When you’re a small business owner, you have to be the man (or woman) of all hands: you’re usually the one who sells products or provides services, as well as takes care of all the administrative arrangements and financial management. Everything that’s related to the operation of your business turns into the burden on your shoulders, your sole responsibility.
As providing quality services and ensuring great customer support are the top priorities that take up a lot of time, keeping up with the financial side of running a business often turns into a secondary task. At the same time, remaining on top of the financial records, sustaining healthy finances and increasing revenue are the things no business may survive without.
If you’re new to financial management or want to improve your skills for the sake of your business development, use these hacks to improve your financial skills and conquer your accounting.

Tips to keep your business finances in order

1. Draw the line

The first thing a beginning entrepreneur has to do is to separate his personal finances and business-related matters to be able to monitor both personal and occupation-related money flows. Don’t get your personal and business bank accounts mixed up and avoid using business funds for personal expenditures and vice versa. Manage them independently. Start separate business and personal accounts to record different transactions, avoid accounting complications and keep your taxes as clear as possible. This habit will also save you hours of administrative work, as way as allow you to increase your tax returns, as you’ll have you deductible business expenses in order.
While setting up different bank accounts is the key to drawing a line between personal and business finances and keeping the latter in order, you should also apply these tips to make this part of financial management even easier:
organize your receipts into separate files and pay close attention to business ones so that your tax preparer and tax auditor have no problems when inspecting your expenditures;
• obtain a separate credit card for your business if you need one, as it will help you establish a business credit history and keep it away from your personal one; this will also reduce the temptation to use personal credit money to finance your business, which is crucial for remaining within the budget;
• make sure that your household and business expenses don’t intertwine, which often happens to entrepreneurs working from home (for instance, electricity bills or gas for a business vehicle that doubles as a personal one);
budget your operation and stick to the financial plan to ensure that the expenses are covered by the profit, and your investments pay off on time;
• don’t forget about taxes and make sure to split your personal and business ones;
• use accounting apps to track money flows and make financial monitoring a bit more automatic;
• track your major business spending, a.k.a labor, to see if your employee-related expenses don’t fit into your budget or if you have a spare fraction of revenue to spend on encouraging your staff financially.

2. Make time for it

As I’ve already mentioned, finances is the most annoying part of business operation. But, if you pay required attention to it on a regular basis, you won’t have to deal with the accounting mess at the end of the month/week, as well as experience financial troubles caused by your negligence.
Therefore, make a conscious effort to turn financial monitoring into one of the top priorities and spend at least 15 minutes a week to organize your finances. It’s not that difficult to find that much time in your schedule, is it? Just skip one social media visit on Friday/Monday afternoon and devote that time to keeping your business finances in order.

3. Hiring a pro is cheaper that doing it wrong

Hiring a professional accountant and tax preparer may seem as an unnecessary cost to many. But, once you look into it a bit more and combat your temptation to save a few dollars on professional services, you’ll understand that an expert accountant will prove himself being quite cost-effective. These are most important benefits of cooperating with an expert accountant:
1. he’ll prevent you from wasting your business operation time on tackling financial matters;
2. he will keep your records in order;
3. an expert, whose only job is to manage business finances, will ensure that the payments are received/made on time;
4. he will deal with the financial side of having employees and keep your business away;
5. he’ll prepare your taxes and make sure to claim all deductions and credits you’re entitled to.

4. Organize your records and make sure you get paid

I’ve already mentioned the importance of keeping a close eye on your business records and claiming payments from your clients on time, especially if you’re a general contractor or a similar professional, which works with the installment payments. But, it seems like I can’t emphasize that enough.
Getting substantial revenue is the ultimate goal of every businessman. Nevertheless, it’s crazy to think how many entrepreneurs neglect their business finances, forget to claim payments from their clients and fail to maintain a positive balance between the profit and the expenses even when their business is doing quite well.
So, keep your business finances in order by writing down every single payment in your accounting journal, note when those payments are due and set reminders to claim/pay them when expected. Otherwise, you may lose your profit and face an accounting failure, which may lead to involuntary legal problems and penalties.

Author's Bio: 

Elena Sheplyakova, independent writer, blogger. Concentrates her attention on small business issues, online marketing tips, home improvement and organization, healthy foods, family living, personal finance management, self-confidence, self-improvement ideas, useful life hacks and beauty tips.