4 Bookkeeping Tips for Reluctant Accountants

Does the mere thought of managing your own books fill you with dread?

You’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs do not particularly enjoy accounting. But as a small-business owner, it’s your job to make sure that your company’s money gets managed correctly.

Here are a few tips for mastering the accounting side of your business, even if you aren’t a math person.

1. Educate yourself. Bookkeeping may seem like an overwhelming task simply because you are unfamiliar with how to do it. Many community colleges and professional accountants offer free or reasonably priced online courses that teach the necessary skills. Why not spend a few hours learning some basic bookkeeping strategies? It could prove to be a wise investment of your time.

2. Choose the right software. Trying to keep your company’s finances straight without the appropriate tools can be a frustrating task. Accounting software programs like Intuit’s QuickBooks help small-business owners save time, reduce errors, and provide a backup of data. For example, QuickBooks enables you to log transactions, invoice customers, and create custom reports with ease.

3. Get organized. Effective bookkeeping requires keeping accurate records. Spend some time thinking about your work habits and your company’s workflow. Some entrepreneurs find it useful to create a paper or digital folder for storing receipts and other information, and then they designate a time each week to update their books. Others use a readily accessible in-basket for employees to turn in receipts and paid invoices.

4. Hire professional help. Consider enlisting a bookkeeper or an accountant to set up your bookkeeping system, after which you can handle the day-to-day tasks. A professional can also answer any questions you have and even review your books at a later date. If paying a seasoned pro doesn’t fit your budget, you could hire a college student who’s majoring in accounting to assist you.

About Jennifer Goforth Gregory

Jennifer Goforth Gregory has more than 18 years professional writing experience and specializes in writing about small businesses. Her work has been published in Infusionsoft’s Big Ideas Blog, QSR Magazine, and the Raleigh News & Observer.
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5 comments
JohnStevenson
JohnStevenson

If you don't maintain your books properly, then there are several consequences you need to face.  Some of the common bookkeeping mistakes are managing the receipts using excel, not classifying the expenses under the right category in the accounting software, overlooking sales taxes, not reconciling accounts on a monthly basis, mixing personal, and business expenses.  I came through a link which lists the common bookkeeping mistakes that a small business owner can encounter.

http://www.greencpallc.com/accounting/bookkeeping-services-chicago-il/

 

GrowthForce
GrowthForce

Having a system like QuickBooks implemented can actually save you money in the long run. When you digitize your back-office with your bookkeeping platform, you can streamline processes and reduce the costs associated with printing hard copies of records. Keeping your books neatly organized helps make the year-end process much easier for you (or whoever does your taxes).

DarrenSanford
DarrenSanford

It is wise to seek the assistance of a professional BEFORE it is needed.  Engaging a competent professional to help set up the bookkeeping system can save time and money in the future.  It's easier to do it right to begin with, rather than having to correct a big mess in the future which leads to costs which could have been avoided.  

bookkeeper Salt Lake
bookkeeper Salt Lake

very good advice, intact i think these guidelines could apply to about any type of project 

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  1. [...] unappealing the task may be, there’s an article over at the Intuit Small Business Blog entitled 4 Bookkeeping Tips for Reluctant Accountants that we thought we’d share in an effort to help business owners that prefer to do their own [...]

  2. [...] to Intuit Small Business Blog. Resources like a college class or a how-to book could help, and learning more about the steps involved could streamline the [...]