Manage Finances for Your Small Business

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Manage Your Small Business Finances With These Expert Tips

With so many cloud accounting programs out there, it’s easier than ever for small businesses to keep their own books. But are small business owners overlooking important details when managing their own finances?

Here at Merchant Maverick, we know accounting isn’t easy, especially if you have no previous business background. That’s why we reached out to seasoned accounting professionals and certified CPAs to learn their top accounting tips for small business owners. Read on for valuable advice from industry professionals.

Table of Contents

Switch To The Cloud

As a small business owner, you have plenty of time-consuming tasks to worry about; accounting doesn’t have to be one of them. That’s why we love the time-saving mobility that cloud accounting programs offer. Turns out we aren’t the only ones who recommend cloud-based accounting.

Tom Kelly is the Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Oracle + NetSuite. Here’s what he has to say about cloud-based accounting:

If you are not leveraging the Cloud to streamline your accounting processes you need to be. Everything from your ERP to how you manage the travel and expense report process should be Cloud-based. It will allow a small company the ability to focus on the things that matter most versus focusing too much time and resources on administrative activities.

If streamlining your finances by switching to the cloud sounds like a good idea for your small business, take a look at our top-rated accounting programs to find which software is right for you. Or read Accounting Software: Cloud-Based or Locally Installed?

Automate Your Bookkeeping

If you’re currently using accounting software, there are an array of automations at your fingertips. Don’t let them go to waste!

Aaron Lesher, CPA and Head of Customer Success at Hurdlr, shares his advice about some of the most time-saving automations small businesses should be using:

Automate your bookkeeping to track business earnings and expenses using an app that links with your bank account to automatically pull transactions and saves receipts. Delegating this boring task saves you tons of time, empowers you with real-time profit and tax estimates, and allows you to spend more time on growing your business.

Automations like live bank feeds, automatic transaction categorization, and receipt scanning can save time. Use them whenever possible.

Separate Personal & Business Expenses

No one wants to get audited. One of the biggest red flags the IRS looks for is conflation of personal and business expenses.

Several small business accounting programs, like Wave, allow you to isolate personal expenses from business expenses. However, Josh Zimmelman, owner of Westwood Tax & Consulting, says the solution is to create separate personal and business accounts:

Set up separate checking, savings, and credit card accounts for your business, so you can keep track of your business spending without it getting mixed up with your personal spending. It will make figuring out your deductions and filing your tax return so much easier… If you use something for both business and personal purposes (such as a cell phone) you can deduct a percentage of the expenses on your tax return based on the percentage of use but you’ll need detailed call logs and other documentation to back that up.

Opening separate personal and business accounts can help save a lot of headaches down the road.

Simplify Your Chart Of Accounts

Understanding a chart of accounts is hard enough. Make your life easier by keeping your chart of accounts simple. Most accounting programs provide a default chart of accounts, but it’s important to edit the accounts to fit your specific business.

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Crystalynn Shelton is a CPA and writer for Fit Small Business specializing in small business Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Taxes.She explains how a simple chart of accounts pays off:

Tip #1: Keep the Chart of Accounts simple. Make sure that you only set up accounts that you will use often and not once every blue moon. For example, ‘office supplies’ is an account that most businesses will use often. Let’s say that you purchased flowers for your personal assistant for Administrative Professional’s day; don’t create an account for ‘flowers’; instead, you can set up an account called ‘Miscellaneous expense.’

If you need additional help or ideas, check out our detailed article: How to Set Up Your Chart of Accounts.

Stay Informed

Keeping your books up-to-date can be overwhelming, but finances don’t have to be a burden. Accounting software offers plenty of tools–like reports–to help you understand your business’s finances.

Martin C. McCarthy, managing partner of McCarthy & Company, PC, says not only should you understand your accounting reports, but you should look at them at frequently. According to McCarthy:

Many small business owners focus too much time on operations and not enough on accounting and finance. Some owners assume it is good enough to work on bookkeeping and financial reports once per month, where others focus on these functions quarterly. Savvy small business owners know that it is important to keep their books current and to review the numbers presented in their financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and cash flow statement) at least monthly. This is the only way to make sound decisions to keep your company in business.

Staying up-to-date on your business’s income, expenses, and activities will allow you to make informed business decisions.

Keep Solid Records

One of the main purposes of accounting is to record your business’s income and expenses. These financial records help you recognize important trends in your business, ease the tax filing process, and protect you in the case of an IRS audit. But what’s the best way to compile and save these records? To answer that question, we’ve enlisted the help of a few experts.

