Eager to devote your next weekend to recording business transactions? Didn’t think so. Bookkeeping is one of the most distasteful activities for many business owners and entrepreneurs, and rightly so: it eats up time, requires concentration (and plenty of coffee), and can be really frustrating at times, especially when bills and invoices pile up. Bookkeeping isn’t fun.
But it’s necessary. Whether you run a local store, a Bay area web design company, or an e-commerce business, recording all your transactions and keeping track of your expenses is critical. It helps you better manage your finances, and by doing so, encourages quicker growth and development.
Bookkeeping is a must-have skill if you run a business and don’t employ an accountant. Even if you have an accountant, or hire a freelance one as needed, it still pays off to know some accounting yourself, as it makes you a more skilled and effective business owner.
Here’s how to become a better accountant:
1. Use Bookkeeping Software
Bookkeeping software lets you record transactions, create invoices, reports, and databases, and perform calculations, offering you all the tools you need. There are multiple options available for every platform, not only for your computer, but also for your smartphone and tablet. All good programs include tutorials that help you get started in no time.
2. Record Detailed Information About Every Transaction
Accuracy and attention to detail are the secrets to top notch bookkeeping. Imagine you’ve hired a Bay area web design company to improve your site. Chances are you will pay them for their work in installments, according to milestones you have agreed upon in advance.
A good bookkeeper will record every payment made for web design services in the Bay area as soon as it occurs, including the date, amount paid, and a brief description of the service rendered to you, so that the entry can be later used for reference or analysis of expenditures.
3. Stay Organized
Set a bookkeeping schedule according to the workflow of your company. If you cannot devote half an hour or more every day to bookkeeping, devote one morning or afternoon to it weekly. Everything will be easier if your employees store all receipts in a (digital) folder. The crucial thing is not to let receipts pile, or bookkeeping will become overwhelming.
4. Don’t Throw Away Old Records
You may need them later on for reference. Keeping track of all payments and invoices enables you to have a deeper understanding of the financial affairs of your business, helping you to better determine the causes of the lows and highs. If you store your records on a computer, as you should, storage space won’t be a problem.
5. Get Accounting Lessons
You can enroll in a local accounting course offered by a college or professional accountant, or, more conveniently, you can take cheap online courses. There are also plenty of e-books and accounting books for beginners out there, and they are more affordable than courses. Not to mention that you’ll find on the web many free resources that will help you comprehend the basics.
With these tips, you can do basic bookkeeping for your business and save yourself time, money and stress!
Image Credit: [Flickr/Magnus Franklin]