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5 Financial Tips to Take Your Business to the Next Level

(BPT) - By Irana Wasti, Chief Product Officer at BILL

Building a business is an incredible journey - and like all journeys, every stage is different. Running a startup, for instance, is very different from running a midsize business.

As your business grows, your needs evolve too. Scaling a business often means navigating different types of risks, expanding product or service offerings, and executing more complex operations. The tools or technology solutions you had as a startup may be different to the resources you need now to help you manage a larger team, support more customers, or solve more complexities in your business.

Just one example: when it comes to thinking about finance tools or technology, there are so many different choices on the market that it can be difficult to understand which is the best one for your growing business.

If you're ready to take your business to the next level, here are four finance-focused tips to help your growing business continue thriving.

1. Be Smart About Spend & Expense Management

As your business grows, you need full visibility into your evolving company budgets and how your employees are spending. Adding new employees and departments makes it harder to fully monitor organizational spending, opening your business up to the risk of overspending or fraud (whether intentional or not). Finding efficiencies in the overall spend and expense process can also deliver valuable time back to employees so they can focus on your business and customers. Automating your spend and expense management can help.

Stay agile with budget management: Scaling up means more budget complexity. Adopting a spend management solution helps to keep you nimble and can allow businesses to approve and delegate budgets adeptly, ensuring control over financial health without the hassle.

Automate your expense processes: For every business owner, streamlining the approval and reimbursement process is a game-changer as you scale. Automation in expense management can significantly reduce the administrative burdens, enhancing efficiency and allowing for a smoother financial workflow. For example, BILL customer Marine Layer, a growing retail apparel brand that focuses on sustainability, saved at least three to four hours per week on expense management. 'BILL gives us more up-to-date expense reporting. It's just a real time saver and definitely speeds up our financial close. Not having to manually code for our monthly close really saves time and makes the close more efficient,' said Kelly Ransom, Financial Accountant at Marine Layer.

2. Get Ready To 'Pay Global' Even if You Are Not Global Yet

As your business grows, you might also be looking at partners and vendors you're working with to ensure they can help you scale the operations for your business needs. At this stage, many small and midsize business (SMB) owners will look to expand their vendor network, both domestically and internationally, in order to improve cost, quality, and business efficiency. But to do that, SMBs need safe, secure and efficient financial platforms that can handle vendor payments, whether domestically or internationally. This is particularly important as traditional international wire transfers can be expensive and complex. Leveraging integrated financial automation software for international payments can help ensure a faster, more secure and effective process.

Choose the right global payment partner: It's important to look for a technology partner that will simplify operations, offer competitive exchange rates and provide comprehensive data management. The right financial platform can provide seamless global payments integration and robust features to process international payments quickly, securely and easily. I also always encourage businesses to look for a global payment solution that grows with your business.

Diversify payment methods: Payment preferences vary depending on what part of the world your sales or services are coming from. It's helpful to offer a variety of payment options to your vendors, such as credit or debit card payments, contactless payments, and digital wallets. The right technology partner can allow you to offer multiple options for international payment needs.

Sync with accounting software: I also encourage businesses to leverage payment partners that integrate with major accounting software providers to ensure seamless management of both domestic and international payments, by streamlining your workflows and eliminating the need for double data entry.

New York-based apparel brand Bombas sends roughly 50% of their payments to 10 international vendors, even more when they need to bulk up their inventory to prepare for the holiday rush. However, Melissa Harris, Director of Accounting Operations at Bombas, isn't worried about making international payments because they use BILL. 'BILL Accounts Payable does it all in one shot, using the same process for both domestic and international payments. It's been a much more seamless process with BILL than it has been with other AP systems I've used,' said Harris.

3. Get Real-Time Data and Insights for Growth

A frequent challenge for businesses is they don't typically have large teams of finance professionals to provide analysis, insights, data and forecasting. Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) technology is changing that. With FP&A, SMBs can predict future cash flow, understand trends and opportunities, and make better business decisions, faster. Timely data and analytics can help you make the best decisions to help take your business to the next level.

Strategic financial planning: FP&A technology enables SMBs to collaborate closely with executives and department heads, aligning financial goals with the overarching business strategy. By assessing market trends, competitive landscapes, and internal capabilities, businesses can create robust long-term financial plans that support sustainable growth.

Budgeting and forecasting: Businesses can also develop detailed annual budgets that reflect accurate cash flow forecasts. This technology supports the creation of rolling forecasts, allowing companies to adjust their financial plans in response to changing market conditions and evolving business needs.

4. Maximizing Financial Rewards

Taking advantage of financial rewards is not just about the bottom line - it's an opportunity for businesses to show appreciation and build a positive workplace culture. Many SMBs are already familiar with rewards programs for travel, but why not extend those benefits to everyday spending?

Virtual cards with rewards programs can be a game-changer for SMBs. One common way businesses like to use virtual cards is for business subscriptions management. This ensures payments are made on time, within budget, and without the risk of overcharging, with real-time visibility into spending.

Implementing rewards programs: Similar to consumer rewards programs, virtual cards with rewards programs are a powerful tool for businesses. Choosing financial tools that offer cashback, points or other incentives transforms everyday expenses into opportunities for savings or investment. It's a great way to turn routine transactions into opportunities that add value to your business.

5. Choose Technology Partners that Can Increase Operational Efficiency

According to The BILL 2024 State of Financial Automation Report, SMBs are increasingly looking to AI and automation to improve efficiency and productivity. In fact, 85% of SMBs are enthusiastic about using AI for their financial operations.

One of the most important considerations is which company you choose to partner with to deliver these AI capabilities for your daily operations. You want to work with technology partners that understand the opportunity for you to harness the use of AI for your business to drive impact. For example, AI can help you improve customer experiences, gain efficiencies, or scale. This in turn can free up your valuable time, allowing you and your staff to focus on more strategic tasks that can foster innovation and growth for the business.

While AI technology is still developing and will continue to evolve, there are great technology partners that can help your business maximize AI. Choose a partner that is innovation-forward, already innovating with AI, and is an early adopter with your unique needs and interests top of mind.

Key Takeaway

There's a transformative shift happening in how SMBs are served by technology. Innovative finance tools like spend and expense management, international payment processing, and FP&A technology are increasingly essential for growth-focused businesses. As your business evolves, embracing these financial technologies will be crucial in shaping your journey toward sustainability and success.

At BILL, we're dedicated to helping businesses get more control, visibility, and efficiency in their financial operations. Automating financial operations can be a game changer for your business, saving valuable team time on inefficient manual processes, and enabling you to focus on high-value strategic business needs instead. To find out more, visit to start your risk-free trial.

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