With the introduction of new technologies and financial reporting requirements, many small business owners feel like they’re drowning in a sea of paperwork.
Do you feel like your business is falling apart because of the amount of work that needs to be done? Do you have no idea how to prioritize what needs to be accomplished first?
Do you feel like your business is running on fumes? Do you have too many things to do and not enough time in the day to get them all done?
In this article, we are going to cover 11 ways that will give you a clearer picture on where best invest your time and energy with your business bookkeeping and accounting.
What are 11 ways to reduce overwhelm with bookkeeping and accounting?
1. Start with the end in mind
2. Get organized and stay organized
3. Create a system for tracking your expenses
4. Automate as much as you can automate
5. Keep track of what’s due when and how much it is costing you to pay late fees or penalties on taxes owed, business loans, etc. by using an automated system
6. Take care of the small stuff now so it doesn’t become a big problem later on
7. Prioritize your tasks by importance and urgency so you know which ones to tackle first (this will also help reduce overwhelm)
8. Be realistic about how long each task will take – this will prevent overcommitting yourself to too many things at once, which will lead to more overwhelm
9. Hire an accountant to review your work
10. Hire a bookkeeper to do most of this work for you and take it off your plate
11. Set up a system that works for you and your business so that it doesn’t feel like more work
Now let’s look at each of these in more depth.
Start with the end in mind.
Whether you are a business owner or not, when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping, you always want to start with the end in mind. As in, what do you end up with when the whole process is completed?
Once you’ve answered this question for yourself, figure out what you need to do in order to get there.
If your end result is that all of your financial records are up-to-date and organized so they can be easily managed by you or an accountant or bookkeeper later on, make sure the steps along the way will lead you to that goal.
If you need to reduce your tax liability, then make sure everything is done in a way that meets the legal requirements of the country and/or state where your business resides.
The bottom line is this: have a plan and know what it is that you’re working towards.
This will help reduce overwhelm as you move forward with your bookkeeping and accounting.
Get organized and stay organized
How many times have you started the process of organizing things, only to fall off in your commitment within a week or two? It’s easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to this area because there is always so much that needs to be done! However, with just an hour or two each week, you can keep your business bookkeeping and accounting in check.
The key is to have a plan and to be consistent with it. Here are some tips that will help:
- Dedicate specific days of the week (or month) for doing certain tasks – this will make it easier for you to stay on track. Create a regular money meeting and put it on the calendar as an appointment that you cannot cancel or miss.
- Create a system for organizing your paperwork – this could be folders, labels, or an electronic filing system. Get my personal electronic filing system that I also set up all of my clients with in the Bookkeeping Toolkit.
- Stick to a routine so you don’t have to spend extra time thinking about what needs to be done.
- Get a bookkeeper or accountant involved if you are having trouble doing the actual accounting and bookkeeping work – they will reduce overwhelm for you by doing it all themselves!
A simple organization system in your business will always help with reducing overwhelm, both now and in the future.
Create a system for tracking your income and expenses
If there is one thing that I would love everyone in business to implement, it’s this: track every penny that comes in and goes out. This may seem like a daunting task, but with the right system it can be easy and painless.
There are many different ways to do this, but I recommend using an accounting software, like Quickbooks Online or Xero. This will make it much easier when tax time comes around (or if you ever need to review your expenses for any other reason).
Not only does tracking your expenses reduce overwhelm, but it also helps keep you accountable and gives you a clear picture of where your money is going.
Use technology to your advantage
One of the best things about being in business today is that we have so many technological tools at our disposal that can help reduce overwhelm. Here are just a few:
- A bookkeeping or accounting software – like Quickbooks Online or Xero. Or even using a spreadsheet that was created by an accounting professional (hint: you can get my bookkeeping spreadsheet in the bookkeeping toolkit).
- An expense tracking app – this can reduce stress around knowing where every penny is going and help you create more accurate financial reports when tax time comes around!
- Create an electronic filing system for your business, don’t bother with printing out copies of every income and expense document you have. Less paper to organize, usually means less overwhelm.
Reduce overwhelm in your business bookkeeping and accounting with these tips to get started today.