CPA Michael Gray believes that documentation is one of the biggest issues small businesses need to consider.

My #1 accounting tip is to maintain good documentation. You should at least maintain PDF copies of your bank account and credit card statements so that you can readily access them… Many businesses are moving to becoming paperless operations. They scan their supporting documents and store them on their computers or online on the ‘cloud.’ The documents should be filed in an orderly way so that you can find them… When you are keeping documents on a local computer, it’s essential that back up copies are kept in a separate, safe location so they can be retrieved in the event of a theft or disaster.

Crystalynn Shelton provides another compelling reason to take documentation seriously:

Scan all receipts and important documents to the cloud. The IRS requires you to keep copies of all financial records for at least 7 years. Before you know it, you’ve got more filing cabinets than employees! In addition, the ink on receipts tends to fade after awhile. By scanning these documents and organizing them in the cloud, you can get control of the clutter and easily located documents when you need them!

The last thing you want is to misplace important documents or have receipts fail you when you need them most. By keeping solid records you will be more aware of the financial state of your business. Most importantly, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you are equipped to survive an IRS audit.

Utilize Software Integrations

Almost all (good) cloud accounting programs offer third-party integrations. These integrations, which can encompass contact management, email marketing, scheduling, and more, are extra tools you can use to help your small business succeed.

The biggest advice of Moshe Amsel, founder of DreamBuilder Financial, is to take advantage of 3rd-party integrations:

There are hundreds of applications that integrate with QBO and Xero and will bring inefficiencies into your business. Don’t be afraid to try new applications and see if they benefit you.

Integrations provide essential features, without which you might have to change accounting solutions altogether. Most integrations come at an additional cost, but they can be more than worth the price if you’re getting the functionality you need to run your business. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at the 25 Must-Have Accounting Integrations for 2020 for a few ideas.

Outsource Time-Consuming Tasks

As a small business owner, time is precious. Cloud accounting and automations can save you valuable time, but it’s important to know when to outsource the tasks that are sucking hours out of your day.

In 50 years of financial leadership, the one thing CPA Charles Read has learned is to outsource time-consuming tasks, especially payroll:

Outsource your payroll to a service bureau that has CPA’s on staff to handle your compliance problems. Don’t burden yourself, your staff, or your accountant with the details of payroll that you and your team don’t understand.

The most valuable piece of this advice is to considering outsourcing the tasks that aren’t in your wheelhouse—even if that means handing over your accounting processes to someone who understands them better.

Know When to Hire An Accountant

Along that same vein, knowing when to hire an accountant is incredibly important. While we believe any small business owner can learn to do their own accounting, not everyone should. There are some cases–when setting up your legal business entity, checking deductions before filing taxes, or fighting a tax audit, for example–when you really need the help of a licensed professional.

Even business owners who are well-versed in accounting have to consider whether the time it takes would be better spent on other matters.

Martic C. McCarthy has some thoughts on when you should consider hiring a CPA instead of doing everything yourself:

Accounting firms typically offer bookkeeping and payroll services. Small business owners who do not have the time to focus on these areas or are not trained in accounting should consider working with a certified public accountant (CPA). Doing so will ensure that their books are kept updated, the numbers reported on their financial statements are current and accurate, and that they are following all the IRS payroll reporting, tax filing and payment requirements.

Final Thoughts

Life as a small business owner is complicated. We hope that the practical advice above helps make it easier to stay on top of your finances. If these tips work for actual CPAs, they can work for you too. Let us know which things work for best for you in the comments below!

Are you a CPA or accounting expert with something to add? Please share your top accounting tips with us in the comments as well.

And, as always, if you need help choosing accounting software or want to learn more about accounting, our unbiased accounting software reviews and blog are here to help.

How to Manage Business Finances

Updated: March 29, 2020

This article was co-authored by Darron Kendrick, CPA, MA. Darron Kendrick is an Adjunct Professor of Accounting and Law at the University of North Georgia. He received his Masters degree in tax law from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2020, and his CPA from the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy in 1984.

There are 21 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

4 tips for managing your business finances

Managing your finances as an entrepreneur is more straightforward than you think. Discover 4 simple strategies to keep your business finances on the level.

It’s the end of the month. You’ve just sat down with a mug of your favorite brew to review your business’ income and expenses for this month.

But what was supposed to be a 15-to-30 minute review has turned into an hours-long ordeal where you have 15 tabs open on your browser, invoices splashed across your desk, and little idea of where your business finances fell in the last month.

