Small Business Bookkeeping Timeline: Tasks to Do and When to Do Them
The key to managing your business finances is to create a plan, follow a budget, regularly review results, and always follow proper bookkeeping practices. However, many small business owners have the same question about bookkeeping: When is it time to do what? We have created a timeline of when to take care of the small business bookkeeping tasks that will keep you informed on the state of your business and make tax time easier.
Daily Small Business Bookkeeping Tasks:
Check your cash!
Cash is the fuel for your business, and running on empty will not do you any good. Start the day by checking how much money you have in your account, and how much cash you have on hand. Knowing how much money you plan on receiving, and how much money you plan on spending is important too, but that is not gas in your tank at the moment.
Weekly Small Business Bookkeeping Tasks:
Review your projected cash flow.
Managing your cash flow is critical to your small business. You should forecast how much money you need to reserve in the coming weeks to pay bills, vendors, and employees. This will make your business more prepared for the future, and provide more information for you to make informed business decisions.
Prepare and send out invoices.
Put time aside every week for billing clients. If you aren’t billing your clients, you can’t make money. While you are preparing the invoices, be sure to include payment terms. Most invoices are due within 30 days, known as Net 30. If you leave your invoices without a due date, you will have more trouble predicting revenue.
Determine which vendors have payments due. To avoid late fees and maintain favorable relationships with your vendors, insure you pay them on time. Keep copies of any invoices you send or receive, and keep copies of the checks used to pay them.
Record and file receipts.
Make copies of all your receipts or invoices from the past week. Create a vendors file with all your vendors listed in alphabetical order. That way you can have all your receipts organized come tax time, and not thrown into a shoebox. If physical files don’t suit you, you can always scan them and file them digitally.
Record all transactions.
Keep records of all your transactions in all accounts. If QuickBooks is not an option, you can even use Excel or good old pen and paper. Keep track of every account separately, and record the amount of cash that has been put in, where the cash came from, and the amount of cash that was taken out and what it was used for.
Monthly Small Business Bookkeeping Tasks:
Review month-end balance sheet vs. a prior period.
If you compare your balance sheet at one date to a balance sheet from an earlier date, you can get a picture of how you are managing assets and liability. Compare the balance sheets and see if any area significantly rises or drops. If your accounts receivable has risen, is it because of slower payments from clients, or increased recent sales?
Process and review payroll and tax payments.
Most businesses have an established schedule of when they are going to pay employees. But by reviewing the payroll summary before distributing payments, you can avoid having to make corrections next payroll period. A payroll service provider can do all of this for you at a reasonable cost, and save you time while ensuring accuracy.
Analyze your inventory.
If your business has an inventory, regularly check the amount of products available. Set aside time to reorder products that quickly sale, and make a note of what items need to be marked down or even written off.
Balance your checkbook.
Reconciling your business checking account is just as important as reconciling your personal account. Reconciling your business account will ensure that your transaction entries are accurate and make it easier to find and correct any errors made by you or the bank.
Quarterly Small Business Bookkeeping Tasks:
Determine estimated income tax and make payments.
The states that have income taxes require you to pay estimated income taxes. Review your businesses year to date profit and loss statements to see if you owe any taxes for that quarter.
Review sales tax and make payments.
Some states require sales tax, and your company can face serious penalties if you fail to pay them. An accounting or bookkeeping company should have the answers to your states tax obligations.
Review quarterly payroll reports and make payments.
The IRS, and most states, require payroll reports from every quarter. It is best if your payroll service provider completes and files these reports.
Prepare and review revised annual profit and loss estimates.
Determine if your net assets are going up or down, the difference between revenues and expenses, what caused the changes, how you spend profits, identify trouble spots, make adjustments to improve sales and margins, and evaluate how much money you are actually making.
Yearly Small Business Bookkeeping Tasks:
Review your inventory.
Determine the value of goods that were not sold by reviewing your inventory. Any inventory you write down can become a deduction on your year-end taxes. By not writing down unsellable products, you will overstate your inventory balance and pay taxes you don’t really owe.
Fill out IRS Forms W-2 and 1099-MISC.
The IRS requires companies to report annual earnings of all full-time employees and independent contractors by January 31st. However, a 1099 form is not required for contractors who earned less then $600. Consider using an e-filling service to save time.
Review full-year financial reports and tax returns.
Carefully review the full-year financial reports for your company before handing them over to your accountant. Also make sure to carefully review your return and check for accuracy based on your full-year reports.
Bookkeeping Help in Wilmington NC
BOSS is a growing firm of local business advisers who are committed to providing responsive service, strategic thinking, and competitive pricing to our clients. If you’d like help or to learn more about running a small business in Wilmington, NC give us a call at (910) 338-1198, stop by our new office located at 3901 Oleander Drive, Suite G in Wilmington, or click here to fill out our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!