Did you read Lisa Martin’s story in the DominionPost recently? Her business GoFi8ure provides everyday bookkeeping and accounting support to small businesses before they get to the point of needing a full time office manager. GoFi8ure provides bookkeeping and other administrative services to free up small business owners to do what they do best – run the business.
A further advantage to small businesses is that the cloud allows GoFi8ure to provide information in real-time. As Lisa said “If we’re giving information to people now, they can actually make better, more informed decisions, faster. If you actually just take a shoebox to an accountant and they do it manually and you don’t see the financial statements until a year later, it’s too late.”
Many businesses start out with a sole proprietor or team of 2-3 people and use a shoebox or file box as a temporary filing system. However small businesses have a habit of growing and can quickly outgrow the ‘box’ or ‘boxes’.
A shoebox system might work for separating out different types of information, e.g. invoices, receipts. However within the shoebox, there is just a pile of papers that need to be shuffled through every time you need to look for something. Then at the end of the year you end up paying your accountant to shuffle through it all.
If you are in this situation, you will waste valuable time looking for reports, tax information, supplier price lists and a range of other information that you really need to have at your fingertips if you are to have a really productive and profitable business.
If you are serious about your new business you need to establish a proper filing system from Day One. This way you will get into good record keeping habits early on that will mean you won’t miss tax payment deadlines, you will be able to find that up-to-date price list when you are preparing a quote for a customer and other information that is important to keep your business running smoothly and profitably.
You can also organize your electronic documents in a structured filing system on your computer. This saves you even more time because you don’t have to print the invoices and other important documents that arrive by email
As your business grows, and you bring on more staff, everyone will be able to find documents quickly and easily when they need them. A good filing system will expand as the business grows. It is as important to your productivity as a good accounting system.
Check out my offer to purchase a copy of the 1st edition of Keeping Good Records for Small Businesses for just $9.99.