It happens and it happens to the best of us even when we have good intentions. Especially if you are busy growing your business or you don't have the right kind of help early on enough. As the bookkeeping backlog grows it starts to feel more serious as each day goes on.
Once you have a bookkeeping backlog and a growing mound of paperwork it becomes ever more difficult to get on top of not least because you also have to make a big chunk of time available, search for old receipts and documents that now live in various places by default.
Plus, it is not as easy to pull together as it might first appear.
It looks easy. Just punching in a few numbers – right?
The TV advert said it was easy. Running your own business accounts on the cloud? That you can get your accounts done just like that. That’s what they said, wasn't it? But then you realise that perhaps you haven't been disciplined enough or you just don't know what you are doing. Which nominal code do you use exactly? Is it an expense or a liability? How do I know if I have somehow doubled up by raising an invoice and then marking a payment. How come I have these extra transactions that I don't remember putting into the accounting software?
So… the reality is quite different
There are some obvious mistakes which are easy to rectify and there are others that exist within the mythical realms of the mind of the humble bookkeeper; what goes where and how and when. It takes years to study this stuff so you can be forgiven for not knowing the ins and outs of the detail.
Making the time
One of the biggest problems is not getting around to it. Getting behind and not attending for a week. Then two. Then maybe a month… or two. Before you know it – you are really behind. And it gets really hard to catch up because there is a list of more pressing things to do; like generating revenue for your business.
But it is your revenue that you are losing
Worst of all is that revenue that is being lost. Either the paperwork is lost and the claim can't be made well or at all. VAT isn't getting claimed back. Worse again, are the fines for lateness and inaccuracies; the latter of which is enough to put a chill through the spine.
Don't be fooled.
It isn't only the very small businesses that gets behind. There are those that turn over in excess of £100K, £200K, £300K and counting. It is not unheard of… Just because a business is turning over nigh on a million doesn't mean it is all as it should be. Basically it doesn't matter if you are a small business or a fast growing one, the sooner there is a good accounting system in place the easier it will go.
If you are a fast growing one then the necessity to know where you are with cash flow will become ever more imperative because you simply can't track where you are positioned.
Look at your processes. The concept of the One Minute Manager; the essence of which is ‘don't pick a piece of paper up more than once' just to put it in another pile. When you do this once, twice, thrice find a way to make a process that means it is now in process. There is a huge wastage in repetition of trying to process the same document if there isn't a process in place. There is also huge wastage in revisiting the same piece of ground to come up with another non solution.
Your good process that you have in place also means that you are dispensable. Another person can follow the process and carry on the admin tasks without needing to be in tune with the inner workings of your head and how you might organise stuff!
There are some fantastic receipt processing softwares on the market, Receipt Bank and Autoentry to name a couple. Use them. They make the process of filing the receipts painless. There are an endless choice of Apps on the market for pulling in data from sales or spends and your bookkeeper or accountant will help you find the ones that best suit you.
Really don't leave it any longer. Not only will it feel like a weight released but it will serve you in the immediate and long term. You will finally know where you are and have a chance to see where you are heading. Give us a call if you want some professional help. We area rather fabulous at creating this kind of order from this kind of chaos. You get loads of wins along the way because you get to be on the cloud, you get up to date and you get a future picture.