4 Payroll Financing Options for Payday Emergencies

One of the most unsettling feelings you can have as a business owner is to find yourself low on funds when it’s time to run payroll. While it’s very stressful, the first thing you should know is that this happens. Second, there are payroll financing options created just for small businesses who’ve gone through the exact same thing.

New businesses often struggle with cash flow. An established business could suddenly be hit with a large, unexpected expense or for some businesses it’s because your outstanding invoices haven’t come in as quickly as needed. In fact, this post was inspired by conversations with several SlickPie customers.

If not having enough money to make payroll was really rare, these payroll financing options would never have been created. (Note: While it’s good to know you have options, it’s even better to not have to use them.)

What you should do once you realize you can’t make payroll

To start, you should figure out how much time you have before you need the money for your payroll. This will help you determine which payroll funding option is the best for your business. Using free expense management software like SlickPie can help you take care of that.

Then, you should also communicate with your staff and let them know what’s happening and that you’re looking for a solution. Even if it’s only one day before payday.

If you’re worried about causing panic by telling your staff that you have a cash flow shortage, think of how much worse it will be if you “surprise” them on payday. Consider that, in the United States alone, 71% of workers said it would be hard to pay the bills if their checks were even a little late.

If things get down to the wire and you’re using a payroll provider, you should also give them a call to let them know what’s happening. If you’re making an honest effort to solve the problem, you’re less likely to get listed as a credit risk for insufficient funds. Depending on your provider, they might also be able to offer suggestions. Again, we emphasize, this happens to a lot of small businesses.

What you need to know about payroll funding for small business

Because payroll financing requires a quick turnaround, the best options are short- to medium-term loans, a business line of credit or invoice factoring. Sometimes you may hear one or all of these options classified as payroll loans. All are conveniently offered by online lenders.

If you’re wondering why a traditional small business loan is usually not your best choice when you’re looking for payroll financing, it’s because of the lengthy application and approval process that’s required.

Using short-term loans to fund payroll

A short-term payroll loan will help you finance your payroll within two to three business days or sometimes as little as one business day. If you choose this option, plan to pay the loan back within 12 months and expect to have a higher interest rate.

Using medium-term loans to cover the cost of payroll

If you have up to five business days (a week) before you need payroll financing, you can look into a medium-term loan. With a medium-term payroll loan, you’ll have a longer application and approval process. However, as a result, you’ll have up to five years to pay the amount back. Your interest rates will also be a little lower than with a short-term payroll loan.

Using a business line of credit to finance payroll

If you think there’s a good chance you might have to use payroll financing more than once in the near future, you might want to consider a business line of credit. More of a long-term solution, a business line of credit provides you with a set amount of money that you can access as need. You also only pay interest on the money you take out.

While business lines of credits are available through traditional banks, they’re much more time-consuming and harder to qualify for than if you apply for one by going through an online lender. Depending on the online lender, you may also be approved in as little as one business day.

Using invoice factoring to cover payroll

If you’re a business-to-business company, you may also be able to sell one of your unpaid invoices in order to finance payroll. This is called invoice factoring. What a purchaser (factor) will do is offer to buy your invoice at a percentage of its value. The factor then gives you the money and collects their funds when the invoice is paid by the customer.

Although the invoice faction is a well-established funding option, there are several variations on this model. When you search for a company that offers invoice factoring, make sure you understand how it works and what the terms will be.

As the main variable in qualifying for invoice factoring is the quality of your invoice, invoice factoring is also a good option for new business-to-business companies who may not have an established credit history.

Do your homework researching payroll financing options

Even if you’re in a hurry, you want to research your payroll financing options, comparing:

  • Approval time — how long it takes to get approved.
  • Time to receive funds — how long it takes to get the money after approval.
  • Available amounts — how much you can get.
  • Payback period — how long you have to pay the money back.
  • APR — annual percentage rate (interest rate).

You’ll also want to find out what financial and business information you’ll need to provide in order to qualify, such as a credit history, annual revenue and how long you’ve been in business.

How to avoid needing payroll financing in the first place

Again, no one ever intentionally plans to have a gap in their cash flow. In business as in life, we all learn as we go. This is why learning how to read and understand your business financials is so vitally important.

Small business owners come from a range of backgrounds, including varying levels of financial knowledge. But, if you know that accounting isn’t your strength, find a trusted accountant and bookkeeper to help you manage your books. With cloud-based accounting tools, like SlickPie, this process is even easier than ever before.

Even if reading financial statements doesn’t come naturally, every bit of knowledge that you give yourself makes a world of difference. By regularly reviewing how the money flows in and out of your business, you’ll get a better understanding of the ebbs and flows unique to your business.

For instance, if you run a seasonal business and through monitoring your financials, you know that March is always a slow month, you can then plan ahead by setting funds aside from peak periods, adjusting inventory and reducing shifts for hourly workers.

One final tip — always pay your payroll taxes

Whenever you use a payroll financing to solve a shortage of funds, make sure you also pay your payroll taxes. Payroll taxes are the sums that employers take out of employee paychecks, such as income tax and various social programs, depending on the country.

