Money makes the world go 'round, and someone has to keep track of it. Inventory, invoices, wages, tips, taxes: There's a lot to account for when it comes to running a business in the beauty industry. These are the must-have features owners and managers should look for in a beauty salon accounting software solution.
Industry • Best Practice
Beauty Salon Accounting Software: Bank More Profit With These Must-Have Features
Balancing the books isn’t beauty salons’ primary focus, but it’s necessary to succeeding as a business. The right tech can help.
5 essential beauty salon accounting software features
1. Cash flow: understand your profits and expenses
Developing a clear understanding of the ways money moves through your business will help you increase profitability today and plan for a more successful tomorrow. Make sure your salon accounting software gives you an overview of your cash flow that spans both earnings coming in and expenses going out.
It’s also a good idea to take your own business priorities as a starting point. If you prefer a dashboard view that shows you everything at a glance, or you need to run reports that dive into specific locations or aspects of your business, make sure you have all the features you need.
Whether you crunch the numbers daily, weekly, or monthly, your salon bookkeeping software should give you a sense of the regular cadence of your cash flow. That way you’ll never be surprised by the financials that go into your basic operations.
2. Accounts receivable: money coming in
Of the two most fundamental accounting categories, accounts receivable is arguably the more exciting. The access that your beauty salon accounting software gives you to all your earnings, invoices, and money coming in fall into the accounts receivable category. Your accounting software should give you both a top-level view of all the funds you are owed during a given time period (if your beauty salon business sends invoices to partners or bills to clients, for example), and a line-by-line look at every single account that owes you money.
Getting up close and personal with your accounts receivable will make it easier to collect all the funds you’ve earned through your hard work. You and your team bend over backward to provide the best possible service to your clients and partners — make sure you don’t leave that money on the table due to something as simple as accounting oversight.
For most salon businesses, it makes sense for accounting software solutions to connect directly with the point of sale. Your salon POS system plays a critical role in collecting hard-earned cash before, during, and after you provide your clients with their desired salon services. Connecting that system back to your accounting software will make it that much easier for you to balance your books, track incomplete payments, and collect all the cash you’re due.
3. Accounts payable: money going out
It may be the less exciting category of the two, but accounts payable is just as important to good beauty business accounting. Your salon bookkeeping software should give you an equally thorough view of all the funds that you owe, whether that’s to vendors in the form of open invoices, your landlord in the form of rent, or your employees in the form of payroll.
Some accounts payable features focus on saving purchase orders, while others enable salons to track payments from getting a quote all the way through to completing payment. If you have regularly occurring business expenses, check to see if your salon accounting software supports automatic payments. That way you can make sure your critical bills get paid on time, every time, keeping you in good standing with your suppliers, your staff, and the IRS come tax season.
Tax information is especially important when it comes to your staff — if your beauty salon accounting software offers a payroll processing feature, that streamlines the process of not only how much to pay each employee, but also how much should be withheld for taxes and how much your business will owe in payroll tax. Popular platforms like Quickbooks for hair salon business, for example, roll all those accounts payable features into one tool.
4. Inventory management: stock, sales, and orders
For many beauty salons, inventory is also a major factor when it comes to accounting. That’s why many accounting software solutions for beauty and hair salons also include an inventory management feature. You should be able to track your current stock, automatically place orders with suppliers, and adjust standing orders based on sales numbers.
Ordering retail products and processing vendor payments through your salon accounting software doesn’t just streamline the inventory process, it also gives you a clear sense of how your retail operation impacts your salon’s overall financial health. Once you can see how your inventory factors into salon success, you’ll be able to turn it into a cornerstone of your business instead of just an afterthought.
5. Integrations with your tech stack
No matter where in your business you use tech tools, it’s important that they all work together smoothly. In addition to the examples we’ve already covered in this post, scheduling is another great candidate for integration — if your client-facing scheduling, staff scheduling, and accounting tools all communicate with each other seamlessly, it will be incredibly easy for you to book your team appropriately, see when and for how long each stylist worked, and know exactly how much you need to pay each member of your staff.
Although beauty salon accounting software is usually focused on the financial aspects of your business, your solution should also pair easily with your other systems. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a hodgepodge of platforms that don’t add up to much more than the sum of their parts. Checking for integrations will help you avoid the costly inefficiencies that bog down even the best salon businesses.
For example, Boulevard offers an integration with NetSuite, a financial management solution used by thousands of businesses around the world. The seamless integration allows Boulevard’s salon customers to build a bridge between their salon management software and the salon accounting software they use to quickly and compliantly process everyday financial transactions.
Accounting may not be the focus of the salon business, but it’s critically important. The right tools — and tools that talk to each other — can help you get the job done and get back to what you love most about your salon.
Boulevard was built to help your business achieve profitability at scale without losing an inch of sanity. See for yourself! Get a free demo today.