While many people use the new year as an opportunity to resolve at least one positive change, most new year’s resolutions end up abandoned before January is even over. Saving money, getting fit, traveling more, and finding a new job tend to be among the most popular resolutions. Using the new year to commit to better financial management is a wise idea; better financial management improves cash flow, maximizes revenue, reduces wasteful spending, and creates better record-keeping to save time and stress when tax season approaches. If your personal or business bookkeeping could use a little updating and improving, the new year is the perfect time to get started. Making a few simple changes can lead to big time and cost savings, as well improved accuracy and efficiency.
One of the biggest obstacles to good bookkeeping is organization. It is essential to have a clear and consistent system in place for bookkeeping tasks, such as:
creating and sending invoices
storing receipts for equipment purchases
processing pay checks
There is no better time than now to implement a system if your bookkeeping has become sloppy, erratic, or inconsistently recorded. Having a designated place to keep all bills, receipts, and financial documentation is vital. Digital storage for uploaded receipts can be a space-saving way to keep your expense documentation organized; online accounting tools are also a good resource for keeping your accounts payable and receivable up-to-date. Cloud-based tools don’t take up any office space and can be accessed anywhere you happen to be working so that no important bookkeeping task has to be put off to another time when you are near all your office supplies.
When the outgoing money is starting to exceed the incoming money, lack of a workable budget may be the culprit. The new year is a perfect time to review your old budget to see what changes need to be made. If you don’t have a budget, or if the one you had been using has proven obsolete to the business challenges of the last year, take some time to go over it in detail. Review your spending over the last 12 months in order to revise budgeted spending categories in order to create more accurate forecasts for this year; cut out any nonessential categories that are draining your funds and straining your cash flow.
Whether your debt is personal or business related, it can quickly become a stressful and unwieldy burden to your financial health. Getting out of debt doesn’t just happen, and, many times, paying only minimum required payments ends up prolonging the pain of debt beyond what is necessary. Gathering up all your debts to see where you owe the most is the first step in prioritizing which debts to pay off first. Paying down high-interest debts early will save money in the long run. You may also look into consolidating high-interest debts at a lower rate while you get rid of smaller debts that can be wiped out quickly.
Long-term financial health requires planning, and having a small savings can be a lifeline when unexpected expenses come up so that they do not throw off your entire budget and financial plan. If you have some discretionary income, you may be able to accrue a small savings incrementally, even while you pay your bills and tackle debt. Contributing even a small amount each month to an emergency savings can add up, eventually helping you reach a goal of 3-6 months savings tucked away.
If better financial management is one of your resolutions this year, online automating tools can be a big help in getting started and keeping you on track. Checkeeper is for individuals, bookkeepers, and businesses of all sizes, and can go a long way in improving financial organization for you as well as your company. Checkeeper improves financial management by:
· Allowing you to create and print customized personal or business checks on-demand from the convenience of your home or office
· Mailing checks for you when you are out of supplies or short on time
· Recording all payments issued by check in a secure online registry
· Limiting and tracking the activity on your account according to the user permissions you authorize
· Integrating with popular accounting tools for instant, accurate financial updating
· Offering secure, universal access to your account