As payroll taxes are taxes, you’ll only be adding to your woes if you fall behind on your payments. The tax authorities in charge are not lenders and interest on late payments compounds quickly.

If you’re already taking on interest from a loan, you don’t want to make things worse by falling out of grace with the tax authorities. When you have to use payroll financing, borrow enough money to cover every aspect of your payroll. That way you only have to pay interest to one entity instead of several.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure — but’s also good to be prepared

While everyone wants to avoid mistakes or cash flow shortages, they happen. No matter how rigorous you’ve been with your financials. Knowing that there are payroll financing options, like short- and medium-term loans, a business line of credit or invoice factoring, is the first step in being prepared — should the worst ever happen.

If you’re startup or micro-business looking for free online accounting software, check out SlickPie.

This article is intended to be informational only and does not replace the expertise that comes from working with an accountant, bookkeeper or financial professional.

For more small business advice, see some of our top posts:

Simple Bookkeeping Tips to Help Small Business Owners

The Advantages of Starting Your Own Business


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5 Tips on How to Start a Business

Starting a business is not something you can easily do like reading a book or cooking an omelet; it takes time, effort, dedication, and planning. Much like raising a child, starting a business needs care and attention from the start to grow up into something successful. Here are 5 tips to help get you started on the right path.

Create a simple plan

With your business just starting off, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and plan every little detail such as the colors of your new chairs and your website aesthetic. Before you go in depth, make sure you have a basic outline which outlines your goals, objectives, and strategies to make them happen.

Don’t go too deep into it yet as you may not have the time and resources to follow through with everything you put down, which is why it’s important to highlight the key components of your business.

Set a realistic budget

When creating a budget, you need to take into consideration how much is your income, and how much are your expenses. With those two factors in mind, then it makes it easier to find a better, realistic way to keep your finances in check.

A good way to see what your budget would be is to plan it out; write down all your expenses and write down how much it would take away from your income. With that, then you have an idea of how much you generally would need to spend.

Keep an eye on you savings account

Saving money in a business is just as important as spending it. Although spending your money on expenses and liabilities is essential to survive, you would also need to save it to thrive. In general, you would need some money left for miscellaneous things such as a spur of the moment computer or money for a new AC.

When starting your business, try not to spend as much for stuff like that because there is a high chance that you wouldn’t quite be making a profit yet, so it’s important to have as much backup as possible put in the savings account!

Make a neat website

Over 80% of the population in America has an internet connection. That means that more than two hundred million people may be able to see your website and business which means more potential customers.

It is important when starting a business that you have a website for future clients and consumers have access to your product, whatever it is. You will be able to reach out beyond your physical abilities and meet more people who may need whatever you’re selling. A website is an essential tool where you can showcase your product, goals, and yourself.

Reach your audience out

When starting off, it is highly unlikely you will have a huge army of consumers who are helping you make an immense profit right away. It is also highly unlikely you will have excess money for robust advertising and marketing as well, which brings us to our last point; reach your audience out.

There are many home marketing ways to which you can put yourself out there without spending too much such as putting up flyers around your local area, writing on business blog posts about your business and potentially asking other bloggers to write about you.

All these small things will build up and help you gain more profit and recognition, which you can, later on, ameliorate when you have enough money, time and resources.

Now start putting these tips into practice today and launch your own business! Good luck!



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The Benefits of Accounting Software for Freelancers

If there is one aspect of business that most freelancers and small business owners tend to struggle with the most, is the accounting side of things. If you wish to ensure that your business is a success, you must make sure that your books, accounts, and finances, are in order.

By failing to keep a handle on your accounts and books, not only are you running the risk of losing money, you are also setting yourself up for more work, as well as running the risk of getting on the wrong side of the taxman, and nobody wants that.

By submitting late or incorrect accounts for your financial year, you may receive a penalty fine, or in extreme cases, criminal charges if there is any suspicion of fraud having been committed.

The good news, however, is that, no matter how much you may struggle with accounts and business finances, thanks to modern technology, you can now make use of online accounting software.

More and more people are embracing online accounting software, often ones based in the cloud, and are never looking back. To help you get a handle on your finances, here’s a look at the benefits associated with online accounting software.

Work whilst on the move

One of the most rewarding things about becoming a freelancer, is the fact that your office could be somewhere in your home, your garden, your shed, your local coffee house, or anywhere else for that matter, and you don’t have to be tied down to an office job.

Basically, providing you have power, a phone signal, and an internet connection, you could potentially be working away, and earning money in the process.

The problem with outdated pieces of accounting software, however, was that they could only typically be accessed from one device, meaning that you had to be in the office, in front of said computer, in order to utilize the software.

This could be very annoying, especially if you’d left the office, only to remember you needed to check some figures on your accounts, and subsequently had to rush back to the office because you could only access your books on the one computer.

With online cloud-based accounting software, however, this is not an issue.

With cloud-based accounting software, you can access your finances and books from virtually anywhere in the world, providing you had an internet connection.

This means that if you want to update your spreadsheets, you can do so from anywhere, on any device, including phones and tablets, rather than being tied down to just the one computer.

Save yourself time

In the business world, time is money, and as a freelancer, if you aren’t working, you aren’t getting paid. Remember, most freelance gigs work on a pay per job basis so there will be no salary or hourly rates.

