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Time To Get Real About Finances

As the corporate tax deadline nears, hopefully your books are closed for 2009, and you can start to look at some of the data your bookkeeping efforts have yielded. If that’s the position your business is in, congratulations. If not please read on, you’ve got some work to do…

Managing your business finances

If you’re like many business owners and professionals, the thought of managing your business finances makes you break out in a cold sweat. I know it’s hard to face these things if you know they’re not so good, and when you think they’re ok, there isn’t much motivation to do it either. Being an ostrich is much easier than facing reality. But in the end, avoidance will only hurt you. That’s why I’m here today to tell you, to ask you, to BEG you to get real about your business finances today. It’s one of the most important things you can do for your business and yourself.

If you tend toward avoidance, here are some affirmative steps you can take:

1. Get your books and records in order.
If you run a business or work for yourself it’s essential that your books are being kept in a timely fashion. Not playing catch-up because tax season is coming up. Many times accountants are only interested in getting your books together for tax purposes. As a business coach, my interest is in helping you improve your bottom line. I urge you to do this so you can use it as a tool that plays a significant part in being able to increase profitability, grow your business and put more money in your pockets.

2. Make sure that your books are being kept by a competent bookkeeper.
Doing it yourself or delegating it to the receptionist, an assistant or your high-schooler can backfire unless the person doing it understands accounting. Just because you buy a program does not make you an accountant. It doesn’t have to be expensive, there are many freelance bookkeepers and bookkeeping services you can utilize without hiring someone full time.

2. Once your books are up to date, schedule time to sit down on a monthly basis to review. What are your sales this month? How do they compare to the same period last year? What are your expenses? Have they increased? If so, why? Do you need to cut back? Where? Are you showing a profit? A loss? Will you have enough cash in hand to pay whatever expenses are coming up over the next 60-90 days? Is your invoicing up to date? What about receivables? Are clients paying on time or do you have to remind them? …Is there anyone seriously past due that needs to be put in for collection?

So I implore you – get real about your finances, I promise you’ll be happy you did. And if you need help managing your business finances, or understanding what all those reports really mean to the financial health of your business, contact me, I’m here to help.

Susan Martin, Small Business Financial Management

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