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Small Business Bookkeeping – What Are Your Options?

Small Business Bookkeeping – What Are Your Options?

Small business owners often have enough on their plates without even mentioning the bookkeeping and accounting. This usually gives business owners a headache, and they put this admin off for as long as they can, or they have to outsource and ask someone else to help them. However, both are a vital part of running a business and seeing it grow. Bookkeeping must be exact, it must be timely, and it must be orderly. Tax payments must be paid; employees need their wages, any other suppliers will require paying for their services so your books must be accurate and your cash flow must be steady. If you’re new to this then here are a few basics, followed by some options on how to help you with your bookkeeping, software to use and companies which offer these services.

The basics of bookkeeping include: Accounts receivable, which is is the money received from clients and makes up a significant portion of your income; Accounts payable, the money you owe, including any bills which you must pay on time to keep an excellent reputation for your business; Inventory is the products you stock on your shelves; Payroll expenses are the most substantial cost for most businesses, make sure that expenses are accurately recorded, and always pay them on time; Taxes are paid to the government, and proper bookkeeping decreases the possibility of underpaying or overpaying these; finally, Cash is the money in your account, and all cash transactions go through your cash account.

There are plenty of software choices to help you with your bookkeeping, and while many of them look different, they have a lot in common. They are usually user-friendly, easy to use and navigate your way around. Most are cloud-based solutions now but look very like desktop software with drop-down lists, icons, and buttons, blank fields, and toolbars. If you’re computer literate, you should be able to navigate your way around most of them. You often get a trail beforehand so you can try before you commit.

Online models are usually paid as you go rather than buying the product upfront which can be very expensive and you’ll probably have to upgrade down the line. With online, you’ll be signing up for a free trial and then pay monthly for a subscription depending on what services you want. Companies like Shockley Bookkeeping & Tax Services offer packages that are customized to meet your needs and budget. Choosing online services means that all the upgrades are built in, and your data is backed up on the cloud. Obviously, for this, you’re just relying on your internet service to stay connected.

Many web-based accounting solutions offer more than one level of service at different prices so can choose which version suits your needs. Once you have your basic package, there are usually complementary add-ons as well.  

It’s convenient today in this technologically advanced world where everything is online and can be accessed remotely meaning that most of these tools available on mobile too. With cloud-based accounting applications, you can usually get support anytime, anywhere and can access your financial data, on your smartphone or tablet.

It takes time and focuses and hard work to grow your business, but there is plenty of help out there if bookkeeping isn’t your thing. You don’t necessarily have to outsource it all, but could perhaps get someone else to do your payroll or your taxes. It takes more than one person to run a business, and everyone needs help and need to employ people. Your business may be your passion, and your talents and strengths may lie in other areas of the company, for example, if it’s a floristry, then your strengths probably lie in flower arranging. So don’t bother yourself worrying with the bookkeeping if it’s not one of your strong points. Focus on your strengths and leave the rest to someone else – that’s what you pay them for.

Whatever you do though, don’t leave it until the last minute. If you are doing your bookkeeping yourself, then spend a little time each day working on your books so that you stay on top and will have a better understanding of day to day accounts and deadlines. If you do outsource to someone else, make sure you organize your receipts and records to make life that bit easier for them.

Don’t mix your personal spending with your business spending either; this will minimize any errors.

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