top 9 small business accounting tips you should know

Top 9 Small Business Accounting Tips You Should Know

Written by Roan Dollman

Running a successful small business requires more than passion and dedication; it demands a meticulous approach to financial management. Whether you’re just starting or looking to refine your financial practices, understanding the significance of accounting is crucial. 

Yeah, truly, handling the financial aspect of a small business may be daunting, particularly for small business owners with limited knowledge of accounting concepts. However, with the appropriate understanding and tactics in position, accomplishing the task can be efficient and fruitful. 

In this article, we’ll share the top 9 accounting tips for small businesses to help you stay on top of your finances, minimize mistakes, and maximize profits. Whether you’re just starting or an experienced business owner, these tips will help you set a strong foundation for financial success. So, let’s dive in!

9 Accounting Tips for Every Small Business Owner 

Here are 10 small business accounting tips to help you keep your business headed in the right direction:

1. Separate Your Account from Corporate Account

Keeping personal and corporate accounts separate is the first important tip for small business accounting. Even though many small business owners finance their businesses independently, keeping a clear separation of personal and business finances is crucial to prevent possible accounting errors. In fact, in certain jurisdictions, account separation is a major requirement for tax purposes.

The following can help you keep your business and personal accounts apart: 

  • Create a solid corporate structure (LLC or S company, for example).
  • Establish a unique checking account for your business.
  • Get a credit card for business use to cover expenses.
  • Open a company savings account for investments or unforeseen costs.
  • Maintain thorough documentation of any personal things used for work.

Now, I get it. This is a small business, so you have a lot in your hands that you are handling, you do not have enough time to go through the process of opening a business bank account. However, this is why FirmEU is here for you! We specialize in helping businesses in every industry open business bank accounts with the best banks. Focus on what you are doing, and why we handle this aspect for you without you moving a finger. 

2. Choose the Right Bookkeeping Strategy

Bookkeeping is the systematic process of keeping track of all revenue and expenses. It’s an essential part of financial management that guarantees that small business owners make informed decisions. There are two ways to do this. Either you use software that will streamline this process or outsource the bookkeeping role. 

Leveraging the right accounting software is essential for efficiency, accuracy, and overall business success. Accounting software makes locating all the information needed to prepare financial statements simpler. It automates bookkeeping tasks that take a lot of time and make mistakes when done by hand.

However, many small business owners lack expertise in accounting. Therefore, outsourcing the role or hiring a dedicated employee is a smart financial decision for your business. 

3. Keep Accurate and Up-to-date Records

One of the most vital responsibilities of a small business owner is to keep records. You can consider this a continuation of the previous tip. Accurate records not only instill confidence in stakeholders, like investors, but, they also provide a view of a business’s financial health. 

Now, adequate record-keeping is not just about documenting transactions; it’s about creating a system that is efficient, accessible, and resilient. This involves more than just storing paperwork—it’s about establishing a systematic approach to organizing, categorizing, and storing information. 

Here are some notable documents when we talk about record keeping:

  •  Expenses: Expenses are the costs you incur to run your business. Charged checks, cash register tape receipts, account statements, credit card receipts, and statements are examples of expense-related records.
  • Gross receipts: Cash register tapes, deposit information, invoices, and receipts are examples of records that show the costs you incur to run your firm
  • Fixed Assets: A fixed asset is a long-term tangible property or equipment a business owns and utilizes to produce revenue. Asset records include sales and purchase invoices, Credit card bills, Canceled cheques, and Real estate closing statements. 

Procrastination in record updates can result in financial discrepancies, hinder decision-making, and pose challenges during audits or tax filings. So, make sure to keep the records up-to-date.

4. Timely Invoicing 

Sending invoices on time is vital to maintaining healthy cash flow, sustaining customer relationships, and ensuring the overall financial well-being of a business. It quickens the payment cycle, reducing the time businesses receive compensation for their products or services.

