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.
Jennifer Gregory is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.