There’s a better way to manage your finances than scrolling between your various accounts and payment processors to try to make sense of the numbers.

In fact, there are four better ways to manage your business finances, from familiarizing yourself with small business tax rules to setting a budget.

What makes these methods so noteworthy is that they are easy-to-implement and effective for both novice and seasoned creators alike.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at how you can better manage your business’ financials.

How to manage your small business’ finances

Four of the most effective ways to manage your small business finances include:

  1. Researching tax laws in your country, state, and city
  2. Using an accounting program or working with an accountant
  3. Separating your personal and business finances
  4. Creating a business budget

The first may sound intimidating, but take heart — it’s simpler than it seems — and it’s the foundation of managing your finances.

Method #1: Research business taxes in your country and state

Small business taxes vary significantly from country-to-country, state-to-state, and even county-to-county.

Because of that, you’ll want to do as much business tax research as possible when your business is still in its infancy.

Otherwise, you run the risk of having to pay a surprise tax bill or hefty fines and fees that take hard-earned money out of your pocket.

For example, writer and editor, Lindsey Peacock, originally saved $3,000 for her self-employment taxes but ended up owing around $6,000 for that year. Because she didn’t have the cash on hand to pay her tax bill, she had to take out a personal loan to cover it.

You could save yourself from ending up in the same position with just a few hours of research. Skip the research, on the other hand, though, and there’s a good chance of being hit with an unexpected penalty come tax season.

If you’re a U.S.-based entrepreneur, the Internal Revenue Service’s website is a good place to start for information about self-employment taxes and regulations, specifically their small business self-employed tax center and their tax information for businesses page.

Quaderno is worth checking out for additional guidance on sales tax, VAT tax, and goods and services tax (GST), whereas Avalara and TaxJar are helpful for understanding sales and use taxes.

If you’re a Canada-based entrepreneur, Canada.ca’s small business and self-employed income page is a thorough launching point for your tax research, while Europa.eu’s business tax page is helpful for those in the European Union.

As for the state, city, and county taxes, simply use Google to search for “state/city/county name + income tax” (or a similar variant) to learn what other taxes you may be responsible for.

The good news is that while there are small differences, most of the taxes you have to tango with are similar regardless of country or state.

For example, if you live in the United States, you’ll need to pay the 15.3% self-employment tax — 12.4% for social security and 2.9% for Medicare — if you earned over $400.

You’ll also need to pay federal income tax, which ranges between 10% to 37%, and state income tax if you live in one of the 41 states that collect income tax.

Additionally, chances are you’ll need to pay sales tax or use tax for each business item you purchase and/or sell.

Lastly, you may be responsible for a “business tax” or other extraneous tax on top of the income taxes you already pay.

San Francisco, for instance, charges a business registration tax for self-employed individuals who have done business in the city for at least seven days out of the year.

Look, business taxes can get rather complicated even for those running small side-hustles.

One of the savviest things to do for your business is to familiarize yourself with applicable tax laws and regulations, such as self-employment tax, income tax, and sales and use taxes, so you won’t receive fines or penalties.

But, if all of this talk about taxes has your head spinning, you don’t have to work on understanding and adhering to these laws on your own — accounting programs and accountants can help.

Method #2: Use a small business accounting software program or accountant

If you earn less than $10,000 from your business, your finances are probably simple enough to just use a small business accounting software like FreshBooks or QuickBooks.

Earn more than that, and you’d probably be better of using both an accounting program and working with an accountant or bookkeeper.

True, small business accounting programs can help you to manage your cash flow, automate payments, estimate taxes, and et cetera.

However, accountants can offer advice tailored to your unique situation, which may help your business to both save and earn more in the long-run.

Nuventure CPA LLC, for instance, works with digital nomads, full-time RVers, and location independent-businesses — business and lifestyle niches that are growing in popularity yet are still relatively uncharted.

Aside from tax advice, accounts can help you keep abreast of new tax laws, loopholes, or uncommon deductions that tax programs may not know you qualify for.

Writer Zina Kumok found it much easier to file as a self-employed individual by working with an accountant than by using TurboTax. Her accountant also pointed out some little-known deductions she qualified for so she could get a larger tax return.

Similarly, this entrepreneur said that by working with an accountant, she was able to take advantage of over $3,000 in deductions she otherwise wouldn’t have known about.

Plus, accountants can do way more than help your annual tax returns.

