Think about it for a minute. Getting a new business up and running—and keeping it up and running—is a time-consuming task. From developing the winning idea, to incorporating your business to managing the accounting—a small business owner’s job never seems to end.
Esther Friedberg Karp, owner of CompuBooks Business Services in Toronto and a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, says the big challenge is making sure you spend your time wisely and track the money coming in and going out.
"In my experience, businesses fail because owners don't properly understand their finances. They get buried under the hundreds of other demands on their time, or they put off tracking their company's financial health until it's too late to save the enterprise. Thankfully, there are tools and simple tips that can ease the accounting process while freeing up hours, which ultimately helps keep the business dream alive and well."
So what are those simple tips? Chris Davey, an accounting professional liaison at Intuit Canada, has some he’s willing to share with time-stressed entrepreneurs looking for ways to save time managing money.
- Say goodbye pen and paper, hello software: You can slash the hours you spend looking at ledgers and receipts by going digital. It’s easy to see where money is coming from and going to with computer software that lets you search through transactions.
- Get paid on time: You might do a great job, but are you getting paid? Delays in accounts receivables can be costly, but so can tracking the status of your invoices. Financial software helps you save time as you seek to collect money.
- Use your accountant's knowledge, not their time: Accountants are worth the fee for advice, but is it worth it to pay them to sort through your shoe box full of receipts? (Hint, hint: the answer is “no.”) If you keep tabs on your accounting throughout the year you can save time and money come April—when taxes are due—by just e-mailing your electronic files to your accountant.
"It's no surprise that entrepreneurs would want to minimize the time they spend on managing finances and concentrate on doing what they love—being a successful business owner," said Davey. "Saving time on the back-end means more time for other important tasks like marketing, customer service and following competitors. With the right tools, resources and know-how, taming the 'back-office beast' can be done more efficiently than one may think."