Originial Post: https://www.sba.gov/blogs/top-10-financial-tools-small-business-owners

By Marco Carbajo, Guest Blogger- SBA

Published: November 10, 2015

Many times financial tools are overlooked as a way to help increase a company’s bottom line. Financial tools have the ability to transform a company’s operations, improve productivity, reduce costs and increase profit margins. It’s essential for small business owners to take advantage of the right tools and resources to more effectively plan for the future and overall success of the business. Here are the top ten financial tools for small business owners.

  1. Accounting Software – Organizing your business expenses in a computerized accounting system rather than paper-based accounting offers numerous benefits. With accounting software such as Intuit QuickBooks™; a business can free up time by simplifying, automating, and tracking its key financial data. This is especially useful when tax season comes around.
  2. Business Plan Software – Whether you aim to present a plan to an investor, creating a plan to get your ideas in order, or planning for growth or expansion, the business plan software you select should be simple to use and help you reach your goals. SBA’s Business Plan Tool provides a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
  3. Financial Analysis – Knowing your numbers is the key to managing a successful business. By keeping tabs on your profit and loss statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet all in one place, you will be able to see where your business stands – and take steps to stay profitable. Explore Score’s library of financial statement templates to get started.
  4. Inventory Management – Every business needs an inventory management system. Whether you’re in wholesale, retail, service or basically any other industry, you have to keep track of your products. You can efficiently track inventory with cloud-based solutions available in the marketplace. Be sure to do your due diligence when choosing the right inventory tracking software for your business.
  5. Invoicing Software – Handling all billing by hand takes a great deal of time, and we all know that time is money. Invoicing software leaves little room for human mistakes, which means fewer missed payments or late payments will fall through the cracks. Just about every small business owner can benefit from switching from paper invoicing to dedicated invoicing software.
  6. Credit Card Processing – Customers expect to be able to pay for products and services using a credit card. Whether it’s a point-of-sale, mobile credit card reader, credit card terminal or online payments; it’s essential to first decide which methods of accepting credit cards for payment is best for your business.
  7. Business Credit Card – “There are plenty of benefits to using a business credit card versus a personal credit card for your small business,” says Alison Cahill-Rouse, a spokeswoman for Capital One. “You’ll also have access to business-specific benefits, such as employee cards and spending controls, and specialty service tailored to meet small businesses’ needs.”
  8. Business Debit Card – For quick, convenient access to your business checking account a business debit card is a must have tool for business owners.  Business debit cards offer the power to make purchases at millions of locations worldwide. The funds are debited from your business checking account with transactions clearly outlined on your monthly checking account statement.
  9. Business Credit Monitoring – It’s crucial for small business owners to keep a close eye on changes to their reports that could affect their company’s ability to obtain credit. Business credit reports and scores are dynamic. They regularly change based on a variety of criteria. Consider enrolling in an affordable monitoring service so you can review your company’s credit file to ensure it’s accurate and up-to-date.
  10. Business Credit Check – Small business owners can protect their company’s cash flow by identifying their most creditworthy customers through business credit checks. Checking a company’s business credit report enables a small business owner to analyze a company’s current credit standing and make well informed credit decisions.

Small business owners are so busy running their companies there’s little time left to keep their financial house in order, too. So, these financial tools are an effective way for small business owners to manage and grow their companies while improving their bottom line.


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