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13 Things Bookkeepers Do For Small Businesses

July 10, 2023
Bill Kimball

And fittingly, there are two entries in the history books for who documented the double-entry system. But most regard Luca Pacioli as the father of bookkeeping, for his 1494 book Review of Arithmetic, Geometry, Ratio and Proportion. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there’s continuity from sales to services to support.

bookkeeping activities

Add your specific bookkeeping responsibilities to attract the most qualified candidates for your company. That’s where bookkeepers come in, as they can help make sure your business stays aligned with the relevant laws. At least once a week, the bookkeeper needs to make sure all the numbers add up and there is enough cash to cover expenses. It’s packed full of useful tips on how to get started, how to maintain the books and what to look for when choosing the right software to meet the Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative.

This involves calculating the appropriate amounts to withhold from employee paychecks and ensuring that these funds are remitted to the appropriate providers. Bookkeepers must be familiar with the various types of employment classifications (e.g., full-time, part-time, contractor) and their respective compensation structures. This includes understanding the different types of wages and salaries, bonuses, commissions, overtime pay, and other forms of employee compensation. When you know which accounts to track and have the right tools in place, bookkeeping can be a breeze and not a headache.

Task #6. Communicate Daily

The primary goal of bookkeeping is to maintain accurate financial records, which helps businesses make informed decisions, manage cash flow, and ensure compliance with legal requirements. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss ten essential bookkeeping activities that every business should perform, regardless of its size or industry. By understanding and implementing these activities, you will be better equipped to manage your finances and ensure the long-term success of your business. Many of the bookkeeping processes listed here are time-consuming and error-prone if completed manually but can be automated with accounting software. It can automatically make payments to your vendors, send out invoices and follow-up reminders to customers and generate financial statements.

bookkeeping activities

This information must be sufficiently organized that the auditors can easily access information when they conduct the year-end audit. If your business deals with foreign currency, your bookkeeper has to maintain an accurate foreign currency account based on the current exchange rate. At the end of the day, bookkeepers have to go through all the journal entries, and if any entry needs modification, that should be made. For example, if you have recorded printer ink under stationary expenses, but you want to move it to consumable items, do that immediately because later on, you might forget.

Weekly Accounting Tasks

They may also perform wider tasks such as invoicing, paying bills, preparing tax returns, monitoring key performance indicators, and providing strategic advice. Regular reconciliations of financial accounts, such as bank accounts and credit card statements, can help identify errors or discrepancies that may indicate fraud or theft. In addition, bookkeepers should perform regular reviews of financial records to ensure accuracy and completeness. Bookkeeping traditionally refers to the day-to-day upkeep of a business’s financial records. Bookkeepers used to simply gather and quality-check the information from which accounts were prepared.

An income statement, also known as a profit and loss statement, provides a summary of a business’s revenues and expenses over a given period. This report helps businesses understand their profitability and identify areas for improvement. Bookkeepers also make sure to maintain accurate foreign currency accounts, utilising current exchange rates. This can be made much easier with compatible digital bookkeeping apps that can instantly analyse exchange rates without wasting much time.

Accounting refers to the analysis, reporting and summarizing of the data that bookkeepers gather. Accounting reports give a picture of the financial performance of a business, and determine how much tax is owed. The bookkeeper receives shipment information from the shipping department and uses it to prepare billings to customers. The bookkeeper also makes collection calls to customers whose invoices are overdue for payment. As part of the billing process, the bookkeeper also remits sales taxes to the government. Your business’s success depends on multiple factors, including planning, strategizing, and marketing.

Filling and archiving important files and folders—both digitally and physically is a vital bookkeeping daily task. At CapActix, we have been able to provide seamless bookkeeping outsourcing services to multiple clients because we ensure all files and folders are archived regularly using electronic methods. The information contained within this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant. A good Bookkeeper is detail-oriented, organized and proficient in bookkeeping software.

So, it is simpler for bookkeepers to check bank statements in real-time and daily reconcile bank statements. The bookkeeper works as a liaison between different departments and interacts with department heads daily to discuss their inventory needs. If any department is running short on inventory, the bookkeeper contacts the vendor and places an order for new inventory. Moreover, in small business organizations, it is also the responsibility of bookkeepers to track and maintain inventory records.

Automated data entry systems can sync with point-of-sale systems, bank accounts, and other financial tools, allowing for real-time, accurate record keeping. Bookkeeping is a critical component of any business’s financial management, encompassing a wide range of activities that ensure the accuracy and reliability of financial records. By understanding and implementing these ten essential bookkeeping activities, you can improve your financial processes, make informed decisions, and ensure the long-term success of your business.

