Small Business Accounting – A Beginner’s Guide

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If you have plans to start a business, it is important to appreciate the huge task ahead. Many businesses start every year only to collapse within a few months. However, this should not discourage you from your dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Instead, you should learn from their mistakes and build on their strengths. Research shows that poor accounting practices are the bane of most small businesses. More importantly, aspiring entrepreneurs must learn to grasp accounting and finance tools.

By learning the best accounting strategies before you start, or working with a small business accounting firm, it is possible to build a successful business despite the prevalent challenges. This article suggests the most important small business accounting tips to guide your enterprise. Keep reading.

1. Business and Personal Expenses don’t mix

If you want to build a successful business, it is important to appreciate the importance of a dedicated business account. You must avoid the temptation to use business revenues to meet emerging personal expenses because this affects cash flow and can affect the smooth flow of the business.

2. Track your Expenses

You can only manage what you know, and in this case, you need to keep tabs on all your expenses to stay on top of your finances. Successful entrepreneurs work on their business at all times according to a Forbes Survey. Successful business record keeping revolves around tracking all business expenses which helps monitor the business performance. Establish a solid system for organizing receipts and other important financial records.

3. Use A Bookkeeping System

One of the most important tasks for a business owner is the day-to-day process of recording transactions, organizing these transactions, and reconciling bank statements. It is a tedious task that many business owners start overlooking leading to financial problems. Finance and accounting tools help to monitor progress.

You should establish a bookkeeping system early on to avoid such problems. There are bookkeeping tools to help you do this seamlessly. Automating your bookkeeping and accounting processes not only boost productivity but saves your business money. There are tech tools to track your income and expenditures, categorize them, allow remote access, raise red flags among other functions.

4. Leverage Professional Financial expertise

It is understandable that you want to save on operational costs to increase the bottom line but this becomes counterproductive when you start making mistakes. Hiring a financial consultant for a small business might look like an unnecessary expense but the input they bring on-board will help you in the long-term.

You can outsource some financial aspects of your business including bookkeeping and accounting, taxes, insurance among others. This saves you a lot of time and money in the long run. These professionals have the expertise to streamline your financial processes and save your business from collapse.

Small business financial experts carry out a risk assessment and propose risk management strategies to keep your small business afloat in the toughest business landscape.

5. Keenly Observe Labor Costs using A Payroll System

When starting a business, you might not have many employees but this changes with time. New challenges emerge in tracking labor costs, paying benefits, overtime, termination costs, among other personnel-related expenses.

You should outsource payroll to the best small business accounting firm in your city to ensure your employees get paid on time which in turn boost morale.

6. Determine The Payment Modes

To succeed in the modern business environment, you have to keep adapting to meet customer needs. For instance, you must increase payment modes in your business to include more than credit cards. Think about third party payment processor such as PayPal, BitPay, Stripe, PayU, BlueSnap among others. These will increase access to more markets and create a better customer experience at your store.

Other small business accounting tips include; setting your salary, maintaining inventory records, following up on invoices and receivables, financial projections for future years, determining your tax obligations, re-evaluating your methods periodically and creating different lines of credit.

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John is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.