Sicon is a longstanding development partner for Sage. They provide specialist modules for a range of industries including manufacturing and warehousing and distribution, among others. Sicon Cash Flow is a designated enhancement for Sage 200 which fully integrates with the Sage 200 financial ledgers and order processing modules. It is simple to use, enabling you to design your cash flow format, using things like:
- Bank accounts.
- Sales and purchase invoices.
- Sales and purchase orders.
- Nominal and ad-hoc spending.
It features an intuitive drag and drop interface to enable you to adjust income and expenditure in line with the expected cash impact. This can be done without amending the due dates of each document as required.
Sicon Cash Flow User Interface and Product Intelligence
One of the outstanding features of Sicon Cash Flow is the user-friendliness of the interface. It displays all the relevant cash-related information that Sage 200 holds in an easy-to-follow format and also offers the benefit of being able to edit transaction dates in line with expected movements.
Customer statements show the due dates for invoices based on your agreed terms, but they can be taught the payment habits of individual clients. This enables the software to move certain invoices, for example, to an early date the following month in accordance with the customer’s past payment habits.
Sicon Cash Flow Key Software Features at a Glance
Some of the highlights of Sicon Cash Flow’s functionality include:
- The inclusion of sales, bank, purchase and nominal ledger budgets.
- The ability to design a cash flow management structure that works for your business.
- Notes can be added from within the cash flow to all transactions.
- Easy export to Microsoft Excel as required.
- Sales forecasts can be entered for ‘what if’ forecasting.
Sicon Cash Flow Additional Features
Sicon Cash Flow can be accessed by all Sage 200 users on a permissions basis, and it is installed and maintained within Sage 200.
It enables you to design your own structure for cash flow management, with your own custom display and timeframe options. The structure can include:
- Bank accounts.
- Purchase ledger and sales ledger invoices.
- Sales and purchase orders.
- Nominal ledger budgets.
You can even include income and expenditure on an ad-hoc basis within the plan for non-budgeted items. And sales forecasts can be entered when cash receipts revolve around cash or retail activities.
The cash flow summary can be modified for things like filtering your cash flow to only show banks/transactions involving specific currencies. You can also flag sales invoices as bad debts to be excluded from the summary. Once the forecast is loaded, the simple drag and drop tools can be utilised for moving items to the date of their expected cash impact.
The forecast structure for cash flow can allow for long-term income/expenditure planning. Cash flow forecasts for up to 5 years can be loaded using the current position, plus nominal budgets. The drag and drop tool can also be used to amend the forecast and budgets to generate future income/expenditure scenarios. Through the addition and reviewing of existing invoice memos, you can even use the tools to assist credit control.
Top Tips for Improving Cash Flow in Your Business
If you’re finding it difficult to consistently stay on top of expenses, you could have a cash flow problem. Here are some tips for improving your cash flow:
1. Employ a monthly business budget
A monthly cash flow forecast can shed light on potential shortfalls against the yearly budget, giving you the opportunity to find extra cash as required.
2. Invoice promptly to reduce outstanding sales
Sometimes you need money to cover expenses and longer customer payment deadlines are not helpful. You could consider offering a discount in exchange for earlier payment, or you could try invoice factoring.
3. Access a line of credit
As with credit cards, when you open a line of credit you get money to spend that can be paid back during better months. You will only pay what you use (plus interest) and your line of credit will be replenished once it’s paid off.
4. Stretch out your payables
By extending the payment cycle of suppliers, you can access cheap financing. This is not a long-term solution as it can negatively impact your credit and cause a rift with suppliers. Mitigate this by negotiating a due date or perhaps reconsider the payment agreement altogether.
5. Increase prices
Audit your products/services periodically to determine how much delivery of that item really costs. This way, you will know if you are charging too little, and most customers will accept a price increase if they feel it comes with an improved experience.
6. Cut down your expenses
Instead of the bigger expenses, consider looking at nonessential costs like landscaping and housekeeping as opportunities to save. Find areas where you may be able to cut back on expenditure before looking at inventory, marketing and labour.
7. Take credit cards
Credit cards mean fast payments and fewer bad debts. Just consider weighing up the fees charged by credit card companies. Customers appreciate businesses that take credit cards.
8. Upsell and cross-sell
These are proven strategies to increase sales, and they can be very effective with customers who are already loyal to you. Sales pitches need to be natural and the customer should not feel pressured.
9. Keep a clear view of your inventory
If your business is product-based, keep tabs on the amount of merchandise you have. Overstocking is wasteful and can tie up cash flow. An inventory management system integrated with your accounting software can be an excellent solution for this.
10. Accept online payments
Online payment options are convenient for customers, so they can help your inventory move more freely.
11. Look for vendor discounts
Vendors with whom you have a good relationship may be happy to offer a discount or perks like free shipping when you buy in bulk.
12. Look for waste
Do your products include unnecessary materials like branded bags or tissue paper? These are wasteful and opportunities to cut costs. You can also phase out products that are not selling well to focus more on top-sellers.
13. Improve your invoicing
Promptly sending out invoices means you get paid quicker. This will improve the health of your cash flow, and account management software can be really helpful with this. Automated invoicing should definitely be a serious consideration.
Cash flow is an essential part of your business, and it’s important to control it at all times. Cash flow can vary considerably throughout the year, or generally over time. Although your cash flow might be fine right now, it’s not a given that it always will be, which is why constant cash flow management is prudent. Failure to manage cash flow properly can unfortunately lead to the collapse of your business.
The above tips on managing cash flow should be a regular part of running your business. Managing cash flow is also made much easier by using full integrated business software solutions like Sage 200. Here, all your key business processes including financials, inventory management, supply chain and sales order processing are managed it one place, giving you great visibility.
Through the addition of even more sophisticated ad-ons such as Sicon Cash Flow for Sage 200, you can really take hold of your cash flow and ensure your bank balance remains in a healthy position.
Why choose Eventura to help deliver your Sage 200 project?
With two decades of Sage deployments under our belt, we are experts in delivering robust Sage 200 and Sicon solutions that are meticulously designed to suit your specific business needs. We take a full 360-degree view of your business, and help you identify all of your requirements.
Our team of expert business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff will guide you through your Sage 200 project from conception, through to deployment and ongoing support.
If you would like to speak with one of our Sage 200 experts, you can request a free call back here.