Why Financial Management is Key to SMEs

Updated on 17 May 2024

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Financial management needs to be at the forefront of your management approach. As all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) know, without the budget for starting, expanding or enhancing your business, not much can happen. The good news is that there are many tools and techniques to employ!

Financial management relates to the movement of money in and out of the business. The influx includes income from sales, investments, and loans, whereas the outflow constitutes all expenses such as salaries, overhead costs and even paying taxes. The management of these processes along with the relevant administration thereof is called financial management. Record keeping of every transaction, be it a payment paid or received, must diligently be kept as proof of a compliant business. This forms a vital part of the administration of finances. 

According to a recent statement by Old Mutual, research indicated that SMEs prioritise financial management. This is good! Because of strong financial strategies, entrepreneurs who do this are more successful in their long-term goals. 

Financial Management Made Possible by Digital Tools

In the statement, Nobesuthu Ndlovu, Director SME at Old Mutual, explained that financial technology (fintech) has opened new doors for SMEs. Not only can they access a variety of affordable funding, but they have tools that assist them with better managing their finances. 

The range of available digital tools, such as software and apps, allows business owners and financial managers to create professional quotes, invoices, and customer statements. Further, they can also access their credit score and statements within seconds.

Since financial management is vital for the sustainability and growth of any business, he continues to highlight the importance of advanced data analytics tools that these digital solutions offer. 

SMEs can now gain deeper insights into their financial performance with these dashboards and make informed decisions. Whether it is monitoring profitability, spotting cost-saving opportunities and trends, or even optimising revenue streams, digital tools have the power to drive success. Additionally, the data also helps assess business performance.

Types of Financial Management Tools

There are different types of digital financial management tools available. These are as follows:

  1. Accounting Software
  2. Expense Tracking
  3. Budgeting
  4. Spend Management
  5. Billing and Payment Processing
  6. Payroll Management
  7. Tax Preparation
  8. Inventory Tracking

Each of these tools plays an important role in your business’s financial management strategy. When it comes to risk management and profitability forecasting, digital tools assist SMEs greatly in their financial planning.

If you are looking to use digital tools to help manage your business finances, you can use any combination that works best for you. 

Benefits for South African SMEs

Many South African SMEs have at least a secondary education, which means that entrepreneurs are not formally trained in finances or business management. However, with the right tools, these individuals are empowered to grow a successful enterprise. 

Some might require a subscription fee, but this is a small price to pay to ensure the future of your business success. Other free tools assist small or micro businesses to get a handle on their finances without needing to fork out money that isn’t available. It also helps individuals who are struggling with funding to find out what their credit score is, as well as finding information about alternative funding sources.

With the growth of AI technology, the tools at their disposal will also continue to improve, giving more functionality and analytical reporting that will continuously enhance the way SMEs manage their funds. 

If financial management an planning hasn’t been a focal point for managing your business up until now, it is time to make a change. You can start by deepening your understanding of financial terminology so you know what the needs of your business are. 

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