Of all the hats you wear in your business, I bet that “bookkeeper” probably isn’t one of your favorites. I’m one of those number nerds who could do bookkeeping all day, in fact, I do! But I know that’s not the case for most people.Bookkeeping doesn't have to be as hard or as painful as we often make it out to be. Click To Tweet
So many business owners groan and drag their feet when it comes to doing their bookkeeping, but I promise, it doesn’t have to be as hard or painful as many of us make it out to be. In fact, my do-it-yourself clients are able to get their bookkeeping done in less than 20 minutes per week, and you can too. Today I’m going to show you the quick and easy system my clients use to do all their bookkeeping in just 20 minutes per week.
Put it on your calendar
In order for this system to work, you have to commit to doing it consistently. Choose a day and time and schedule 20 minutes to spend on your bookkeeping every week. Put it on your calendar and make it non-negotiable. Many of my clients use Fridays as their admin or CEO days, and they like to do their bookkeeping at the same time. It doesn’t matter what day you choose, but consistency and repetition is key. Commit to doing it at the same time each week so that it becomes a part of your routine.
Set the scene
When it’s time to do your weekly bookkeeping, change things up and get out of your typical workspace. Move to a different location so you can stay focused on the task at hand without getting distracted by other work you could be doing. Grab your favorite drink, a notepad, and pen, and find a comfortable place in your home or office to do your bookkeeping. This could be at your dining table, your kitchen counter, or in a different area of your coworking space. It doesn’t matter where you go, but get out of your normal routine and into your “bookkeeping space.”
Set the timer
Set a timer on your phone for 20 minutes before you start working on your books. To keep things interesting, you can race the clock to see how fast you can get your bookkeeping done. If the time runs out before you finish, that’s ok. Resist the temptation to get to a “stopping point,” and take a break. You can do a second round of 20 minutes, but be sure to get up, refill your drink, and walk around before you jump pack into it. If you still haven’t finished after 2 rounds of 20 minutes, stop anyways and save the rest for next week. You’ll keep getting faster, over time
With your timer set, now let’s start bookkeeping! Your process will vary a bit depending on your bookkeeping software, or if you’re DIY-ing your books in a spreadsheet.
Sign up to get Friday Bookkeeping Reminder emails customized for Quickbooks or DIY Spreadsheets.
Start by updating your bank feed in QuickBooks Online, or downloading your bank statements and adding them to your spreadsheet so you can review your transactions. If you’re using Quickbooks, categories and rules will already be recorded for any recognized transactions. Start by reviewing those, and if they all look ok, accept them and move on to review your unrecognized transactions. You’ll need to add vendor info and categories to your unrecognized transactions, and if necessary, create new rules for those transactions to save you time in the future. If you’re using the spreadsheet method, you’ll need to go in and add vendors and categories to all of your transactions one by one.
As you’re going through, look out for any strange transactions or subscriptions that you need to cancel or follow up on. If you’re using a spreadsheet, add up your total expenses, and the expenses for each category to make sure everything adds up and you haven’t missed anything. QuickBooks should do this automatically. Now repeat these steps for each of your accounts.
Get as far as you can in 20 minutes, and when the timer goes off, STOP! If you don’t get through every transaction in all of your accounts, it’s ok. You can pick up where you left off next week, and overtime, you’ll get faster at it. Limit it to 20 minutes per week, so that it’s easy to stick to.
Once you’ve finished your bookkeeping for the week, (or when the timer goes off) spend a few minutes reviewing your notes and reflecting on how you feel after doing your books. Was it more or less painful than you expected it to be? Did you get stuck anywhere or is there anything you have questions about? How do you feel after looking at your income and expenses?
I would love to hear how it went for you, send me an email and let me know!
Keep a record of how you feel after doing your bookkeeping so you can see how it evolves over time. When you can look back and see a record of the progress you’ve made with bookkeeping, it will help you to stay motivated to keep going.When you can look back and see a record of the progress you’ve made with bookkeeping, it will help you to stay motivated to keep going. Click To Tweet
That’s it! You’re done! That wasn’t too painful was it? Now commit to doing it again next week. If you need some accountability to stick to it, you can sign up to receive my Weekly Bookkeeping Reminder emails. You can choose to get the Quickbooks, or the DIY Spreadsheet reminder emails, depending on the method you’re using.
Sign up to get your weekly Friday Bookkeeping Reminders!
I hope that this 20 minute per week bookkeeping system will help you to stay on top of your books and feel confident knowing your numbers. If you need more support to set up a bookkeeping system that will work for you, I would love to help! My DIY Bookkeeping Program is designed to help you stay on track with your bookkeeping through systems and accountability.