The more time you can save, the more work you can do, and subsequently, the more money you will make.

Online accounting software is very beneficial in this instance because it allows you to save time as there will be no need for you to create and send invoices, payment reminders, and so on because automated cloud-based accounting software will take care of things for you.

The software will automatically create invoices for you and send them to your designated clients, on dates whenever you like.

For example, if you wish to invoice a client every 7 days, rather than creating a new invoice once per week, you can sit back and allow the software to automatically generate and send over this invoice to the client, for you.

Needless to say, the more clients you have, the more time this will save, so online accounting software is certainly well worth looking into if time is against you.

Keep track of your books in real time

Another great thing about online cloud-based accounting software is the fact that using it will allow you to keep track of your books and finances in real time.

The software will provide you with automated financial feeds allowing you to keep an eye on the balance sheet of your business, as well as your incomings and outgoings.

It should be up-to-date, so if a payment does come in, it will show up right away, rather than several hours, even days, later, as was the case previously with certain bank accounts.

This is very beneficial because it ensures you can keep a handle on your finances down to the second, so you know what is coming in, and what is going out.

Safe and secure

Obviously, when you’re dealing with online financial matters, it is very important to ensure that everything is safe and secure. Cyber criminals are becoming smarter by the day, but so is anti-theft software and technology.

When you utilize cloud-based online accounting software, you needn’t worry about safety and security because all of your data will be backed up on a secure and 100% safe server based in the cloud.

Everything is backed up, so if you were to lose something important, there would be no reason to panic as you could simply access the cloud, refer back to the latest backup, and access whatever you needed from there.

In the past, a computer crash could have been catastrophic for a freelancer in the middle of an important task, but now, thanks to regular backups performed via the cloud, they are nothing more than a mild inconvenience.

Provide access and permission to other people

Many freelancers and small business owners actually hire a professional accountant and let them handle all of their finances for them.

If you decide to do the same, you can grant your accountant access and permission the cloud so that they can access your books and finances from anywhere, leaving you to get on with your work, rather than having to confer back and forth between one another.

Now put these tips into practice and get paid faster today with SlickPie!




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Must Have Tools for Small Businesses

In the business world, only the strong survive and if you’re a small business owner you may find it tougher than ever to make your business stand out amongst the rest.

Of course, all businesses have to begin somewhere, but one thing we can all agree on is the fact that starting a new business is tough.

Starting a new business is tough, there’s no escaping that, but if you know what you’re doing and have access to the right tools and software, everything will run a heck of a lot smoother.

To help ensure you get your business off on the right foot, here’s a look at some of the most vital must have tools for small businesses.


Accounting software for small businesses is vital, yet finding a reliable piece can be troublesome. For small businesses with slightly more basic accounting needs, SlickPie Free Accounting Software is perfect.

It has many accounting tools one would need, all condensed into simple to use program.  With SlickPie, users have a variety of different features that will aid them in in the process as well as save a great deal of time.

There is also a bonus feature that is exclusive to SlickPie, MagicBot, in which a business owner can save hours of work by taking a simple photo that the program will decipher and digitalize itself.

Google Analytics

Up first we have perhaps the most important tool of all; Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a user-friendly statistics tool for businesses that helps break down the online side of things in regards to your business.

With Google Analytics, users can view percentage differences in traffic drivers, they can see which parts of the world their site has been viewed, they can view key numbers, and so much more, all broken down clearly in a series of graphs and charts so you can get a general overview of your website as a whole.

For example, you can see how many hits your site has received on a specific day, plus you can see where they came from. If you want a general overview of your website, Google Analytics is perfect for you.


For small business owners, DropBox is essential, especially if you are trying to juggle multiple things at once. With DropBox, users can link up virtually between any and all devices connected to the internet, making it perfect for small business owners that are constantly on the go.

Based in the cloud, DropBox allows users to save documents, images, video clips, and more, all onto their specially designed DropBox account, on whichever device they like.

What’s more, not only can they save their things from wherever they like, they can also access them from wherever they want. Also, it is possible to share files and documents with other users, in a matter of seconds.

You can easily organize your documents and folders, making your life that little bit easier and saving you a great deal of time in the process.


Skype is one of the most popular tools ever created for businesses both large and small, and it continues to improve with each passing year. Skype is perfect because it has literally changed the way we communicate with one another, especially via long distances.

Skype is essentially a video-chatting piece of software that can also be used simply as a phone service if users would prefer. With Skype, users merely call other users on their Skype accounts, and can then chat away for as long as they would like.

Skype allows you to communicate with people anywhere in the world, all the while eliminating extraordinarily high phone charges commonly associated with overseas calls.

However, is not just for chatting, it also allows you to share documents and files even while you’re in the middle of a call. Skype is a very welcome business tool for all businesses, and if you are not yet utilizing it, you are missing out big.


LinkedIn is a platform that has revolutionized the way small businesses source talent for their companies. LinkedIn provides business owners with access to a wide range of networks which will allow them to scout for talent, post job vacancies, seek out services/recommendations, and much more besides.

The great thing about LinkedIn is the fact that not only can users access their own specific networks, but they can also access the networks of any existing contacts they may have as well.

