It’s that time of year when people are cleaning out files, getting ready to file taxes and trying to stick to that elusive New Year’s Resolution: “Get Organized”. Maybe you’ve printed off your reports from your reconciled to the penny QuickBooks file and then meticulously placed your alphabetized 2010 files into a sturdy, white banker’s box from Office Max. Or, more likely, you’ve scooped up all of your receipts and crammed them into a shoebox to hand over to your accountant.
If you’re a small business owner and you don’t have some kind of software to keep track of your income and expenses, get one! Software like QuickBooks is very easy to use – I’d even call it idiot-proof. If you are not inclined to keep up with your books, hire a bookkeeper to enter your receipts and reconcile your accounts.
Other helpful tips:
Write expense categories on your receipts the same day you make the purchase and file them by payment method for easy bank and credit card reconciliation.
Don’t forget to enter cash receipts.
Enter receipts into your software weekly (or even daily) instead of monthly to avoid overwhelm.
File your receipts and statements right away. Avoid putting them in a pile or into a “To File” folder. Again, this just leads to overwhelm and procrastination.
Ask for help. Your accountant may also do bookkeeping services. If not, they are sure to have a referral for you.