Have you set goals for the New Year to help your business hit that next level of success? If you’re ready for your business to be more profitable, think about adding the following goals to your list of New Year’s resolutions:
- Use a bookkeeping system — any bookkeeping system — and stick to it! You can’t determine the profit in your small business if you aren’t tracking your sales and expenses. Anyone who has read my blog knows that I’m the biggest cheerleader that Intuit has for QuickBooks Online, but QBO isn’t the only game in town. Whether you prefer Xero, Wave, Freshbooks or a good old-fashioned ledger pad, just pick a system of tracking your bookkeeping and stick to it!
- Update your books weekly! There is no joy in doing three months of bookkeeping all at once. More importantly, you will want to react quickly if your bookkeeping reports tell you that sales are lagging, expenses are coming in way over budget or those credit card balances are getting out of control. Up-to-date information means the ability to make meaningful course corrections in your business.
- Keep your personal expenses out of your business books! Folks, it’s not that hard to keep your business and personal expenses separate. Many banks offer free checking accounts and it takes only a couple minutes to set up a credit card for business expenses. If you already have a credit card account that’s paid off and not being used, you can designate that account as your “business” account. Use it exclusively for business purchases and pay it off from your business checking account each month. Voila! Tracking your business bookkeeping is dramatically simpler when you’re not sorting through all those personal expenses, too!
- Review and react. Taking the time to keep your bookkeeping updated won’t help you and your small business if you don’t set aside time to review those financial reports. Did you hit your sales targets? Are any of your expenses getting out of control? Is your profit on track for the year? Be prepared to make adjustments in your spending, ramp up your sales efforts or tweak your business model a bit. In short, try to understand the story your financial reports are telling and be prepared to react accordingly.
Of course, if any of these resolutions seem daunting, you can always hire professional help! A professional bookkeeper will be able to take the stress of your business financials off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on growing your business. If you’re not quite ready to hire a bookkeeper, my “Bookkeeping for Freelancers” course on Skillshare can walk you through the steps of DIY bookkeeping, including what to track and when.
Running a small business is hard and bookkeeping can be frustrating. Contact us today if you’d like the help of a professional bookkeeper in your business!
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Deb Howard Greenleaf, EA, CEO and Principal, of Greenleaf Accounting Services provides virtual accounting and bookkeeping services and specializes in financial management to consultants, coaches, solo professionals, and other small business owners across the US. Deb is an Enrolled Agent (EA)—an IRS-licensed tax professional—and specializes in small businesses and entrepreneurs filing Schedule C or as an LLC. As an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Deb spends her day in QuickBooks Online and specializes in providing QBO support.