7 Tips for Beginning Bookkeepers to Make Your Life Easier
Managing a business’s accounts can feel like herding cats: You’re trying to keep track of a wide variety of income and expenses, making everything come out properly in the end.
As a new bookkeeper, the job can feel even more challenging. You need to learn the way finances have been managed in the past and develop a method that works for you.
If you’re new to bookkeeping - or even experienced and looking for an easier way - here are 7 tips to make your job a little easier:
Keep Track of Various Accounts
Putting all your money in one account sounds like a great idea to help you always keep track of how much cash is on hand, but it isn’t the best solution in practice.
At minimum, your business should have one checking account that allows easy access to funds for paying bills and a savings account to stash money for things such as long-term equipment purchases or quarterly sales tax payments.
However, knowing just how much money you have available for certain line items at any given time makes keeping your business finances straight much easier.
If you want to get more granular with your funds, keep a checking account for all the money that you will need easy access to, including payroll, emergency purchases, and payment of invoices. Have a savings account for long-term projects and larger emergencies, and a separate account for routine expenses such as tax payments, utilities, and insurance.
Ensure that, within your bookkeeping documents, you clearly note what accounts are designated for which purpose, and that you settle up the balances at regular intervals.
There’s nothing worse than looking at the account designated for tax payments right before they’re due only to discover that deposits haven’t been made over the course of the year, leaving you scrambling to find the money in other accounts.
Our accounting software, Toki, allows you to connect your accounts to your software and name them for easy recognition.
Organize All Documents
As a bookkeeper, knowing what documents you have and where they’re stored is essential to making your job less frustrating.
From accounts receivable invoices to receipts for supplies, you need to have a way to organize digital and paper receipts effectively.
Thanks to technology, you can quickly and easily turn those paper receipts into digital ones, allowing you to use the same filing system for everything so nothing slips between the cracks.
Create an organizational system that works for you, whether that’s using folders on your harddrive or keeping everything in accounting software.
With Toki, you can tag and organize receipts and other paperwork, helping you easily see what expenses go together and noting which accounts you need to follow-up on for payment.
Standardize Time Tracking
Regardless of whether employees are paid hourly or salaried, knowing how much time is spent on various parts of your business helps you understand profitability.
If you’ve got one department tracking time in 30-minute increments, for example, and another using software that gives you productivity down to the minute, it’s nearly impossible to tell exactly how much time people spend on tasks.
Rather than allowing everyone to make up their own system, create a standardized way to track time. This allows you to quickly compare the amount of time spent on a task with how much you charge. With this information, you can tell if you need to increase prices, add more employees, or if everything is working well.
Toki offers integrated time-tracking, giving all employees access to the same system and creating a standardized way of measuring efficiencies across your business.
Find a System
One of the first things you need to do as a bookkeeper is create a system for tracking expenses, accounts receivable, and other financial needs.
Without a system, things will slip by you and these mistakes can easily be very costly for the business.
Modern accounting software makes this relatively easy for you.
You can create individual accounts for customers or vendors, connect invoices to those accounts, and see when someone hasn’t paid you. Additionally, you can connect all your individual bank accounts and tag expenses with categories for easier tracking.
Cloud-based software such as Toki allows you to keep your bookkeeping system at your fingertips no matter where you are, and you don’t have to download any software that could slow down your computer.
A key task of any bookkeeper is regular reporting on the financial health of the business.
This includes a complete accounting of expenses, overdue accounts, and overall profits and losses.
Making these reports easily digestible for everyone who needs to read them is important to making your job easier. If you have to sit at a board meeting and explain every single financial report, it’s taking you away from your other duties.
With accounting software, you can quickly and easily customize and create regular reports that meet your needs. All stakeholders can clearly see where money is going and make more educated decisions on the future of the company.
With Toki, you can pull all necessary financial information into a clear, concise report that can be
printed or emailed.
Accurately Track Deductions & Expenses
What is just considered an expense of doing business, and what can be counted as a tax deduction?
If you leave these questions to the end of the year, you could miss out on deductions that could put your business in a better financial position. Or, even worse, you could take something as a deduction that really isn’t, meaning you owe money.
Having a solid bookkeeping system helps you clearly note what an expense was for and, come tax time, get a better grasp on what’s a deduction and what’s not.
Thanks to easy organization and tagging in Toki, this job is much easier. You’re able to see all expenses in a specific category, helping you and your accountant get clear answers when preparing your taxes.
Settle up Often
Frequently taking a look at where your business’s finances are is crucial to knowing whether or not you can cover that new copier or if it has to wait.
Hand-settling all your checking and savings accounts takes time and patience, and can be prone to mistakes.
With a software platform that connects your bookkeeping and accounts all together, settling accounts often is easy. This helps you see exactly where your money is going and where cuts may need to be made.
A platform such as Toki automatically settles accounts for you, giving you real-time access to the balance of all your accounts.
Cloud-Based Accounting & Workflow Software for Business
Every business has a lot of moving parts, and keeping them all under control can be a challenge.
With Toki, the @Assist team set out to create a people-first workflow management and accounting platform to help businesses of all sizes grow and succeed. Track time, manage expenses, and see what everyone’s working on from anywhere in the world with our cloud-based software. Learn more about Toki today!