Home » Bookkeeping articles » 8 Bookkeeping Tips to Simplify Small Business Financials Bench Accounting

8 Bookkeeping Tips to Simplify Small Business Financials Bench Accounting

July 13, 2023
Bill Kimball

They help you put the payment process on cruise control, so you can get a little more admin off your plate, and move on to all those other things that you do best. Let’s say you want to write off some office furniture on your taxes. You’ll also need to save those receipts in case you ever get audited. Most bookkeeping software has a place to scan and store receipts.

You don’t pay any employees, buy inventory, or do much purchasing. But as your business grows and develops a few moving parts, you definitely want to consider bookkeeping software, like Quickbooks. Quickbooks suggests something called a “Chart of Accounts,” which is all of the typical transactions you’ll want to make sure to record. It can also generate a lot of your accounting reports at the touch of a button. So, instead of wrestling with creating your own income statement, let your bookkeeping software handle this in a matter of seconds. Organizing and keeping accounting records like business invoices, receipts, and expenses can make or break your business’s books.

Separating your accounts doesn’t mean that your business doesn’t pay you, of course. You can withdraw a regular salary from the business or, if you’re a sole proprietor, pay yourself using the draw method. These withdrawals, also known as an owner’s draw, are easy to track and document in your bookkeeping. Whether you pay yourself officially by draw or salary, those transfers should be recorded in your business account statements. There are many easy programs to use for small business bookkeeping.

Many payroll providers even integrate with your accounting software so that the necessary accounting entries are loaded automatically. While bookkeeping systems don’t rely on receipts to identify transactions, the IRS does require receipts for all tax deductions. An old-fashioned method of keeping receipts is to have a file folder for each vendor where you place paper receipts. There are also receipt scanner apps that can scan, read, and sort receipts for you. Even if you’re self-employed or a freelancer, I highly recommend you have separate bank and credit card accounts that are used exclusively for business.

Balance sheets show your business’ assets and liabilities. Remember that assets are what your company owns, and liabilities are what it owes. A balance sheet can help you decide whether your business can meet all its financial obligations. The income statement keeps track of the cash that flows in and out of the business. Your business can deduct a standard rate per mile―65.5 cents for 2023―for any business mileage that you drive using your personal vehicle. Track the date, miles, and purpose of each business trip, and submit it for reimbursement with your monthly expenses as explained in tip three above.

What happens if you get audited and don’t have receipts?

You’re hoping to avoid a scenario where everyone is operating on an island. That could lead to people making purchases without an understanding of your overall cash flow and budget. It could also lead to managers doing work that no one ever bills for. Get up and running with free payroll setup, and enjoy free expert support. Try our payroll software in a free, no-obligation 30-day trial. Add transactions into your books on a regular basis (e.g., once per week).

The better the program is tailored to your business, the easier and more beneficial it’ll be to use. Instead, you can use bookkeeping software, mileage tracker apps, and invoicing software like Lendio’s software to help you stay on top of everything. If all else fails, you could always hire an accountant to help you keep it all together. Keeping track of invoices is essential to understanding how cash flows into your business. It allows you to analyze trends and establish payment terms that work for you. Remember that your business shouldn’t pay for your personal vehicle expenses.

bookkeeping tips

If you’ve been consistent and organized with your bookkeeping, tax time will be a breeze. If you’re using a solution like Sunrise, you can simply invite your accountant to access your transactions and financial reports —they’ll take care of the rest. Software doesn’t replace the need for professional accounting guidance, but it does simplify the minutia of running a business.


As your company grows, these weekly tasks should be transferred to an office employee to become possible daily tasks. Hire a pro to customize your chart of accounts, products and services, customers, vendors, and invoices. Be sure to have them show you how to make changes to these lists as necessary. Once these lists are complete, everyday transactions like issuing invoices and paying bills are very easy. There are many great choices for small business accounting software, but setting up a system properly is complicated.

  • Most bookkeeping services are relatively affordable and handle everything from accounting to payroll.
  • The customer is more likely to pay fast, given that the service is fresh in their minds.
  • But complex projects like reconciling your accounts and closing the books should be done by a professional.
  • That’s how you give yourself the type of checkups that actually make your company healthier.

Once you’re able to make accurate projections of expenses, you can quickly identify and resolve problems. Without a budget, many business owners don’t recognize a problem until they have a cash flow crisis. Make sure your bookkeeping tool also has high-quality document management features.

