Early January is the perfect time to turn your attention to your filing system. While you are at it, go find a cardboard or plastic box to hold last year’s folders, checks, and desk calendar if you still use one. (Lots of us like the meditative moments of filling out our appointments by hand.) When you have your business files in order, you are a better customer for your bookkeeper or CPA. You can find copies of your invoices right away, keep running totals of expenses, and learn to read the trends that your financial information is telling you. When you have this kind of control over your finances, you are a powerful business person.
While you are at it, consider how you keep your financial records on your computer. If you do not already have QuickBooks installed on your computer, go out and get it this week. Start January off with all of your business purchases and expenses recorded in your computer’s checkbook by using the most popular and easiest to learn bookkeeping system, QuickBooks. I have used QB since it came out, and back then, when my business was so small that I thought I could run it and the family finances out of the same checkbook, I learned so much about bookkeeping that I quickly hopped over to the bank to open a business account.
Record every expense and every bit of income in the right categories, and you will be able to call up reports that show you how you are really doing in your business. Not how you think you are doing, but the black and white facts of the matter: are you, or are you not, making a profit? Are there trends in your sales activity? Have you lost business because you did not have supplies? Have you taken personal money out of the business?
I’ll say it again: when you have control over the information, you are a powerful business person!
Do it soon! Get yourself organized and start to know how to read the trends.