This opens up a whole world of possibilities in terms of sourcing talent and posting job advertisements. If you wish to focus on manpower and employee efficiency, LinkedIn is ideal.



As a business owner, no matter what size your business may be, there is a very strong chance that you will have seriously considered blogging to help expand your reach and grow your list of prospective customers. WordPress is arguably the most popular hosting platform in the entire world.

There is a free version, and there is also hosted WordPress, so consider which one is best for your needs and goals.

If for example, you plan on really boosting your SEO and using blogging as a means of marketing and advertising your website, the hosted WordPress version may be worth purchasing.

If however, you simply plan on putting up the odd blog post here and there to give your followers something to read now and then, the free WordPress variant may be more to your liking.

There are millions of templates to choose from, plus you can personalize plug-ins and add-ons until you find one that best suits your own specific site layout and requirement.

Put very simply, if you plan on hosting a blog of any sort, WordPress is a must-have.

Now put these tips into practice and get paid faster today with SlickPie!


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Accounting Tips for Start-Ups

As a start-up, you will be looking to give your new business venture the greatest chances possible of succeeding, and why wouldn’t you? Getting ahead in the business world is now tougher than ever so you will need all of the help you can get to ensure your start-up goes on to become a raging success.

Statistics show that as many as 80% of new business ventures fail within the first year. On the flip side, however, if you’re doing things right and can keep going for two years, statistically, you are far more likely to succeed.

When you start a new small business, it can be very easy to find yourself overwhelmed as there are so many aspects to consider. Not only do you have to figure out a business plan, provide products/services etc, but you also need to be good with numbers.

In business, the financial side of things are incredibly important, so if figures aren’t your strong point, you may wish to go ahead and invest in some good quality accounting software.

Whilst we’re on the subject of accounting software and accounting in general, here are some effective accounting tips for start-ups, so take a look below and see what you think.

Begin with the basics

As a start-up, you are, as the name implies, starting from the basics, so now is not the time to get lavish with the credit card and business loans. To help keep your finances and your accounts in check, start lean and build your way up.

Only you will know which equipment and office space your business needs, but just make sure that you cover all of the basics, without going over the top. You ideally want to consider each purchase you make as an investment, rather than a purchase, and in order to see a return on your investment, your expenses want to be fairly low.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should cut corners and go with, say, pre-owned computers that out-date ancient dinosaurs that once roamed the earth, but it also doesn’t mean you should buy the most expensive computers on the market either. Find out what you need, and look for devices that meet your specified criteria, without any fancy bells and whistles to bump up the price tag.

Hire an accountant

When a lot of small businesses are just starting out, they are wary of spending too much money because they aren’t making money as they are not yet trading. However sometimes in business, as the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money.

When it comes to making an important purchase, hiring an accountant is one of the best business decisions you will ever make. Remember, keeping your books in order is going to be a time consuming, stressful, highly frustrating experience for you; plus there is no guarantee that you will be doing things right.

However, f you hand things over to a professional, they will be able to take care of things for you. A pro accountant will make use of accounting software, they will know how to balance your books, they will ensure you file your taxes correctly, and they will be able to offer helpful advice in the process.

Although by hiring an accountant you are having to pay them for their services, you are also getting a great deal of stress lifted from your shoulders.

Try to build up your cash

This is,  of course, easier said than done; if you do have any spare cash left over, experts recommend saving at least 3 months’ worth of operating expenses to help keep you going through the next few months, as the business will most likely be slow to pick up in the early stages.

It is also important to have proper mediums of payment. Remember, statistically, the first twelve months are crucial and if you can make it to two years, you are far more likely to succeed.

Make use of accounting software

Accounting software is incredibly beneficial in terms of keeping your business finances and accounts in order. To manage your books, it’s no good logging into your mobile banking app on your phone each night and scrolling through a list of incomings and outgoings.

If you want to get a handle on your accounts and finances, accounting software is ideal. As mentioned, a professional accountant will almost certainly utilize accounting software, but for times when they aren’t on hand, this software will make life incredibly easier for you.

You can utilize it to track your incomings and outgoings, you can set up and manage your invoices, you can send over payment reminders, plus you can easily manage your client lists.

Yes, modern technology is a wondrous thing in the business world, and with accounting software, this is a prime example of why that is.

Create a budget and stick with it

If you wish to stand any chance of succeeding when it comes to managing your accounts and finances, you must ensure you create a budget and that you actually adhere to it whenever possible. No matter how tempting it is, do not even consider spending a single penny unless it is planned for and can be accounted for.

You need to ensure that you know where you intend for your money to go in advance, so basically this means that you should never make any spur of the moment decisions based on spending which you have failed to plan for. Of course, there will be times when you have to spend money which you didn’t budget for, that is the nature of the beast.

This is where it pays to have saved and built up your cash for the proverbial rainy day. By creating and sticking to a budget, you can keep your accounts and finances in order far easier, because you know where your money is going.

This is where it pays to have saved and built up your cash for the proverbial rainy day. By creating and sticking to a budget, you can keep your accounts and finances in order far easier because you know where your money is going.

Now put these tips into practice and get paid faster today with SlickPie!



