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With a new year on the horizon, there’s no better time than now to take your business accounting by the reins.
Keeping up with this vital business process can feel like a chore - particularly if you’re prone to procrastination when it comes to the less-than-glamorous administrative side of entrepreneurship.
At Harlands, we’ve made it our mission to take the hassle out of business accounting, so we’re coming to the rescue with an action plan to help you account like a pro in 2023.
With a few golden rules, a couple of time-saving hacks and a subtle change in mindset, you can enjoy the empowerment that comes with knowing your business’s books are spotless.
Make expense tracking a top priority
Having complete oversight of any company expenses is a non-negotiable of business accounting. The human memory is fallible, to say the least, making proper record-keeping utterly vital - and without this crucial financial data, you can’t have an accurate view of your business’s outgoings.
Credit card payments will, of course, be accessible via your monthly account statements - giving you a complete view of all non-cash business expenses.
Whether you go the old-school route and collect all physical receipts for your cash expenses or embrace a digital approach by capturing photos of receipts, the key is to be rigorous with your real-time tracking. Just ensure that your records are complete, accurate and readable if you choose to go digital with your record-keeping.
Embrace the art of digitisation
Digitisation is no longer a burgeoning revolution in the world of business. It’s now a standard that the contemporary business owner must embrace to avoid being left behind.
The more you have in the way of physical records, the greater the potential for these important files and documents to be lost in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of running your business.
Digitising your accounting places your record-keeping in the safe hands of purpose-built software, making files easier to access while reducing administrative costs and driving overall business efficiencies. On top of that, going digital also creates opportunities for automation, which can be invaluable in terms of minimising human error around manual data entry.
Create a bookkeeping processes bible
The best processes are endlessly repeatable, and this is undoubtedly true of business accounting.
If the act of bookkeeping makes you feel like you’re scrambling around aimlessly in the dark (and you wouldn’t be the first to admit it), what you need is a system. Having a prescribed process for your accounting will take the guesswork out of your financial reporting and forecasting for a brighter future for your business.
If you’re a company owner, the hope is that you’ll become too successful and, as a result, too busy to retain regular administrative duties like bookkeeping. When the time comes to delegate your company accounting, you’ll want total peace of mind that this process is being carried out in a uniform way each time for reliable results.
In the meantime, for your own sanity, taking the steps to create this new bookkeeping bible will keep you firmly on track with your own business accounting efforts and ensure your system is an efficient and replicable one.
Examine your financial data (and often)
One of the primary benefits of meticulous bookkeeping is the bank of useful data it generates. Each new day, week and month of financial data all contribute to the big picture of your business’s financial health, which can be periodically analysed to highlight areas for improvement and drive change.
It’s important to have a handle on your short-term accounting for the purposes of basic financial housekeeping if nothing else. Just as important, though, is making the time to perform longer-term accounting reviews. Zooming out to these larger samples of data gives you the perspective you’ll need to spot both positive and negative trends in your business’s incomings and outgoings.
While taking the time out of your already hectic day in the world of entrepreneurship may feel like a hard pill to swallow, these account reviews will prove their worth through the financial innovations they make possible.
Let leading software do the heavy lifting
In your mission to master business accounting, don’t forget to lean on leading software solutions purpose-built to streamline these processes.
Take Xero, for example - a cloud accounting software solution designed with small businesses in mind. By outsourcing elements of your business accounting to this smart software, you can take financial duties galore off your plate - from paying bills and taking payments to submitting VAT returns and automating your accounting processes.
There’s the potential for custom accounting dashboards, where you can monitor outstanding invoices at a glance - plus automated reminders to minimise the man-hours required for these otherwise inconvenient tasks.
Boycotting premium accounting software solutions on the grounds of cost can be a false economy, given the considerable time and cost savings created by automating your bookkeeping. Open your mind to the potential of cloud accounting software in 2023 and you’ll find that the arduous task of business accounting becomes a relative breeze.
When all else fails, outsource to the experts
Of course, if you’re daunted by the responsibility of keeping your business’s accounts up to scratch, there’s always the option of outsourcing this important duty to the accounting experts themselves.
Accountancy firms are dedicated to giving business owners the newfound time and freedom to get on with running their businesses, knowing their accounts are in safe hands. Hiring an external accountant will ensure your accounts are looked after to the highest possible standard while also paving the way for better financial forecasting and growth.
These best-practice accounting habits should empower you to get a firmer grip on your company finances and move into the coming year with confidence - but the right course of action for your business is whatever helps you give your enterprise the attention it deserves.
Make better business accounting your New Year’s resolution for 2023. If you need some help transforming your haphazard systems into a well-oiled accounting machine, we’re here. Contact the Harlands team to take the first step towards best-practice bookkeeping now.