I’ve said many times that the difference between success and failure can often be tied to your ability to stay on top of your business finances. When you’re running a business, it’s essential that you keep tabs on your billing and expenses so you can make sure you’re being profitable.
My bookkeeping system of choice is QuickBooks. It’s easy to use, it’s online and many accountants also use it—making the transition from monthly bookkeeping to tax time a cinch.
QuickBooks is so easy to use, in fact, that many business owners use the self-employed version. And because you might be taking care of your own books, I want to share my top tips and tricks when using QuickBooks (so you can make sure you’re making the most out of this valuable resource).
Take Time to Set it Up
It’s really easy to jump in and just start using QuickBooks, but if you don’t take the time to set it up right you’ll regret it in the long run. Be sure to go through all the settings and add all the required information. Find the gear icon in the upper right corner of the window, then click on Account and Settings.
Connect Bank Feeds
One of the best benefits of most accounting software these days is that you can connect your bank to them. This automatically pulls all your transactions into the system so you don’t have to add anything manually. Even better, if you’ve set it up correctly it will even tag your transactions for you.
If you don’t connect manually, you can also download your transactions from your bank into a csv file and upload them into QuickBooks.
Convert Your Files
If you’re just now starting to get your books in order, I recommend using a conversion program to convert a pdf of your bank statements into a QuickBooks file. I recommend one by MoneyThumb, which runs $124.95. There’s some free conversion software out there, but I’ll be candid: You get what you pay for. This is one place where you don’t want to skimp.
Of course I recommend you hire someone, because this is an area where I can help you! But in all honesty, I see so many small business owners in trouble because they don’t know how to track their expenses correctly. They’re missing out on tax deductions, have no idea what their expenses really are and don’t have a workable budget in place. The right bookkeeper can help you well beyond just taking care of your books. I also do set-up, training and consulting with my clients—as much or as little as they need—to make sure they’re on the right track.
Most importantly, listen to your gut and if you feel like you need help with your bookkeeping, you probably do.
Whether you get help from me or from someone else, be sure to reach out. There’s nothing wrong with needing support in your business—it’s how we grow!