Changes in business conditions happen too quickly today to rely on old information. You must have real-time information to make key business decisions. Corporations like to keep inventory levels commensurate with demand, and they order and ship “just-in-time” to avoid losing customer purchases. The wrong sales and order information can throw your inventory numbers off, resulting in huge waste and spoilage in some cases. That’s where financial software can help. The numbers are maintained in real-time so you and your management team know exactly what the inventory and sales levels are, even to the latest second.

One advantage of real-time financial software is that it enables companies to make key management decisions as needed. For example, a competitor may be running a promotion that impacts your bottom line. You may notice the drop in sales for no apparent reason through your software. A further analysis may reveal that a competitor is running a frequency program that is stealing customers away. The quick access to financial information enables you time to implement a marketing strategy that combats your competitor’s promotion now–not a month from now when it’s too late.

You may also track new product introductions with this type of software. For example, your restaurant company may be introducing a new menu item and side dish in six markets. You may also be running television commercials and direct mail campaigns in those markets to test the potential success of the new menu item. In the past, you may have waited weeks to receive sales and profit information from the corporate office. Now, it can be available at your fingertips. You can enter inventory, order, shipments and returns at every entry point with financial software. Therefore, you can easily access daily and even hourly sales and traffic information for your new product introduction.

Financial software also helps you track other key expenses that could drastically reduce your profit margins. One of those expenses is labour. You can track labour in other cities from your corporate office. The software can be run through your POS system, enabling you to track your labour expenses against sales any hour of the day. Therefore, you may notice certain stores that are not watching their labour expenses as carefully as you’d like. Having the information in real time lets you address the problem today rather than next week or month.

You can also use this type of software to track your own promotions. For example, see how many people respond to an email campaign you run through your POS system. Track responses to trade journal ads that you run to market your consulting business. Lead times for ad placements can be several weeks to months in advance. The software can help you pinpoint promotions that are not pulling. Forthwith, you can use alternative advertising media to drive sales.

Don’t be left in the dark with archaic bookkeeping methods. Order the financial software your business needs today, then start using it to build your sales and profits. You competitors are probably using it.