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5 Bookkeeping Tips For Small Businesses

Aug 25, 2016 8:23:02 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business bookkeeping, small business operations

Accounting can be one of the toughest activities for small business owners, especially for those who don’t have a background in bookkeeping. Following a few simple bookkeeping tips throughout the year, however, can make it much easier to track expenses and file taxes when the time comes.


5 Bookkeeping Tips for Small Businesses

  1. Plan Ahead

The first step is to look ahead at any recurring expenses and potential needs for your small business and plan ahead. If you have a major expense on the horizon, set aside funds every month to cover the costs. It’s also beneficial to set aside some money for those unexpected maintenance issues or repairs. The key is to be proactive rather than reactive.

  1. Use a Reliable System

Bookkeeping software for small businesses has come a long way over the past decade, and some programs make it much simpler to input expenses and to monitor cash flow. QuickBooks is a popular option for many small businesses, and the cloud-based capabilities make it easy to access or share important financial information without heading into the office.

Download the Small Business Accounting Kit

  1. Make a Schedule

Don’t put your bookkeeping off until the end of the year. This will result in a scramble come tax time when you’re trying to track down receipts and invoices that may be months old. Schedule time each week or month to complete bookkeeping activities on a regular basis, and try your best to stick with the schedule.

  1. Leave a Trail

Stay away from using cash to pay for business expenses, since it can be very difficult to track. It’s best to use a dedicated business credit or debit card to leave a trail of your transactions and avoid any issues with write-offs and taxes.

  1. Review Invoices

Some vendors are notorious for paying bills late. Keep a close eye on your invoices to determine your cash flow and spending power. This also gives you the option to send reminders and follow up on outstanding bills before too much time passes.

Bonus Tip: Recognize When You Need Professional Help

Small business owners are workhorses and sometimes a bit stubborn to ask for help. That being said, if your bookkeeping and accounting activities are taking over too much of your time, you may benefit from bringing in an expert. The time you save can be applied to other aspects of your business that you really do enjoy.

Are you tracking profitability for your small business? Download our free checklist to find out how!


business profitability checklist

Brian Paulson

Written by Brian Paulson

Brian began working at CSI in 1996, and he purchased the business in 2002. As Owner, his primary role is in the management and growth of the firm. Since 2002, the firm has more than quadrupled in size. In 2009, Brian started CSI’s payroll service to complement CSI’s accounting and tax services. Brian received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota, with a double major in Accounting and Financial Management. He’s a member of both the National Society for Tax Professionals and the National Society for Accountants, and he serves on the board of directors for the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants, where he was once president. Brian also serves on the business advisory council for Opportunity Partners, an organization that helps people with disabilities find employment. He’s also contributed to several business books, including Six Steps to Small Business Success and The Lean Mean Business Machine. Fun Fact: To help put himself through college, he used student loans, delivered pizzas, and worked summers in a salmon processing plant in Alaska.