7 Finance Trends Small Businesses Should Know

Posted by Sarah Lerche

4-minute read (800 words)

No entrepreneur has a crystal ball that can show them what will happen in the future, but most small businesses would love to get a jump on upcoming trends. That’s particularly true when it comes to their financial processes, such as banking transactions, accounting, security, payroll or anything else that involves their money.

Take a look at some of the potential upcoming trends that are only expected to strengthen as we get deeper into the decade, and determine whether it might be a good time for your business to dive into these areas of opportunity.

1. Big Data

Although big data has been in use for years now, its utility is only going to grow in the future. Financial companies and their customers are seeing the benefits of big data in making financial decisions by modeling future cash flow or market performance, predicting when big expenses may arise, and evaluating future trends. Your employees may benefit from using big data in evaluating their 401(k) options, among other uses.

2. Mobile-First Transactions

Banks are now able to handle almost all banking and financial services via a mobile format, with customers able to do things like deposit checks, make stock trades, check balances and pay bills, all through their phones. In addition, customers’ mobile devices can be the perfect source for reporting potential instances of account breaches. By texting customers right away when a potential cybersecurity attack happens, the issue can be identified and rectified quickly. Many companies are bringing their HR portals into a mobile format as well, so employees can quickly check their vacation hours, benefits and other features right from their portable devices.

3. Automated Payroll

Companies that are still handling payroll manually are potentially wasting time and setting themselves up for error-prone payment systems. Instead, the future is in using automated payroll platforms, which can make wage calculations much simpler. In addition to allowing them to calculate salary and hourly pay quickly by taking state and federal taxes and other components into consideration, automation helps them avoid the slow process of manually writing checks to their employees.

4. Enhanced Security

Businesses that deal with financial information are increasingly utilizing tools like artificial intelligence that look for outliers to ensure that fraud won’t occur. These types of programs allow financial service organizations to act immediately when fraud is suspected, and customers can be alerted swiftly of potential issues.

In addition, banking services are stepping up the cybersecurity programs they use to prevent larger-scale attacks and to keep customers’ finances well protected so hackers and other scammers aren’t able to penetrate banking systems. Financial services firms have such systems as two-step authentication and instant fraud alerts to ensure that breaches are minimized.

5. Outsourcing Financial Services

More businesses are beginning to outsource their financial services to save time and ensure that their transactions are taking place compliantly and securely. When businesses use a financial outsourcing company, they know that their transaction-level activities are being handled by experts so the business owner can free up time to handle more important responsibilities.

6. Integration Between Software Programs

Companies are still quite siloed when it comes to their software programs. While the HR department might be using one program, the benefits vertical may be on one that’s completely different, with the platforms incompatible. Going forward, businesses will see a lot more integration between software systems to improve efficiency in managing employee data and financial information.

By integrating it with payroll, business owners can pool together relevant data and easily share it across systems to generate actionable insights, such as personalized reports that include details on employees and their compensation packages, as well as applicable payroll taxes.

7. Increased Use of Cloud and AI Technologies

The days of keeping financial information on one person’s office computer are over. With cloud-based financial systems, your applicable staff members can access financial, payroll, accounting and other data in real time from anywhere. These systems also help business owners protect their on-premise financial software from cybercrime.

In today’s data-driven world, it has become important to analyze the vast amounts of financial information being generated daily. Artificial intelligence helps with that, by providing actionable insights that can help shape an organization’s finances, identify non-essential expenses and contribute to the overall success of an organization.

AI also helps with automatically classifying employees and ensuring that they are in the correct tax brackets. Additionally, AI chatbots can be employed to handle non-urgent requests from staff members.

By staying on top of these new trends on your own or by hiring an outsourcing service to handle it for you, your business can evolve with the shifting payroll landscape.

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