Donna Reade

QuickBooks Online Consulting & Bookkeeping

Top 5 Bookkeeping Mistakes Made By Small Businesses

As a business owner, it’s natural to want to oversee every aspect of your business yourself. But even the savviest business owners make mistakes, especially when it comes to bookkeeping. There’s no question that maintaining accurate financials is a fundamental part of doing good business. Being aware of the most common bookkeeping mistakes can save you from sloppy financials, unnecessary stress, and potential penalties.

Here are the top bookkeeping mistakes made by small businesses:

Trashing Receipts
Small charges add up fast. It helps to keep these records for important things like budgeting, claiming tax deductions, and tracking overall cash flow. It’s also good to keep documentation in the case of an audit.

Not Keeping Business and Personal Finances Separate
Mixing personal and business finances can get a bit messy. Making sure you have different accounts for personal purchases and business expenses keeps things clean and segmented properly. Keeping finances separate can also illuminates true operating costs, so you aren’t kept in the dark about how your business is performing. On top of all that, it makes things significantly easier for when tax time rolls around since you’ll have a clear view of which expenses are deductible.

Not Backing up Files
Keeping records and backing up files is of utmost importance. Although cloud storage is convenient and secure, regularly pull hard records of bank statements, business reports, and other critical documents. This way, you’ll stay on top of audits and have all your information in the case of any compromised technology or online accounts.

Not Classifying Employees Properly
Do you have full-time staff, part-time staff, a team of contract workers, or a combination of all of these? Make sure you understand what the differences are between a 1099 and W-2 employee are so your business remains compliant and you can avoid misfiling taxes.

Taking it on Yourself
Very few small business owners are self-professed financial experts. Also, thinking that software and technology can compensate for a lack of bookkeeping expertise is a common blunder. Getting started with software and realizing the immense learning curve can set you even further back with managing your own books. If you want to take it on yourself make sure you go through the training that is provided by the software company. Take the time to learn the system or be prepared to pay for someone to clean up your mess.

One Response to Top 5 Bookkeeping Mistakes Made By Small Businesses

  1. Gail L McLeod says:

    I am Canadian and subject to rulings from my jurisdiction. Another thing I thought is worthy of mention is small business owners hiring the least expensive employee. I have had experiences where they hired people who may be good receptionists and look good. When it comes to entering information into accounting software they post debits which should be credits. etc. Then they hire people like me to troubleshoot and correct a year’s worth of information to get accurate accounting information at tax time. It’s much easier to get it right the first time. Also, they want to hire bookkeepers so they can pay less but want accountants to produce accurate financial statements at bookkeeping rates of pay. It’s very frustrating when you are looking for reputable clients who pass your talents over for someone cheaper. Then there are those that want you to clean up their arrears of information and agree to pay your rate with no intention of ever paying the bill when it is presented. I think it would be a good. Pulling a credit report would be a great ability if it is allowed.

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