Many businesses start out without the help of an accountant and struggle to keep proper track of expenses. The reason to start a business is to make money, and if you aren’t keeping track of your expenses chances are you aren’t earning as much as you could be, and you may not even be in the green. How can you make sure to keep your business on track, even without the help of a professional accountant?
1. Get educated! Buy a couple simple books on small business management and accounting. Don’t get one of those huge manuals explain how to set up a business; they are full of way more fodder than you probably need, and most likely you won’t even finish reading it. You might even consider looking into the “Dummies” series of books. They contain the pertinent information without all the other unnecessary stuff for a simple business plan.
2. Go digital! While you might feel intimated at the thought of using a computerized accounting program to keep track of expenses, I promise you it is actually easier to use than doing it by hand. As your business expands having a digital system is much easier to handle and a lot more dynamic than whatever manual system you have put into place. In addition, programs like Quickbooks come with a tutorial that basically serves as a mini-course in accounting. An easy investment with an added benefit, can you ask for more?
3. Get connected! Find out what others in the industry are doing and share ideas.
4. Just Do It! Nike’s famous slogan is once again the perfect adage for many small businesses when it comes to keeping track of money in and money out. It’s not about doing the paperwork; it’s about figuring out where the money comes from and where it goes. Being more aware of what is earning cash and what is sucking it out of your business will help you to be more efficient and put your numbers in the green.
Putting these suggestions into practice can put you on the fast track to making more money. It can also save you time and money to do basic accounting yourself. Eventually you may need to hire a professional to go through your books, but likely you will find that as the simple accounting tasks grow larger you will be more than capable of handling them. By starting out with the basics you can increase your knowledge and as time goes along figure out how your business can be even more cost effective.