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Bookkeeping Best Practices | Resolutions for 2016

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Bookkeeping Best Practices | Resolutions for 2016

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Andy-Hale-for-Web-2.jpgI love the idea of New Years. What I like most is that it provides all of us an opportunity to look back at how things have been going (the good and the bad) as well as an opportunity to look forward to make changes to our trajectory by setting new goals. Each year I try to figure out changes I need to make to be happier, healthier, and more financially sound. I assume you do the same. Heck, there are even lists available of the top New Year’s Resolution ideas and how to achieve them should you need some assistance with personal resolutions.

The same holds true for businesses. New Years is a time to set new goals with aspirations of making your business happier, healthier, and more financially sound. As the Managing Director of a bookkeeping services company, I regularly talk to people about their personal and business resolutions. What’s most amazing is that our personal resolutions are often tied to our business resolutions. Getting your business finances organized not only helps your business’ bottom line, but will also help you to personally earn more money, spend more time with family, and reduce stress. Here is a four-step plan to help you assess and organize your business finances and hopefully knock out a few of the personal resolutions at the same time.

  1. Assess your current state.
    Take a few minutes and ask yourself the following questions: Are your books in good order? Are you keeping them up to date? Are you spending more time than you should on accounting and bookkeeping activities? Can you handle this alone or will you need help from a professional bookkeeping services provider? It is necessary to understand these before any changes can be put into action.

  2. Develop a plan to get back on track.
    Set a goal to keep your books current starting right away. Make sure to also add in time each month to get caught up on any bookkeeping that might not have occurred in the past. When you are behind, it's easy to postpone current bookkeeping while you are catching up on past bookkeeping. This is a mistake! If you wait until last year's books are done, you will be in the same position next year.

  3. Get organized.
    This can include everything from cleaning up your desk to making sure that you are using the most efficient tools. Develop an organized system to manage your documents electronically rather than getting buried in paper. Cloud-based accounting applications that you can access from any location will also help to maintain a work/file balance. A great list of these tools can be found here.

  4. Ask for Help
    If you are not good at bookkeeping, get help. If you don't have time to do the bookkeeping, get help. If the idea of looking at the bookkeeping makes you panic, get help! Reach out to your trusted advisors (CPA, Banker, etc.) and ask them who they know. I recommend you research at least two or three professionals, look at their backgrounds and choose the one you feel most compatible with. Don't just choose the cheapest option. FYI, most accountants and bookkeeping service providers will assess your books for free, and just the process of talking about your situation will make you sleep better at night.

Whichever way you go, getting your business finances in order will likely cost less than you realize, and the benefits are likely to be much greater than you imagine. Here’s to being happier, healthier and more financially sound in 2016. CHEERS!!!

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Andy Hale

Author:

Andy Hale

Andy is managing director at Supporting Strategies | Texas.

Legal and Tax Disclaimer

This website is created by Supporting Strategies to provide general bookkeeping and accounting information only. Supporting Strategies does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice, and the information contained herein is not intended to do so. As such, the information provided should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, legal, and accounting advisors, and you should consult with a tax, legal and accounting professional before engaging in any transaction.