Over the past couple of weeks we talked about setting SMART goals and about reflecting on all of our accomplishments in 2012. Well now it’s time to start checking off those goals for 2013. So to help, I have created a 3 step system to gaining financial control that is sure to guide you.
1. The first step is to become financially organized. Often times we, as business owners, talk about managing our finances better. All the while we are making purchases and deposits without any type of record keeping. It’s great to keep receipts but when it comes time to let a bank or potential investor know how much income you have earned, you have to go digging around to figure it out. When your cash balance is low and you want to know where all your money is being spent, you have to pull out a calculator and tally it up. Even I, who has an accounting degree, do not want to be adding up receipts.
2. The second step is to actually use the system. IMPLEMENTATION!! I know it sounds basic and simple; but so many times people purchase an off the shelf system and then leave it in the box. Do you know that off the shelf systems are updated monthly; sometimes weekly and then upgraded annually? This is why I promote using an online or virtual based system. That way you don’t have to worry about being outdated almost as soon as you purchase the product. Whether you receive the training yourself, hire a staff or outsource it doesn’t make a difference just actually use the system. Have your transactions entered directly; or better yet imported directly from your bank. Also use a scanner to scan the receipts into an organized filing system. And you will never have to look at a pile of statements AGAIN!
3. The third and final step is to create a system that will help you maintain steps one and two. Creating a system is CRITICAL! Without a well defined, structured system you will be back to financial disaster in less than three months. In order to create a system, you need to sit down and write out everything you need to do every month to ensure your accounting system is up to date. Or better yet ask me how you can get a copy of the template I use. If you follow this system, your business will begin to run more smoothly and efficiently. You will have more time to focus on your core business instead of shuffling through papers. You will be able to create and print reports on demand that can be given to a banker, accountant, tax preparer or IRS agent. At any given point in time you will be able see how much income you have earned and where it is all being spent.
What systems do you have in place that help you control your business finances?
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