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How to Create an Invoice as a Freelancer

As a freelancer, it doesn’t matter which services and/or products you are offering, if you fail to invoice correctly, you run the risk of not getting paid, and that is obviously a huge disaster. As a freelancer, you are of course working for yourself, so you essentially, are your own brand.

This means that first impressions matter, and in the business world, perception is a reality. This basically means that, no matter how great your services and/or products are if you come across as amateurish to your clients and prospective clients, this is how they will perceive you.

On the flipside, if you come across as professional, that is exactly how they will view you, which will increase your chances of being hired. You may not realize it, but creating an invoice can make a real difference. Here’s a look at how to create an invoice as a freelancer.

Include a professional-looking header

When you do decide to create an invoice for the first time, this will be both an exciting, yet daunting time. The very first thing you need to include a professional-looking header.

This should include your business name, or your full name is that is how you are trading, in a font that is easy to read, large, and professional. Many freelancers actually decide to bold the font so that is certainly worth considering.

Once you have this included you should then include your email, a contact number, a website address, and perhaps even a mailing address as well. Many freelancers will write this info out similarly to how they would address a letter to be posted. If you have your own logo or your own brand colors, you may even wish to include these in the header.

Make sure you include invoice details

On your invoice, you should also be sure to include the invoice details. This is because it will make it much easier for you, and your client, to keep track of important info about the invoice.

For example, you will need to include the date the invoice was created, the invoice number, the payment due date, and of course, the amount owed. Try to keep things simple for future reference. How you date the invoice is down to you, though most companies will give 30 days for payment to be made.

If however, you wish to receive payment sooner, you can include a ‘due upon receipt’ section, which basically means that the invoice must be paid as soon as the recipient receives it.

Include payment preferences

When creating an invoice, you also need to make sure you include your payment preferences clearly, so your client knows how they should pay you. For example, if you wish to be paid via PayPal, or Stripe, you should include Payment preference: PayPal, etc.

If you prefer a direct bank wire transfer, your banking details should be included on your invoice, as the client will obviously need these in order to transfer you your payment.

Include your contact details 

This is often overlooked when freelancers create an invoice, yet it is very important and can make life a great deal easier for you later down the line. Here you need to be clear with who the invoice is being paid to, you need to include their contact info, the name of the recipient, and any other info which may be deemed as helpful.

Include a breakdown of the services you provided

Many pieces of accounting software actually simplify this process by allowing you to manually enter the services and/or products you offered, and to then store this info for future reference.

If you create invoices manually, however, you will need to include this info yourself, or perhaps create a template. If you always provide the same services, this is fairly easy because the services will always be the same. If you provide different services, however, I.E copywriting, editing, blog writing, etc, you will need to ensure that you are clear with what you are providing.

Include a column for the description of the services/work you provided, the date, the quantity, the price per item, total price, hours worked, and so on. You should make things as clear to understand as possible, as this will help you tally up total hours/total earnings, without getting confused or mixed up.

Let your client know in advance when you intend to invoice

As a freelancer, it is obviously in your interest to get your work done to a high standard as soon as possible, as that way you can get your invoice sent right over.

Though technically you can invoice whenever you like, there is no guarantee that a client will pay you upon receipt, so it is best to be clear in advance. Before you begin work for a client, agree, in writing, on payment/invoicing preferences.

If you intend on invoicing for payment upon receipt, make sure you let the client know this in advance, and make sure they are okay with this. If they aren’t, ask them what they would prefer. Whether you prefer weekly, monthly, bi-weekly, or anything else, it’s important you let the client know in advance, as this way you will avoid any discrepancies or nasty surprises.

If you utilize accounting software, again, let them know that they will automatically be invoiced on a certain date, and if said date is no good to them, figure out one that will be.

Now start invoicing for free and get paid faster!



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5 Best Ways to Get Paid Online

The Internet is truly a wondrous invention. If three decades ago, you’d told people you could earn money virtually, via a computer, they would have looked at you as if you’d lost your mind. Yet here we are, with more and more of us now receiving online payments than ever before.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a freelancer or a business owner, there’s a good chance that you receive payment, at least in part, online. But exactly what are the best ways to get paid online? Well, in truth, there is no right or wrong way, as different people prefer different methods.

For example, nowadays, some people earn their money and are paid in digital currency, such as in BitCoin form. Others, however, prefer a good old fashioned, tried and tested bank transfer. Some of you out there reading this, may not actually care how you are paid, providing you receive your money, but you should.

Here’s a look at several of the most popular and most efficient ways to get paid online, so take a look and see what you think.

Credit cards and debit cards – First and foremost, we’ll begin by looking at credit and debit card payments. If you’re a larger business, as well as making use of the various forms of accounting software currently available, you may also wish to enable your clients to pay you via credit card or debit card.

Now, if you do decide that this feature is for your business, you will need to decide whether you wish to use an intermediary holding account, or your very own dedicated merchant account. Whichever one you choose, will be based on a variety of different things, so do your research.

Ideally, you want one which will accept all major credit cards, including Visa, American Express, and MasterCard. If you go with credit and debit card payments, there is the bonus of the fact that payments can often be made right away, plus, as virtually every single person you deal with will own one card or the other, there will be no excuses for not receiving a payment.

