Too many small business owners avoid basic bookkeeping tasks during the year. And I understand – you are focused on running your business and you think you’ll get around to it after the end of the year. Which sounds great in July. But when January rolls around, you’re still busy running your business and now you have months worth of bookkeeping tasks to do ASAP.
Your first goal today is to get 2017 in order. But as soon as you do, you need to set your business up for financial success in 2018.
You are required to send 1099s to your vendors by January 31. There are many resources available to help you, but my favorite 1099 service is Track1099. I’ve used this service for years, and I highly recommend it. The QBO integration is perfect for my business, and I love that it tracks who has received their email and downloaded their 1099 form. That tracking information makes it easy to see if I need to call one of my independent contractors to remind them to check their email.
Of course, there are other options – so many that I wrote an entire post on the subject last year! So if Track1099 doesn’t appeal to you, check out that post to find out what else might work for you.
Use Real Software
If you’ve been trying to track your financial data in Excel, now’s the time to stop. Excel is wonderful for some things but this isn’t it. It’s time to find a real software solution.
I highly recommend QuickBooks Online, but there are so many options these days. FreshBooks, Xero, and Wave are all great options – and they are all affordable. They are all set-up a bit differently so you can choose the one that works best for your business and how you work. But please, do yourself (and your accountant) a favor and start using a real software.
Send Invoices More Timely
Chances are your clients want to pay you because they love what you did for them. Let them pay you in a timely manner by sending invoices as soon as possible.
This step will be a breeze if you start using a real software, as many of the ones I listed have invoicing capabilities built in. You can create and send invoices in minutes, and they are automatically tracked in the software.
Set Up Filing System for Receipts
If you’ve been sorting through your 2017 receipts and feel completely overwhelmed, I know how you feel. A shoebox system does not really work for most people. You get to the end of the year and there are so many receipts and so little time.
Set up a filing system now, even if that’s simply buying an accordion folder to file them by month or even quarter. The system itself doesn’t matter, just as long as it keeps the receipts organized so you know where they are and where they go in the year.
Did all of this seem overwhelming to you? That’s ok – and that’s why I do what I do! A bookkeeper will help you keep all of this straight and make sure you are on track and on top of your 2018 finances. If that sounds like a dream, consider Contact me! today!
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.