Flow with AP / AR Processes

Every business owner knows the cash flow struggle. Waiting to get paid so you can pay your own bills can often create gaps in your financials. Improve your Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable to get more cash on hand to pay bills without worry. Get started by measuring your current cash flow and projections with information from all parts of your business.

Accounts Payable

  • Compare prices and terms from multiple suppliers before setting on one. Regularly re-evaluation pricing and terms for suppliers and service companies like utilities and insurance.
  • Ask suppliers if they have an early payment discount and pay less. If not, hold on to your cash and wait until the bill is due.
  • Find out if any vendors will extend payment due dates to further align them with your incoming cash flow.
  • Prioritise payees. Don’t just pay the lowest bills first. Consider their terms and which bills are essential to your business, like payroll.
  • Use an automated payment system through online banking to pay all bills on time. Choosing a bank with mobile bill pay and direct deposit services will also help you pay on time.
  • Consider a business credit card to pay charges when they’re due and pay off the card when receivables come in.
  • Set up credit cards for your employees to handle payments quickly, reducing the need for reimbursement time and paperwork. Look for lenders who will give you the convenience of next-day crediting of card receipts.

Accounts Receivable

  • Offer your customers the option to pay you on a retainer to give your business a steady stream of income.
  • Make sure your pricing is competitive. Are you charging too much? Not enough? What can you do to get more for your services?
  • Track payments so you know when money is due and consider offering early-payment discounts.
  • Set earlier deadlines, like 30 days instead of 60, and vary deadlines for different clients to ensure money is coming in at different times.
  • Run credit checks, avoid extending credit, and institute a collections policy to handle delinquent payments.
  • Create clear, itemised billing statements that cover short periods of time so that clients know exactly what they owe, when it’s due and what it’s for.
  • Divide payments into segments and request payment before each new period for extended contracts.
  • Deposit payments when received, and once you’re stable, consider investing profits to grow your business.

You can use tools like accounting software to track payment dates and financial projections to adjust business practises and improve both accounts receivable and payable to get more cash on hand.

With a better understanding of your cash position, you can use your new liquidity and other financing options to:

  • Put a down payment on your business mortgage at a current, or new location.
  • Use cash and a business line of credit to purchase inventory, add employees and manage seasonal cash flow.
  • Buy equipment or other assets using cash and a term loan.
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