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Every Little Helps

It wasn’t long ago when Tesco not only ruled the supermarket industry but the back pockets of Britain with one of every £8 spent was spent in their empire which expanded outside of grocery. The British-based brand have grown a lot since the humble beginnings of a market stall in Hertfordshire in 1919 becoming the second biggest retailer in the world with stores across 12 countries.

From a fruit and veg stall you will now find electricals, furniture, books in their stores, they own petrol stations, have their own clothing line and phone network as well as offering insurance and financial services. Anything you will ever want, Tesco will probably sell it.

The dominant brand, which has had its criticism for being aggressive in a competitive market which they controlled have gone into meltdown. It’s like the bully in the playground who punched above his weight and got knocked down. Tesco failed to succeed in America, held back from taking over in the Far East and found themselves battling with Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda for a dwindling market share as Aldi and Lidl captured shoppers on a budget whilst Waitrose and M&S provided for the affluent. For the first time Tesco were lost, after years of winning price wars the supermarket no longer offered the cheapest electricals, books or whatever else they could fit on the shelves at their humongous stores as the internet undercut the undercutters.

Shopping cultures have changed, the Friday big shop isn’t the ‘done thing’ any more, habits are dictated by busy lifestyles, customers instead nipped into shops, Tesco moved with the trends by opening Tesco Metro and Tesco Express stores where ever they could. No wonder so much of the British publics money is spent in Tesco, they are everywhere.

Yesterday the super-brand were in crisis following reports of major miscalculations of their profits leading to £2 billion being wiped away from its value and share prices dramatically dropping, the City has lost faith in the market leader, the public were beginning to as sales have been falling, news of unethical dealings could see Tesco lose the top spot of the UK’s favourite supermarket.

This news shows how running a business poorly can affect it massively.

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The Scottish Referendum – Who Really Won?

Did you wake up this morning feeling different? No? Me neither. My phone beeped at 5:30an with a Guardian news flash informing me that the UK is still a four country union but what does that mean? The Scottish Referendum was so tight that whatever the final result was almost half of the population north of the border would be unhappy but what about the rest of the UK, how do Wales and Northern Ireland feel about Scotland being handed new powers if they wanted to keep Britain Great? What about us, the English, nobody asked for our opinion. Debate has seen sides being taken on the other three nations but England gets overlooked.

The Scottish Referendum was a historic moment, the passion and enthusiasm from a nation was represented by a record breaking turnout for voters who clearly had a divided opinion on their nation’s future. It has been a lengthy campaign that has been debated over and over with little resolved, tensions were high but the main concern was the uncertainty, what would happen if the majority voted for independence? We’ll never know but what about the promises that the government made? What about next year’s general election, the three main parties have different ideas on the future of the UK which again will drag up more debates.

It didn’t take long for the PM to walk out of the front day of No. 10, gloating that he’d won the war of keeping the UK united whilst reeling off plans for a future which 45% of the population don’t want and the other countries will be miffed.

Once the result was confirmed the GBP, which fell in value last week when a YouGov poll suggested that the ‘Yes’ campaign was leading shot back up in value to a two year high. This will all but confirm the plans Bank of England have to increase interest rates. The fact that the future of the UK is no longer a debate has ended worries for the economy who would have had to make key decisions with a currency, rising costs and new laws.

If your business is looking for help with cash flow and late payers download a FREE 30 day trial of Credit Chaser, our credit control software which seamlessly interacts with Sage.

1 Day Until The Scottish Referendum

Unless you have been hibernating recently you will be aware that tomorrow is the day that Scotland decides whether it will remain part of ‘Great Britain’, if the majority vote in favour of independence the rest of the UK, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will lose more than just the ‘Great’ in ‘Great Britain’, their decision will affect everybody, whatever they choose.

If they do decide on separation then there will be no immediate effect as the transition will take 18 months before Scotland becomes independent, allowing time to work on the currency that they will trade as well as laws and government. Whether they keep the pound or not prices will rise on both sides of the border for food, mortgages and services but they will survive on their oil supplies whilst the rest of the UK taxes won’t be funding their free tuition fees and prescriptions.

But, if they majority are swayed by being part of a United Kingdom then they can enjoy added powers promised by the current government as a way to entice their vote. Things will change, for everybody in the UK, a lot of business and certainly the relationships between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Has the referendum just brought up old memories like any separation does? And whatever happens, we won’t wake up on Friday morning to a new Britain, however ‘Great’ it is…

Inflation Dips, Again

In a week where the future of the United Kingdom will be decided there are new concerns as inflation fell throughout August by 1.5%, to the lowest it has been since 2009. The reason for the slide has been put down to numerous factors including the price of fuel, food and non-alcoholic drinks falling.

Although the figures suggest a backwards step for the economy the property market stood strong throughout the summer months despite settling down in August. To counter-balance the downward trend of lowering prices, clothing, transport and alcohol costs rose.

If you were hoping that the economy was free-rolling with positivity then think again. The Bank of England are still teasing to increase interest rates which could have a huge impact on everybody so preparation is vital, especially for small businesses with little money to fall back on, it is time to keep your cash flow as healthy as possible. With Credit Chaser, credit control software which seamlessly integrates with Sage your bank will be balanced as it automatically chases those customers/clients who are late to settle their invoice. For a free 30 day trial of the software click here to download.

Supermarket Wars

We all love a bargain but at what cost? It has been a strange year for supermarket as the ‘Big Four’ have lost out from falling in-between the low-end and high-end stores as they fought amongst themselves.

