It starts with a few receipts, carefully stored in a file or placed on the corner of your desk. You’ll get to it…soon… Before long those few receipts become a pile then the pile becomes a mountain and that bit of idle procrastination suddenly becomes a threat to the very existence of your business. An online search of ANY list of reasons why businesses fail reveals that improper bookkeeping is one of the most common pitfalls. So why don’t many business owners take care of this critical function? Most will say that they simply don’t have the time. Ironically, NOT having a bookkeeping system in place can take far more of your time. Like it or not, there are time-sensitive activities that just don’t go away, forcing you to rely on lists, spreadsheets, online account inquiries and other time consuming activities in order to collect receivables, pay bills and government remittances, or just to know how your business is doing.
When I sit with a client to get their bookkeeping system up and running, I always use the business’ own bookwork as data entry “practice”. The reasons for this are threefold:
- Entrepreneurs HATE to waste time but LOVE to see progress. By entering their own data they are not only learning a bookkeeping system but actually tackling the “paperwork mountain” at the same time. As we begin to work through the accumulated paper, sorting and entering information into their bookkeeping software, their relief is palpable.
- Many entrepreneurs haven’t managed books before so using their own data feels at least somewhat familiar. As they enter a receipt for a box of paper, they remember that trip to the office supply store. By connecting familiar business transactions to this new world of bookkeeping, the entrepreneur sees bookkeeping as an extension of the business they already know rather than a scary new place they’ve never been to before.
- Unless the entrepreneur actually IS the CEO of the ubiquitous Company ABC, learning how to do Company ABC’s books in a classroom or tutorial doesn’t fully prepare him/her for the reality of managing their own bookwork. For those with little or no prior bookkeeping experience, it can be difficult to translate “demo”-style learning into a real bookkeeping system and the fear of doing something wrong can be paralyzing.
For more information about how BookSmarts can help you to scale your paperwork mountain with a turnkey bookkeeping solution plus all of the training you need, give us a call today!