At the very least...
Every entrepreneur I know works long, often stressful hours trying to manage staff, clients, and deadlines. It isn’t uncommon to see people putting off their bookkeeping until tax time. This can be a costly mistake. As we’ve talked about in many blog posts (see Cash is King for just one example) there are many reasons why bookkeeping and accounting shouldn’t be at the bottom of your priority list.
At the very least, you need to track your income and expenses monthly. There are several ways to track costs that won’t take a lot of time. We recommend Quickbooks and Xero. There are pros and cons for each, but the main difference is the user interface. You can feel comfortable to choose between the two simply based on which you find more visually appealing. Both systems provide:
Easy to use invoicing modules that allow you to email or print your invoices, as well as track your accounts receivable.
Online banking feeds that allow you to link your online banking for easy integration into the bookkeeping program. This saves you hours in keypunching, as well as ensuring that all transactions are captured.
The ability to run monthly profit and loss reports. Run those and review them as often as you can (once a month is our recommendation).
The best option is to utilize one of these systems in addition to hiring us to act as your CFO. We can help you pinpoint any unusual variances or trends and ensure that you’re maximizing your profits. If you aren’t ready to take that step, at a minimum be sure you know what is coming in and going out monthly.