There are a lot of exciting tasks to think about when starting a small business. For most small business owners, some of the more popular tasks include thinking about marketing campaigns, choosing products and creating sales and promotional material. It’s rare to meet an entrepreneur who tells us that the thing they are most looking forward to when starting to run their own business is their accounts!
Why Some Small Business Owners Shy Away From Accounting
Not everyone is a fan of number crunching, and for some of us book keeping isn’t a natural skill that we’re used to using, especially if the last time we got near any mathematical equations was at school. As well as appearing complicated, book keeping can also be time consuming. If it’s not done correctly the first time, hours can be spent checking and correcting errors.
Another reason some small business owners procrastinate on their accounting tasks is that they are afraid of what the cash flow might throw up. But without taking a realistic look at income and expenses, we would never know how well (or how badly) our businesses were running and expansion would be hard without knowing how much budget is in the pot.
Make the most of free accounting software
Some business owners like to make a note of their sales and expenses on paper and at the end of the month manually enter them in to a spread sheet. This takes time, and leaves a lot of room for error if you can’t read scribbled hand written numbers or have lost important sheets of paper.
Online accountancy software can be used on the go – either at the laptop, desktop PC, smart phone or tablet and you really can add your expenses as you create them. The software also saves any information added to it immediately, so there’s little chance of losing information, and better still it can be easily edited. Regular expenses can be added for the future – ie monthly rent payments, to give you an accurate view of outgoings for the year ahead to help you budget.
Some other great benefits of online accounting software include the super quick and easy reporting services. Graphs, pie charts and spread sheets can be created at a click of a button, and these can be saved, printed or stored online and usually have plenty of information to please the tax man.
Breaking Down Costs
Using the graphs and charts created on the accounting software is a great way to look at the overall picture of your business’s financial health. You may be surprised to see 30% of your hard earned income being spent on stationery, or all might be revealed as to why your sales are low when you see you’ve only spent £120 on marketing for the year. Different category colours and simple graphics and layout makes online accounting software easy to use, and dare we say it, book keeping becomes almost enjoyable!