It is an exciting time for people as they starting out in a new business venture. Business plans, marketing strategy, developing your storefront or fitting out the new office area, presenting your products and services to attract the customers that will make your business a success. Plan early for a system for keeping the books and records which you will need to produce the financial reports that support your business decision-making and show your shareholders and bankers that the path you have chosen is the right one. Set out to form a strong support webbing for the company on which a sound and well-managed company will grow.
Right from the start, a business must keep records of its activities, which take two main forms: governance documents like Articles of Incorporation and meeting minutes that are kept in the Minute Book; and the bookkeeping system that is used to track operational business activity and financial health. Often these records are overlooked by an entrepreneur starting out. Faced with marketing and selling and getting supplies, record-keeping is easily put on the back burner to await a “better time” to put them in place.
Engage with an experienced bookkeeper or accountant early in the business development process. They will meet with you to learn the needs of the new business, and give you good advice on the best accounting platforms to meet those needs. They can help with building and maintaining a Minute Book, providing the necessary forms and documents to you. Answers to questions like: Are there going to be a lot of receipts and documents that you must track and store? Will you be hiring staff that will require a payroll system? How about electronic payment of your suppliers and staff?, will inform your accounting professional about your intended business structure. They can then establish the bookkeeping system at the outset so you are not trying to catch up several months of paperwork, with the very real possibility of missing out on legitimate expenses from lost documents or failing to meet deadlines for regulatory filing.
These are critical activities for your business but ones that can seem to exist only in the background. Use the ongoing services of a bookkeeper to oversee and manage these functions. They add tremendous value to your business by relieving the owners of the stress they can create when deadlines loom, and a focus on the production work that business owners enjoy and that they created their business to do – underpinned by excellent administrative infrastructure.