How to use a business card to better manage your cash flow

Posted: 6 January 2020 11:15 am
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Older businessman in office Image: Getty Images

Cash flow is the lifeblood of business and it pays to get it right.

If you're a business owner, it's likely you've encountered your fair share of cash flow issues. It's also likely you've come across your fair share of purported solutions, but with business lending tightening, it's increasingly difficult to find additional capital to cover cash flow shortages.

One alternative you may not have considered is using a business card to manage and improve your cash flow. A versatile tool for businesses of any size, a business card opens up a number of possibilities when it comes to cash flow, from managing staff expenditure to streamlining your account keeping and expenses.

BUSINESS WITH BENEFITS

Finder's Smarter Small Business series is presented by American Express. Reward your business spending with 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply for the American Express Platinum Business card by 11 March 2020 and spend $5,000 on your new card within 3 months. New Card members only. T&Cs apply.

Free up additional cash flow

By using your business card to cover expenses you normally cover with cash, cheque or EFTPOS, you can free up additional cash for costs that can't be covered by card.

Using a business card can also help extend your cash flow. For example, Amercian Express business credit cards offer up to 55 days to pay for purchases, meaning you can stretch your available cash flow further. If you're paying a supplier that doesn't accept card, you can use American Express AccessLine to pay with your card, access up to 51 cashflow days and earn points. You can learn more about this flexible payment option in this article.

With more money in your account day to day, you're better positioned to cover unforeseen costs and look to build your business.

Bring your expenses together

By using a business card to cover as many business expenses as possible, you can better track your ongoing expenditure, with monthly statements recording your expenses in one convenient location.

You can also use a business card to better manage employee spending by adding additional cardholders to the account and removing some of the need for petty cash or reimbursements.

Automate your expenses and receivables

Handling your accounts payable and receivable is the key to successful cash flow management. By lining up your card statement cycle with your supplier payments, you can help ensure your business receivables come in before your business expenses go out.

This helps your business maintain a positive cash flow and gives it the best chance of succeeding.

Streamline your accounting

Once you've used a business card to sync your receivables and expenses, your statements can then be imported directly into your account software. Some cards allow direct importing of statements into accounting software packages such as MYOB or Quicken; others will let you export data in a format those packages can read.

Australian small businesses waste billions on administrative tasks each year and account keeping makes up a substantial proportion of this. By sending your business costs directly through your accounting software, you'll be saving valuable time and money.

Business means business

If you've been using a personal card instead of a business card to cover business expenses, you're likely also missing out on a raft of benefits. For instance, business card cards and charge cards generally offer higher credit limits than personal cards. Some offer business travel insurance and inconvenience cover. More: Is a credit card or a charge card better for your business?

Many card providers also offer concierge services, as well as a dedicated account manager that can assist you with questions around working capital and financing. You can also use your reward points on business-focused benefits that could further improve your cash flow.

Disclaimer: This advice is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before applying for any products mentioned, please read the product terms and conditions and consider whether that product is right for you.

American Express cards offered, issued and administered by American Express Australia Limited (ABN 92 108 952 085).

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