Bookkeeping reduces small business headaches
The young businesswoman really needed help with bookkeeping. In a hurry—as always–she quickly clicked through the order on the website, saving a copy of the sales receipt to her already cluttered computer desktop. Her eyes went back to the time again—just a few more minutes until she had to be at a lunch with a new client. That gave her enough time to call in the much-needed repair on the malfunctioning printer. Grabbing her cell phone and dumping a few crumpled receipts from her purse into her desk drawer, she made the repair call and scooted out the door.
“The most common mistake that I see small business owners make is neglecting bookkeeping,” says Miriam Kirk, who heads up Bookkeeping Solutionz, a business that provides assistance with bookkeeping tasks and recordkeeping—and even comes to clients’ offices. “They often feel like bookkeeping should take a back seat while they do the work of growing a business, but bookkeeping is the most essential part of a business. You can’t know whether your business is successful or making money if you don’t have good information.”
Miriam worked with the harried, receipt-challenged business owner and helped her to identify and process her accounts payables and accounts receivables. She showed her how to track business expenses, such as client lunches and equipment repairs, and she walked her through the important step of reconciling business-related bank and credit card statements. Miriam also helped the business owner establish a payroll process for the two college students who worked part-time in the office and provided essential administrative help.
“When you have meaningful, well-organized financial records, then your business operations will run more efficiently on a daily basis,” explains Miriam, who has more than a decade of experience in the field. “Consistency is essential—a healthy business monitors its records on a regular basis. That allows you to find problems and correct them before it’s too late. A well-designed accounting system also ensures that information about the company can be communicated to managers, owners, and others who need it for decision making.”
No matter the state of a business’s financial documents, Miriam recommends that small business owners proactively seek help to establish a sound bookkeeping system. She offers free, confidential assessments to help owners move toward that goal. “A professional bookkeeper can help you with overseeing accounts, managing records, and maintaining an audit trail,” she notes. “I always recommend hiring an experienced bookkeeper, because most people just don’t have the time to manage their own financial systems, and bookkeeping is the glue that holds your business together.”