No matter how you feel about bookkeeping, it’s one of those tasks no business owner can avoid forever. Despite your best efforts, there’ll be times when you pay for a business expense with personal funds. Remember, the Golden Rule says these business expenses should appear in your business bank account.

She’s passionate about helping others out of financial pitfalls she’s already dug herself out of. Most of her finance knowledge stems from her career as a Financial Consultant and Branch Manager at the 7th largest US bank. Income tax, payroll tax, unemployment tax, excise tax, sales tax, property tax…that’s a lot of taxes.

Join over 140,000 fellow entrepreneurs who receive expert advice for their small business finances

Now, let’s take a look at a few bookkeeping tips that give you numbers you can rely on. That’s how you give yourself the type of checkups that actually make your company healthier. An audit trail is a set of documents that back up the transactions you record in your books. Your trail can help you track down transactions and verify they’re correct. Audit trail documents can include things like purchase orders, invoices, and estimates. As a busy business owner, it can be easy to lose track of time and miss deadlines.

bookkeeping tips

You can check for small business packages that use simple templates for all financial documents. In fact, it’s one of the best things you can do for your small business. When you automate bookkeeping tasks, you’ll have more time to dedicate to actually growing your company. You may think that combining your personal and business expenses is a good idea. However, merging your business and personal bank accounts is most likely going to cause you headaches sooner rather than later.

Keep your books at the top of your priorities

When you’ve finished your checklist, you should be up to date with your current records. A simple bit of work every week will ensure you have clean books all year. Best of all, it doesn’t feel like work when it’s part of your small business bookkeeping routine. If you avoid your books time and time again, you’ll find yourself buried in small business bookkeeping. Make time to review and update your books so you can avoid accounting tasks piling up. You can go for accounting software like FreshBooks to finally get rid of spreadsheets, manual number crunching, and suchlike.

As a small business owner, it’s essential for you to know what’s happening with your business finances. It’s one of the basic metrics for determining if your business is successful. Bookkeeping is a way for you to track and manage your business finances and is one of the many responsibilities that come with being a small business owner. You need to know what’s happening with your business cash flow and finances. A professional bookkeeper won’t be overwhelmed by the nuts and bolts of DIY bookkeeping, and their help allows you to focus on making money, not documenting it. Routinely cross-check receipts and cash flow during your weekly bookkeeping session to keep your cash systems polished and up-to-date.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

With the first, you’ll create a receipt for every cash payment you receive. Use a receipt book that makes immediate duplicate records so you can write a quick receipt for a customer and keep a record for yourself. To ensure that peaceful slumber, form a habit of documenting everything. Jot down notes about purchases and expenses and throw them in the file.

There are few things worse for employee morale than bouncing payroll checks. If you’ve been delivering paper invoices, Lendio’s software gives you the chance to go paper-free and optimize your cash flow with a variety of payment options. So you don’t have to accept cash payments unless you want to. When you sign-up with Bench, you’ll get an easy-to-use platform and direct access to your in-house small business bookkeeping team.

Each year, business owners get hit with tax obligations they weren’t prepared for. At a minimum, you should be saving at least 30% of your income in preparation for your annual or quarterly taxes. Not saving money for tax preparation can result in fines and penalties. This also becomes a problem if you’re using business funds for personal expenses or are spending more cash than you have coming in. But you only see that clearly when there’s a separation between your business and personal funds. Here, we’ll cover some quality bookkeeping tips you can use to simplify your accounting process and make your life easier.

As a small business owner, it’s critical that you’re involved in the financial management of your business. Here are my top 13 bookkeeping and accounting tips to keep the process simple and help you understand how accounting information can increase the success of your business. Reviewing some of the financial statements, accounting reports, and accounts receivable data helps you uncover where the money is being held up. It’s best to do this weekly or monthly depending on what works for your business. And if you’re doing it yourself, it’s especially important to stay on top of your small business accounting. Small business owners often find it challenging to manage cash flow for their company.

You have a thousand things to keep straight, so once you get everything in writing, it’s one less thing to worry about. Actively Review Your Books
Sometimes people get so hyper-focused on the tracking piece that they tend to slip on some of the analysis. In some cases, separating funds is not something your business can opt out of.