Sometimes the success or the failure of the business depends on how well the corporate finances are handled. Proper account management practices and cash flow management processes are essential in keeping a business afloat. Here is how to best manage your corporate finances.

Basic corporate finance needs

Every business must have a few resources at their disposal to handle the day-to-day financial tasks required to operate a successful business. Businesses just starting out require resources for everything from ordering checks to accounting software to properly manage corporate finances. Here are the most important things you need just starting out:

• An official corporate account to process payments
• Basic bookkeeping software to manage cash flow, receivables, payables, budgeting and reporting
• Account management processes and procedures
• Financial expert such as an accountant for advisement
• Payment processing solutions if conducting business on and offline

Inside a proper corporate finance plan

A corporate finance plan is a strategy to maintain liquid assets to cover financial responsibilities while allocating any additional funds toward investments. The corporate financial plan takes into account the financing needs, inventory requirements and payment management for a business.

Financing needs

Consider the importance of financing in managing day-to-day operations for a company. If the company cannot produce the necessary financing to cover ongoing expenses, the business encounters problems with meeting inventory needs and seasonal expenses. Joining a credit union can be the single most important step to take with managing company finances. A credit union can provide the financing to businesses at lower interest rates. In addition to competitive financing, they also offer lower fees to members. Credit card merchant accounts with favorable rates may be available to creditworthy applicants.

Inventory management

If inventory is a requirement in operating the business, there are endless resources available to help with key functions like inventory management. Inventory management is usually a feature included in a comprehensive bookkeeping suite. Some services available online can cost as little as $10 per month. Solutions like NolaPro, QuickBooks Online, Less Accounting and Peachtree all offer accounting software packages available online. What to expect in a typical package:

• Expense tracking
• Accounting reports
• Payroll
• Quote/proposal management
• Order entry
• Asset management
• Inventory management
• Mileage tracking

Payment management

Evaluate how businesses must handle and manage invoices and payments. Consider the transaction needs for the typical customer. Customers require a range of payment methods available to them. Customers want the flexibility of being able to make payments online. Some software packages offer payment processing solutions as an add-on to their existing packages. For example, Intuit offer affordable payment processing options. Other common solutions like PayPal remain a simple alternative to the more expensive merchant account options available. Depending on the solution expected, one can expect to pay anywhere between 2 and 8 percent per transaction. Credit card merchant accounts allow business owners the flexibility of taking advantage of installment options. Some sites like checks-superstore permit one to download printable checks from the site. Extending the capabilities of popular products like Peachtree and QuickBooks allow you to synchronize your solution to the banking account to facilitate payment tracking.

Financial expert

A financial expert is essential to a business. Their expertise can devise an investment strategy for the company. They can assist in developing an investment plan for a 401K or retirement fund. The resource assists in maximizing company profits for the business by identifying the right timing for making investments to help the business achieve growth. For a business owner whose core business doesn’t require a solid understanding of investment, this resource can prove to be invaluable.

From the moment the business first opens its doors, the owner must have a solid corporate financial plan. The plan must be constructed in a way where all the money entering the company flows through the proper channels. Tight money management for a business expands growth opportunities for a business, ensures a healthy cash flow, and makes sure that all dollars are reliably tracked and accounted for in the books.

Author's Bio: 

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.