• Zoe

6 things you should do right now if the finances for your business feel messy

Updated: Jul 13, 2018

We've all been there. Sometimes you get so busy with work that there isn't time for the life admin which comes with it. If you have an endless list of emails, piles of receipts for your business and a backlog of invoices you need to raise to your customers, here are 6 tips to get you back on top of things right now.

1. Raise invoices

If you have a backlog of invoices, it means your customers won't be paying you, and cashflow is vital for your business. Raise those outstanding invoices first and make sure the money starts rolling in.

2. Chase late payers

Raising invoices is one thing, but actually having money in the bank is another. If you have an accounting system, run an aged receivables report to see who hasn't paid you, and get on the phone to chase up the biggest and oldest outstanding invoices. If you don't have an accounting system yet, make a list of the invoices you've raised (they should be sequentially numbered so the lowest numbers will be the oldest ones), and then pull out that bank statement and tick the invoices off the list which have been paid. Call the others, starting with the largest and oldest amounts.

3. Pay your bills

If your suppliers invoice you, you need to make sure you're paying on time or otherwise risk being charged late payment charges, or having them reduce your credit terms in the future - or not working with you at all. Go through that stack of paper and list of emails and find all the invoices you've received. Enter them into your accounting system, or write a list. You need to know the amounts due and the due dates. Then pay the overdue invoices immediately, and schedule the ones that aren't due yet.

4. Record your expenses

If you have receipts for out of pocket expenses, record them in your accounting system now. Receipts fade over time, and they often get lost so it's best to get them in your accounting system as soon as you receive them. Most accounting software comes with an app so you can take photos of your receipts and instantly add them rather than saving up a big pile to work through.

5. Get an accounting system

If you don't already have an accounting system, think about getting one now. You'll benefit from being able to raise invoices on the go and keep track of who hasn't paid you, forecast your cashflow and see which bills are due for payment, you might even be able to take photos of your receipts and record them in an app. All of these things will mean you don't end up with the same backlog of work in a few months' time.

6. Hire a bookkeeper

Helping people get on top of their accounting is what we love to do at But the Books. If you have a backlog of transactions, we'd love to speak to you about our Get up to Date package, and we can help with monthly and quarterly bookkeeping services too.


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