Whilst Aldi and Lidl played their cards right in the recession, expanding at a rapid rate with their cut-price-good-value offerings available for those short on funds. The economy might be in a better state of affairs but the service that these budgets options give has been good enough for their customers to stay loyal. On the other end of the market Waitrose and M&S are a pricier option but give extra when it comes to quality and experience which some use as a treat whilst the middle-classes swear by it.

That leaves the ‘Big Four’, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons who still have the bigger slice of the shoppers pie but their piece is getting smaller as their niche competitors are taking over and it is Morrisons who are suffering the most as they announced a 30% loss in the past 6 months.

Morrisons’ biggest demise came down to the fact that they have only just started doing online shopping, something that their fellow big players have been doing, and doing well for years. The Yorkshire brand doesn’t hold the same dominance as Tesco and Sainsbury’s and as its competitors have dropped prices to gain footfall they have lost out.

Is this the beginning of the end for Morrisons or just a warning to the ‘Big Four’ that the game has changed?

If your business isn’t running as efficiently as it could be or experiencing cash flow problems download Credit Chaser’s 30 day free trial to reduce bad debt.

Scotland Decides

It’s just one week until the Scottish Referendum and the panic buttons have been pushed. Until a few weeks ago there wasn’t any doubt that the ‘Better Together’ campaign would win, it seemed so inevitable that there was no back-up plan in place from the current government, leaving them red faced as a YouGov survey suggested a swing in the favour of separation has happened.

The impact was evident from the moment the results were published, the Pound weakened and a couple of days later (today) the leaders of the three main parties made the trip north of the border to convince voters to stick with the UK. Nobody can predict what the future is for Scotland or the rest of the UK if the vote does go in

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favour of separation, especially when nobody from the ‘Better Together’ campaign bothered with research but with the Pound suffering, a currency for independent Scotland unknown how are businesses in the UK meant to prepare.

Download a free 30 day trial of our credit control software for Sage here or call us on 0114 2307305 to find out how your cash flow can be improved.

Council Make It Tough For SMEs

Last month a legislation was announced to help SMEs with late payments giving them new powers to speed up invoices being settled. The government seemed

like they were trying to help the fragile SMEs, 60% already suffer with late payments then research from ABFA has found that when it comes to work as subcontractors for local councils it is the SMEs who are left waiting months to be paid.

Many SMEs rely on subcontractor work from local authorities but when it comes to receiving money for the work the average wait is 71 days, this could cripple businesses whose cash flow constantly hangs in the balance.

You would hope that local councils would bend of backwards to help these companies as they offer a greater future for the area but with them being the third link in the payment chain they seem to be the after-thought which could be damaging.

 

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How to Improve your Cash Flow with Sage Credit Control software

Sage user? Are you part of the 25% of small businesses spending 10 hours a week chasing up late payments? Cash flow is important for any business but for SMEs it is essential to survive. Recent surveys suggest that despite the economic recovery they are still living on the edge and it could take one customer paying late and within a couple of days the business will no longer be in business. This scary statistic isn’t just a handful of companies, 2 million in the UK could suffer.

A legislation has been passed to give more power to SMEs collecting owed money but when resources are minimal the amount of time and money spent can see productivity suffer. Credit Chaser syncs with your Sage data, all it takes is a few rules to be applied and you will be up and running in no time. The software will then send automated reminders (via letter, e-mail, SMS or prompt a phone call) as payment deadlines approach and it will continue to do so until the customer/clients account is balanced, you’re cash flow will be noticeably healthier.

With 90% of accountants using Sage and 60% of SMEs experience late payments Credit Chaser is a cost effective solution to help your business running. Call us on 0114 2307305 for more information or click here to start your 30 day free trial. This could be your most important purchase you make.

Are You Paying With Cash Or Card?

When sealing the deal with a customer or client how many payment methods do you offer? Just cash? Card? Cheque? Direct Debit? Online money transfers? All of these? Direct Debit is the best option for most as there are no charges and it pretty much guarantees payment will be received on time. You’d probably think that cash is the next best option, right?

WRONG! You might not be slapped in the face by unnecessary fees (I’m talking about credit and debit cards…) but it can be a real hassle. According to a recent survey by Paypal small business spend, on average 12 days a year counting those coins, updating your records and making the trips to the bank to pay it in, it all adds up. When your working hours clash with the banks opening hours you end up sacrificing your Saturday morning as you pay in your weekly earnings and that isn’t ideal for cash flow. You want the money you take in your bank ASAP not wait five days!

It might seem like cash is the easier option but we are in the 2014 now and there are plenty of quicker, time saving options out there which not only help your cash flow but it also makes your life easier when it comes to sorting out your books. The survey stated that 56% took cash payments and two thirds believe that card transactions are too expensive, which, a few years ago might have been the case but not any more.

Are you a small business needing help with cash flow? Try Credit Chaser’s 30 day free trial with installation and training included and see what you are missing out on. Click here to download or give us a call on 0114 2307305.

07 Aug 2014
by Mathew Pinder

Kiss Of Life From The Government

It isn’t all doom and gloom for the UK’s SMEs who struggle with gaining finance. The government, who recently put new legislations in place to help small businesses getting money owed to them back quicker have now said that banks who turn down loan applications must forward their details on to other potential funding suppliers.

With 40% of businesses giving up hope of funding after being turned down by banks this comes as a real boost for companies who are currently struggling with money and unaware of financial platforms out there including asset funding, which allows businesses to receive loans based on their value as a business which could make a break or them. This will come as relief for the 2.4 million business who could be days away from closure if their cash flow took a turn for the worse.

The average SMEs is owed almost £40,000 by their customers and clients. If that is you and you need a hand recovering debt try our free 30 day trial of Credit Chaser and experience a healthier cash flow and a longer life-span in business. Download the demo here or call 0114 2307305 to discover how it can help.

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