Running a small business can be time-consuming, especially if you have few employees or a busy company. Although it is tempting to put routine processes on the back burner and try to catch up later, it is important to keep track of all business records. Otherwise, valuable receipts, orders, and account information can get lost or misplaced. Here are 5 tips to help you get organized.
1. Stash Receipts in a Specific Location
Depending on your office layout, you can collect receipts for supplies, equipment, or operating expenses and put them in a file folder, a manila envelope, or even a desk drawer. Keeping them in the same convenient location enables you to easily remember where they are stored the next time you need to add one to the collection. Receipts are indispensable for cross-checking business operations as well as for annual tax preparation, so keep track of your receipts in a handy location. For additional information, please visit Thinking Capital.
2. Keep a Daily Log
Some ultra-busy companies maintain a basic log of daily activities. This record, which can be handwritten or kept in a computer file, provides a cumulative record of the main tasks that are performed daily, weekly, or monthly. This is an age-old process, going back to the time of Thomas Jefferson and before that even, when busy landowners monitored goals and challenges for future reference as needed.
3. Back Up Your Data
In addition to storing information about accounts, records, and budgets, it is a good idea to back the data of small businesses on a secondary computer drive, a thumb drive, or the Cloud. If your computer should crash or get hacked, you could lose valuable data that might not be easy to retrieve.
4. Invest in Cybersecurity
With the majority of a company’s operational data now posted and saved online, cybersecurity is a must. Shop for the best firewalls and malware available that will safeguard your records to avoid losing important company information and inadvertently compromising customer records.
5. Schedule Record-Keeping Time
Even if you hire a bookkeeper or consult an accountant for company documentation, the manager or owner should check records periodically as well. Set aside some time weekly or monthly to check the books and other essential records to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate.
Day-to-day operations can be demanding, so it is easy to push record-keeping duties aside, including mundane tasks like filing. But small businesses need to have records conveniently accessible, accurately updated, and easily retrievable hen needed. Take good care of your records, as they may prove extremely valuable at some point. Word of mouth holds very little weight compared to the written word, so keep your documentation in a safe place and carefully monitored.