5 Ways to Make Your Accounting Work for You that any business owner or manager can implement on any budget. Financials are the life and death of your business. You can’t be too busy to take care of your bottom line!
I spend my days with business owners and managers of all sizes of businesses in all kinds of industries and yet consistently, I hear some of the same issues regardless of the specifics. One of the key things I hear people share is about how they don’t like the amount of time it takes for them to handle the accounting components of the business. While I can definitely respect the fact that unless they are Accountants, they didn’t go into business to spend time on accounting. Point taken. I agree and understand, but often times they error so far in the opposite direction that they think the Accounting should somehow magically take care of itself. Reality check — not going to happen. You as the business owner/manager have to make it a priority. While you don’t have to be the one doing it personally, you do have to set the stage that you find it important and the lifeline of your business. Accounting is the language of business and Cash is King.
Here are 5 Ways to Make Your Accounting Work for You:
1. Utilize a computerized system is the #1 tip. In today’s society there are a myriad of options depending on the particular needs of your business that there is no excuse to use a manual system. If you have a business, you need to invest in the time and money of having a computerized system. There are a variety of options to choose from including QuickBooks, Sage — Including formerly called PeachTree, Microsoft Dynamics, and many, many more.
2. Own the accounting process. Accounting should not be an after thought. Someone needs to live and breathe it for you to have the best success possible. Preferably that is someone with work experience and educational background to give you a solid foundation. This could be someone hired on as an employee, could be you the owner/manager, or it can be contracted out to someone with the appropriate skill set.
I will tell you from many years of experience and the blood, sweat and tears of many clients that you as the business owner need to be hands on so that you have a good idea of what is happening. NO ONE will love your business like you do. It is your money so you need to make it a priority. Having someone help you, internally or externally is recommended so you can focus on growing your business, but don’t leave someone else to own the accounting alone.
3. Don’t be too busy to do accounting. I can’t tell you how many times I have clients say to me that they’ve been too busy to invoice their customers. WHAT? How are you too busy to collect money? Key point — it doesn’t matter how much you sell if you are not tracking how much you are collecting. Cash is King. I can tell you that personally in 20 years I have never been too busy to bill a customer. I too get busy and there may be days where I and my staff could be more mindful and on top of billing the clients vs taking care of the clients, but it doesn’t go by the wayside. We may be behind a day or two but not months or years. I had a client recently who hadn’t billed their clients for months…some almost a year. And you wonder why your business isn’t making the money you want it to?? Hello? You can’t tell me you are too busy to bill your customer and have prioritized it so little that you are unwilling to pay someone to help you do it. That makes no sense to me. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money!
4. Organize and Prioritize your time. As a business owner/manager you will never feel like you have enough time. You have to be able to organize and prioritize your time so that you will make your Accounting processes a priority. There will always be something you could be doing otherwise. You just need to pencil time in on your schedule on a regular basis to do the necessary work that it takes to run your business and manage your financials. If you spend the time tracking the necessary information then you also want to take the time to use the reports your system provides to you. Information is priceless.
5. Partner with a Great Accountant who has time for you. It’s understandable that you can’t be everything to your business. None of us are. Wise people will tell you that you surround yourself with people who are smarter than you in their areas of expertise. You can’t be an expert at everything, but you can surround yourself with experts to help you. This includes Accounting. You want to make sure you feel comfortable with them and that you feel they are a good fit as they will know more about you and your business than you probably do yourself. You won’t be sorry!
Don’t see accounting as a necessary evil. You should understand that by having an organized accounting process and system it will bring you many rewards. Making your accounting work for you allows you to have reports that show you where your money is coming from and going to. Take the time and energy to make sure you have good accounting processes so that your accounting works for you!
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