One thing I love the most about the New Year is that it’s a chance to start over and get things right this time.
This is how you should look at your small business bookkeeping. Who cares if last year you got so your have a chance to do things differently.
Here are some hints and tips to start the New Year off right:
Create a good filing system. Take the time to file away the old and make way for the new, and organize your filing in a way that is easy to do and easy to understand.
Dedicate a space for your paperwork. The dollar store is an excellent resource for buying folders, basket, decorative boxes and other wonderful paper holders. Every day, empty your pockets, purses, wallets and briefcases of all their receipts and store them in one location.
Stop shuffling paperwork. Handle each piece of paper once, if possible, and twice if necessary. Pick up the receipt, post it in your bookkeeping software, and file it away. I don’t have statistics on how much time is wasted sorting through piles of paperwork and “organizing” it without actually accomplishing anything, but I can imagine it’s massive.
Do you often take employees, clients or business associates for lunches or dinners? Make sure to note on the back of the receipts who attended the meal and what business was discussed. This will make your life easier in the case of a visit from the CRA.
Enjoy your bookkeeping time. Turn on some internet radio, or get the iTunes going.
Make a to-do list of your bookkeeping tasks, and cross things off the list when you finish them. It’s easy to forget that Record of Employment, or that WSIB return that’s due, but if you write it down when you think of it, you will have a reminder. Plus, it’s satisfying to cross things off when they’re completed.
Don’t get behind. Bookkeeping might not be everyone’s favorite task, but it is a lot less daunting to do it one month at a time than to tackle a whole year.
If it’s taking too much time and detracting from your other business obligations, consider hiring an outside bookkeeper. A good bookkeeper will take all this trouble off your hands and help you use the financial data she compiles to help you manage your business.