Start with one task and work your way up. Trying to do too many things at once will just increase your overwhelm.
When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. After all, these are the two areas of business that can have the biggest impact on our bottom line, aka your profit.
But don’t worry – you don’t need to do everything at once! Start with one task and work your way up. For example, you could start with the task of setting up a system for tracking your expenses or creating an electronic filing system. Once that’s done, move on to something else in order reduce overwhelm in your business bookkeeping and accounting!
Automate as much as you can automate
As I mentioned above, technology can really reduce overwhelm in your business bookkeeping and accounting. Automating tasks is a great way to ensure that you stay on track with what needs to be done.
There are many different ways to automate tasks, but some of my favorites include:
- using an accounting software like Quickbooks Online or Xero which can automate invoicing, billing and other tasks related to bookkeeping;
- Quickbooks Online or Xero will also allow you to create rules for transactions that come into the software so that they are automatically sorted to the correct income statement or balance sheet account.
- using an expense tracking app that automatically syncs with your bank account or credit card so you don’t have to manually enter any data;
- using an automated system like IFTTT or Zapier that sends you notifications when certain expenses are made. These can reduce the number of hours spent on bookkeeping and accounting, which means less overwhelm! But sometimes, too many notifications can add to the overwhelm. So do not set up these notifications if you get overwhelmed with too many notifications.
- create a to do list for your day – this includes all the tasks that need to be done in your bookkeeping and accounting areas. Having a written plan for your day will reduce overwhelm before you even start working! Planning ahead helps you take responsibility for what you know needs to get done will most likely get done.
We all know the feeling of being overwhelmed in our business. The to-do list is never-ending, the work seems endless and we just can’t seem to get on top of it all!
Setting up automations so that things happen on a schedule with very little for you to manage on a regular basis, not only helps with the overwhelm, but it also helps with your productivity. You end up being so much more productive when you have things that happen automatically without much human involvement.
Keep track of what’s due when and how much it is costing you to pay late fees or penalties on taxes owed, business loans, etc. by using an automated system
You can create a system for yourself that puts your expenses and their due dates on a spreadsheet automatically. Zapier is a game changer with this process.
You can have it send you a daily reminder to put everything on your spreadsheet, which will reduce the amount of time spent on bookkeeping and accounting.
If there is one thing I would recommend for everyone who owns their own business or runs any kind of small operation with expenses – do this! It’s so easy now to automate things, especially when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting.
Take care of the small stuff now so it doesn’t become a big problem later on
This is where an automated system can really come in handy.
If you have a system that takes care of the little things for you, like emailing you when bills are due, or syncing your bank account data to an expense tracking app, then you won’t have to worry about forgetting to do something and letting it snowball into a bigger problem.
And the less you have to worry about when it comes to your bookkeeping and accounting, the more time you’ll save for other tasks in your business! And isn’t that what we all want? To reduce overwhelm in our businesses so that there is actually time left over to grow our companies?! Because if there isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, then there isn’t enough hours in the day to grow your business.
To reduce overwhelm with bookkeeping and accounting it helps if you have some automation around this area of your business so that things are taken care of on a schedule without much input from you. This way it’s one less thing for you to worry about and reduce the amount of time you spend on bookkeeping and accounting.
Prioritize your tasks by importance and urgency so you know which ones to tackle first (this will also help reduce overwhelm)
We all have days where we feel like everything needs to be done at the same time. However, this isn’t realistic and it’s not helping reduce overwhelm in your business!
The best thing you can do is prioritize your tasks by how important they are (not easy) and whether or not there is a deadline for them (urgency).
If a task is extremely important but not urgent, then it’s best to reduce any time you spend on social media and other non-essentials. Instead allocate that time towards your most important tasks. This will reduce overwhelm in the long run because those tasks are getting done! And don’t forget – taking care of yourself by eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising is also important so that you have the energy to work on your most important tasks.
When it comes to reducing overwhelm in your business, start by prioritizing your tasks! This will help you determine which ones need to be tackled first and reduce the amount of time spent feeling overwhelmed.
