Small Business Finances
As many people know, owning and operating a successful small business means keeping accurate and timely financial records. Why? Because your financial picture allows you to monitor your small business and determine its successes every month. Good record keeping also provides you with the information you need to evaluate the financial decisions that you’ve made.
Many small business owners think is that they have to hire an outside accountant to run their business. This is not necessarily true. Consider the fact that you could save money if you or someone in your company or family were to keep the books, rather than a costly outside accountant. An accurate set of financial records in-house will minimize costs of paying an accountant and enable you to have more control of your business finances.
For example, what if your clients are late paying you one month, and you need more money to pay bills? Then you would know right away that you might consider factoring, a solution that could provide funds in about 24 hours. Invoice factoring, or accounts receivable factoring, has been around for 4,000 years, but single invoice factoring is a great new way to provide short-term working capital for growth.
You might not always get paid right away for a product or service that you have already delivered, so factoring could be the answer. Today it is harder than ever before to secure alternative financing through banks or venture capitalists. Accounts receivable factoring, also known as spot factoring, is a fast way to turn your receivables into cash rather than waiting up to 90 days for an invoice to get paid the funds.
It works like this. A factoring company will take a long look at your client’s credit, instead of yours, then if approved, you will get paid in around 24 hours. Fees for this service vary. Factoring companies collect the funds from the customer.
Financial tips for operating a small business includes the fact that it is important to keep your records including canceled checks and other business documents in an orderly and safe place. It’s important to place your receipts in the proper categories during the year, so it will be easier at tax time.
Small businesses aren’t required to keep a formal set of books, but make sure you choose the best record keeping system. Here are a few more tips:
– Employee compensation records — make sure you keep tabs on what you pay your employees and when raises, bonuses or commission checks are due.
– Expense summary — keep records of your monthly business expenses.
– Bank statements — when you receive your statements every month, be sure to prepare a bank reconciliation document to help you balance your checkbook.
– Summary of receipts — keep a record of gross income that is totaled daily, weekly or monthly, and keep track of where the funds came from.
– Disbursements record — this is a check register or expense journal that shows payments of bills where you record all the transactions in which you paid out cash or checks.
– Asset purchases — keep a listing for equipment, vehicles, or real estate that is used in your business.