Learning Center

04 JAN

Three Habits for Better Business Accounting

When comes to running a business effectively, nothing is more important than keeping the books. This is especially true when tax time rolls around. Businesses large and small are obligated to file detailed returns for the previous year, and if the numbers don’t add up, you could draw unwanted attention from the IRS. On the other hand, if you fail to maximize your legal tax advantages, you could end up paying much more than you should.

Obviously, it’s not just about taxes. Good accounting is the backbone of any business. It allows you to strategize, analyze, see the numbers clearly. It allows you to plan ahead and make smart decisions on virtually every aspect of your company’s finances. Without good accounting, you’re basically flying blind and “hoping for the best”—a strategy that virtually never works out, no matter what kind of business you’re in.

And yet, so many businesses continue to lag behind in terms of good accounting practices. Perhaps if they understood the true advantages of quality accounting, they wouldn’t cut corners. Either way, if you follow the good accounting habits listed below, you’re bound to see major benefits almost immediately.

1. Outsource your tax returns

Hiring a professional to manage your annual tax returns doesn’t mean the process is completely out of your control, or that you won’t know what’s going on. Successful small businesses and giant corporations alike use tax professionals to give fresh perspective and heightened credibility to their tax returns. Not to mention the lower levels of tax-related stress.

2. Stay involved with your accounts

Whether you have someone on staff or contract with a professional accountant, it’s good to be in the habit of staying involved on some level. Bookkeeping and accounting are integral parts of your business, and staying informed doesn’t mean you have to understand bookkeeping on the same level as a pro. A talented bookkeeper, however, will be able to explain things in clear language.

3. Insist on consistency

Many businesses suffer in the accounting department because there are too many people using different systems and methods to keep the books. It’s a good habit to be consistent, to allow the most qualified professional to take the lead, and to follow the system to a ’T’. Many time-consuming errors and confusing dilemmas can be prevented this way, and mistakes are more easily corrected.

Staying on the up-and-up

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of good accounting and bookkeeping, but for many businesses, it’s also much easier said than done. Even if you can afford to keep a basic accountant on staff, you might not be getting the absolute best possible results. That’s why so many business owners and managers turn to polished experts who make their living at managing numbers and finances for businesses. They tend to see things that other people miss. They bring a fresh accounting perspective into the company books, often paving the way for smarter and more effective financial strategies in the long-term.