Retail is a sector with fine margins and business managers know that small changes can mean a great deal when it comes to the bottom line.
A perennial issue is the management of cashflow and this has been an area that has come under even greater scrutiny over the last few weeks.
The truth is though that if managers don’t know what is happening then they can’t manage their cashflow and if they can’t manage their cashflow then they can’t efficiently manage their business.
These twin areas of concern are central planks in the FreshBooks offering and retailers are finding that the accounting software can make a real difference to the way they do business.
Collect Cash Quickly
We’ve seen over the last few weeks how the move away from a cash-based economy has accelerated and that this is even more important for retailers meaning that they need to have effective methods for collecting payments.
One of the key features of FreshBooks is the ability to collect cash at the click of a button whether that be for in-person, over the phone or online sales.
Retail has evolved over the last few years and having the ability to receive payments online, through payment buttons on socials such as Facebook and through no-invoice checkout links all adds to the flexibility that the modern retailer needs.
Bricks and mortar retailers need access to a quick and simple method of accepting payments and FreshBooks offers an app-based virtual terminal which allows their teams to take payment wherever they are in the store.
We have also seen many retailers institute a phone sales & delivery service in response to the COVID-19 crisis and using the FreshBooks virtual terminal for called-in orders makes the channel more viable and easier for the customer.
For retailers who run credit accounts the availability of a simple payment method makes a big difference as anecdotal evidence suggests that providing people with an easy way to pay speeds up the process, meaning that retailers see the cash hit their account quicker.
This is especially important for retailers because having cash in their bank account means that many more options are available for short-notice wholesale deals and after all, we’d all prefer to have cash in our bank account than that of our customers.
Strategically it makes sense to ensure that you are holding as much cash as possible, especially during uncertain times and this is where FreshBooks comes in.
The Accounting Software Landscape has Changed
Unsurprisingly the COVID-19 crisis led to a huge change in the way that companies organised their workers with a jump from only 10 percent of the population working from home to over 40% during the lockdown.
Whilst retail staff have to be in place to serve their customers, this is not necessarily the case for back office workers which has resulted in more businesses looking towards cloud accounting products.
Where before employers were happy to have a desktop solution to manage their accounts, they now have to be more creative around online software to handle their sales and finance administration.
Having an accounting system in place that is available 24/7 and can be accessed from anywhere with internet or cell phone coverage is an incredibly valuable resilience factor in a time of uncertainty.
FreshBooks gives finance staff the ability to work from home, employees to add information using an app and managers the option of checking reports online and from this point of view it is certainly a winner.
In Retail, Knowledge is Power
Understanding what is going on in the business is incredibly powerful and having access to information that is as close to real-time as possible is the way to go.
FreshBooks is considered to be one of the best accounting software offers out there especially for freelancers and SMBs, and one of the reasons for this is their extensive reporting ability.
Being able to see what is selling well, which customers owe money and how much cash is in the bank are all pivotal to smart management.
Efficiency is really important when managing a retail business and there’s no point in making extra gross margin by buying well and then wasting it by paying someone to handle the accounting.
This is where integrations come in and with an impressively large roster of third-party apps, FreshBooks helps retailers to account for and report on everything from online sales to memberships and regular payments.
With online integrations to banks, merchant services such as Stripe, EPOS and CRM systems Freshbooks provides virtually instant reporting on sales and receipts and of course cash.
One of the most helpful features is the ability to automate many of the routine tasks using Zapier to link between apps meaning that the manager is left to get on with the business of retailing.
Having the information at your fingertips is clearly the way to go for Canadian retailers.