Now that year end is over and tax season is in full swing, there's never been a better time than now to sit down and review your small business finances for the next year. The team at The Bean Counters Bookkeeping love tax time but not for the reasons you may expect. We love it because it gives us a chance to connect with our clients (since we're virtual, communication via email and text is important). Tax season allows us to help them implement some simple tricks and strategize to help get their books in shape.
Here Are Our Top 5 Bookkeeping Secrets for Every Small Business Owner:
1. Keep an audit trail
That may sound like a fancy bookkeeping word (or even scary to some because of the word audit), but an audit trail is simply a record of all your checks, invoices, and expenses in numeric order. Does it sound overwhelming? Don’t worry – there are many options to choose from when it comes to bookkeeping software. Our favorite and recommended one is Quickbooks. Quickbooks has stood the test of time for good reason and since we're pros at this (in fact we even offer Quickbooks training), we use the best for our clients.
2. Due date reminders
Use your iOS calendar, Google calendar, Outlook, wall calendar… anything! Be sure to set reminders for bills that are due, tax remittance deadlines, payroll remittance deadlines. You could save thousands of dollars per year simply by paying your bills on time (not to mention keep your credit rating in check). We send out reminders to our clients as well, so if you know you've got a problem remembering everything on your to-do list, we'd be a great bookkeeping service for you.
3. Bank statements
Thankfully with the internet, paperless billing is usually a standard option. It’s eco friendly but if you ever get audited, the auditor is going to want to see physical copies of everything, not digital. We let our clients send us digital copies of everything so we can take care keeping your records. If you're doing your own books, at the very least, you should request a bank statement be mailed to you. Ideally, you should print out every digital receipt, invoice, statement, and expense (yes, even those monthly digital subscriptions).
4. Keep good records
Too many business owners don’t keep good records. Bookkeeping is the glue that keeps your business together. Without good books, you can’t make financially sound decisions for your business. It's imperative that you get your books in order immediately if you expect your small business to grow and succeed. If your books are currently in disarray, give us a call and we'll clean them up. No worries, that is our job!
5. Computer software
The biggest mistake people make is not taking the time to set up the software correctly when they install it on their computers or set up their cloud-based bookkeeping program. If you want a financial report you can trust, you will need to be sure it is set up correctly from the start. If it's not, again, we can make sense of the mess and fix it for you, and even show you why and how to keep it working correctly in the future.
Incorporating these simple strategies into your bookkeeping cycle will help streamline the books and make bookkeeping more enjoyable. If it's not something you love to do, or just don't have the time, why not outsource your books to us? We'd love to chat about how we can help - just click on the lower right hand chat button at TheBeanCountersBookkeeping.com.