If you are an entrepreneur, self-employed or work from your home you know that keeping accounting records can be a daunting task. This is especially so if you are one of those that generally put it off until the end of the year. In this article, we provide suggestions on how to keep accounting records for any business.
1. Create a dumping basket for invoices and receipts
Have a bin in a central location where you can just dump all those receipts, invoices, bank statements, cheque stubs, paying in books and anything else to do with accounting and bookkeeping for your business. Here you will put all those accounting records that you need in order to prepare your accounts and tax return. These will include petty cash expenses, notes and anything that you need to get to that you don’t need to do right away but you know you would want to look at in the next couple of weeks. You can put in that bin each and every document related to your business and know that you’ll be looking at it monthly. This is just wonderful so that you know where everything goes if you have other people in your family or people that come into your home that have other receipts. This way, you know where things are when it comes time to record everything.
2. Chose a day for organising the accounting paperwork
Plan a day that’s easy to remember that happens once a month where you can go through everything related to accounting and bookkeeping. There is always a certain day where you don’t have anything in your schedule and you just know that day is going to be your business day for maintaining your accounting records. You are going to dedicate this day to sorting out your paperwork for accounting. That is a perfect day to get your bookkeeping and accounting stuff done.
3. Develop a bookkeeping checklist
Have a bookkeeping checklist to use on the chosen day where you just go through and mark down everything that you did and it has all the steps of what you need to do in your in order to get you bookkeeping situation up to date. It really helps to not get sidetracked and to know exactly what you need to do after a couple of months of business.
4. Categorise your income and expenses receipts
Accounting is all about arranging your transactions in an orderly manner. Before you go in and enter anything what you do with all your receipts and stuff is to go through them and categorize them all. This will look different for every situation but using common expenses as an example, you can categorise expenses into Travel, light and heat, telephone, rent, rates and so on. Go through and categorize standard purchase receipts like things you buy for resale. You will have non-standard receipts. Things that you don’t buy often like tires. You can then arrange them by date because it is much easier to enter them in chronological order. So go through each of those piles and put them in the right date order and then get on to the next step.
5. Go through the receipts
Before you sit at your computer or your book where you keep everything make sure you go through each receipt now that it’s organized and in its category and by date and go through and write on there what type of expense it was. Do any adding up there and then so it’s kind of like assembly line style. You are doing just one thing at a time. You are not sitting at the computer adding it up entering it and then going to the next one. You are having to make sure that each step in the accounting circle is taken care of on its own and as a group.
6. Use accounting software.
Use a bookkeeping software program that you are comfortable with that makes your life easier to record all your receipts for the month. You might have to test out a few accounting software or do some research but it really does help to have a program that’s really good and streamlined that could help save you money because at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. Organising your bookkeeping system is all about saving time and money.
7. Reward yourself for a job well done
After you’ve completed all your accounting and tax related tasks for the month just sit down and relax and have a cup of coffee maybe have a cup of wine depending on what type of job you have and what you’re doing at that time. Just find something small maybe sit down and watch a show. Just give yourself a little break, go for a walk, go out to eat with a friend or something just have something that you look forward to after you do this because not only will you benefit and just feeling good and rewarding yourself but you also feel so good after you do this for the month because it’s one last month that you don’t have to worry about come next January and that is a wonderful feeling.
Those are seven tips that can help anyone stay on top of their bookkeeping, accounting, taxes and record-keeping. If you need more help and advice on anything accounting or tax we are here to serve. Call or email us!