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How you can use online tools to better manage cash flow

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Ben Johnson

Jan 26, 2021

As UK businesses continue to struggle with a third lockdown, many will be thinking of ways they can maintain business continuity. For those that can, this means selling their products online. 

In the past, many small businesses would have relied on paper receipts or physical invoices. This meant it took longer to get paid, and records didn’t get updated in a timely fashion.

The pandemic has changed things. Those traditional at the core are discovering that digital processes offer far greater scalability and resilience. 

When connected to Xero, an online invoice payment service like GoCardless or Stripe helps businesses get paid up to twice as fast. Here’s how online invoicing can help you:

Get paid anytime, anywhere

Businesses who accept online invoice payments through Xero get paid faster. Adding a ‘Pay now’ button to your online invoices lets your customers pay you instantly, so you can save time chasing payments and reduce your admin burden. You can also give them many different ways to pay your invoices. With Stripe, you can accept credit card, debit card, and Apple Pay payments, and through GoCardless you can automatically collect direct debit payments on the due date.

Get paid on time

Having the right tools to effectively manage your cash flow is always important, but never has been more truly felt than during the past year. Xero Small Business Insights data shows us that small business revenue continues to decline in the UK.

With all of this uncertainty, cash is often tied up in late payments. This can have a huge impact on cash flow, and is the number one reason that small businesses fail.

This means you’re not only spending valuable time chasing invoices, but you’re also dealing with the lack of cash flow in your business. 

Cash that is vital for keeping your business alive during these uncertain times. It’s a real problem and one that we’re committed to helping you manage through automation and simplifying processes.

“One of the main recommendations we give to our clients to get paid faster is to enable payment services in Xero that collect payment from customers on the day the invoice is due.” Katherine O’Carroll, BDO

Give you time back

There are many ways to create and send invoices to customers. You can send a PDF via email or post a hard copy in the mail. These processes take time for both you and your customer, as they also have to manually enter it into their systems. It can also lead to spending more valuable time chasing customers for payment.

By sending online invoices and setting up a Stripe or GoCardless account directly from Xero, you can easily reconcile payments against your invoices and set up automatic payment reminders. 

How about making payments?

As well as moving your invoicing online, it’s now possible to automate your supplier payments process.

Pay with TransferWise is a bill payment feature that lets you pay your suppliers through Xero using TransferWise and your preferred bank account. This seamless, more efficient accounts payable process means less time on business admin and more time on your business.

Getting paid and managing your cash flow can be a huge burden on time and mental wellbeing, especially right now. As restrictions continue, it’s worth taking a look at how you take payments and make payments. By using digital tools, you’ll be in a far greater position to better manage cash flow, and this will help in the months to come. 

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