Whipping Your Small Business Finances into Shape

From budgeting better to adding automation apps, small changes can make a big difference when it comes to your bottom line. Get your finances in shape for 2017 with these simple adjustments to help you to stay on top of the numbers game this year.

financial planning

Know your numbers.

Most budgets span the fiscal year, but you can break down longer-term projections by month. Start by recording your expenses through an app such as Intuit QuickBooks. If you don’t know your exact expenses, you can start by estimating an average amount based on costs of rent, utilities and stock while you’re establishing your business. When it comes to income, you can begin with a forecasted number and modify it to reflect actual income at the end of each month.

Dig deep into data.

Track your sales performance on an hourly, daily or monthly basis, and compare your like-for-like periods. Stay focused on what you’re selling (and what you’re not) and be prepared to make data-driven decisions. Square’s free analytics tools can help you check in on your business anytime, from anywhere, on any device with a web browser.

Save your GST.

Now’s a good time to review whether quarterly or annual goods and sales tax (GST) payments suit your business best. Having to make a lump sum GST payment at tax time can be a shock to your finances, but paying quarterly takes more work. Whichever route you choose, make sure you always have access to the funds to make payments when they’re due.

Keep the cash flowing.

Keep your eye on incoming cash with Square Dashboard and the Dashboard app, which allow you to see live sales data in real time. Quickly issuing invoices online or through the app for goods or services will ensure that you’re paid promptly. All payments made through Square before 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET are transferred in your bank account the next business day, making it easy to access your money fast, and keep track of your income.


Automating your business operations can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend managing things such as manual bookkeeping. For instance, Square can automatically sync your sales data to Xero online accounting, which is a great example of automation that can save you time and money.

Get ’appy.

You can also sync accounting apps with your Square Dashboard and use the cloud (virtual accounting and payroll, etc.) to give your finances a sunnier outlook in 2017. Most apps involve a monthly fee rather than an up-front cost, which allows you to adjust your payments based on sales and is much better for your business’s cash flow. Luckily, Square Point of Sale is completely free, so no subscription payments are required.

Finally, remember, this post is for educational purposes only. For specific tax and accounting advice related to your business, you’ll need to schedule time to speak with your accountant or financial advisor to make sure you’re fully prepared for the new financial year.