Running your own business comes with a lot of freedoms. But it also has its pitfalls – one being having to be in charge of all your own bookkeeping. For those that don’t have a head for figures, keeping your accounts organized can be a real chore. However, there are ways of simplifying the process so that it isn’t so much of a headache.
Take a course
Understanding your finances better may require some training. This is something many business owners do to save having to shell out on an accountant. You’ll find all sorts of crash courses on accountancy that could get you to grips with the basics.
For more advanced accountancy, there are institutes such as the University of Maryland that offer MBAs that you can study online around your day-to-day business. You may even be able to specialize in a certain area if it’s a particular part of organizing your finances that’s causing you the problem such as payroll accounting or business law.
Outsource an accountant
Some people may find it easier to put their accountancy in the hands on a professional to minimize errors and free up time. There are now all kinds of options when choosing an accountant. Many companies will go through a local firm, generally a chartered one that has a proven track record.
You may be able to save costs by hiring a new startup accountancy firm or solo accountant, but you won’t be able to assess their credibility as easily. There are also now virtual accountant that operate online. Most of these go through vigorous screening so can be trusted, but you should always go through an established firm in these cases. Hiring a mystery virtual accountant on Gumtree is not advised.
Speed up with software
Save yourself the arduous task of sitting at a desk rummaging through bank statements with a calculator by transporting your accounting into the digital age. There are now software packages such as Quickbooks that will automatically calculate payrolls, work out expenses and organize your finances in a clear and concise manner.
Small businesses may not even need to hire an accountant simply by using software instead. Such programs also present information very easily so that if the taxman comes knocking round, they can easily see your expenses without having to sift through receipts and bank statements.
Update your books as you go
Instead of leaving all your accounting for the week before the tax return deadline, record it as you go. Find time every day to update that day’s expenses and taxes. Most accounting software is now available as an app, allowing you to update your books from any location on your smartphone.
If you have to make a train journey to meet a client, you might be able to make use of this time by sorting out your books. If you’ve just filled up your company car with petrol, record this in your books there and then so that you don’t have to rummage through receipts later (but of course, still keep onto that receipt as evidence).