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Business Banking – Keeping Your Accounts Healthy
There’s no room for complacency when it comes to running a business, and running your account is no different. You should check your statements carefully, and have a periodic review of the market to make sure your account is still the best one for your needs.
New accounts and special offers crop up all the time, and it may be worth your while to change banks. You can also point out the competition’s rates when negotiating terms with your own bank – often these are flexible and a bank may offer you improved rates if you hint that you are considering taking your business elsewhere. Stay on top of bank charges, and if any show on your account that you do not understand, contact the British Bankers’ Association for more detailed explanations on charges and interest: www.bba.org.uk
There are ways to minimise charges and run your account as smoothly as possible:
1. Automate Your Account
If you have frequent customers, you could encourage them to make payments by direct debit or standing order. The more electronic payments you have, the fewer charges you will incur. The same goes for your expenses – try to use automated services for all your regular payments.
2. Bank Online
If your bank account has online facilities, make use of them. It is both more efficient and cost effective. Larger businesses may be offered ‘PC banking’, which involves special software being installed on your accounting computer, so that your accounting system is linked directly to your bank.
If you find yourself struggling, for example if cash is short and it’s becoming difficult to meet the repayments on your loan, the best course of action is to visit your bank and renegotiate your account. You should do your best not to exceed any overdraft limit that has been agreed, and stick to the terms of your account. If you break the terms of your agreement there can be stiff penalties, such as referral fees and administration costs.
If you accept a cheque which then bounces, you will lose the money owed to you and also incur a charge. Be sure to write the number of the cheque guarantee card on the back of all cheques
You should also keep your records scrupulously accurate – noting all transactions and crosschecking your records with your bank statements. Not only will this mean you can query any discrepancies, but it will make filling in your tax return much quicker and easier!
About the Author: Joe Kenny writes for CardGuide.co.uk, with the latest 0% balance transfers, and more credit info in the credit card guide.
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