How to Easily Manage Your Business Expenses
By Jim McKinley
Managing your business expenses can be a headache, especially if you dread dealing with numbers. If you get organised, however, and make a point to go over your accounting regularly rather than leaving it for the last minute, it’ll be a breeze.
It’s also important to keep up communication with your accountant; having a professional backing you will ensure that nothing gets missed and no mistakes are made that could come back to haunt you later. Saving all your paperwork and receipts is imperative in making sure the process goes smoothly, so designate one folder or file cabinet just for those so they’ll stay neat.
Running a business is not for the faint of heart, but with a good plan and some organisation, you can make sure that the money end is well taken care of, giving you peace of mind all year long. Here are some tips on how to get started.
Make it neat
Your office should be neat and organised at all times, whether you work at your business or from home. A messy desk is a sure sign that you’re overwhelmed, and it can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety when everything is out of order all the time. If this is an issue, do an overhaul of your office space and get organised. File cabinets should be full of neatly labelled folders so that any type of paperwork is easily accessible.
Keep business and personal accounts separate
One of the first rules of running a business is to keep everything separate. Mixing funds from your business and personal accounts can cause confusion, mistakes on important tax documents, and scrutiny from the tax office, which is a headache no business owner wants to deal with. Having a clear delineation between your accounts–and paperwork to back it up–is the only way to make sure you stay in the clear.
Use technology to your benefit
Calculators and adding machines used to be the only way to get things done when it came to accounting, but these days you can use software like Microsoft Office to help you keep track of your expenditures. Create easy-to-read spreadsheets to stay organised and to help your accountant stay on top of your needs.
Help yourself be successful
People are working from home now more than ever, running their business from a laptop or even a smartphone. Even small business owners who have a storefront are finding that they’re able to get a lot done from the comfort of their home office. However, it’s important to find ways to ensure that you’re successful, as working from home can be a lot more difficult than being in an office environment all day. You have to be dedicated to the job and minimise distractions, and of course you need the right equipment. Think about ways you can help yourself stay on track; this helpful guide from Redfin.com is a great place to start.
When it comes to managing your expenses, it’s important to save everything: receipts, invoices, bills, and anything else relevant to what you spend and how you spend it. Keep it all neat and orderly in a file system so that when tax time rolls around, you’ll be prepared. Train your staff to do things the right way the first time so there will be no mistakes down the road.
Making sure your business expenses are well taken care of not only helps you at tax time, it will keep stress at bay during the rest of the year, as well. Knowing that everything is organised will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your business.