Accounting Activities Not Associated With Bookkeeping

They can call upon the local certified public accountant for answers to the more difficult questions that may arise. The bookkeeper may prepare preliminary financial statements, but may rely upon an accountant to produce the final statements. This downloadable version of the checklist includes key steps in the accounting process, broken down by day, week, month, quarter and year. But there are still common steps every business should follow to ensure sound bookkeeping practices. It is also the bookkeeper’s responsibility to note down all tax dates and prepare accounting books before starting tax season.

bookkeeping activities

This can help businesses better anticipate and plan for potential challenges, such as cash flow shortages or unexpected expenses. Bookkeepers are often responsible for creating annual budgets that outline the business’s projected revenues, expenses, and cash flows. This involves working closely with business owners and managers to set realistic financial goals and allocate resources appropriately. A balance sheet provides a snapshot of a business’s financial position at a specific point in time. It includes details of the business’s assets, liabilities, and equity, allowing business owners to assess their financial health and progress. By keeping track of every sale or purchase and using software to do it all, it’s much easier for them to keep an eye on your cash flow.

They keep tabs on everything and anything to make sure that your company’s finances stay intact, including cash flow statements, bank reconciliations (also known as reconciliation) and loss statements. We are looking for a skilled Bookkeeper to maintain our financial records, including purchases, sales, receipts and payments. The bookkeeper records all customer payments in the accounting system, and then delivers the checks and cash to the bank, so that it can be deposited in the company’s checking account. Bookkeeping involves the recordation of basic business transactions in a recordkeeping system. In essence, the term implies that an individual is tasked with the most common ongoing accounting transactions; more complex transactions are reserved for those with more advanced accounting training.

Keep You Prepared For Tax

But, out of all the business development practices, accounting and financial management is the core success factor—because inadequate money management can completely derail your business. Bookkeepers should be familiar with popular accounting software platforms, such as QuickBooks, Xero, or Sage, which can automate many bookkeeping tasks and provide real-time financial data. Bookkeepers are responsible for calculating and withholding the correct amount of taxes from employee paychecks. This includes federal, state, and local income taxes, as well as Social Security and Medicare taxes.

In addition, bookkeepers must ensure that these withheld taxes are remitted to the appropriate tax authorities and reported accurately on tax forms. Doing the books is usually never the priority for many small businesses, so deadlines can slip under the radar. To keep the taxman happy and stop you from paying any additional fines, a bookkeeper will make sure your records are accurate, so you’re always prepared for tax. An accounting degree requires deep education and training in tax and other laws with which businesses need to comply, plus finance and business management.

  • Filling and archiving important files and folders—both digitally and physically is a vital bookkeeping daily task.
  • From offline to Online bookkeeping services, you have to prepare a complete bookkeeper’s to-do list to keep your business on the right track.
  • The bookkeeper also prepares paychecks for employees, and remits payroll taxes to the government.
  • Moreover, in small business organizations, it is also the responsibility of bookkeepers to track and maintain inventory records.

Bookkeepers need to frequently report back to management, get their feedback, and work as per their instructions. They should immediately inform management or business owners when there’s something wrong with the company’s financial health. A cash flow statement summarizes the inflows and outflows of cash within a business over a given period. This report is essential for understanding how well a business can manage its debt, fund operations, and invest in its growth. The bookkeeper is responsible for filing all supporting documents for customer billings, supplier invoices, and payroll.

An accounting system also makes it easier to access the information needed for financial reporting of all shapes and sizes. There’s a reason more than half of U.S. companies surveyed by Robert Half now use cloud-based solutions for some or all of their accounting and finance functions. Online bookkeeping services can align an organization’s resources properly by daily recording sales and purchase transactions.

Operational Analysis

Plus, it’ll be their job to flag up any inconsistencies between the books and your business accounts, making sure you resolve problems quickly. Ultimately, the Bookkeeper’s responsibilities are to accurately record all day-to-day financial transactions of our company. Once a year, bookkeepers have to complete more time-intensive tasks related to taxes and year-end close. With that bookkeeping work completed, it’s time to think about more involved tasks around month-end.

Traditionally, bank reconciliation was a manual process that involved comparing the business’s financial records to its bank statements line by line. However, modern accounting software has made bank reconciliation much more efficient by automatically syncing with bank accounts and flagging any discrepancies for review. Traditionally, bookkeepers would record financial transactions manually in journals and ledgers. However, with the advent of modern accounting software, data entry has become a more efficient and streamlined process.