Businesses and households are encouraged to curb spending and to grow their savings. File image. Picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko
Businesses and households are encouraged to curb spending and to grow their savings. File image. Picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Individuals and businesses urged to prioritise saving amid ongoing Covid-19 challenges

By Norman Cloete Time of article published Jul 25, 2021

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Johannesburg - As July draws to a close, the South African Savings Institute (SASI) is reminding South Africans about the importance of saving, especially given the trying financial circumstances many individuals and businesses are in on the back of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Gary Epstein, managing director at EasyBiz Technologies, the partner for QuickBooks Online, said saving is important for businesses and individuals, and that cash flow management is critical for their survival.

“Many businesses are still travelling the road to financial recovery, with stricter lockdowns continuing to be proverbial potholes that hinder their progress. As the third wave of the pandemic continues to crest across several provinces in the country, people need to be vigilant in ensuring adequate cash-flow reserves are available, particularly as we head into the latter half of 2021,” he said.

The finance guru said all businesses and people should plan to build up cash reserves and that for many, this practice has been their saving grace, ensuring business continuity in the face of lockdown measures over the past year.

“Businesses need to commit to doing all they can to save money each month, and those that make use of accounting solutions can make the process of finance and expenditure monitoring that much easier, thanks to third-party add-ons.

He added that many businesses have successfully adopted the practice of remote working, which means they are well-positioned to review the need for large and expensive office space. With some businesses still recuperating from the troubles of 2020, expenses need to be monitored and, where possible, trimmed.

Businesses especially are encouraged to ensure they have a thorough invoicing strategy to reduce instances of having to chase customers for payments, and businesses should instil a sense of being direct and fair with customers, Epstein said.

“Businesses that are not confident in their financial aptitude should consider investing in reputable accounting software, which will offer them peace of mind, as well as the ability to forecast cash flow for future opportunities.

“Software solutions such as QuickBooks Online can simplify the accounting process, and provide customers with the tools and resources they need to stay ahead of the competition,” he said.

Epstein concludes that while the majority of industries have experienced hardships in recent times, instilling cash-flow management measures, such as these, will allow for greater financial freedom in the coming years.

South African businesses are being affected by several challenges, such as the third wave of the pandemic which has resulted in stricter lockdown restrictions and, of course, the riots which took place last week in Gauteng and KZN.

Epstein has provided some tips for businesses and households to curb spending and to grow their savings:

• Cancel non-essential monthly subscriptions and Services

• Reduce or stop unnecessary personal and business travel.

• Businesses must negotiate better deals, individuals can do the same.

• Marketing for businesses is one of the highest costs – try to reduce and streamline marketing expenditure. Use your customers to market your business.

• By optimising your time, you will generate more income and be able to save more.

• If you are a business or an individual, reduce unnecessary general expenses

Epstein reminded South Africans about the importance of saving for unexpected expenses, retirement, business expansion and that it’s key for business owners to take the place of employing someone to perform whatever function/s are needed.

The Saturday Star

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