Business builder

Taking control of your business finances

In a changing economic environment, it makes sense to think about how you could take extra care of your financial situation.

Why focus on your savings strategy?

Whatever the economic conditions, it’s a good idea to put money aside for the future. Some savings accounts will change to offer higher rates, in response to interest rates changes by the Bank of England. An instant access business savings account could help build up funds and keep everyday transactions separate from a current account.

Our products are available to businesses registered in England, Scotland or Wales. Interest rates are subject to variation. Gross Rate - the interest rate you are paid without the deduction of UK income tax. Annual Equivalent rate (AER) - this is a notional rate of interest used for interest bearing accounts, which illustrates the rate if paid and compounded each year. It helps you to compare the effective rates of credit interest on different accounts.

Savings could be used to:

  • prepare for future investment, e.g., expansion or buying vehicles or equipment
  • improve your business’s financial profile to help secure future requests for a loan or funding
  • pay unexpected expenses
  • pay business taxes such as income tax, corporation tax at the end of the year or VAT at the end of the quarter.

Bookkeeping 101: Nail your financial statements

Getting your financial statements in good shape could help with:

  • keeping records of payments and negotiating credit and payment terms
  • invoicing, managing your debtors, tracking expenses
Here are some examples of several types of records that could help with your financial staments:

A quick guide to keeping an eye on your finances

Eight problems for cash-flow forecasting and their solutions

1. Do you know what’s going in and out of your bank account?

Make a habit of regular cash-flow monitoring, this could help seasonal businesses in particular. Go back over the last year to help predict your upcoming forecast.


2. Sales can vary – are they online, cash or trade sales? They may be paid within different time frames.

Make sure you keep a realistic record of sales and cash.


3. Fixed overheads such as salaries and buildings rent are paid every month and year, while variable overheads might depend on production and sales.

Ensure both types are included in a cash-flow forecast so you can stay on top of capital requirements.


4. Customers who are late with business payments have a huge effect on cash flow.

Review your trade debtors (customers who owe you money). If they’re consistently late, do you still want to do business with them?


5. Customers are more likely to pay what is owed if the process is straightforward.

Simplify customer payments. Can they pay by bank transfer or credit card, for example, rather than by cheque?


6. Payment terms should be transparent and consistent from the start.

Set out consistent quotes, invoices and contracts with your payment deadlines from day one.


7. Open communication could lead to compromise on payment terms.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate with both creditors (who you owe money to) and debtors. Can a part payment be made?

Explain the situation to your creditors if you’re feeling the pressure. A short-term loan could bridge a period of tight cash flow.

Speak to your bank, family and friends but don’t borrow more than you can pay back - and build the repayments into your forecast.


8. Economic indicators like high energy prices or inflation may affect cash flow.

Keep an eye on economic headwinds and think about how you could budget for the knock-on effect. Equally, remember change could provide opportunities for sales, so it’s good to be prepared.

Tackle your taxes

Discover how to stay on top of your taxes so your future plans could become reality.

We (NatWest Group plc) can't accept responsibility for any decisions or actions you take based on this article. It’s for information only and not meant to offer specific advice. And although we think it’s reliable, we haven’t independently checked all the information in it.  You also shouldn’t copy the article anywhere without our consent. All views and forecasts in it are ours and can change.

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