Delegate or outsource tasks that you don’t have to do yourself
This is a great way to reduce overwhelm in your business because it takes some of the weight off of your shoulders. If there are certain tasks that can be delegated or outsourced then do so! This could be anything from bookkeeping and accounting, data entry, customer service, social media, etc.
There are plenty of people out there who are willing and able to do these tasks for you, so take advantage of that! It will reduce the amount of time you spend on administrative tasks and free up more time for you to work on your business.
Outsourcing certain tasks is a great way to reduce overwhelm in your business. This could be anything from bookkeeping and accounting, data entry, customer service, social media, etc.
Be realistic about how long each task will take – this will prevent overcommitting yourself to too many things at once, which will lead to more overwhelm
When you’re planning out your day, week or month it’s important to be realistic about how long each task will take. If you know that a certain task usually takes you two hours to complete, then don’t plan on doing four tasks in that same amount of time. It’s just not possible and it will only lead to more overwhelm.
Instead, break that task down into smaller tasks that can be completed in that amount of time so you’re not overcommitting yourself. This will reduce the chances of feeling overwhelmed because you know what you’re realistically able to accomplish in a day/week/month.
When it comes to reducing overwhelm in your business, start by planning out your day, week and month. It’s important to be realistic about how long each task will take so that you reduce the chances of overcommitting yourself.
Delegate or outsource anything that can be done by someone else – this is a great way to reduce overwhelm! If there are certain tasks that can be delegated or outsourced then do so!
When it comes to reduce overwhelm in your business, start by prioritizing and delegating/outsourcing tasks. This will free up more time for important things like marketing or product development. If there are certain tasks that can be delegated or outsourced then do so! It could be anything from bookkeeping and accounting, data entry, customer service, social media, etc. There are plenty of people out there who are willing and able to do these tasks for you, so take advantage of that!
Hire an accountant to review your work
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your bookkeeping and accounting, then hiring an accountant can be a great solution. They can review your work and give you advice on what needs to be changed or improved. This will take some of the pressure off of you and make your bookkeeping and accounting easier!
Accounting professionals have gotten specific education to help you with your business finances, whether that is filing a tax return for you, tracking your spending, helping you understand what taxes need to be paid and when, dealing with the IRS on your behalf, etc.
Hire a bookkeeper to do most of this work for you and take it off your plate
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your bookkeeping and accounting, then hiring a bookkeeper can be a great solution. They can take care of most of the work for you and make it easier for you to keep track of everything. This will reduce the amount of time you spend on administrative tasks and free up more time for you to work on your business.
When you have a bookkeeper as one of your team members, you know that you can trust this person to take care of you and help you with your stress management around your business money.
Having the right team member won’t make matters worse, they will actually help you make things better and make you less stressed.
Every single client I work with to help manage their bookkeeping and accounting reports they are less stressed and I just make the job so much easier for them. I maintain all of the financial aspects for them and really just take the stress off their plate.
Many bookkeepers will also have their own processes that actually help your challenges become much less of a challenge. Their focus is on making the financial aspects of your business simple and easy for you.
Take a Break!
Managing stress and overwhelm really does mean that you have to take a break every once in a while.
Not only does your business need you to take a break, but your mental health does as well.
Sometimes the phone calls and instant messages are just too much. Turn off the phone, turn off the computer. Even put your phone in airplane mode. Get outside and get some fresh air.
Stress levels can be reduced by just taking regular breaks.
Close your office door and take a few deep breaths when you sense your stress rising and taking a few moments of uninterrupted time just for yourself. Just give yourself a time of rest before getting back into any tasks, whether they overwhelm or stress you or not.
There are resources available to help you with stress management, as well. Maybe look into that as well.
How can your business accounting improve when you reduce overwhelm?
There are a few key ways to reduce overwhelm when it comes to your business bookkeeping and accounting. We’ve outlined eleven of the most effective strategies for you here!
One of the most important things is knowing that you are spending your time in the most efficient way possible to manage your small business and the finances of your business to help promote growth and to focus on having a profit in your business.
When you focus on the wrong things or even the overwhelm and anxiety, you will just continue to make matters worse and increase your stress levels.