You just filed last year’s taxes and are probably breathing a sigh of relief. But don’t take taxes off your mind yet. Instead, let’s go over your finances again with a different eye. The goal is to figure out how you will adapt and improve your financial records and practices in this new year. We’ve got some ideas.
The Company Chronicles
Your business’s books tell a story. They tell of the history and growth of your business and where what you actually did contrasted with what you intended to do. They tell of your acquisitions, hirings, firings, investments, profits, losses, and more.
One of the primary threads of the story is called Your Finances. If you isolate that thread, do you have a strong narrative or a tedious slog full of plot holes? That’s a book you want to throw out the window. A better choice is to have Office Accomplice work with you to write an exciting tale that moves along smoothly.
Examining the Financial Narrative
To get a closer look, let’s go by chapter. Gather up your reports from the last few years so that you have the full cast of characters and let’s put our reading glasses on. Isn’t getting older just charming?
The first thing to do is identify one or two items you want to track, like expenditures or project estimates so it doesn’t get overwhelming. What we want to do is identify trends. Here are some examples of trends we help people track to spur your imagination.
You’re doing a great job at invoicing– always on time, projects tracked, hours tracked, and all on a nice clean template. But collecting the money has been a different matter. Everyone’s remittance plans can’t be that faulty.
You’re spending a lot more on certain items than you expected. For instance, your software. You might have purchased more than you need or there could be a system that checks more boxes at a better price.
You’re not irresponsible, but your credit isn’t that good. You could be putting a lot of your big purchases completely on credit, not paying your loans back fast enough, or both.
Payroll is disproportionate to the amount of work getting done. You’ve got an employee for everything but roles aren’t clearly defined, effort is wasted, and no one specializes in anything.
Do any of these resonate with you? So many business owners just reconcile themselves to never getting one (or more, oof) of their storylines quite right. We can do better.
Adjusting the Story Arcs
What have you noticed so far? Remember not to look only at the negatives. When you identify a positive trend, keep at it, build on it, and use it to improve other areas. We love positive reinforcement and the knowledge to keep strengthening your financial records and practices.
If you find something negative, don’t beat yourself up. It’s easy to fall into the guilt trap. We’ve all done it, but the thing is that it never helps you accomplish anything good. We’re not about guilt; we’re about developing discipline. It’s time to decide how you will change your process to adjust.
If you seem to go broke at around the same time every year, and it’s not because of paying your taxes, let us help you decide how to set aside money for those times or tighten your belt in anticipation.
What are your most lucrative months? Maybe you can plan your bills for a certain time of year. If it’s a huge, stressful task to tally everything up and find all your documents each year, then the choice is obvious– hire a bookkeeper like Office Accomplice for those times or at intervals. We’ll help you get better at keeping track of your data regularly. That’s what a bookkeeper is for: keeping track of the day-to-day, then putting it all together.
Tracking Your Financial Records Journey
To improve your financial records and practices, you’ll need some metrics to make sure you don’t fall into the same patterns. Something we advise our clients to do is create a dashboard that you can complete regularly that will tell you if you are hitting the mark or missing it, such as what you estimated for a job versus what it actually cost.
The team at Office Accomplice can help you develop a tracking system that suits your business, is actionable, and helps you make good habits, good habits that will help you make smart decisions in years to come. Future You needs to love Present You while Past You teaches Present You.
A Unified Tale
Your financial story is unique, but it’s in our favorite genre, and we’ve helped many an author. Some are writing their first chapters, while others have filled reams and are still going strong. Going through your books doesn’t have to be a lengthy, stressful process. You’ve got a business to run, and it’s our business to be the best editor you ever met. Contact us any time for a stronger framework to support your vision.