A small business owner is a powerhouse of information. When you first start a business, you are in charge of everything. You not only provide the product or service that you are promising to your customers or clients, but you also have to order the supplies, pay the rent, and change the light bulbs!
Love it or hate it, your responsibilities also include accounting. What do you do with the bank statements that come in monthly? Pile them up and somehow hope that someone, somewhere will do something with them? How will you know if your business is performing commensurate with all of the hard work you've been putting in? In the age of online banking, many business owners are soothed if they have a positive cash balance in their account, and that's as far as some go in looking at the numbers.
Having an accounting system in place when you first start your business can be incredibly enlightening. How cool is it to see in black and white how your business performed last month? Usually though, the accounting is the part of owning a business that most business owners dread. It doesn't have to be this way! And the good news is, you don't have to wait until you have your taxes done to know how your business performed last year!
There are so many accounting solutions out there--some simple, some not so much. It is your job to generate the income to make your business successful, and the monthly accounting should not leave you scratching your head. You're good at getting new clients, servicing existing customers, and doing what your business card says you do. Accountants are really good at determining what type of accounting system is right for you, and where your business is right now.
Many of my clients are under the impression that an accounting system has to be complicated and expensive. This is just not the case! A small business can gain tremendous benefits from keeping their income and expenses listed on an Excel spreadsheet. No, I'm not kidding, and yes, it can be that easy! This option is better than a Wawa bag full of receipts. Others can benefit from a QuickBooks accounting software solution, and yet others have their own proprietary software that is geared toward their industry.
Wherever your business falls on this spectrum, please consider an accounting professional to come in to help you diagnose your particular accounting needs. When tax time comes around, your tax preparation fees will likely go down if you hand your accountant a clean profit and loss statement and balance sheet. This will put you in control of your business all year, not just at tax time. Make 2017 the year that you gain control of your business's accounting!