“I was going to do it after lunch.”
In a world of intense competition and instant communications, yesterday’s more casual approach to tracking business expenses just doesn’t cut it anymore. Waiting a few hours—or worse, days or even weeks—for essential info undermines your ability to stay successful. And especially in the restoration market, if you’re not laser-focused on your business expenses, you’re leaving money on the table.
Newly developed restoration tools and technology make it easy for business owners and their teams to more frequently record essential data. And when it comes to keeping up in a challenging environment, you need every tool at your disposal to improve the clarity and timeliness of that info. The power to implement daily business expense tracking is one of the most powerful of those tools.
5 reasons your business should be tracking business expenses every day
So, why should you start tracking business expenses on a daily basis? The short version is that it gives you a chance to:
- Stay ahead of unpleasant surprises or unexpected cash flow problems
- Get a clearer understanding of your long-term financial health and profitability
- See, track, and control the trends and long-term patterns that affect your bottom line
- Offer your workers a better, more productive culture
- Give your business a competitive advantage
Let’s take a closer look and explore how each of these items can impact your bottom line, as well as your day-to-day operational efficiency.
Reason #1: Stay ahead of unpleasant surprises.
The most immediate benefit of a more systematic and consistent approach to tracking business expenses is helping to ensure your solvency—and awareness thereof—on a day-to-day basis. And we understand that, in the fast-moving restoration industry, that’s easier said than done.
Are you keeping important info like job and financial data safely backed up and up to date at all times? If not, you may find yourself in for unpleasant surprises—the kinds that it can be hard to recover from. It’s always tempting to put this vital task off until tomorrow. But the tools and the technology exist to get the job done today—and easily, too, with simple, mobile documentation technology.
Reason #2: Get a clearer understanding of your long-term outlays.
On a more long-term basis, tracking business expenses more consistently gives you a clearer, fuller, more realistic picture of your profitability and finances not just today, but in the months, quarters, and years to come. A more diligent and urgent approach to tracking info also helps you improve money management across your entire organization.
Then you won’t only be ready for tax season, but also prepared to apply a broader tax strategy on a year-long basis. You’ll have the knowledge you need to set the most effective budget possible. And by tracking all financial items on a daily basis, you’ll get the earliest possible warning if some aspect of your organization begins to fall behind.
Reason #3: Give yourself the info you need to improve your spending.
In addition to keeping up with the day-to-day twists and turns of running a business, tracking business expenses daily can help you with long-term planning. The result could very well be a boost in your cash flow.
For instance, more diligent expense tracking lets you better itemize and deduct common events like business conversations, conference and event costs, and travel expenses. Failing to take full advantage of the refunds available for these and similar events is the same as leaving money on the table.
Better attention to tracking, categorizing, and disclosing expenses doesn’t just save you money, but it also helps you take control of your spending habits by exposing harmful lapses or trends. It can also free up cash for other investments to improve your long-term financial and operational prospects, including an expansion of sales and marketing spending.
Reason #4: Offer your team a better, more productive culture.
More diligent tracking of expenses isn’t just good for your bottom line. It can have a positive effect on your company culture, too. Giving your team a formal daily process helps ensure that important information is continuously updated, while expanding the levels of confidence and safety they feel in their jobs. It also helps them more readily reap reimbursement dollars for business expenses.
Taking it one step further, syncing daily info updates with weekly employee check-ins can be a great way to keep your employees engaged, happy and productive—all the ingredients of a great culture. That can yield practical advantages too, like lowering turnover and boosting your reputation—and you might well reap the benefit of that buzz at influential sites like Glassdoor, Facebook, or the Restoration Forum.
Plus, having regular meetings with your staff to keep them engaged just may help you avoid seeing an expense report for a new Peloton bike and other crazy work-from-home expenses roll past your desk.
Reason #5: Give yourself a competitive advantage.
Failing to keep up with the latest tools in digital record-keeping could mean losing market share to a more aggressive competitor. And that includes the larger conglomerates currently buying up market share. If you’re not taking advantage of every available tool to boost your bottom line, you can be sure that a competitor will eventually take the opportunity to do so.
So, how big of a competitive advantage is it, really? Daily tracking of business expenses using available restoration job management tools like DASH can also offer other operational benefits like:
- Improved documentation for better record-keeping and greater operational transparency to keep your customers happy
- Greater potential for growth by the setting of better, more informed KPIs and gaining more sources of data for measuring and achieving them
- Improved organizational integrity for help preventing costly errors
- Reduced vulnerability to employee loss, which can be serious business for smaller organizations where a handful of people hold most of the critical knowledge
Full disclosure: Here at Next Gear Solutions, we’re in the business of helping businesses leverage technology to improve documentation, communications, and efficiency. The DASH platform is designed to give every stakeholder in the restoration industry the tools they need to keep up to date in a fast-moving world, especially when used with the real-time connection tool for restoration, ProAssist.