Plan ahead. Hire someone to help manage your finances. A bookkeeper is useful, but you’ll benefit more from staffing someone whose experience exceeds spreadsheets. Enlist an advisor to support your budgeting, cash flow and tax planning.
Manage your paperwork. Organize and file important documents like bank statements, receipts and invoices. You don’t need a sophisticated system — keep it as simple as one file folder for each month’s documents — as long as you have an organized method for keeping your important records.
Back up your files. Spend time every week on bookkeeping tasks. Be sure to back up your data daily, especially if there’s been a lot of accounting activity.
Keep current. Stay up to date by reconciling bank accounts, updating your accounting system and maintaining your books so they’re current and accurate when you need them.
Fail to file. Using the shoebox method for storing important materials will only create chaos. Keep your receipts, invoices, bank statements and other documents organized to help make preparing your taxes a snap.
Blend business and personal. Keep business expenses, income and accounts separate from all personal finances to avoid confusion at tax time.
Create bad habits. Resist the temptation to procrastinate. Maintaining an active routine with your recordkeeping and account reconciliation will keep you on track. It may seem like a pesky detail, but setting aside 30 minutes or so every day or once a week will save you time in the long run.