Beyond the financial aspect, it establishes a sense of professionalism, trust, and reliability with clients, contributing to developing long-term partnerships. Here is how you can stay ahead of your invoice curve: 

  •  Implement clear credit policies
  • Regular communication with clients regarding outstanding balances
  •  Use of incentives or discounts to encourage early payments
  • Have a systematic approach for following up on overdue payments 

With the above, small businesses can navigate the delicate balance between assertiveness and customer relations, maintaining a healthy cash flow, minimizing bad debt, and fostering positive customer relationships.

5. Create Financial Projections

Establishing financial projections to estimate future income and expenses aids businesses in anticipating the need for financing or potential capital expenditures. Economic forecasts are essential for small business owners to calculate cash flow and make informed decisions regarding changes to pricing or production plans.

These projections are also crucial in providing significant financial insights to external stakeholders, especially when a business is seeking loans, funding, or undergoing acquisition considerations. 

Additionally, companies use these forecasts to develop pro forma financial statements, including projected income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. These projections, rooted in financial modeling techniques, address lenders’, investors’, and other business stakeholders’ inquiries. 

Essentially, they answer pivotal questions such as: if provided with funding, how will it be used, and what is the repayment strategy?

6. Understand Tax Deductions and Compliance

Obeying tax obligations is essential for small businesses aiming to optimize their financial health. Tax deductions are available to small businesses, such as business-related operating costs, depreciation of assets, employee wages, and other eligible expenditures. 

Understanding these deductions reduces taxable income and ensures companies maximize their financial resources, fostering growth and sustainability.

Compliance ensures that a small business accurately reports its income, deductions, and other relevant financial information. It also builds a positive relationship with tax authorities, fostering trust and credibility.

Given the complexity of tax laws and regulations, seeking guidance from a tax professional is a prudent strategy for small businesses. From understanding the eligibility criteria for specific deductions to navigating evolving tax codes, tax professionals offer knowledge that can empower small businesses to make informed financial decisions. 

7. Understand and Monitor Cash Flow

Cash flow is a dynamic indicator reflecting the fluid movement of funds within a business. Beyond its numerical value, cash flow embodies the pulse of day-to-day operations, the feasibility of expansion initiatives, and the resilience to unforeseen challenges. As a small business owner, you must understand cash flow to make strategic decisions, proactively plan for contingencies, and sustain steady and robust growth.

 Strategies may include

  •  Negotiating favorable payment terms with suppliers
  • Optimizing inventory management to reduce holding costs
  • Diversifying revenue streams

8. Consider Outsourcing to an Accounting Service Provider

Your company’s short- and long-term profitability depends on your bookkeeping and accounting prowess. Still, these duties can occasionally become too much to handle, especially if you take them in addition to other responsibilities.

In the long run, outsourcing part or all of these duties to an accounting firm can save your company money and effort. Tax-specializing accounting services can assist you with data entry, reducing errors and inefficiencies. 

In addition, they may help you manage bookkeeping(Like we said before), payroll processing, tax planning, and financial reporting procedures. They can also check financial records to look for irregularities, create a tax plan, and evaluate the overall financial health of your company.

9. Create an Inventory and Sales Tracking System

Many small business owners are unaware of how critical it is to have an effective system for monitoring sales and inventories. You can easily track what you have in stock, what’s selling well, and what’s not selling so well with the assistance of a small business accountant who can help you set up a system. Decisions about what to stock in your store or online store depend on this information.

You risk having too much of one item and not enough of another if your system for monitoring sales and inventory isn’t working well. Additionally, you might pass up chances to sell products that are collecting dust in your inventory.

 Conclusion

As stated above, these top 9 small business accounting tips provide a strategic guide, covering essentials from selecting accounting software to tax compliance. These tips form crucial building blocks, fostering financial stability and informed decision-making.

To small business owners, this is a call to prioritize accounting as a transformative asset. By viewing it strategically, businesses unlock insights and propel towards sustained growth and prosperity. Remember, investing in a solid financial foundation ensures compliance, fosters innovation, and propels businesses through the dynamic landscape of success.

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