As F. Scott Fitzgerald once put it, “The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to”, but small business owners have a lot on their minds and this can lead to sleepless nights.
It might sound dramatic but the irony is that a lack of sleep makes running a business even more challenging, perpetuating stress and creating even more reasons to stay awake worrying.
We recently conducted a study of 250 small business owners and found that more than half routinely suffer from sleep deprivation as a result of finance-related concerns. And for those affected, this is not just a one-off: it’s interfering with their sleep most nights.
The biggest finance-related worry disrupting small business leader’s rest is cash flow. Nearly three-quarters cite this issue as the key worry weighing on their minds. But less than a third said the same for filing tax returns. Why is this particularly interesting? Our research found a clear split between those finance-related matters that are traditionally handled by an accountant and those that aren’t. Those that aren’t, such as cash flow, being tax-efficient and understanding the business’s profitability, have the most pronounced impact on small business leaders’ sleep.
How to reclaim the zees
The best way to resolve this situation is to take the bull by the horns and seek solutions for those issues that don’t currently fall under your accountant’s remit. There are many ways to do this and the best approach will differ from business to business, but let’s examine a few options.
One option for getting finances, and particularly cash flow, under control is to move from a paper-based to an online or cloud-based accounting system. Able to provide a real-time overview of management accounts, moving to the cloud can remove the worry of out of date records with instant information at the touch of a button.
Receipt-scanning apps can also be deployed to take some of the pain out of accounting. They are useful for staying on top of expenses and can also automate invoice processing – giving business owners one less thing to be concerned about.
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Seeking additional accountancy support
Employing someone full or part time as a financial controller or director will add a layer of reassurance regarding the business’s finances, and provide the business owner with a source of advice when uncertainty arises.
Sometimes by simply asking an existing accountant to do more, business owners can gain more control over their finances. Often, peace of mind can be found in a second opinion.
Changing internal business practices
Equally, it might be time to change accountant and seek an advisor who can offer the full range of services that the business needs. There is always the option of taking on more financial administration, personally, should none of the above feel appropriate or necessary.
If you’re keen to stop worrying about counting the pennies (or counting sheep), get more advice in our full “Sleeping Easy?” Report
You can also Request a Quote or call 0800 028 1028 now to speak with an advisor about getting on top of your finances today.
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