Click-to-pay email invoice – Accounting software is now becoming more advanced than ever, and when it comes to invoicing your clients, you will instantly understand why that is. Nowadays we have what is known as click-to-pay email invoicing, which is where your client will be sent and invoice, and will then be able to pay you with a few simple clicks.

This is ideal for you and them because they can pay in seconds, you can receive payment in seconds, and they can instantly receive a receipt in the process. This payment method helps streamline your entire operation, plus it helps with security, it saves time, and it is better for the environment as it is paperless.

PayPal – You’ve heard of PayPal, right? Of course you have, everybody in the world pretty much knows about PayPal, and of course, PayPal is certainly a very viable method for receiving payment. With PayPal, funds can be taken from your account to make payment.

This could be a PayPal account, or the account itself can be linked to your bank account so it will automatically remove the funds for you. You then send the money to the recipient of your choice, often via their email address, and they then simply accept the payment and hold it in their account.

PayPal is simple, it is quick, and it is dominant, as pretty much everybody in the business world will own a PayPal account. PayPal is simple but there are processing fees as PayPal obviously have to take their cut, so you do not receive the total amount you have invoiced for, as you obviously have to pay your PayPal fees. With that being said, their charges are very reasonable, and using it does make life that little bit easier.

Stripe – When it comes down to the battle of the online payment gateway giants, it is often Stripe VS PayPal that people tend to focus on. Just as we have Apple VS Samsung we also have Stripe VS PayPal.

The thing that tends to make stripe more appealing than PayPal for some people, is the fact that Stripe charge 2.9% + 30cents for every successful charge. This is the same rate as PayPal, except for the fact that PayPal sometimes decides to throw in additional fees.

For example, with PayPal, if you charge cards from your website, you pay $30 per month, whereas with Stripe it is free. For recurring billing, with Stripe it is free, whereas with PayPal you pay another $10 per month. There are also many other small charges with PayPal, which, although small, do quickly build up. For these reasons, if you are a fairly small business, Stripe could be the better option for you.

Bank wire transfer – You can talk about advanced accounting software all you like, but sometimes, a simple bank wire transfer is all that is needed. With this, you simply provide your clients with your account sort code and bank account code, and they then simply send money from their account, over to yours.

Whilst this is considered very simple and straightforward, the biggest concern with this is the fact that people are in possession of your account number and sort code. Whilst this alone is nowhere near enough to be deemed dangerous in terms of being hacked etc, if they were also able to gain access to your bank card or pin for whatever reasons, they would theoretically have access to your entire account. As you’re probably aware, however, the chances of this ever happening to you are incredible, incredibly slim so truthfully, there is very little to worry about at all.

Now put these tips into practice and get paid faster with SlickPie!



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Why Automated Receipt Data Entry Works

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a new small business owner, the owner of a huge corporation, or a freelancer looking to expand your reach and grow your client list, if there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s the fact that you simply must ensure you have your finances in order.

All businesses, no matter how big or small, will have numerous aspects of their finances to consider, and when it comes to your finances, you simply cannot afford to cut corners or take any risks. Pretty much every business out there will be familiar with accounts payable and why it’s such a pain in the backside getting your receipts and finances in order.

This, however, is why accounting software and automated receipt data entry tools are so popular. Sending out invoices, chasing up discrepancies and missed payments, and general inefficiencies regarding your billing processes can make life much, much tougher than it needs to be.

This is where it pays to automate your accounts payable processes. In the world that is becoming increasingly reliant on modern technology, it pays to stay with the times rather than being stuck in the past. With that said, if you haven’t yet embraced automated receipt data entry, here are a few benefits associated with automated payable processes.

Paperless – If you have not yet gone paperless, you will only be able to fight natural progression for so long, before you eventually forced to do so in one way or another. Switching to paperless, however, is not a challenge, it is actually a reward as there are numerous benefits to enjoy.

Not only are you helping the environment, but you are also helping your business in general. You see, by getting rid of paper, you make info available right away. Take receipts for example, with paper receipts, if your clients require one from you, you will have to send them out, which takes time, effort, and money.

With automated receipt data entry, however, the receipt is digital, so it can be sent to them virtually and can be viewed instantly. This will cut back on manual labor, you will save money in the form of less paper being used, fewer postage costs, less electricity being used on printing, and less printer ink constantly being used. Ultimately, you get all of the rewards, with none of the drawbacks.

Keep your finances in order – Another very useful benefit associated with automated receipt data entry is the fact that it will allow you to keep your finances in order. Whether you make use of accounting software yourself, or if you pay an expert to handle your books for you, with everything being automated and digital, keeping things more efficient and better organized is easier than ever before.

Everything will be available to you with just a few clicks of a mouse so you will save time, and you can keep everything neat and tidy. If for example, you are being audited, rather than having to dig through mountains upon mountains of receipts for the tax man, you can simply hop onto your computer or smart device, and find whatever it is you need to find, all in a matter of seconds.

Less room for error – Let’s face it, we’re all human and we all make mistakes, that is what sets us apart from machines. However, in business, human error can cost money, and can potentially be catastrophic.

