Advice from friends, family and self-studies can be very helpful, but many times, are not specific to your needs. Searching on the internet, for example, instructions for using your bookkeeping software, can cost you more than hiring an expert who will design the training based on your specific needs. I do hear many correct processes and some great ideas that work well, but if you aren’t consulting with a Bookkeeping Expert, the advice or improper utilization of software, can lead you down a rabbit hole, that will result in a negative impact on your bottom line.
Let’s look at these top basic bookkeeping tasks and unravel the misconceptions.
Procrastinating does not save you time. FALSE. In many instances, allowing yourself to delay replying to emails or phone calls, can minimize your work. The circumstances around the subject in the message changes, particularly in group messages, thus no reply from you is needed. Be careful, as you don’t want to use this as an every-situation rule. Use your best business practice judgement when determining communications that needs immediate attention, or tasks that cannot be ignored nor delayed.
Paying every bill upon arrival, is the best practice. FALSE. You need to be aware of your spending and your budget. Keeping a consistent and updated monthly budget is a good practice to ensure you remain on track to meet your goals. Some bills may not be due until next month, which would allow more room in your current budget to utilize your funds for prior allocations put in place.
Vendor’s bills are accurate, after all, the vendors have proper bookkeeping procedures in place and would not over bill me. FALSE. We all know the breakdown of the word ‘assume’. Every procedure in place was created by a human, and the fact is, humans make errors. Take control of your finances and review details, with accuracy and commitment.
Customer’s payments are correct. False-again. When humans are involved, refer to previous statement. Before writing-off or making any changes to a customer’s invoice to reflect the payment you received, review and ask questions to ensure the adjustment is necessary. Often, it is just an honest mistake by your customer, who is happy to rectify the situation.
Creating procedure manuals are key to managing all areas of your business. TRUE. At minimum, your processes should be tried and tested, updating your procedure manual accordingly. This allows ease in transferring tasks between employees, and training of new employees, with minimal disruption or loss of details.
Proper software instruction should be given by an Expert. TRUE. Hire a software training expert, for accounting software programs such as QuickBooks or Gusto payroll. The savings will exceed the cost, by avoiding errors and the time involved for revisions needed to move forward with accurate processes.
Don’t go down the rabbit hole trying to save a buck by listening to all the 'they' advice given. Search for an Expert that will meet your needs. An Expert will have the experience to help develop procedures that are specific to your needs as well as create the proper software foundation to manage your bookkeeping needs.