There are many elements to keeping a successful business afloat but few are more important than making sure your accounts are in check. Balancing the books ensures the company has the cash flow and financial freedom it needs, while also helping to monitor expenses.
The process can be time-consuming and frustrating at times but there are ways you can take some of the stress out of all the number crunching. Here are five tips to make balancing the books easier:
Keep it separate
For many businesses, there can be a blurred line between personal and company expenses. Encouraging Managing Directors, CEOs, and anyone else that has access to the business account to use a dedicated company credit or debit card can make your life much easier. It will make the accounts process much more streamlined. It can be a difficult habit for people to get into but it will save you hours if you're able to keep business and personal finances separate.
Decide what income is
For many small businesses, you need to decide whether to adopt traditional accounting practices or a cash basis. The former will have you report any income that you have invoiced during a certain period, while the latter means you register work when you've been paid. This can avoid you having to pay tax on income that's been invoiced but you haven't actually received yet. Depending on where your company operates, there may be further rules on how you can determine your income. Whichever option you choose, being consistent will make the accounts process easier for everyone.
Finding the right bookkeeping software can be a key element of making accounts as streamlined as possible. Whether your company wants to expand its department as it grows to take on more finance specialists or will outsource certain elements, having somewhere where all your expenses and revenue is tracked will be useful. It can also help when it comes to presenting the financial situation to decision makers.
Schedule regular time in
Being a finance specialist, you have multiple balls to juggle, so it's important that you set aside regular time to go through the accounts. Just a 15-minute regular slot should allow you to organize the company's finances and not let things slip through the net. This also has the added benefit of giving you a much better understanding of the overall performance of the company.
Know when to ask for help
You can be the most skilled finance specialist possible, but there will still be times when you need to ask for help. This might be chasing up employees for expenses, getting decisions from company owners or having someone do more basic admin tasks, reaching out to others for help is essential if you're struggling. Taking this pressure off yourself will leave you much more time to focus on tasks that require your skill level and prevent mistakes from being made.