Getting a business off the ground requires rapid adoption of a lot of skill sets that may seem new and daunting. Bookkeeping continues to be one of the biggest time drains for small business owners, though no successful business can thrive without it. Consider some basic essential steps to make bookkeeping as efficient and painless as possible when you’re first getting started.
Even if the business you're running is small and does not legally require you to open a separate business account, doing so will make your bookkeeping much more efficient and organized. You may not have a big budget now, but ideally you are anticipating growth, so keeping the business funds in a designated account—separate from your personal money—will make transparent your business-related spending and revenue, which will lead to better management of your funds and more accurate projections down the line. A designated business account helps you keep exact track of money in and out each month so that you can forecast more precisely your upcoming business expenses and plan accordingly. You will also have a much easier time filing your taxes later when your financial statement includes only transactions related to your business, including costs of equipment, space, and supplies that may be deductible.
The most important part of bookkeeping is staying organized. This means keeping a record of everything to ensure accurate assessments of how much money you have on hand at any given time. Software and online services can take a lot of the hassle out of documentation by giving you a template ledger to record and store all your transactions and notify you of upcoming due dates on bills.
Hiring a dedicated bookkeeper may be out of budgetary bounds for your small business. Spending a lot of your own time on it is not a wise investment because it diverts your energy and attention away from the things that are needed to make your business profitable (i.e., developing products and finding clients). A little research into the right accounting services or software for your particular needs can save you time and money in the long and short run. QuickBooks continues to be one of the most highly-rated accounting programs on the market, but others are also widely used, have good reputations, and may satisfy your needs. Evaluating the best accounting software for small businesses in 2022, Investopedia named Xero best for micro-businesses and FreshBooks best for service-based businesses. Before selecting a program, do some research to find the one that best suits your needs; look into its reputation, its features, its suitability to your particular type of business, its ability to expand with your business, its security guarantees, and its level of customer support.
Checkeeper works compatibly with these accounting programs and others to create, print, and mail business checks to vendors, clients, and employees.
Payroll processing is one of the most time-consuming bookkeeping tasks for business owners. While your staff may be small in the beginning (perhaps a staff of one or two), your growing business will also grow in its staffing needs. When you find that keeping track of employee records and calculating salaries, taxes, and deductions is taking you away from your other business tasks, it is time to automate the work. Gusto was recently named the best payroll software this year due to its features and affordability. Others are available, as well, that can automate and streamline the payroll process as well as file payroll taxes and ensure compliance with payroll laws.
A check-printing and -mailing service can complete the automated payroll process for you by creating and mailing paychecks to your business or to your employees directly. Checkeeper integrates with most accounting programs on the market and can seamlessly import data to create professional checks with your business logo and then overnight mail them wherever you wish.
Multi-tasking can be good for certain areas of administration, but bookkeeping does not tend to be one because it is not forgiving of errors. Accuracy is highly important when you are reconciling your accounts, paying your bills, filing your taxes, or paying your employees. Mistakes can be very costly! And the time it takes to fix those mistakes is simply wasted. So set aside some time that you can devote just to managing your financial responsibilities without distraction. Fewer errors means fewer headaches and much more productive work.