Business

Organizing Your Record Keeping

This is probably your least favorite job unless you are an accountant or bookkeeper.

The best way is to start establishing a system to keep track of all your records, receipts, invoices, bills, statements, etc. Once your system is in place, the time required to maintain this information will be greatly reduced.

First of all keep your personal and business ideas accounts separate. You may even want to get a separate credit card for you business as well.

Keeping them separate will make this task a lot easier to do.

Choosing a Software program

Choose a software program for your financial record keeping. Personally I use Quickbook Pro for business and Quickens for personal use. Peachtree is another popular business accounting program.

Does your bank offer online banking? If so, you maybe able to download your banking transactions into your software program. This is a big time saver. Set up a regular schedule to do this. You can make it once a day, week or month depending on the amount of transactions you conduct.

Consistency

Consistency is the key to success. Get a notebook and write down how you do each task. This will become a checklist for you operate from. Also if you get sick or hire somebody, they have the instructions written down on how to record and handle your records.

Create monthly folders to hold receipts, cancelled checks, credit card statements and other expenses. You can create folders for your vendors and or creditors. I use the folders for personal records and hanging binders for business. There are twelve binders with 5 tab divider. The first divider is labeled petty cash and expenses. You can buy preprinted expense envelopes to fit behind that tab. The rest are Bank Records, Sales Taxes, Income Statements and Time Logs.

Open a business mail for organizing your record keeping

Open business mail immediately and date-stamp it. I use an accordion file for personal mail and file it behind appropriate categories and due dates.

One day during the week, set aside time to do your banking and bill paying. Grab the accordion file because all the mail is filed there and pay the bills that are due. Business is first and personal task are second. It’s a good idea to always use the same day and time each week. Make it an appointment on your calendar.

Open a business mail
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Note how long it takes you do each task. Be sure you are allowing enough time in your schedule to complete those task. Many time we under estimate how long it takes to do something. Make a list of your all your record bookkeeping task. Xerox it and use it a check list as you complete each job.

Balance your checkbook

Once a month you’ll need to balance your checkbook, send out invoices, do your income statements and close your books for the month. This is also a good time to check your office supplies and order them.

You should also set aside one day out of the month for your “Purge and Unclutter Day” Commit up to at least three hours of uninterrupted time to go through your office. Clean out files, update address list, clip article from magazines, clean out your email. Put the email you want on disc, clean office equipment and furniture, transfer and delete files from your computer.

Your local office supply store has a variety of organizing tools to help keep your record keeping and office under control.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. If something doesn’t work, quit doing it. You’ll eventually find a system that works and is comfortable for you.

Tips for planning a website for organizing your record keeping

  1. Determine the content of your site. Your message should be clear and concise, tell  visitors about your business, and convince them you are knowledgeable, competent   and can be trusted with their business.
  2. Determine the design structure of your site. The page or site design should be simple, attractive, grammatically and aesthetically consistent and easy to navigate. Information should be useful and interesting and presented in a user-friendly format.
  3. Make it easy for visitors to contact you via your Web Site. Include an e-mail link and establish internal procedures to handle all inquiries.
  4. Register your site with major Web search engines and directories. Choose keywords that customers are most likely to use when searching for a business like yours.

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