Do what you do best, and that's not bookkeeping (unless you are a bookkeeper)!

Read to the end for details on our free education session for local business owners.

I'm always telling business owners they should be spending their time doing what they do best, and frankly - unless you are a bookkeeper - that's NOT bookkeeping.  But it's vital for all businesses to know how they're doing.

You need to know if you're actually making money and whether you are in a position to grow and improve your business.  To do this you need to have accurate financial records.  Not to mention that it's a legal obligation and if you don't get it right it can be very expensive.

A lot of this can depend upon the software you use.  And just because one package is good for one business owner doesn't mean it's the best one for you.  Often the cheapest option is not the best, and while it may save you in the initial outlay it will cost you in time and efficiency.  You need to consider:

Who is doing the bookkeeping?

If you have a spouse or qualified bookkeeper maintaining the records for you then having quality software to work with means there's less likely to be errors.

And if you're the bookkeeper, as well as the business owner, as well as the business manager, as well as the key worker, then your time is precious and you definitely don't want to be wasting valuable chargeable time fighting outdated or inappropriate software.

Don't stick with a particular software just because it's what you've always used - explore your options.  You might be surprised by what's available, and the small amount of training required might be nothing compared to the time you'll free up to do what you do best, not to mention less stress.

One of the options that is worth exploring is cloud based accounting software, especially if you move around a bit in your working day.  Cloud accounting software allows you to work anywhere, anytime, on any device.  Invoice on the spot with your smart phone, and thereby improve your cashflow.  And we all know cashflow is still king.

Software aside, unless you have a specific expertise in bookkeeping then we always recommend getting good advice for your business.  Yes, you will need to pay for it - but perhaps not as much as you think.  And the cost is usually negligible compared to what you save by getting it right the first time.  Perhaps even more importantly, it gives you time to spend building your business rather than the compliance work, which someone else can probably do faster and more accurately than you anyway.

At the very least, you should consider having an expert look at your processes to make sure you're doing everything correctly and as efficiently as possible.  That way even if you do wish to do your own book work, you know you're on the right track.

Last year we published an article by expert Jenny Edwards "5 Bookkeeping Pitfalls for Business Owners" that received lots of great feedback from our business clients. 

If you'd like to hear more of what I have to say on the matter, click here for a recording of my most recent "You &Your Business" radio segment on 98.1 FM Radio Eastern.

Talk soon,
Caren     

PS. Please don't keep me a secret. If you know someone who'd enjoy this or find it useful, pass it on!