A new year is here! It’s exciting. But it can be daunting and scary, too, if last year didn’t go as planned financially for you or your business. So, as we start 2024, commit to making changes and developing habits that lead to more financial clarity and success.
We’ll walk you through five bookkeeping tips to help you get started and to stay on the right track.
1. Create a realistic budget.
A well-crafted budget is your financial roadmap. This essential tool helps you to make spending decisions, allocate resources, and have a benchmark to measure against actual financial performance. Also, by developing a realistic budget (either for personal finances or for your business), you get clear about your financial priorities.
2. Make time weekly for bookkeeping tasks.
We can’t exercise once a quarter and expect to be in great shape. Just like fitness, effective bookkeeping requires our attention and energy on a regular basis. Ideally, you should log expenses and payments received as they occur. However, if not applicable for you, set aside 20-60 minutes once a week to record transactions and review financial statements.
3. Decide if this is the year that you’re hiring a bookkeeper and/or paying for accounting services.
Outsourcing bookkeeping or keeping it in-house? That’s an important question to be asking now, not at tax time or when you’ve become overwhelmed. (Hiring when you’re overwhelmed is grueling and creates even more decisions during an already tough time.)
When deciding, know that outsourcing can offer advantages such as specialized expertise, cost savings and, if you’re a business owner, the ability to focus on core business activities. On the other hand, in-house bookkeeping gives you more direct control and immediate oversight.
4. Look for a cloud-based bookkeeping tool.
Are you already using a tool like FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Wave Accounting or Bonsai for your business? And if not a business owner, are you using a product like Quicken, Rocket Money or Empower to track your personal budget and expenses?
If you answered no, a quick search on the internet will turn up many great options for you. An old saying comes to mind here – You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Engaging with a bookkeeping tool helps you measure and, thus, manage your finances. Last note, we highly suggest a cloud-based tool because you can access your data anytime where there is internet. It’s convenient, and we’re more likely to use what’s easy.
5. Keep receipts.
While this may sound like a pain, keeping receipts and documents of payment makes your recordkeeping more accurate. Also, the IRS requires you to keep receipts until the period of limitations expires on the tax return they’re associated with.
If physically keeping receipts is too much fuss and muss, look for an app or accounting tool to help track and organize them digitally. (Many bookkeeping and accounting software offer receipt tracking.)
Morgan & Associates are Looking Forward to 2024
How can we help you get off to a great start in 2024? We’ve helped hundreds of nonprofits, small to large businesses, education systems and individuals get a clearer picture of their financial standing through tax strategy, planning and bookkeeping. We can assist you too.