Accountants can help you estimate your quarterly taxes more accurately so you won’t have to worry about over or under-paying your taxes. In turn, this helps you keep more of your money to invest back into your company.

An accountant can also help you to prioritize and budget your business expenses so you can pay yourself a regular and reasonable salary, and save for retirement.

That’s more important than you might think. Only 8% of self-employed individuals contributed to an IRA or another employer retirement plan in 2020, whereas 42% of employees did.

By working with an accountant, you may be able to find money in your budget to put into a retirement plan, as well as figure out what retirement account makes the most sense for your business and lifestyle.

Lastly, accountants can work with you to manage your finances so you can avoid doing anything illegal and indirectly reduce your chances of getting audited by the IRS.

36% of self-employed individuals have admitted to not paying their taxes for a variety of reasons, ranging from their losses being greater than their profits to believing they didn’t earn enough to pay taxes.

Regardless of whether you think you need to pay taxes or not, it’s best to consult with an accountant to determine if you do indeed owe taxes so you won’t be hit with late fees or penalties.

If nothing else, an accountant can work with you to maintain organized financial records, submit accurate tax returns, and even represent you in case you get audited by the IRS.

36% of self-employed workers have been audited by the IRS, with around one-third of those returns having errors.

Call me cautious, but it seems much more sensible to spend an hour or two going over your business’ tax situation with an accountant than to undergo the stress — and potential fines — of an IRS audit.

Fortunately, it’s also a lot easier and faster to get through those sessions with your accountant if you employ our third method and keep your personal and business finances separate.

Method #3: Separate your personal and business finances

It’s crucial you get a separate bank account for your business — and possibly a separate credit card — as early as possible.

There are a few practical, legal, and financial benefits of separating your business and personal finances.

Firstly, it makes managing your business’ finances so much simpler when everything is processed through its own distinct bank account or credit card.

Illustrator Magoz used his personal account for personal and business expenses when he was first self-employed and found that it made the accounting aspect of his business more complicated and hard to track.

Secondly, having a business bank account and credit card may help you access more financing to grow your business.

This is a particularly important benefit when you consider 31% of small business owners said they were unable to grow or expand their business operations because of trouble with capital availability.

By using a business credit card, you can begin developing your business’ credit score, or a measure of your creditworthiness as a company.

Having a high business credit score may help you to receive lower insurance premiums, better terms when working with vendors, or getting lines of credit or better payment terms from vendors.

Even if you don’t have a business credit card, you’ll still want your business expenses separate as it may affect your ability to receive funding and loans in the future.

70% of small businesses that didn’t have a business checking out were turned down for a business loan in the past two years. Don’t let yours become one of them.

Keeping your personal and business finances separate can also help you to avoid a potential lawsuit.

Mingling personal and business assets or funds are two of the criteria for determining if the corporate veil has been pierced.

Piercing the corporate veil is a legal term for when a business’ shareholders or directors are responsible for a company’s debts and actions.

Under most business structures and in many situations, a business owner is not liable for a business’ debts or actions.

However, running your business inappropriately — including mixing your personal and business finances — can often justify piercing the corporate veil and holding the business’ owners and shareholders responsible instead.

But just how severe can the consequences of piercing the corporate veil be?

An Iowa business owner was held personally responsible for paying over $410,000 in a breach-of-contract lawsuit.

This was because the business owner mixed his personal and business finances, kept poorly tracked books, and did not follow corporate formalities, among other things.

As a result, the court agreed the corporate veil could be pierced, and the business owner would be held responsible for the expenses.

But aside from lowering your chances of a lawsuit, there’s one final reason to keep your finances distinct: you may end up owing back-taxes or fines if the IRS determines that your business was actually a hobby.

The IRS offers nine criteria to distinguish hobbies and business, which in turns affect what and how much you can deduct, among other financial matters.

Of those criteria, maintaining complete and accurate books and records and running your business in a “businesslike” manner are among the many points used to determine whether you’re operating a business or hobby.

To avoid additional fees, fines, and back-taxes, you’ll want to keep accurate books in the case the IRS audits you or argues that your business is actually a hobby.

As for how to keep those books in order, look no further than our last — and most crucial — financial management strategy.

Method #4: Set a small business budget

You need a business budget.

Sure, 61% of small businesses didn’t create an official, formally documented budget, but that’s a big no-no if you’re serious about improving your business’ financial health.

You see, a budget is more than just a spreadsheet where you track how much can spend each month.

Budgets are also a helpful tool for understanding where your business’ earnings are going and what you should cut or invest in to grow your business further.

