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  • Writer's pictureLisa Culverwell

10 Bookkeeping Tips You Can Use Year Round

10 Bookkeeping Tips You Can Use Year Round

Bookkeeping is the backbone of any successful business, ensuring financial stability and compliance with regulations. Instead of relegating it to a year-end chore, adopting a year-round approach to bookkeeping can streamline processes, minimize stress, and pave the way for financial success.

I think back on all my years of bookkeeping and sometimes I wish someone had given me these tips when I was starting out. It seems like when a bookkeeper starts a business, they've got it made as far as knowing what to do, how to handle everything (yes, everything), and how to make money. This isn't the case - most of us may know how to run our business from a financial standpoint, but everything else can become cumbersome - just like everything else, there's a reason we do bookkeeping and not sales (that's for a different blog).

As a business owner, you're already so busy doing what you do best! We business owners wear many different hats, sales, marketing, production, quality control, bookkeeping... it's not easy doing something you weren't trained to do.

Here are some practical tips to keep your books in order throughout the year. After all, when you're not a trained bookkeeper and don't know the first thing about it, tips are always a great thing to keep in your back pocket.

  1. Cultivate the habit of recording transactions promptly.Waiting until the end of the month or year lead to errors and oversights. Utilize software to input expenses, income, and other financial data consistently. This not only saves time, but also provides an accurate, real-time snapshot of your business' financial health.

  2. Regularly reconcile your bank statements each month.This helps identify discrepancies, prevent fraud, and ensures that all transactions are accounted for. The sooner discrepancies are caught, the easier they are to resolve.

  3. Keep a running list of all your expenses.

  4. Make a budget and stick to it.Set aside money for major expenses like inventory, office supplies, and repairs & maintenance. By budgeting for your business in the coming year, you can save a lot of worry about dealing with these expenses in the future.

  5. Implement robust backup systems for your financial data.Whether using cloud-based solutions or physical backups, regularly ensure that your data is secure and easily recoverable in case of any unforeseen events like data loss or cyber threats.

  6. Stay informed on tax changes.Tax laws can change, affecting your business' financial landscape. Stay informed about tax regulations and updates throughout the year. This proactive approach ensures that you're prepared for any changes that might impact your tax liabilities.

  7. Conduct regular financial reviews to analyze your business' performance.This includes assessing key financial ratios, profit margins, and other critical indicators. These reviews can guide strategic decisions and highlight areas for improvement.

  8. Set reminders for important deadlines.You spend most of your time as a business owner running from one challenge to the next. With so much on your plate, it's easy to lose track of when you should be paying payroll and regular business invoices. To avoid missing deadlines, set reminders for yourself.

  9. Make your books a priority.Tracking your expenses might not be the most exciting part of running your business, but it does need to be a priority. Dedicate specific times each week or month solely to bookkeeping tasks. Consistency is key, and establishing a routine helps prevent the accumulation of tasks, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring that your financial records are up to date.

  10. Invest in professional guidance.Consider hiring a professional accountant or bookkeeper. Their expertise can be invaluable in navigating complex financial matters, ensuring compliance, and providing strategic advice for your business. From day one, make sure you have a strategy in place for keeping your books organized and up to date.

By embracing a year-round approach to bookkeeping, businesses can foster financial stability, streamline operations, and position themselves for growth. These tips, when incorporated into your routine, will not only make year-end processes more manageable but will also contribute to a more robust and financially sound business throughout the entire year. Remember, good bookkeeping is not just a task; it's a strategic investment in the success of your business.

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