Did you run out of money before you ran out of month? On your credit card statements, were there unexplained charges for a “free” service after you signed up?
We frequently consult with prospective clients who’ve reached the end of their patience with bookkeeping. They discover that little things do add up, but they just can’t remember what the little things were till they try to reconcile at the end of the month. Reconciling your accounts are really the only way you will know if you have made a mistake or forgotten an expense. Don't wait too long because you may find a surprise in your bank account and need to correct it right away.
Here are various places where you can start looking for missed items:
· Merchant services that are supposedly “free”
· Did your merchant services take out the fees in advance of depositing it into your account?
· Did your bank charge you for an “analysis fee” again?
When creating your budget, make sure you include EVERYTHING you’ll be spending…
· On-going daily items that seem negligible
· Licensing for City, County and Health Dept.
· Website and domain name renewals
· Google or Office 365 monthly expenses
· Christmas cards or gifts to clients and employees
Look under all the rocks for items you have forgotten about:
· Cell phone expense
· Mileage expense (reimbursed by your company)
· Money out of your pocket for little things you bought for the company
· Receipts still stuffed in the glovebox
Would you like extra ideas for how to keep everything tidy? We’re glad you asked!
Simple tips for staying organized:
· Decide who will have purchasing authorization for your company. The fewer people to chase down for expense details, the better.
· Do NOT co-mingle your accounts. It’s much harder to figure out which receipt goes where AND it makes you vulnerable to the IRS viewing your personal finances.
· Keep an envelope in your planner for receipts.
· Empty envelope receipts daily and record them.
· Use an app like Expensify to scan and categorize your receipts - then you can toss them!
· Reconcile your bank and cc statements monthly – make sure you didn’t miss anything and that there aren’t any errors.
· Contact the bank if there is an error or if something looks suspicious. For some banks, you only have 30 days to dispute a charge.
Call a trained, professional bookkeeper if you need additional help.
Do you have other handy suggestions for streamlining reconciliations? Add your comment below!
Lynn Talbott, MBA, PHR, has over 20 years’ experience consulting with entrepreneurs of small to mid-sized businesses in the HR and office management capacity. Her specialty is Office/Human Resource Manager coaching and training and finding practical solutions for bookkeeping errors and HR blunders. Lynn has helped manage over 50 business start-ups and many of those companies continue to rely on her expertise today as they continue to grow.