For all business owners, time is money, and for some the greatest temptation is to save both by skimping on the record keeping. As tempting as this might be, any good lawyer or accountant would warn against it. Failing to keep good records can land you in a world of hurt. The challenges and difficulties you might encounter vary from bouncing checks to creditor lawsuits to IRS audits. None of these sound too appealing.
But that’s where programs such as Intuit’s Quickbooks come in. Rated the #1 small business financial software, Quickbooks eases record keeping duties. Quickbooks offers a variety of services to its customers including, organizing, tracking, recording, and check printing.
Choosing to use a program for financial management has become a more popular alternative for both individuals and businesses. “The risk of transposing numbers or just not spelling the name right goes down significantly when you print,” says Cassie Millens, a young entrepreneur. “It also leaves a much clearer record of what I’ve been doing and what I’ve spent, which is essential in any business.”
Be sure to double check all the information you put in the system though. As the saying goes, “A program is only as good as the information it’s given.” Small mistakes can lead to big consequences, regardless of whether you use software or paper.
Input the relevant information as the screen prompts you to, and you will start to see the patterns of your spending and earning emerge within Quickbooks. The program shows you the places that bills and invoices go the most frequently, assisting you in identifying money traps and profit sets.
All versions of Quickbooks come with a calendar view. This allows you to see what is coming due, whether that be to send out an invoice, pay a bill, or print checks. The calendar gives you a real time look at what you are spending, what you are making, and what is going to be leaving your accounts.
Expenses often start with the simple fees that just slowly add up over time. Quickbooks helps you handle this by adding the numbers to the expense category as you put them in the first time. This way you do not have to go through your records to make sure everything is in order. The added benefit to this is that you can even print out the explanation of your expenses, saving you further hassle.
Quickbooks has an additional feature for its business users: invoicing. The system takes care of everything, requiring only current information to prepare professional documents and invoices that even include your watermarks or logos if you so choose. You can either print or email them as you choose.
Another benefit that Quickbooks offers is in office check printing. The software allows you to print your own checks, either as blank checks to fill in by hand or completely typed checks ready to be signed and mailed.
By permitting you to create your own categories, add all of your accounts, and save all relevant information, Quickbook becomes more simple to use each time you work with it. Even if you do not print a check correctly, you can void out the check and continue on to the next one.
Quickbooks keeps a record of what you do and print, so your records will last indefinitely. Just make sure to keep a backup copy going just in case.
In tracking your cash flow and spending goals, you can request charts and reports to show you where you are financially. These visual tools assist you in grasping the big picture of your business and your accounts. As you examine these reports and charts, you can plan your business accordingly.
Set your goals and hold yourself accountable to meeting them. The graphs and other imaging tools available make it easy to see whether your current strategies are working or if they could be improved.
Moreover, the charts and reports you create do not have to be restricted to invoicing and paying alone. You can also create reports that assist you in determining the inventory asset value, cost of your goods sold, and fees incurred through your transactions. These processes require that you input the information, but the tools that they offer after that will help you better understand and promote your business.