So what should you calculate when you create your budget?

You should include all of your monthly, quarterly, or annual expenses, such as a subscription to your email service provider or storefront host. You should include recurring expenses like taxes and PayPal transaction fees, too.

As a digital product creator, these financial breakdowns for selling digital products can give you an estimate of what expenses to account for when it comes to creating, hosting, and selling your digital products:

Your budget should also include some wiggle room for unexpected expenses, like a surprise fee or a new business tool you think will elevate your business’ performance.

Lastly, although 30.07% of business owners didn’t pay themselves a salary, you should try to eke out at least a small monthly payment for yourself.

Though a salary may seem like an unnecessary expense in the early stages of your business, paying yourself a salary can often be the motivation and reward you need to push through trying times in your business.

A formally written-down budget can give you a picture of your past spending so you can build up a financial reserve or emergency fund for your business to carry you through slow periods.

According to research from the Small Business Administration (SBA), 78.6% of new small businesses survived for one year, with around half surviving for five or more years.

Though there are plenty of reasons why businesses flourish or flounder, being financially savvy was likely a contributing factor in those businesses that stayed afloat for several years.

In fact, according to recent research from CB Insights, 29% of startups failed because they ran out of money.

So with a little planning and restraint, you can put your business on a path to financial stability and possibly lower your business’ chances of shutting down.

Setting a formal budget can also help you to be more selective when determining what the essential small business tools you need are. It’s great for separating out the business tasks you can outsource, too.

Of course, adhering to a budget is, occasionally, a downer.

39% of advertisers felt a limited budget was the biggest roadblock when growing their businesses, but roadblocks go two ways. While it might limit what you can do, it also limits the potential financial damage if a project doesn’t have the ROI you want.

Budgets can also help you determine what you can realistically spend on a tool and what you should save up for or bootstrap instead.

For example, this entrepreneur said he underestimated the cost of PPC Amazon for his Amazon FBA business, with the total cost (around $5,000) significantly cutting into his profits.

Had he budgeted for the fluctuating costs of PPC ads, he may have been more conservative with ad spending or used less expensive promotional methods.

To that end, a budget doesn’t always have to constrict your spending — it can help you make smarter business purchases, too. Distinguishing between what you want for your business and what you need for it is a lot easier with a formal budget to guide you.

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If you’re looking to manage your business finances better, there’s no better or simpler way than to set a small business budget. It may feel like a formality when you’re still working on a shoestring, but it’s the difference between growing that shoestring or snapping it.

Grow your business through savvy money management

I know — managing your business’ income and expenses isn’t exactly a good time.

But managing your business’ finances doesn’t mean hours spent with spreadsheets and calculators. Instead, you’ll probably need to invest just a few hours upfront, and an hour or two each month if you use the four tips outlined today.

In order, those tips are:

  1. Researching tax laws unique to your country, state, and city
  2. Using an accounting program and consulting with an account for tailored tax advice
  3. Separating your individual and business finances so you can more easily track your business’ spending
  4. Setting a budget so you’ll spend more smartly on tools and services for your business

As a fifth bonus tip, you should also consider using all-in-one tools, like Podia, that are more time-efficient and affordable than using and paying for each service independently.

Sign up for Podia to see just how much time, effort, and money you can save on running your digital storefront, and reinvest your new-found time and money into making your business even better.

Taylor Barbieri

Taylor Barbieri is a content marketer for Podia, an all-in-one platform where online courses, digital downloads, and membership websites — alongside their creators — thrive. Taylor enjoys learning foreign languages, fiction writing, and pugs in no particular order.

Accountancy 101: 5 Tips to Manage Your Small Business’s Finances

Being your own business’s accountant can be daunting, but it’s possible with some tric

Being your own boss, running your own company, the American dream – it’s not only a romantic notion, but also something that has wide-reaching benefits.

The allure of doing what you love and managing your own work life is something that draws in millions across the country. In the U.S. alone, there are nearly 28 million small businesses in operation. The majority of these are single-entity enterprises, consisting of only one entrepreneur running the entire operation. This means there are a lot of business owners out there doing everything themselves.

But, as with all good things in life, there are trade-offs. When it comes to running your own business, you have to take on a number of responsibilities that a traditional employee does not. One such responsibility is the management of your finances, a prospect that is enough to put anyone off the idea. Taking control of your business’s money can be an intimidating prospect, especially for those who wouldn’t class themselves as good with math. However, you don’t have to leave your dream of owning a business at the door just yet.

