Tips From the CFO: Review your Expenses

A computer monitor showing a spreadsheet

In an uncertain economy when every penny counts. Even the smallest increase in revenue or reduction in expenses can have an impact on company profitability. The good news is a large-scale company overhaul is not necessary. It is often simple, common-sense steps that improve the bottom line, especially for a small business.

Save money on office supplies by looking outside of traditional vendors. Large discount suppliers like BJ's, Amazon, or Wal-Mart can often beat traditional office supply vendor prices. If you have space, buying your most-used supplies in bulk can also save in gas by cutting out repeated trips to and from the store.

Save money on insurance by comparing providers for the most competitive rate; then ask your current insurance provider to match that rate. Additionally, you should evaluate your insurance policies to make sure you are not over-insured or duplicating coverage.

Telephone and internet expenses are necessary but can be costly. If your current agreement for service is about to expire or has expired, you are in a good position to save money. Bundle your internet and phone when possible for more savings. Plus, you get the added convenience of only having one provider to call if there are issues. 

Have a need but not the cash? Bartering may be the answer! Offering your business services in exchange for a service or items that you need will have a very positive impact on your cash flow. The worst answer you can get is a simple no, and you might be surprised by how often you will hear a yes.

With so many services being cloud-based, it is easy to lose track of all your online subscriptions. Review those at least once a year and ask your employees to help evaluate the continued need. Online cloud-based services are constantly evolving and adding partner apps that may eliminate one or more of your current subscriptions. 

A good rule of thumb when trying a new online software is to pay month to month for 90 days to be sure it is a good fit for your organization. Make sure you know the cancellation policy ahead of time before you dive into that annual subscription. Speaking of annual subscriptions, do a little math before you pay for the next year in advance. That discount may not be as much in savings as you think. Most vendors do offer monthly payments which may be the break that your cash flow needs each month. 

Taking a little time at least once a year to review the areas that can improve your bottom line and your cash flow is worth the effort. Sometimes small changes can add up fast. 

Written By: Cheryl McNamara

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