QuickTips: Tips & Tricks For Bookkeeping Success
I don’t necessarily mean to “beat a dead horse” as they say (that would just be cruel), but this month I’ve been talking to a lot of clients and giving presentations about the importance of cleaning up your books and it got me wondering how many of you took the advice I gave in last month’s column. Have you set aside time to get your books in order? Have you scheduled that all important appointment with your accountant to discuss what tax strategies are still available to help you lower your 2018 tax bill? Have you discussed what your tax strategy will look like in 2019? And, of course, what have you done to bring the importance of retirement planning to the foreground in your business?
The topics I cover in my articles are crucial to the success of your business and, as we approach year end, time is running out to make some solid strategic moves in 2018. But, of course, first thing’s first – your books should be somewhat in good working order.
Good things take time and you already have a limited number of hours to spend on bookkeeping. Moreover, you might think your books are too far gone to deliver any type of business value. I’m here to tell you that that’s not true. I’ve been working with small businesses over the last 20 years or so and the most valuable thing I’ve learned to date is that ALL bookkeeping practices can be easily fixed when you sprinkle in a little education and a few processes.
When I work with a client, I have one main objective – to make their lives a little easier – and to do this, I focus on improving their bookkeeping efficiencies. The first step is to simply educate them on proper bookkeeping strategies in an effort to help them break the bad habits they’ve already picked up over the years. In other words, we start by reacquainting ourselves with the basics of bookkeeping.
First, I want to say that I have never had a client with perfect (or even somewhat clean) books. Oftentimes, people will reach out to me because their bookkeeping processes are either non-existent or in utter chaos. Oftentimes, they are already using a bookkeeping program to help them along, but without a solid foundation of basic bookkeeping practices and accounting fundamentals, the technology is actually detrimental. Even though technology, such as QuickBooks©, is a very powerful tool, at the end of the day, it’s just a tool. Technology is really only as savvy as the user.
Listen to episode 133, “the value of good bookkeeping for business owners,” featuring Amy Smith on unsuitable on Rea Radio, Rea’s award-winning weekly podcast!
The best way to overcome ANY issue in life is to educate your way out of it which makes education the most powerful tool in your arsenal.
If the books of your business are stressing you out, then more than likely we can assist you by educating and developing new processes and procedures that can give you back the time you need to work “on” the business and not “in” the business.
For me, when stress begins to creep into my life – no matter what the area – I know that it’s time to make a change. Are you ready to make a change?
Now on to this month’s bookkeeping tips.
Stressing Education In October
- Educate Yourself – There are so many great opportunities out there for ongoing education and, most of the time, they are offered at low or no cost. For example, I’ve been working with a lot of great bookkeepers and business owners who have committed to bettering their books in my monthly seminars. The next one is a two-day training course on November 7 and 14 at the Rea office in Zanesville. You can check out our events page on Facebook to learn about others that are coming up in your area.
- Reconcile Right – I like to encourage QuickBooks users to reconcile ALL accounts inside of the QuickBooks Reconciliation Window – everything from bank accounts, credit cards and bank loans. When all the accounts are reconciled that tells us that ALL the data is in the system and we can easily move things around to the appropriate categories within QuickBooks.
- Account for your Assets – Have you purchased anything new or sold anything? Take a close look at your fixed assets and make sure that what you have posted there is truly a fixed asset and not just an expense.
- Gather Your 1099s – Do you have updated W9’s for your independent contractors? And, if so, do you have them properly set up in QuickBooks, which will allow you to easily issue the 1099s? These usually get overlooked due to the payroll deadlines in January. Don’t fall prey to this common oversight.
As always, you are more than welcome to email me with questions. Also, if you have a tip and would like to share it with our audience, send it my way! (I just might send you a present just for sharing!)
Until next month!
By Heather McNichols, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor® (New Philadelphia office)
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