Every business wants to grow. But there can be hidden factors holding your business back from its full potential—like accounting challenges that add up over time. If not addressed, these problems can keep business growth in the slow lane.

Many businesses face these challenges, but it doesn’t mean they’re unconquerable. In most cases, they can be solved with a simple solution, such as using an integrated payment application for your accounting software.

1. Manual payment processing

If your business accepts credit card payments, then you have to manually run each payment, enter it into your accounting software, and reconcile it with your AR and GL at the end of the day. This process can be tedious, time-consuming, and prone to errors. If you have to enter the same information twice, it’s likely you’ll make a mistake or two, which can cause lost time down the road. You’re probably also wasting a good amount of time at the end of every day reconciling those transactions. All that lost time slows business growth by keeping you bogged down in the weeds.

An integrated payment processing solution can ease each of these problems. Integrated payment solutions are third-party applications that plug directly into your accounting software and automate the payment acceptance process. Instead of entering data multiple times or toggling through several programs, you simply enter the transaction, run it, and it’s automatically applied back to the invoice. No more double data entry—which means no data reconciliation, fewer errors, and more time back in your day. And more time means more opportunity to build your business and expand.

2. Inefficient payment collections

Payment collections is an essential part of doing business, but many businesses struggle with maintaining effective collections. It’s difficult and time-consuming to reach out to customers and ask for payment, especially if you have to track down each customer one by one. And once you do get ahold of a customer, you may not always have an easy payment option for them, which reduces the likelihood they’ll pay promptly. Unfortunately, if a business has inefficient collections, its cash flow—and growth—will suffer.

Offering your customers convenient payment methods and automating the outreach are two easy ways to optimize your payment collections. You can accomplish both of these objectives by using a customer payment portal, a secure, online portal where customers can quickly and easily manage their outstanding payments. Once they log in, customers can make payments on single or multiple invoices, and the payment is automatically applied back to your accounting software. You can also use the portal to send automatic email payment reminders, which prompt customers to make payments on invoices.

A customer payment portal eases the burden of collections—when you don’t have to spend time or energy chasing down customers or managing collections, you’re free to focus on more important tasks essential to business growth.

3. Failing to use your accounting software to its full potential

When a business uses accounting software that fully meets their needs and business objectives, it can really boost their growth. But many businesses are simply underutilizing their accounting software, leading to missed opportunities. Maybe they’re not very technologically savvy, or maybe they’re too overwhelmed with more pressing work to really get the most out of their accounting software.

In any case, businesses should reach out to trusted professionals to ensure they’re getting every ounce of use out of their accounting software. VARs, ISVs, and consulting firms can assist businesses in assessing their needs and adapting their accounting software—sometimes with third-party add-ons or integrations—to best serve the business and help it grow.

4. Insecure accounting methods

In today’s world, data is king. And with the rise of malicious data breaches, it’s up to each business to ensure they’re properly protecting their customers’ data. Small businesses aren’t immune to this threat—in fact, bad actors often target small businesses specifically because they’re more likely to improperly store data or have ineffectual security systems.

Obviously, these attacks can be a huge setback to business growth. If your business experiences a data breach, you’ll lose time, money, and the trust of your customers—which can add up to a devastating, potentially lethal blow.

For many businesses, the most vulnerable data they’ll handle is customer credit card information. The best way to protect this data is through the use of a PCI-compliant payment integration. The payment integration will automatically tokenize and encrypt customer data and store it off-site in a secure vault. This means the merchant won’t be responsible for storing sensitive data on their own system or servers, which greatly reduces their liability.

When you don’t have to worry about security, you don’t have to set aside valuable resources to deal with security issues that could’ve been avoided. Instead, you can devote resources toward growing your business.

Conclusion

Accounting is the backbone of any business. Without it, businesses won’t know where their money is going, whether or not they’re profitable, and much more. However, inefficient accounting practices can lead to slow growth for your business. To ensure your business expands, avoid these common accounting mistakes and use an integrated payment solution like EBizCharge.

Niki Blois Administrator
Digital Marketing Specialist | Century Business Solutions
Niki is a writer for Century Business Solutions covering integrated payments, credit card processing, and how to increase payment efficiency.
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