A couple of years ago, I was retained to help a struggling business regain its profitability. After six days, I told the CEO that the problem was not sales-related. The problem was too much overhead and debt. The CEO disagreed with my assessment – and to my great relief my contract was quietly terminated. The company went out of business eight months later.
Running a debt-free business is probably contrary to everything that you have ever learned. And you might wonder why you should do it.
From running payroll to tracking down receivables and calculating the value of inventory, ask any small business owner about bookkeeping and you’ll probably hear plenty of complaints. Learning basic accounting best practices is a great way to keep your books ready for potential investors and the IRS, if they should ever come calling.
Here’s what you need to know about bookkeep
Money owing from customers in the form of accounts receivable is one of the biggest contributors to your company’s cash flow. While business success hinges on having positive cash flow activity, the money that flows into your business can’t really be counted as income until it becomes cash-in-hand.
No company can continue to operate if it consistently pays out more than it takes in, and it’s the ability to generate and use cash that allows your business to:
With Great Power Comes the Electricity Bill.
Make sure your Accounts Payable is managed effectively.
On the first day of working with a new client, the local power company showed up to turn the power off due to non payment. Fortunately the service man was kind enough to give us one day to get everything worked out. My client was perplexed as to why the bill had not been paid. The answer was that the checks were sitting in one of the many piles of paperwork on my client’s desk. You know that pile of paper that just keeps growing as you put out the fires of the day but you never seem to get to. My client did not have a clearly defined bill paying or accounts payable process which was costing the company money not only in late fees, credit problems and wasted productivity time.