How to END Bookkeeping Procrastination in Your Business
Procrastination. Ah, yes. Avoid what is overwhelming & doesn't give us instant gratification. We all do it. Some more than others, but none of us escape it. There are certain tasks we'd rather not do, so we continue to put it off for days, months, even years.
Generally, small business owners know how important the task of bookkeeping is for the financial health of their business. An accurate set of books gives you an in depth look at how profitable it is, or isn't for that matter.
So why do some entrepreneurs put doing their books off for another month (or year)?
· They are unsure of how to properly set up and keep their books.
· They find it overwhelming, on top of everything else they have to get done.
· They think it’s a boring task.
· It strikes an emotional chord, so it’s easier to pretend it doesn’t exist.
· They are embarrassed of how long they’ve let it go, and it becomes a never-ending cycle of neglect.
Do any of these sound familiar? If so, trust me, you are NOT alone! I cannot tell you how many times new clients come to me with one or more of these reasons for not keeping up their books.
Here are a few tips to get you off of that procrastination wheel of doom...
Forgive yourself – REALLY! Beating yourself up or getting caught in the “shame game” isn’t going to help you move forward, so kick those feelings to the curb. Now that you are aware of the problem, you can take the steps to correct it.
Create a To-do list – The important thing to remember is prioritizing your list. Start with the most critical and work your way down. You can either write this list in a spiral notepad, use an online calendar or even a task management app.
Set up a timeline – You don’t necessarily have to get it all done in a few days’ time but creating a reasonable timeline / deadline with help keep you accountable and on track.
Get started – Take it slow, even one task on your list a day is a great start! Adding these tasks to your daily calendar is a great way to stay on track and keep the ball rolling, even if it’s 15 minutes a day. You will still be making progress!
Reward yourself – Seriously. Part of the reason we procrastinate is because we find no “joy” or feeling of instant gratification in doing the task in the first place. You can either reward yourself on a smaller scale with each accomplished task, or do something really nice for yourself once you’ve completed it.
Where do I start?
Whether you will be doing your books on your own or outsourcing the task to a freelance bookkeeper you will need to get your ducks in a row.
Collect all of the data needed to get started on your books - This includes, all bank / credit card statements, receipts, bills and invoices for the year(s) needing to be entered.
Organize & Upload the data - The best way to do this, I have found, is to create a Dropbox or Google Drive folder designated for bookkeeping. You can then create sub-folders for each month that include your statements, invoices, receipts & bills. The more organized the better. To upload the data, the fastest way would be to take a picture of each document, just make sure it is clear and not blurry before uploading, or, you can use a scanner. You can then add them to their appropriate Dropbox or GD folders for easy access.
Choose an accounting software the suits your business needs - The two I would recommend are QuickBooks Online or Xero. If you are unsure of how to get started, you can call their customer service number and get help in choosing which is best for you. If you are hiring a bookkeeper, ask friends or other trusted business owners who they use or would recommend.
Get your software set up, information synced & reconciled – If you have hired a bookkeeper, they will take this task off your plate. If you are doing it yourself, there are video tutorials for each software platform that can help guide you through each process.
Keep it up – Make sure to set aside some time every month to work on your books.
See, not too bad, right? Sure, it’s going to take a bit of preparation but in doing so, it will make your life SO. MUCH. EASIER.
You know that AWESOME feeling of accomplishment? That will be all yours, lady boss! You’ve GOT this! And if you still feel like you need some help or don’t have the extra time, I’m only an email away.
Stay tuned for more helpful information & inspiration!