The Art of Business Records and Bookkeeping

Becoming your own boss is literally a dream come true, but if you don’t plan for every scenario, things can sometimes stray into nightmarish territory. In the spirit of offering you the best advice we can, we’d like to introduce the subject of business records and bookkeeping. Because it may be an area of operations in which you aren’t necessarily familiar. A majority of franchises include information related to how you’ll go about accounting duties, but you need to be fully prepared to follow through successfully. Below are some helpful pointers on putting your bookkeeping duties on the right track.

First, would you consider yourself an organized person? If not, you need to either change your ways or put a valued employee in charge. It’s sounds obvious, but keeping track of business paperwork will save you endless headaches as your progress with your operations. Tax time may come once a year, but keeping track of records is an everyday requirement. Whether it’s receipts, purchase orders, employee W-2 forms, deposits or checks, make sure you create a simple and easy-to-use system of filing for future reference.

In all likelihood, you’ll want to digitize your efforts. Popular bookkeeping software suites such as QuickBooks or Quicken are quite useful. Many of the more prolific providers are now also offering Cloud-based solutions for running your franchise finances. If set up correctly, it offers a more secure solution than having all of your information stored on a local hard drive. 

It’s helpful to plan on reviewing your results on a monthly basis, if not more often. Not only will you need to reconcile your business banking statements, but you’ll want to keep close track of your procedures to see if they’re working properly for your benefit. The key outcome you’re looking for is optimization of your franchise’s business efforts. When you carefully keep track of your monthly data, you can then continually evaluate the seasonality of your business, it’s growth and any potential declines. And guess what this leaves room for? Improvement. At the end of the day, you’re building your own personal fact book of trends that will help you streamline operations and increase profitability. 

After a few months of carefully managing your bookkeeping efforts, you’ll be ready to adjust your operations accordingly. Then you can tackle such subjects as business forecasting for your franchise, complete with an optimized budget. Staying the course and keeping on track will lower your level of business anxiety and allow you the freedom to aggressively pursue additional profitability. 

Lastly from our advice roundtable, get yourself a good business accountant or CPA, someone independent of your operation. The peace of mind this can earn you is invaluable. In addition to monitoring your carefully kept records, the job of a business accountant or CPA is to keep you, the franchise owner, apprised of the latest small business tax credits and deductions due to your operation. They’ll also handle your annual business tax return, ensuring your compliance with all local, state and federal tax liabilities. 

As the leading franchise consultant in the U.S., we want you to be able to become your own boss. But we also want you to be as informed as possible in your quest to join the ranks of other successful entrepreneurs. Here’s something they all have in common—sound principles of business record keeping and bookkeeping.

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