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Avoiding Common Small Business Bookkeeping Mistakes

As a small business owner, it’s essential to keep accurate and organized financial records to make informed decisions and stay on top of your finances. Unfortunately, many small business owners fall into common bookkeeping traps that can lead to mistakes, confusion, and even legal consequences.

Here are some of the most common small business bookkeeping mistakes and how to avoid them:

Blind trust in software:

Many small business owners believe software will accurately categorize transactions, generate reports, and keep books in order. However, software is only as accurate as the information entered into it. Review and reconcile data regularly and don’t rely solely on software. Use it as a tool but understand your financials.

Not saving documentation:

Documentation such as receipts, invoices, and bank statements are vital for tracking financial transactions. Without proper documentation, it’s hard to reconcile accounts and determine transaction sources. Save and organize all financial documentation and review it regularly.

Misclassifying employees:

Misclassifying employees can result in incorrect tax withholding, incorrect payroll taxes, and errors with benefits. It can also lead to legal and financial consequences. Know the criteria for classifying employees, as well as the differences between employees and independent contractors, and regularly review classifications. Work with a CPA to ensure compliance.

Intermittent attention (a.k.a. putting it off):

Neglecting bookkeeping leads to mistakes, discrepancies, and oversights. Establish a consistent bookkeeping routine and give bookkeeping the attention it deserves. A professional accountant can help maintain bookkeeping and identify issues.

No data backups:

Data backups protect valuable information and ensure easy recovery in case of data loss or disaster. Have a reliable backup system in place, like an external hard drive or cloud-based storage. Regularly back up data to protect against loss and ensure accessibility.

Confusing cash flow with profits:

Cash flow refers to money coming in and out of a business, while profit refers to money earned after expenses. Don’t confuse the two. Understand the difference to make informed decisions about business finances. Work with a professional accountant to better understand cash flow and profitability.

Not hiring a CPA or professional accountant:

CPAs and professional accountants have specialized knowledge and stay up-to-date with tax laws and regulations. They also ensure accuracy and efficiency in financial management. Hiring a professional can help avoid bookkeeping mistakes and improve financial management.

Working with Haworth & Company, Ltd.

At Haworth & Company, Ltd., we understand the importance of accurate and organized bookkeeping for small businesses. Our team of expert CPAs and professional accountants is dedicated to helping small business owners avoid common bookkeeping mistakes and stay on top of their finances. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can support your small business.


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