Good financial management requires reviewing billing statements before paying. While time is short, and going over each expense may seem tedious, mistakes and oversights do sometimes happen; if errors are not caught quickly, they may become costly to fix later. Designating some time each month and/or quarter to go over expenditures and billing statements makes reconciling simpler and errors less likely.
If you’ve become used to giving your billing statements little more than a cursory glance, consider six reasons to review your billing statements more carefully before you send in payment:
If your bookkeeping system requires you to delegate spending and expense tracking to other people in your company, it is imperative to review credit statements and bills to make sure that no one is exploiting their authorization. Fraud is a costly, ongoing problem for companies – and often an internal one – but diligent review of financial documents makes companies far less vulnerable. You may also have unauthorized charges initiated by third parties whose contracts you thought you canceled or didn’t realize were ongoing. Reviewing the statements regularly allows you to spot unauthorized charges immediately instead of after months of unnecessary payments.
If you’ve taken the time to make a detailed budget for your business, you will want to check in with it regularly to make sure you’re adhering to category limits for spending. You can use your billing statements to make budget updates, as needed, and to make sure your estimates are on par with your actual expenditures.
If your business is a solopreneurship or a side job, chances are there is some mix of personal with professional charges or bills. While it is advisable to hold personal and business funds in separate accounts, entrepreneurs just starting out sometimes have overlap. If you’ve used a personal checking account to pay for a business expense or made charges on multiple credit cards, careful review of these statements is vital for tracking your business expenses accurately.
Good bookkeeping requires attention to detail, particularly with payments so that you don’t issue duplicate ones. Reviewing your billing statements before issuing payment will prevent you from being overbilled or mistakenly paying twice.
Many payment options come with potential interest charges, but how many people have memorized all the various interest rates for each type of account, loan, or credit card? Frequent review of your statements keeps you updated on the different interest charges your expenses are accruing, and thus helps you make smarter, more educated decisions regarding the most economical disbursement of your various payments. Remaining aware of interest charges also helps you decide when it is most financially advantageous to change credit cards, consolidate balances, or make a payoff.
The longer you put off the bookkeeping, the more time it takes in the long run. While many people find bookkeeping, bill paying, and other routine financial management tasks tedious and laborious, they are important to running a successful business. Half of all small businesses fail within the first five years, and financial issues are almost always involved. Dedicating a little time each week, month, and quarter to go over your bills and align payments with bank statements, credit cards, and other financial documents gives you the clearest overall picture of your company’s financial health. Researching account discrepancies takes far less time when you only have to go back a statement or two; if you haven’t been reviewing statements all along, you may have to go back many months to figure out why accounts are not matching up.
Trying to claw back money from businesses you’ve overpaid or reverse charges for unauthorized purchases is a time-consuming and headache-inducing experience that all business owners seek to avoid. A little time going over each statement before it’s paid leaves less room for errors, regrets, and excessive fees.
Once you’ve taken the time to verify the accuracy of your bills, use online check printing to pay bills directly. Print a check from your device, or have Checkeeper do it for you. Convert your bills directly into check payments and sync the data seamlessly with your other accounting software. Work from your office, home, or remote location and have all check data stored for you in a cloud-based check registry that can be reviewed, downloaded, printed, or searched upon demand.
· Print customized business checks with your company logo and your choice of design and layout
· Convert your vendor invoices directly into checks for payment
· Bundle totals to the same recipient to save time and reduce paperwork
· Record check payments automatically in an online check registry for easier expense tracking
· Print and mail your payment checks for you