What Are 8 of the Most Common Bookkeeping Mistakes Small Businesses Often Make?

Running a small business is no mean feat. This is because most operational duties fall on a single individual. As an entrepreneur, this means having many responsibilities risking making mistakes. While some operational slips are easy to recover from, financial mistakes are costly.

The secret to managing the finances of a small business

The sustainability of every small business lies in its financial management system. But building a robust financial system as an entrepreneur is never easy. Even so, it boils down to maintaining a foolproof bookkeeping process. Failure to do this will be too costly, as not having a system is the fastest way to lose track of money.

At a glimpse, bookkeeping seems simple for an entrepreneur, but plenty of small businesses that handle this process make a mess of it. This is due to the many pitfalls in bookkeeping that only seasoned experts can avoid.

Eight common bookkeeping mistakes by small businesses

  • Improper categorization of financial records. A common mistake small businesses make is the incorrect categorization of expenses. This goes against the standard rules of bookkeeping that provides guidelines on categorization. While it might look like a slight mistake, this devalues the basis of bookkeeping.
  • Failure to keep track of petty cash. It is standard for most business owners to ignore their small expenses. They forget it is the root cause of significant business losses. But, there is a lasting solution to avoid these losses by tracking every cent. This is by opting for professional bookkeeping services for small business.
  • Ignoring the importance of bank reconciliation. As a business, you must reconcile your bank accounts every month. Avoiding this will lead to a pile-up of errors that become harder to rectify.
  • Not separating individual and business expenses. Every entrepreneur must draw the line between individual and business expenses. For smooth bookkeeping, this begins by running separate business and individual accounts.
  • Leaving bookkeeping until the last minute. There are endless duties for entrepreneurs to handle each day. But, this must never be at the expense of bookkeeping. Since it is a time-demanding activity, outsourcing it to professionals is the best way to manage the issue. This will then free your time and allow you to concentrate on other operational duties.
  • Failure to adhere to the latest tax regulations. Every year there are changes to the tax laws for small businesses. These changes are binding, and every entrepreneur must respect them. So, your bookkeeping exercise must align with the latest tax terms. Failing to do this means inviting problems from the IRS.
  • Not collecting bills on time. For proper cash flow management, small businesses must always collect bills on schedule. This makes bookkeeping easier as the cash flow is under professional monitoring.
  • Leaving out technology. Technology has become a cornerstone when it comes to professional accounting and bookkeeping. This is because technology is a channel to attaining operational efficiency. Seasoned professionals today use and recommend bookkeeping software for ease in management.

It is clear that proper bookkeeping for your small business is crucial. Thus, business owners must never make costly bookkeeping mistakes before seeking professional help. Avoiding these financial mistakes from the onset will prove beneficial. This is because it provides the business with a strong financial foundation for success.


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