This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, accounting, or tax advice. The information contained herein is subject to change and may vary from time to time in your region. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.
Are your books a mess? Finding it hard to keep them organised? You’re not alone. Many small business owners, especially as they’re just starting out, have trouble keeping their accounting and bookkeeping in order. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to set yourself up for clean and easy bookkeeping. Here’s your action plan.
1. Clean your house
The first step is to tidy things up.
Make sure your books are reconciled and all expenses are entered. Verify that opening balances in your bank account and credit cards are correct in your bookkeeping system. If you use Intuit’s QuickBooks Online, you can use the Sync with Square app to automatically enter all your Square transaction data into QuickBooks.
Make sure your business transactions are separate from your personal transactions. Open separate bank and credit card accounts for your business if you haven’t done so already.
Clean up your record keeping. Get rid of unused or inactive items, such as former clients or vendors, from your books.
Ensure you understand the differences between employees and contractors when doing the books. Your responsibilities to your employees are very different from those to your contractors.
2. Develop a plan
You need to keep your accounting up to date all year. Here’s how to do that:
Schedule regular times each week to make sure your books are up to date, whether you use a bookkeeper or do this yourself. If you’d rather focus on other aspects of your business, consider hiring a bookkeeper.
Review your current bookkeeping procedures to find areas for improvement. Determine your biggest pain points, such as keeping track of receipts, mileage, or inventory, and look for ways to streamline by using apps that work with Square and QuickBooks Online. Also make sure you’re maximising features already available in the existing software solutions you use.
If you’re using an online bookkeeping system, set up features such as bank rules to automatically categorise recurring transactions such as subscription fees, loans, and insurance bills. Consider additional applications that can streamline processes like TSheets for time tracking or Bigcommerce for web store integration. Make sure you understand how they work before you try to implement them.
Consider consulting with an accountant to learn about any changes in the tax laws in the upcoming year that may impact your business.
3. Implement your plan
Now that you have a plan, stick to it. Schedule your accounting sessions calendar and keep it up throughout the year.
A little effort at regular intervals can make the bookkeeping process less daunting and give you valuable, timely information that helps you make better business decisions. Smart, clean books are a gift that you give yourself so your business can be more productive and profitable than ever before.
Heather Satterley is an Enrolled Agent licensed to practice before the IRS and an Intuit QuickBooks ProAdvisor. She is passionate about helping small business owners spend less time on their bookkeeping and more time pursuing their passion.
To make your accounting a breeze, connect your Square account to Intuit QuickBooks Online in Square App Marketplace.