41 – How to Manage Your Bookkeeping in the DIY Phase
June 27, 2019
This episode is brought to you by my bookkeeping strategy sessions. You’re probably in one of three areas. DIY, outsourcing or understanding. Each of these stages comes with different struggles and questions. I can help with all three.
If you’re stuck and don’t know how to begin tackling your massive bookkeeping problem that’s keeping you up at night, I can help. We can create an actionable, manageable plan for you to catch up with your books and how to not fall behind again. To book one of these limited sessions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be sure we are a good fit to work together. Now, on with the show.
How to manage your own bookkeeping in the DIY phase.
If you are in the beginning phases of business, you’re probably doing your own bookkeeping. Unless you have lots of cash up front and are able to outsource this, you’re the one sitting behind the computer working on this.
But what should you be doing? How do you know it’s all getting done? And done correctly?
5 tips on how to manage your bookkeeping
- Put it on your calendar and stick to it as if it were a meeting with your most important client. Make a date with yourself to get it done. This should be at least monthly and is for functions like reconciling, creating invoices, marking invoices paid and so on. It doesn’t have to be a boring experience either, especially if you’re dreading it. Find a quiet spot or a coffee shop to go to. Have a beverage of your choice. Anything alcoholic is probably not a good idea, but maybe you get a smoothie or something you don’t normally have as a treat while you’re working on it. And when you’re done, make plans to do something you enjoy!
- Check your cash every day, even if it’s painful. Cashflow and cash management are two areas that absolutely destroy businesses. If you don’t have cash, then you don’t have much of a business. Check your balances every day. If it’s getting low, check on your receivables. Keep a pulse on what’s happening. If you know that payroll is on Friday and you need $2,000, on Monday you can know if you’re going to have enough. Make sure that you track those big expense too to know when they’re due so that you can have enough to cover them.
- Send out invoices promptly and follow up. This all goes back to receivables and cash flow. When you have a contract with a client, it should have a fee schedule in the contract. You can create those invoices in QuickBooks and date them into the future so that you know when to send out invoices. Send them promptly. Make a calendar reminder. And follow up with them if they’re not paid within a few days, weeks and definitely by the end of the month. You don’t want to pester your clients, but you do want them to know you’re running a business, not a charity. You may even want to have language in your contract that states if they don’t pay, they don’t get their work.
- Put time aside to pay your bills one day a week or see what was withdrawn. This is different than the first item because that is mainly geared towards tasks in QuickBooks. This is just making sure the bills are paid! I still have clients that get paper bills or electronic bills that have to be paid. Keeping up with these is essential to build trust and goodwill with your vendors. If you become known for not paying your bills timely, then people won’t want to work with you. If you’re paying electronically, this won’t take long. If you’re cutting checks, it will take a little longer, but it’s still worth it to keep up with every single week.
- Keep up with your receipts, even if you’re just taking a photo of them and putting it in a album on your phone. Receipts are the bane of so many business owner’s existence. I’ve found that the simpler you make the system, the better. So, when you’re checking out at Target for business expenses on your business card, take a snapshot of the receipt right then. And then leave. It takes two seconds and now you have an electronic copy of your receipt that you will need when you reconcile your accounts at the end of the month.
I’d be honored to work with you. To get started, email me at email@example.com with the problem you’re having and we can discuss the best way to get to a solution.
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So until next time, go, make it happen.