THE SHOEBOX OF RECEIPTS

‘I’ll deal with this later,’ the small business owner says to herself, shoving the crumpled receipt into the shoebox. ‘At least I didn’t lose it. My accountant will figure that out. That’s what I pay her for.’ After all, people go into business for freedom, not to fuss over this stuff. Simple searches on Google bring up countless articles about long hours and stress that small business owners face in today’s fast paced markets. I believe you can have it all; we think you just need a little help on the organizational front.

The reality is that you can keep your freedom with a few savvy decisions from the get-go. It sure beats the two potential alternatives of those not well versed in bookkeeping:

  • Nights and weekends at the kitchen table attempting to learn the basics of reconciliations, and balancing your books, while setting enough money aside for your HST remittance. Did you remember to pay yourself? What pay structure works best for you in the long-term, dividends or regular payroll? What about the raise you promised your employees? Cue mental implosion.
  • Waking moments spent stressing because you let the shoebox of receipts pile up and it’s spiraled into a clear ball of yarn that you aren’t sure how to unravel. So, you spiral into an emotional mess thinking of how your business might go down the tubes with countless scenarios of destruction running through your mind. In psychology, this is considered a fight or flight response and it wreaks havoc on your mental health and physical body.

Throwing more time at this problem isn’t the solution, especially if it’s your own time. What do you charge an hour for your services? It’s something to seriously consider.

Now that you’ve had a little laugh, it’s really not funny for most small business owners. Worrying about the state of your finances can result in sleepless nights, and reactive decisions that might cost you more down the road. Let’s not forget your health, which will most certainly pay the toll of those extra hours working and spent stressing about your finances. After years of operating in this financial learning curve, we want to offer a simplified solution to your books. Us. And if it’s not us, here are a few pointers that may help:

  1. Invest in a bookkeeper. It will help save you time and stress. Depending on the size and nature of your business, you will need daily, weekly or monthly services to reconcile, allocate funds and track and account for revenue and expenditures.
  2. Accountants are for tax time. But, don’t let that shoebox of receipts pile up. It will cost you heaps! Bookkeepers prepare the paperwork and track the financial administration of your business, while accountants offer yearly filing services, costing, on average, $750 CAD for a small business filing. (More to come on the roles of both in our next post.)
  3. Get acquainted with the wonderful world of apps. Yes, there are apps for this and they are built with the small business owner in mind. Consider linking your daily POS to your accounting software, like Quickbooks (Cheryl is a pro-certified advisor) and save yourself a ridiculous amount of time and stress.

You went into business for the freedom of it all, the power of choice often being at the forefront of many reasons. I bet you said you’d do it differently if it were your business. Well, here’s your chance.

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