Bad Advice We’ve Heard About Bookkeeping
Read about bad bookkeeping advice you should shy away from.
Like anything essential—eating, sleeping, running a small business—we all strive to maximize the impact of our efforts. That makes us eager knowledge seekers, looking to learn as much as we can and apply our newfound insights to our own lives. Our eagerness often has the unintended consequence of sending us into the open arms of some bad advice. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of it out there.
The business realm is, unfortunately, no exception. While we’ve seen plenty of bad business advice, some of the worst is reserved for bookkeeping. If you’re looking for advice on bookkeeping, chances are good you’re trying to improve your business, which means bad advice can set you on the wrong path. We’ve rounded up some “tips” it would be wise to disregard.
#1 – Use a Family Member to Save Money
When you’re starting your business, it’s OK to start with family help, but as you grow, this can become a serious problem, especially if they are not a bookkeeping expert.
As a business grows, bookkeeping becomes a time-consuming task and becomes more complex. If you don’t keep up with it you’re going to be in trouble. And it’s not something you can put off. Here at Steiner Business Solutions, we’ve heard countless stories from well-meaning family members who have been overwhelmed by their bookkeeping efforts as a business grows, watching in frustration as their to-do list grows longer while bookkeeping takes more and more of their time. And this isn’t the only danger. Bookkeeping is a specialized task, so the lack of a trained professional who focuses on bookkeeping could have major detrimental effects on your business down the line.
#2 – Just Use a Spreadsheet to Keep Your Books
Everyone has a certain suite of office-related software programs on their computer. And if not, there are plenty of free versions available. Using one of these spreadsheet programs can hurt your bookkeeping efforts or not give you the results in the format you or your CPA need.
Like all bad advice, this sounds good in theory. After all, many of us are already well-versed in computer-based spreadsheet programs, using formulas and other tools to crunch numbers quickly. But formula errors are easier to make than you think. And as your business grows, chances are you’ll need your all-purpose spreadsheet program to do some very complicated tasks. Rather than wasting time reinventing the wheel and creating something cumbersome, invest in a dedicated bookkeeping software tool.
#3 – Growth Above All Else
To get your business off the ground, you need to maintain a singular focus on growth. As your initial profits come in, reinvest them immediately and keep the momentum going!
Many business owners think, especially in the early days of their business, that the best use of any money made is reinvestment in the business. And we can’t blame them for thinking this way. After all, when you’re struggling to keep the lights on, it seems silly to set money aside. But if you don’t, April 15th—Tax Day—is going to come at you hard and fast. Keeping an ever-present eye on taxes, and setting aside money each month, may seem counterintuitive, but it will keep you safe from a sudden shock that could very well knock the wind out of your burgeoning business.
To help you take control of your bookkeeping, we offer a range of basic to full charge bookkeeping services here at Steiner Business Solutions.