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Welcome to the backbone of your business’s financial success, the world of bookkeeping. You might have been avoiding dealing with numbers and spreadsheets and unknowingly digging yourself into a bit of a hole. There is hope, though; we’re about to share a bookkeeping system that will empower your business and won’t give you a headache in the process. 

Your business needs a coherent and organised system to guide you through the twists and turns of entrepreneurship. In this no-nonsense guide, we’re going to break down the art of setting up a bookkeeping system tailored just for you – by the end of this journey, you’ll have a system that puts you in control, leaving you more time to focus on what you do best – running your business like a boss.

Step 1: Assess your business needs 

Think of this like taking a snapshot of your business – you’re looking for a clear understanding of what makes your venture tick. Ask yourself, “What’s the scope of my operation? How complex are my financial dealings?” It’s like sizing up the battlefield before the big game.

Consider the specific financial processes that need your attention:

  • Are you handling inventory, managing client invoices, or juggling a mix of services and products? The goal is to figure out what financial hoops your business jumps through regularly.
  • Where do you see your business headed? Are you seeking steady growth or looking to inject some investment into your digital marketing? Clarifying this will help you set up a system to handle your objectives.

Once you’ve got a grip on your needs, you’re ready to take the next step in your bookkeeping adventure. 

Step 2: Choose the right accounting software 

Now, it’s true that a world of accounting software is available, and it can be overwhelming. Again, start at the beginning and understand your needs. Are you a solo act keeping it simple, or do you have a team of financial superheroes? Your choice of software should fit nicely with your business size and style.

Next, consider the features. Do you need something that handles invoicing with flair? Or maybe you’re all about tracking expenses. Take a moment to envision your dream accounting software – the one that makes your financial tasks feel like a breeze.

Then, there’s cost – budget and pricing matters. Find something that fits your budget without sacrificing the features you can’t live without. Go ahead and do a little software window shopping. Check out reviews, ask fellow business friends for recommendations, and take a few for a test drive.

Step 3: Set up a chart of accounts 

The chart of accounts is like the index in a book. It helps you categorise your financial transactions so you can find what you need when you need it. 

Start by thinking about the main buckets your money falls into – maybe you’ve got cash, accounts receivable, or inventory. These are your big categories, like chapters in a book. Next, break it down further. If you have different income or expense types, create subcategories under each main one.

The beauty of this is that it is a personalised financial dictionary for your business. You’ll tag them in the correct category when you make a sale or buy supplies. It keeps things tidy, making your financial reports a breeze to read.

Most accounting software will have default accounts, but be bold about customising them to fit your business. In other words, whether you’re a bakery or a consulting firm, your chart of accounts can be as unique as your business.

Step 4: Record financial transactions 

When money comes in, like those hard-earned sales, record it. Most accounting software makes this a walk in the park – a few clicks, and you’re done. 

Expenses? Whether it’s rent, utilities, or that subscription to the latest in business news for your industry, log those, too. Categorise everything according to your trusty chart of accounts. Imagine you’re putting things away or sorting your wardrobe – a place for everything, and everything in its place.

Here’s a tip. Make it a habit – the key is to stay on top of it. 

Step 5: Reconcile bank statements 

Reconciling bank statements ensures your records align with what your bank has on file. First up, grab your bank statement. Now, compare it to your records in your accounting software. Make sure each transaction lines up – deposits, withdrawals, the whole lot.

What should you do if you spot a difference? 

Don’t panic. It could be a timing issue or maybe a forgotten transaction. Investigate to find and fix any discrepancies. Remember to reconcile regularly – monthly is the sweet spot. It keeps your financial operations running smoothly.

Step 6: Implement a routine for invoicing and expense tracking 

Invoicing 

Invoicing is your payment gateway. So, it’s essential to make sure your invoices look professional. Your clients should see them and think, “Yep, these folks mean business.” 

Now, set a routine. Don’t let those invoices gather dust. Send them out promptly. The faster they’re out there, the quicker you can expect the payments to roll in.

Expense tracking 

No one likes a pile of crumpled receipts. Snap pictures, scan them, do whatever it takes, but get them in your system. Categorise and organise regularly. It’s not about being a perfectionist; it’s about having a reliable bookkeeping system that works. 

Step 7: Consider outsourcing to a remote bookkeeper

Level up and outsource to a remote bookkeeper. Why outsource? First off, it frees up your time. Time that could be better spent growing your business, brainstorming the next big idea, or simply catching a breather.

Remote bookkeepers are valuable for organisations. They have the skills and expertise to keep your books ship-shape and comply with all those regulations, leaving you confident and stress-free. If you’re worried about the budget, you needn’t be. Outsourcing can be cost-effective, especially when you factor in the value of your time and other overhead costs. It’s an investment in your well-being and the longevity of your business.

Now, finding the right remote bookkeeper is key. Look for someone who understands your business, communicates well, and has a track record of financial finesse.

Step 8: Monitor financial reports 

Think of financial reports like your business’s GPS. They tell you where you’ve been, where you are, and, most importantly, where you’re headed. 

Profit and loss 

This report lays it all out – the money you’re bringing in and the expenses you’re paying out. It’s your financial scoreboard. Keep an eye on trends, celebrate wins, and tackle any red flags head-on.

Balance sheet

What you own, what you owe – it’s all there. It’s the mirror reflecting your business’s physique. Flex those financial muscles, but keep an eye on any bulges that need toning.

Cash flow statement

This is about tracking the ins and outs of your cash. This report is your lifeline to ensure you’re not drowning in unexpected expenses.

These reports might seem a bit intimidating at first. But with a bit of regular monitoring, they’ll become useful tools. Schedule monthly business check-ups – stay proactive, and your business will thank you.

A financial fortress for your venture

In business, where chaos sometimes feels like the norm, having your financial ducks is a must. From assessing your business needs to monitoring those financial reports, you have the tools to craft a system that works for you.

Remember, this isn’t just about numbers on a screen or categorising expenses – it’s about having a clear roadmap for your business’s financial health. So here’s to organised finances and the continued success of your business. And, if finding a talented remote bookkeeper to help you sounds appealing, get in touch and chat about professional and affordable business support services today. 

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