If, after reading part one and part two in this series, you’re starting to see the value in better understanding your financial performance, then we’re in a good place to move forward. If you’re thinking, “Sure, that all sounds good, but there’s no way I have time to put this much energy into tracking and thinking about my money—nor the ability to pay someone else to do it,” then you need to stop and reconsider. Wearing several hats is part of the art of running any small business, but there are tools you can use and people you can add to your financial team to make all of this possible with minimal resources and maximum efficiency.
Curious? I’m glad. The first principle to recognize is automate, automate, automate. The more you take these valuable—but admittedly time consuming—processes and automate them, the more you will be able to see the value in your data without feeling the pain. In the not-too-distant past, getting any information out of your accounting system was a nightmare. Data input involved long hours of tedious work—or hefty fees paid to bookkeepers to do it for you. But in this web 2.0, cloud-based, app-driven business ecosystem, there’s no reason to keep your accounting records in Excel or tape expense receipts to a piece of paper. And by leveraging these systems to automate financial functions, you’ll use your money and time in a smart way—allowing you to put more time into growing your business.