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4 Ways to Streamline Expense Tracking and Make Better Business Decisions

March 2, 2021
By Ken Boyd –

Tracking business expenses can be a lengthy process — and it can get out of hand quickly. It’s easy to lose track of your expenses or forget to record a transaction here and there. But inconsistent or incorrect expense tracking leads to inaccurate data that can result in stressful financial audits.

Here’s the good news: Expense tracking doesn’t have to be a thorn in your side. It’s possible to create an expense tracking system that doesn’t eat up your time or cause financial stress. The first step towards building this system is understanding how the accounting process works.

Understanding the accounting cycle

In a nutshell, the accounting cycle begins when you make a financial transaction. Record the transaction using a journal entry and post it to the general ledger. Once all transactions are posted, generate a trial balance. You can then use the trial balance to produce financial statements, including a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. These statements help you determine the financial status of your business.

Let’s take a closer look at each step of the accounting cycle. (more…)

Business Documents: How Long to Keep Business Records

September 29, 2020
By Susan Guillory –

You know that good recordkeeping is part of running a small business, but you aren’t sure how long to keep business records and documents. The last thing you want to do is shred some business documents that you later need… but at the same time, you don’t want to hang on to a lot of paper unnecessarily.

In this article, we look at different types of business records, why it’s important to hang on to some of them longer, and what the timeframe is for keeping them.

What are Business Records?

“Business records” is a broad term that encompasses any documents, invoices, or receipts that are involved in running a business. Let’s look at different categories of business records.

Accounting Records

There are a variety of financial records and reports that you use in bookkeeping, including: (more…)

5 Simple Ways to Organize Your Small Business Finances

September 15, 2020
By Gerri Detweiler –

Credit scores are often seen as the number one obstacle that prevent small businesses from getting financing. But disorganized financials may be equally to blame.

In today’s challenging economic environment in particular, lenders want to make sure your business is viable and will be able to repay the debt. Organized and up to date finances are essential if you want to increase your chances of getting approved. Here are 5 simple ways to organize your business finances. Click To Tweet

1. Create an Easy Filing System

“We think ignorance is bliss, but really is it filled with headaches and fear,” says Belinda Rosenblum, CPA, money strategist for business owners, and founder of OwnYourMoney.com. “Avoiding your paperwork and bills — or even a huge ‘to file pile’ — is a costly recipe for disaster,” she says. “Not opening bills often causes missed deadlines or even late fees. Opening them but then letting them pile up without filing anything can cause you to feel disorganized and out of control.” (more…)

Small Business Budgeting and Borrowing

September 9, 2020
By Ty Kiisel –

Over the nearly 40 years I’ve either owned or otherwise worked in a small business, I’ve observed that even businesses that might not be considered “seasonal” in the traditional sense ebb and flow over the course of the year, creating times when capital becomes tight and the cash flow pinch can cause an otherwise healthy business to struggle. In today’s world, small business budgeting and borrowing are more important than ever. I use these two words together intentionally, because I believe there is a synergy there for business owners who take a strategic approach to capitalizing their businesses.

A reactionary approach to a small business’ need for capital can satisfy a short-term need or meet an unanticipated shortfall, but it might not help the business grow. We see evidence of this in the failure rate of small businesses in our country. Of the 30 or so million small businesses in the United States, those that survive the first few years are far too few, and only 40% of small businesses are even profitable. What’s more, the most common reason for business failure is a lack of adequate cash. In fact, poor cash flow causes 84% of the business failures in the US. (more…)

10 Tools That Keep Entrepreneurs Organized and Productive

August 18, 2020
By Gerri Detweiler –

We’ve all got our own favorite tips, tricks, and tools that help us organize our task lists, assign projects, and manage deliverables. Today, there are more apps and software programs geared toward business owners than ever. I interviewed 10 entrepreneurs to find out what they use to stay on top of everything.

1. Monday: Streamline Communication Channels

Aalap Shah, founder of 1o8, an e-comm-focused digital agency in Chicago, loves Monday.com for project management.

“My business has clients, vendors, independent contractors, and full-time folks all trying to communicate, and it has streamlined our Slack, email, and file management tools into one centralized (and colorful) dashboard that allows us to glance at a project and know where it’s at. I love the integrations it has—be it invoicing, other communications tools, Google Drive—along with the extensive training and documentation that it has for a novice to be able to take this tool and harness it to its fullest potential.” (more…)