@LeahIlanah shoeboxes indeed! I bet you've heard some pretty good stories from first-time clients
Yes, but it is not really all that funny.
In fact, running a business takes a lot out of a small business owner or entrepreneur. Just think of all the tasks you have to master - starting from writing a business plan, to be present in the shop, in the marketing department, being a customer relation specialist, a human resource specialist, watching trends in the market, networking, you name it.
Bookkeeping and accounting often come as an afterthought. Something that we'll fix comes tax season around. By that time you already incurred penalties and interest for sales tax and payroll taxes you forgot to pay on time, and you may overlook a lot of deductible expenses that could reduce your tax liability on your business return.
From what my clients tell me, one of the most valuable things for them is that I take care of all this. That we can produce real-time financial reports to see at any time where the business stands financially, what financial resources there might be, what we may need to change, or simply take them to the bank, and apply for a loan if need be, or stay in compliance with your loan officer after you took out a loan.
They actually see me as a team member, and a trusted advisor all around.
@LeahIlanah, you're absolutely right. The "aha" moment for most small business owners is often an especially painful or challenging one in terms of their operations. I was wondering if any specific examples or stories came to mind for you.
You bring up a really good point about being a member of the team. A very good friend of mine recently discovered that she owed quite a bit in business taxes because she failed to ask her (short-lived) new accountant the "right questions." It's essential to find a trusted advisor who will offer strategic guidance rather than simply answer questions as they come up. Your clients are lucky to have you!
@jessbru99568, would love to hear from you! Did you have an "aha" moment? Your business has grown so much!
@EmilyCowan yes, from previous businesses, we have learned to keep good records. So we decided to start correct from the beginning and keep up on it! Much easier that way.
Totally agree, @jessbru99568 - it is key to "go as you mean to go on." It's a lot easier to start off on the right track.
I'd love to hear about some of those earlier business experiences that really instilled this lesson for you. I'm sensing a juicy story or two! Where do you think you went wrong in those previous ventures, and how did you ensure that you wouldn't make the same mistakes at the bakery?
In previous businesses, I remember that much of the daily transactions were not recorded as they happened. Therefore making a real mess at the yearend scrambling through papers and files. Manually adding up all the transactions, making sure we had all the receipts, etc.....
There is no 'don't like' button here. But I hear your pain. Had four clients last tax season where we had to do a year's worth of bookkeeping, working on another one now.
Timely bookkeeping should become second nature for a business owner. You may be missing out on opportunities for growth, and miss out on legal tax deductions otherwise.