When it comes to your invoices for example, if you’re going with a paper-invoicing approach, these invoices must be filed by hand and entered into various types of the accounting system. If for example, this piece of paper was lost or even stolen, it will take time, money, and effort to put things right. In business, time is money, so it pays to have everything as streamlined and as efficient as possible.

With accounting software, automated accounts payable processes run smoother than ever, as it cuts back on the risks associated with human error. By going with an automated process, often you can set up the system so that, each month, without fail, it will automatically send an invoice to a client for you, for a pre-determined amount of money.

Basically, the software takes care of all of the hard work for you, so you don’t have to. This cuts down the risk of a lost invoice, duplicate invoices, incorrect invoices, or anything else associated with paper-based systems.

Improved staff efficiency – In most businesses, you will find that a lot of the time, staff members have to spend a significantly long amount of time answering telephone calls, emails, and queries in general, regarding misplaced invoices, duplicate invoices, or incorrect invoices. With automated accounting software, however, as there is a much, much smaller risk of a discrepancy, this frees up your staff members and allows them more time to focus on other aspects of your business which were perhaps deemed to be more important.

Speed things up – As mentioned, in business, time is money, so every second count. You need to receive payment for jobs well done, and if you don’t, your business may suffer. You have bills to pay like everybody else, and if your clients pay you late, or fail to pay you the correct amount, because a paper-based invoice was lost in the post, or was unreadable for whatever reasons, you then have the foot the bill some other way.

Put simply, you need paying on time to ensure you pay your bills on time, which is why automated accounting software is so useful. You see, rather than having to print out the invoices, seal them in an envelope, and take them down to be posted, you can simply set them up in advance to be sent out whenever you like.

If you invoice the same company, on the same date, for the same amount, you actually won’t need to lift a finger once you’ve set the software up to do just that. The quicker your invoices and receipts are sent out and received, obviously the better this becomes for your company.

Put these tips into practice and improve your business today!



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How to Improve Your Business Finances

When you’re in charge of running your own business, it doesn’t matter how big or small you consider the business to be, you and you solely will be responsible for every single aspect of running the business in question.

This ranges from everything from making sure you have enough paper in the office, to balancing your books and submitting your tax return each financial year. When it comes to running a business, more commonly than not, the thing that most freelancers and business owners seem to struggle with the most, is the accounting and the financial side of things, and you can see why.

You are a business owner, and you specialize in whatever it is that your business model is based around. You are not, however, an accountant or professional bookkeeper, yet in the eyes of the taxman, that is irrelevant.

Failing to have your business finances in order can make life much harder than it needs to be, plus it could cost you and your business money in the process. To help you get a handle on things, here’s a look at a few simple and effective ways of improving your business finances.

Draw up a budget – When it comes to managing the finances of your business, one of the most important things you need to know, is exactly how much you have going out each month, and what you have coming in.

Now, for freelancers, this can be tricky because like all self-employed entrepreneurs, no two financial months will be exactly the same. Some months you will make a lot, and some will be slightly quieter than others. It’s the nature of the beast, unfortunately, so obviously you won’t know exactly how much you have coming in.

When you obtain regular clients, however, and when you’ve been trading for a long time, you will, of course, get a pretty accurate idea of how much you have coming in each month. This is where it pays to draw up a budget because you can then plan accordingly for incomings and outgoings.

Every single incoming and outgoing should be accounted for, no matter how insignificant you may think it to be. This is important because seeing exactly where your money is going will give you a clearer idea of what you could potentially do to cut back on your expenses.

Fast-track the invoicing process – For businesses of any size, it’s important that you have a handle on your invoicing process because it is this process which basically ensures you get paid by your clients.

If you’re constantly having to create custom invoices, and make changes and alterations here, there, and everywhere, obviously this will slow down the invoicing process and make it tougher for you to get paid. For this reason, accounting software could prove very useful.

These forms of software are designed to help improve all aspects of your business accounts, including the invoicing process. For example, if you have regular clients whom you have to invoice at a certain date each month, the accounting software in question can be programmed to automatically send out invoices to the clients in question, whenever you like.

Basically, you program it in advance to invoice for you, so you don’t need to worry when the time does come to invoice, as it will already have been sent out for you.

Ensure clients pay on time – As a freelancer/business owner, it is down to you to chase up payment. Some clients out there will be sporadic with payment and may simply pay as and when they decide to check their emails and notice that they’ve received an invoice from you.

This, however, is far from ideal for you because not knowing when you are going to get paid will make it much harder to budget and plan your incomings and outgoings. So then, it is down to you to set your terms and ensure clients pay you on time.

Before agreeing to take on any work for the client in question, make sure they are serious about paying you on time at a predetermined date, providing you have completed the work of course. You could impose penalty charges for late payments, which obviously will be an incentive for the client to pay on time.

If they don’t, your job is to chase up the payment and find out what is happening. Now, you needn’t send the boys around with baseball bats, nor should you lose your temper or get confrontational, but as it is your money you are owed, it is down to you to ensure clients pay in full, on time.

If you do a good job and show that you are willing to accommodate them wherever possible, they will be more than happy to pay you on time anyways, because it will be in their interests to keep you happy, as they will be impressed with the work/products you have provided.

