Good accounting is essential right from the very start. Many small business owners believe that they do not need to do any kind of accounting or do only basic bookkeeping, but this is wrong. It is critical for every business, no matter its size, to start accounting from the moment it starts trading. Simply keeping hold of customer receipts and invoices is not enough. The business must set up a simple but thorough system to record all transactions made and to produce reports as and when needed.
Open a separate bank account
When you launch your small business, open a separate bank account for it. It is not uncommon for sole traders for example to simply use their personal checking account for their business but this then makes it impossible, or at least extremely difficult and time-consuming, to carry out a reconciliation, which is a check to ensure that the figure your bookkeeping tells you should be in the account is indeed the amount in the account.
Reconciling your books and accounts regularly, such as weekly or monthly, is a great way to avoid accounting errors. This way if the figures do not add up you will have more chance of being able to correct the mistake. Imagine trying to find a small receipt from ten months ago, for example. That is the kind of problem that can occur and be impossible to correct if you only check your books against your bank right before you have to submit your annual tax return. Read more!
Keep accounts in good order
Good bookkeeping and accounting, such as producing monthly cash flow statements, not only benefits you when it comes to submitting your tax return, which is much easier when you have all of the necessary figures and documentation already in place, but it also benefits you because you can see if you are overspending on particular items or services and predict whether you will make a profit or loss.
For small businesses who want to keep their accounts in good order but who perhaps do not have the expertise needed to do their own accounting, there are a couple of options to choose from. It is possible to buy accounting software online that will produce reports for you. These are relatively cheap and easy to use; however, the reports are only as good as the figures you enter into them so if you make an error, it is likely to go unnoticed.
Hire a small business accountant
It would be highly recommended to any small business to hire a small business accountant as a consultant right from the start of the process, which gives them time to familiarize themselves with your business before the busy period at the end of the tax year. However, you want to ensure that you are working with an accountant who understands your position and can advise on how best to handle your finances, so wherever possible opt for someone who specializes in small business accounting and, preferably, who has already worked with small businesses that are in the same industry as you are. Click here for more information: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/09/start-business-in-depressed-economy.asp