How to Really, Actually, FINALLY Get Your Bookkeeping Under Control.
By Pam Saul, CB, of Saul Bookkeeping
Hands up if your New Year’s Resolution (or one of them) was to finally get your bookkeeping under control for2022? For sure… no really… right? And how’s that going for you so far?
Why does this always happen? Because we are missing the tools we need to succeed. So, let’s go over some tips that are quick and easy to put in place to help take care of this once and for all!
1. Record purchase information immediately. When making an online purchase, save the receipt by email. If in a store, take the receipt and detail on the actual receipt of what it was for, then snap a picture on your phone. Making a cash purchase, do the same. This keeps you from trying to remember what it was for later or take care of the issue of a lost receipt!
2. Put paperwork in the same place each time. On the road? Put a pouch in your vehicle and put receipts in there. Use a purse or bag? Have one in there as well. Use a folder or briefcase for more important paperwork. Always keep it in the same place.
3. When mail comes in, immediately get rid of junk mail. Don’t even let it pass the door! If you have a PO Box, dump it in the Post Office. If you have a mailbox, dump it as soon as you get in the door. If you cannot get to the rest of the mail at that moment, put it in the same place every time. Better yet, open it immediately and delegate what needs priority attention versus what can be done later.
4. Make notes! Keeping everything in your head is impossible. Use your phone (even as simple as the “notes” app) and record something you need to get reimbursed for. It should also be on the receipt! Make a “To Do List” on a board in your office. Or keep a notebook to track what needs to be done and when you finish it. Set a time daily, weekly or monthly to review your list and then be consistent. Use whatever system works best for you.
5. Make time for bookkeeping. Set aside time to keep it current. It is much easier to deal with issues that are fresh in your mind, than trying to reconstruct in a week or more! You can even make it short periods if that would be easier. Take 5 minutes to open the mail, then delegate the paperwork as needed. Put vendor payables in your designated spot, put payments all together to create a deposit later, and put anything that needs to be filed in a tray you have created just for that purpose. I’ve designated every Sunday morning as the time to file paperwork in the specific folders. Make a schedule to pay vendors, create invoices or make phone calls. Knowing you have set aside. time to do it makes it much easier to follow through and achieve in small chunks. It won’t get overwhelming if you can stay on top of it!
6. Try to deal with it only once. If you don’t have time to read a piece of paper, don’t look at it. Wait until you have time to read it and decide what is needed. Then do it! Receive a bill? Put it in your stack. Receive a check? Put it with your other checks for deposit. Receive a form that needs to be filled in? Record that on your “To Do List” and put it in where you’ve put the same type of item.
Whether you are a piler (puts everything in a stack) or a procrastinator (I’ll deal with it later), if you can set up guidelines that make it easier for the paperwork to be addressed, it will make it easier to not feel so stressed.
If you are at the point where this is still too much it’s time to get help. Saul Bookkeeping has great services available at all levels, to help keep control of all your paperwork and bookkeeping needs. Let us help you keep your New Year’s Resolution once and for all! Reach out at www.saulbookkeeping.com to let us take the fear out of your finances. We offer help with Business Plans & Projections, New Business Formation, Pricing Audit & Service Tracking, Virtual Bookkeeping, Invoicing & Payroll and more!