Business expenses are part of the daily routine when it comes to running a company. Whether it’s utility bills or buying inventory, you need to spend the money to make it. Tracking these expenses helps you understand your spending behavior, cut costs, and plan for tax times ahead.
If you have lost a week of precious time sorting through credit card charges and paper receipts to figure out how many of your purchases were business expenses, it’s time to step up your organizational capabilities and devise a system for tracking the expenses in real time. Here are a few ideas that will help you develop a better expense management system.
Create a Separate Business Bank Account
Often, many sole proprietorship businesses have not made it a priority to segregate their personal and business accounts, which can result in a lot of confusion. Separating your business and personal accounts should be a top priority for any business. This is so that business-related purchases and payments will move through a separate account from the beginning, which makes it easier to track business expenses later. The use of a business credit or checking account is preferable in this regard. The business account will also build up a separate business credit score that is considered an important factor by banks and other businesses to measure risk. Maintaining a good credit score will ensure that you are eligible for business loans and other services.
Use Online Tools to Track Expenses as they Occur
There are many online tools on the market that are quite handy and easy to use for everyone. You don’t have to be an expert to make use of these bookkeeping tools that cater to most of your accounting needs such as tracking expenses. As soon as you get a receipt, the information can be put into the software which can then be accessed at any given time. The expenses will automatically add up and show various other trends compared to your sales or income, which greatly helps in better decision making. Because you have access to updated information about business expenses at all times, you are in a better position to strategize for the business according to your current situation.
You can set up alerts to remind you to pay forthcoming expenses before they are due and you’ll be able to print out the entire calendar for reference as tax time approaches. Some of these online tools, such as Google Calendar, can synchronize with your phone enabling the tracking of business expenses on the go.
Hire a Bookkeeping Expert
One way to track expenses and handle all accounting tasks efficaciously is to hire an expert. As a business owner, it can be hard to keep a check on all of the accounting tasks among other important business requirements. Having a professional manage your bookkeeping needs will ensure that everything is on track when it comes to handling the finances. Though, it is suggested to hold a weekly meeting with the person in charge of your finances so that you will always know where your company stands. The right accountant will offer an honest valuation of your business finances and will suggest a solid plan to reduce expenses. A bookkeeper that can help you stay out of trouble with the IRS is most certainly worth the investment.
Consider your Employee Costs
When tracking your other business expenses, don’t forget to include one of your major expenses, which is labor. Ensure that you are properly tracking the cost of wages, benefits, overtime, and other costs related to your employees. By accurately determining the costs of maintaining a workforce, you will be able to decide if they need better incentives or if you are overspending the budget. Whatever the case, tracking business expenses is surely going to help you with better decision making regarding the management of your labor force.
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