Perhaps the number one action you can take to support the financial health of your small business is to stay on top of accounting. Make sure you're aware of most small businesses' accounting challenges and learn how to overcome them. We'll tell you how here!
You've been banking for years, and you know how to manage the task. However, when you own a business, banking isn't like managing personal checking and savings accounts. Unfortunately, many small business owners use their personal funds to pay for business expenses, especially when first starting out. Even small costs add up over time. This "cross contamination" of spending between personal and business accounts can lead to costly mistakes, not to mention headaches for your accounting team. Keep personal expenses, and business expenses separate all the time. Have dedicated bank accounts and credit cards only used for one or the other. If you need to track down an expenditure, you only need to look in one place.
When bank accounts are separated, budgeting becomes exponentially easier. You can even use an accounting software program to help you keep up with money coming and going to and from your business. However, recognize that simply entering information into a software program is not the end of the work when balancing a budget. Thinking that is true ends up being the downfall of many small businesses. Budgeting for a business means forecasting to ensure that unexpected expenses can be covered, managing inventory, taxes, and more. A shift in any direction can throw off any budget. That's why many small businesses opt to outsource their accounting. The known upfront expense of doing so can far offset costly budgeting errors down the road.
As mentioned above, you must consider the unexpected as part of your budget. Additional (new) taxes, payment delays from customers, rising costs of materials and supplies, new employee training, etc., are all possibilities. A qualified accountant is aware of these unexpected expenses and others that your business could face and knows how to prepare you for them. Awareness of what could financially happen in business is crucial to long-term profitability.
While unexpected expenses are likely the most daunting for a small business, payroll is almost always the most significant. Payroll entails more than what you pay employees. New employee classification, if incorrect, could cost you a bundle in penalties. Other payroll-related accounting challenges are pay accuracy, proper tax filing, compliance, and paid time off tracking.
Unless you're an HR professional, and chances are you're not if you're the business owner, consider recruiting a qualified accountant to help you manage payroll. It will save you headaches in the short term and money in the long term.
A conversation about accounting and small business isn't complete without discussing taxes. The tax struggle can be daunting, from filing to making sure you pay enough but that you don't overpay. A significant challenge regarding taxes is merely keeping up with the ever-changing tax laws. A qualified accountant or CPA will be up-to-date on new regulations and guidelines so that you don't have to be.
Overcoming accounting challenges like these is easy with a qualified accounting team on your side. Consider outsourcing your accounting needs so that your focus remains where it should – on running your business your way.
Contact our accounting professionals now for help managing your small business finances.