For those who struggle to keep on top of their business’s finances, or new business owners entering this exciting but complicated world, here are some expert tips to keep a firm and stable grasp on your business’s financial health.

1. Take time to understand all of your financial responsibilities.

So you’re running your own business. As such, you are responsible for managing your own money. But what exactly are your financial responsibilities? This completely depends on your circumstances, your business type and how large your company is. These are some common responsibilities:

Tax – Tax is a given, but what kind of tax? If you have employees, your responsibilities will differ from those of a single-entity enterprise. Do your research and find out what your tax obligations are.

Repayments and reports – You may have stakeholders to answer to and investors to repay. Likewise for banks and other lenders. These types of people or firms will also require financial reports and evidence of growth and profitability.

Day-to-day operations – Day-to-day responsibilities of running a business’s financial accounts also require your attention. This includes bookkeeping and recording transactions, monitoring invoice payments, paying your own wages, dealing with suppliers, and budgeting.

Invest time in understanding the processes of each financial responsibility you have. You may have a few, or a lot, but be sure to be aware of each and every one. The result of such insight is that you won’t miss important tasks, thus minimizing the potential for mistakes.

2. Make an accounting schedule.

Any accountant will tell you that the key to good financial management is control. Losing control is when you start to miss things, when you start to make mistakes. So how do you maintain control? Keep things regimented and perform accounting tasks to a schedule.

Some might be tempted to do financial tasks as they come. Record transactions when they come in or send out invoice reminders when you remember. But this is a slippery slope. Something important comes up and you miss one item and you’re left scrambling to catch up – or you forget about it completely and your figures get skewed.

The best advice we can give is to create a time slot. Once a day, week, month – whatever works. During this time, you go over all financial tasks that have accumulated with the given period. Record all transactions, file all invoices, and produce all necessary documentation. If you keep things on a clear and manageable pattern, you’ll find it becomes a lot more difficult to become overwhelmed.

Financial accountants are like a wild animal – you just need to know how to tame them.

3. Use accounting software.

You’re not an accountant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use their tools of the trade.

Common practice for business owners running a small enterprise is to manage their financial accounts through basic spreadsheets like Excel, but this software isn’t designed to support your accounting processes. There are plenty out there that do, though. You’ll find countless examples of accounting software, such as Xero or QuickBooks, which have features to make your financial management easier. This includes scheduling and reminders, monitoring for capital gains, invoice procedures, separation of accounts between incomings and outgoings, and the ability to apply filters to your financial records to establish different kinds of data and reports.

Editor’s Note: Looking for accounting software? We can help you choose the one that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

Establishing your financial data within specialized accounting software, instead of a basic spreadsheet system, might seem like it will overcomplicate things, but once you take the time to understand how the software works, it will make managing your business’s money a whole lot easier.

4. Take onboard expert advice.

No, this article isn’t incredibly meta and self-referential, although it does make my point nicely.

Reading, listening and learning about how to manage your company’s money better is only going to do one thing: help you manage your company’s money better. Expert influence from those in the accounting field, or business owners who have been in your situation before and conquered that financial mountain, is worth the investment of your time.

There are countless resources available to help you learn how to be better at accounting. Articles will always pop up that provide new tidbits and insight into the world of money management and sound accounting practices. Often just reiterating some much-needed basics, but sometimes providing new techniques and education for SME owners on tools of the trade, this type of content is invaluable to a business owner who wants to improve on their accountancy skills. If you don’t want to spend your life reading article after article about accounting, though, consider subscribing to podcasts or even attending talks and events.

It may take years of education and a handful of qualifications to become an accredited, professional accountant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t educate yourself to be your own mini-expert.

5. Know when to get help.

Stubbornness is, unfortunately, a trait many business owners share. It’s a good trait to have in some circumstances. It helps you stick to your guns and build the vision you’ve always dreamed of, but stubbornness can also have its pitfalls. When facing issues with accountancy and finance management, it can be difficult to let go and not only get somebody else involved, but also admit defeat. However, sometimes is it simply necessary for company survival to bite the bullet and get support from a professional, such as a chartered accountant.

But when should you make that important call? Here are some examples of times where help is recommended:

You’ve lost control of your figures.

You are facing an audit.

You are losing too much time to account management.

You keep making mistakes.

You’re simply out of your depth.

You are experiencing rapid growth.

Don’t let your business sink because your money isn’t being managed properly. Accountancy 101: you can’t always be your own accountant.

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