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6 Steps to Track Business Finances (and the risks if you don't)

Tracking your business finances can be overwhelming, but there are some simple steps you can take to make it more manageable. Here are six tips to help you keep track of your business finances:

1. Use accounting software: Utilizing accounting software can help you keep track of your income and expenses, generate financial reports, and streamline your financial management processes. Using software like QuickBooks can help you save time and stay organized, allowing you to focus on growing your business. There are plenty of options out there, so pick one that suits your business needs.

Accounting software is essential for small business owners. Without it, you risk making mistakes and losing track of your financial records. For example, you might forget to record an expense or a payment, which could lead to errors in your financial reports. This, in turn, could make it harder to make informed decisions about your business.

2. Separate personal and business finances: Separating your personal and business finances is crucial for maintaining accurate records and avoiding confusion. It also helps you track your business expenses more effectively. Keeping a separate business bank account can help you track your business expenses and prevent overspending.

Mixing personal and business finances is like mixing oil and water – it just doesn't work. It can also make it more difficult to file your taxes correctly. This can result in you claiming expenses on your tax return that you aren't entitled to, which can lead to penalties and fines from the IRS.

3. Save copies of receipts and invoices: Keeping track of your receipts and invoices is important for accurately tracking your expenses and income. This information can help you identify areas where you can cut costs, and it can also help you budget for future expenses and collect outstanding receivables. For example, keeping receipts for business meals can help you deduct these expenses when filing your taxes.

If you aren't saving receipts, you may not be able to claim deductions or properly track your expenses. Additionally, if you are audited by the IRS and cannot provide proof of your expenses, you may face penalties and fines.

4. Track expenses regularly: Tracking your expenses on a regular basis can help you stay on top of your finances and avoid any surprises. It also allows you to identify any areas where you may be overspending. For instance, tracking your monthly expenses can help you see where your money is going and make adjustments as needed.

If you neglect to track your expenses, you may overspend or forget about important payments. This can lead to overdraft fees, missed payments, and even damage to your credit score.

5. Reconcile accounts monthly: Reconciling your accounts monthly is like putting the cherry on top of your financial management sundae; it will can help you identify any discrepancies and ensure that your financial records are accurate.

Without reconciling your accounts, you may not catch errors or fraudulent activity. This can result in incorrect financial reports, which can lead to poor decision-making. Also, if you don't reconcile your bank account, you might not notice a fraudulent transaction, which could result in lost funds and potential damage to your reputation.

6. Create a budget: Creating a budget is essential for managing your finances effectively. It helps you plan for future expenses and identify areas where you can cut costs. For instance, setting a budget for advertising expenses can help you track your marketing costs and ensure you're not overspending.

If you don't create a budget, you may overspend or fail to account for important expenses. This can result in financial stress and even bankruptcy.

Implementing these six tips can help you keep track of your business finances and make more informed decisions. Failure to follow them can result in financial mistakes, penalties, and even damage to your business's reputation. If you're unsure about how to best manage your finances, consider hiring a financial consultant or fractional CFO from Coast to Coast Finance to help you develop a financial management plan that meets your unique needs.

Coast to Coast Finance will connect you with an experienced financial professional who can quickly analyze your business and help you overcome any financial obstacle you may be facing.

~To the health and wealth of you, and your business~

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