The shiny New Year is just around the corner.
A sparkling, uncluttered, ready to conquer the world desk awaits you.
Bookkeeping, receipt recording and accounting pains are a distant memory.
It’s an image that almost beats a sandy beach at a luxury resort.
How do you make that vision a reality?
It’s easier than you think! Here are 5 easy ways to streamline your books in 2013.
Streamline Your Small Business Accounting Idea #1
Dump the “shoulds”.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- I should run all those detailed reports every month.
- I should manually review and input every single expense this month.
- I should use the accounting software ________ because everyone else does. (Does this one remind anyone else of the famous mom lecture about jumping off bridges?)
- I should have my accountant on speed dial, constantly bombarding her with questions.
- I should ...
No wonder you feel overwhelmed. No one needs that crazy amount of work and information every month! Sure there are times for detailed reports, but every month? I’m a numbers geek and I don’t do that.
It’s time to replace should with need.
- I need to look at a few key numbers every month to make sure my business is on track.
- I need a solution to get all my receipts and expenses recorded zippity quick.
- I need to use an accounting system or service that works for me.
The rest of that monthly mayhem? Here’s your hall pass. You’re officially excused from all that crazy make-work. Don’t you feel better already?
Streamline Your Small Business Accounting Idea #2
Use the right tools for you and your company.
You’re unique and so is your business. That means the right solutions for your colleague’s company is not necessarily the right one for yours.
A great example of this is QuickBooks – the 800 pound gorilla accounting solution for small to mid-size businesses. While this is a quality service, it’s often not the right one for start-ups or micro-businesses. Especially for those who don’t have an accounting background.
If you’re struggling in this area, here are a few other solutions that might be a better fit:
And receipts? Stop making yourself crazy! There are a couple easy to use, cost effective solutions. The one I use and love is Shoeboxed.com. Others swear by Neat Receipts.
Remember every dollar of expense you fail to record costs you $1.35!
Streamline Your Small Business Accounting Idea #3
Schedule time to do and review.
At the beginning of every month, schedule a one hour slot for this. This should be treated as any other important meeting. It’s crucial to respect and protect this time.
Spend the first 30 minutes getting caught up on any bookkeeping requirements, such as capturing expenses. The second half of the hour should be to review your key metrics (no more than 5 numbers). Are you on track? If so, what is working best? If not, what needs to be fixed?
Once you’ve got a system in place it IS possible to do this in 60 minutes per month.
Streamline Your Small Business Accounting Idea #4
Call in reinforcements.
Where is it written you have to do everything in your small business? Hint: Nowhere.
Bookkeepers are a budget friendly solution to keeping on top of your expenses, receipts, invoices and payments. Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. When you begin working with a bookkeeper set clear expectations about the deliverables and your monthly budget.
Consider partnering with a coach to create a system that works with you, not against you. Preferably the solution should have a process, and where possible leverage technology (if this sounds appealing check out my service Tame the Paper Beast).
Streamline Your Small Business Accounting Idea #5
It doesn’t have to be a trip to that sandy beach we talked about in the beginning. It can be as simple as a 15 minute music break. 10 minutes to read the next chapter in a novel. Eat that Godiva chocolate you’ve been saving. Call a friend to chat.
Your brain can be trained. If you always get to do something fun right after finishing the monthly bookkeeping, it will get easier to motivate yourself to start. Yes accomplishment is its own reward, but to drive the point home, give your brain a little bit more (truffle anyone?).
Keeping up with your books, and keeping your desk clutter free, doesn’t have to be hard or painful. It can be quick, rewarding and grow your profit.
Best wishes for a happy and successful 2013!
Nicole Fende is The Numbers Whisperer® and author of How to be a Finance Rock Star. She also teaches entrepreneurs to Tame the Paper Beast.
This article is from the SmallBizLady special blog series: 31 Ways to Boost Your Small Business in 2013. #Boost2013
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