Speak to an expert – If numbers are not your strong point, don’t try cutting corners in order to save yourself the odd bit of loose change here and there. Instead, speak to a professional accountant/bookkeeper and consider hiring them to keep your finances in order instead.

These experts work will make use of the latest accounting software, they will have years of experience, and they will be highly skilled with what they do. Obviously you have to pay them in exchange for their services, and their knowledge and advice, but in the long run, doing so will save you a great deal of time, effort, and money, plus it will provide a great deal of peace of mind as you won’t need to worry about getting your taxes in on time, or submitting the wrong ones.

Only borrow what you need – Finally, the last thing you need to remember is to only borrow what you need. A lot of freelancers and small businesses will be tempted to borrow more money than what they need, though, in reality, this is not beneficial in the slightest. All money you borrow will have to be paid back eventually, and the more you borrow, the longer it will take to pay off your debts, plus the more interest you will pay.



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Useful Tips for Invoicing Your Clients

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or a large business owner, one thing we can all agree on is the fact that one of the most rewarding aspects of starting your own business, is receiving payment.

When you work for somebody else, you don’t really need to worry about getting paid, unless they happen to mess your wages up of course. More often than not, however, you either sign in and out and get paid for the hours you have worked, or you’re on salary and you will receive the same amount each month.

As a freelancer/business owner, however, your payments will be a great deal more sporadic. Rather than getting paid on, say, the last Friday of the month, each month, you get paid basically whenever your clients pay you.

Most customers are perfectly reliable and will pay you when requested, with no trouble whatsoever. Others, however, can be a little more unreliable and frustrating, which is where it pays to know how to invoice a client. If invoicing is not your strong suite, worry not, because below we’ll be outlining a few tips on how freelancers can invoice their clients efficiently and professionally.

Set up your own terms and policies – As a freelancer, the good thing is that you are your own boss, so you call the shots. You get to decide how much to charge your clients, you select the currency and payment method, and much more besides.

When invoicing, it is important to make these terms and policies clear to your clients. For example, if you are worried about clients withholding payment (more on that shortly) you could perhaps invoice half the payment up front, and the other half upon completion of the job you have been hired to do.

You could impose penalties for late or incorrect payments, and you can request payment within 7 days of completion of the task at hand. It is, however, very important that you make sure the client is made aware of these terms, and that they agree to them before you go any further. Sending late payment reminders is also one of the best ways to increase payment rate.

Stand your ground – Remember, as a freelancer, you are your own boss, so it is down to you to ensure you get paid, the full amount, on time. Some freelance clients try to dictate the market and will try to bully you into lowering your prices or threatening not to pay you whatsoever.

In these instances, it pays to stand your ground and to stand firm. Obviously, you should never become confrontational, but you must let them know that you call the shots. They need your services, which is why they have contacted you in the first place, and if they try bullying tactics, make sure you let them know that you will seek legal advice if they persist in withholding payment after you’ve completed the work. Make sure you hold onto as much documentation as you can, including email exchanges, just in case you do need to seek legal advice.

Invest in accounting software – If you have yet to invest in professional accounting software, make this your next business purchase. No, really, we mean it. Online billing and accounting software is designed to help you create professional invoices which look the part, and are also very easy to understand and monitor.

What’s more, many of these pieces of software can be setup so that they invoice automatically. This means that, if you have a client whom you invoice on the 1st of the month, every month, you can set up the software to automatically invoice them for you, on that particular day. This accounting software is also very useful because it will allow you to monitor which clients have paid, who hasn’t, and how much you received.

Organize, organize, organize – It doesn’t matter how busy you are, when it comes to invoicing, you simply must ensure that you are as well organized as you can possibly be. You must make a list of all clients you are working with, make note of whether they are regular clients or not, provide a brief job description, and of course, make note of how much they owe you.

With PayPal for example, when you create an invoice for the same client, it will automatically designate a number for that invoice, which will increase each time, starting of course, with 1. You simply cannot afford to leave anything to chance when invoicing a client as you need to know how much you are receiving, plus you will need your records when the time comes to do your taxes, or perhaps, for when you are audited.

Be polite in the event of late payments – Sometimes, no matter how great your clients may be in terms of paying on time, there will almost certainly be times where payments are received late. Now, when you’re snowed under with work, with bills to pay, and late payments to chase up, of course, you will get annoyed.

There will be a big part of you that wants to pick up the phone, or jump on your email, and give them a piece of your mind for wasting your time. However, in business, it never pays to lose your composure, so try to remain calm.

Though you may be tempted to lay into them via email, instead, send them a polite reminder that payment is late, and could they pay as soon as possible? By doing this you are letting them know that you aren’t happy, without upsetting them and potentially ruining an otherwise stellar business relationship.

Never undercharge or overcharge – Virtually all businesses are extremely competitive these days, so of course you should make your prices competitive, but you should never undercharge. Look at your competitors, look at the quality of your services/products etc, and make sure you charge accordingly.Before you get carried away, you also need to be aware that overcharging is the easiest way of losing a client you could ever wish for, so price fairly, not greedily.

Start invoicing today and get paid faster with SlickPie!



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