So you have a successful business, you need a way to keep track of all that incoming revenue. Additionally, you need a way to keep track of expenses so that you can figure out just how much money your business lets you take home. We’re talking, of course, about bookkeeping and accounting.
The attitude at many smaller detail operations is something like, “Hey, just so I’m payin’ the bills, I don’t really care about the books.” I believe this is not so much a disregard for good business practices, but more a normal apprehension or misunderstanding of correct bookkeeping practices.
Yet most successful business owners will tell you that they attribute part of their success to “staying close to the numbers,” (i.e., practicing good bookkeeping and regularly checking reports). There are several advantages to keeping good records of your income and expenses, including:
-the opportunity to determine the specific sources of income, for example, from different advertising campaigns. This allows you to make decisions about future advertising purchases based on historical performance
-the ability to monitor expenses, thus allowing you to make cost-cutting purchasing decisions
minimizing your tax liability by thoroughly tracking all legitimate expenses
-the ability to show profitability should the opportunity arise in the future to sell the business.
Take this information as an introduction to the world of proper bookkeeping for your business. I strongly recommend that you take the time and spend the money to sit down with a CPA or professional bookkeeper to help you set up your bookkeeping system. It is well worth the investment to make your job of record keeping easier.
For larger or busier operations, it may be worthwhile keeping a professional bookkeeper on retainer. Such an arrangement would involve the outsourcing those functions to a local bookkeeping services company. This really makes sense if your time can generate significantly more money per hour than you pay the bookkeeper. He or she can get the job done much faster than you and with fewer mistakes.
Regardless of the amount of help you seek, I recommend that you use one of the popular computer-based bookkeeping software systems that are widely available (ie: Quickbooks). It’s much easier to make a few entries on a computer rather than using a pencil and calculator.
Finally, stop trying to do it on your own! Get some help, even if it’s from another operator who simply has more experience.
Margo Masri (Certified Quickbooks Pro-Advisor)
Owner of Margo’s Bookkeeping Service
(We are QuickBooks professionals. We provide outsourced Bookkeeping services to NY’s five boroughs and Long Island. Our goal is to provide professional, affordable, and timely accounting services to small and medium business while adhering to high standards of quality and integrity. )