Five Essential Bookkeeping Tips for Small Businesses

“Making good judgements when one has complete data, facts, and knowledge is not leadership – it’s bookkeeping” (Dee Hock, Founder and CEO of VISA) 

Entrepreneurs have a lot to deal with on a daily basis. From managing customers to ordering stock, handling marketing and networking – the days aren’t short of obligations. As a result, it can be difficult to find time to draw up spreadsheets and analyse finances. The problem is that managing your books and keeping finances organised is critical to the success of a company, and failing to do so is a sure way to financial ruin. 

The good news is that no one need become a bookkeeper overnight, and organising your finances is not as daunting as it seems. Here are five simple tips that will ensure you come to the end of the year with your finances intact and your stress levels in check. 

When running a small business, it often feels like you are doing everything yourself, and some important tasks can slip under the radar. One aspect that should never be forgotten though is bookkeeping. While intimidating, keeping your finances in order need not be as hard as it sounds. Here are our tips for ensuring your accounts remain ordered and your peace of mind intact. 

Ask your accountant

If you want to keep things as simple as possible and guarantee you never run foul of the law, getting your accountant in to do your bookkeeping is the safest and most efficient way to do your books. Apart from being able to manage your finances, an accountant would be able to help save on taxes and advise you on areas of the business that may be streamlined.  

Keep your personal and business accounts separate

It may not seem like much, but mixing up which account pays for what can lead to hundreds of extra hours of work over the course of a year working out which deductions and expenses relate to your business. Rather keep personal and business accounts and banking separate. 

Set up reminders for important deadlines

Using an online calendar, it’s now easy to set up reminders for all those important tax and other deadline dates so you know when things are becoming urgent.  

Keep receipts

Be sure to keep all receipts to build a verifiable audit trail. Whenever you pay anything out to a supplier it’s important to get an invoice and file it away. Keep all your receipts for all business expenses and purchases. You never know when you may be hit with an audit and need to prove everything you have said. 

Keep reports

Every month generate a one-page document detailing all your income and expenditure. Ask your accountant to set up a simple monthly one-page report that, in addition, compares actual income and expenses to your budget. It doesn’t have to be detailed but should give you an idea of just where the money is going and what is coming in. As well as making bookkeeping easier, it will also help you track the growth and health of your company. 

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