When running a business, time is of the essence. You need time to focus on the things that will make your venture a success. These include developing your product or services, marketing your brand and company, offering great customer service and getting the pricing right.
However, recent research by software firm Process Bliss suggested that many SME leaders in the UK are wasting a considerable amount of time on managing process and procedure.
The research found that 54 per cent of senior managers in SMEs are wasting a day every week just managing process, with a further 34 per cent wasting two days each week. According to Process Bliss, this is partly because SMEs “lack a clear overview of their processes”.
The majority of these processes are small day-to-day, repetitive tasks that drive the business, which for SMEs are generally found in HR, operations, marketing, sales and, most relevantly here, finance.
The management of routine financial transactions and payments takes up a significant amount of time beyond the finance team. Managers need to approve the payment of expenses and supplier invoices, while sales people deal with payments received, whether cash or electronic.
These financial processes are essential to the running of a business. But the time they take up can be detrimental for other important areas of the business. Luckily, there are ways to minimise the amount of time such processes take through the use of digital payments and virtual banking.
Most virtual bank accounts provide the option to make mass pay-outs with the single click of a mouse button. For supplier payments, this can be a godsend, as members of the finance team don’t have to go through hundreds of invoices and pay them one by one, but can simply collate the payment information on a spreadsheet and upload this to their virtual banking account to schedule the payments. Salary payments can be managed in much the same way.
When it comes to having a clear overview of processes, the ability to quickly view and manage financial transactions online or via mobile is a major advantage. There is no need to take the time to travel to a physical bank branch, as it can all be done from the office or at home.
Virtual bank accounts provide a real-time picture of the company’s finances, meaning any issues can be quickly flagged and remedied, rather than wasting time further down the line. Likewise, 24-hour customer service means any problems with the account can be tackled without delay.
The digital payments at the heart of virtual banking also encourage a cashless way of doing business. This means less time needs to be devoted to managing cash payments and ensuring cash is handled and stored safely.
And with virtual bank accounts able to support international payments without the need to set up wire transfers, working internationally becomes much more straightforward and less time consuming.
Whatever the financial task, there is a good chance virtual banking will save you time – time that can be better spent on work that has the potential to drive your business forwards.