(Entrepreneur) — Some small-business owners view bookkeeping as a burdensome task that takes them away from running their business. It makes others nervous, and they may second-guess their knowledge and skills in fear of the Internal Revenue Service knocking on their door. You don’t have to be intimidated or bored by accounting. Successful business owners don’t view bookkeeping negatively. They have adopted a few basic procedures to stay on top of the paperwork. By doing so, they save time, money and a lot of stress. Follow these basic steps to gain control — and stay in control– of your business’s bookkeeping tasks:
1. Use accounting software such as QuickBooks. Become at least generally familiar with the software: Know how to input checks, reconcile bank accounts, create reports and other data. Then choose one of five ways to maintain it:
A. Do it yourself. Take a class on the software and dedicate time each week to input information and reconcile bank statements. If you fall behind on inputting transactions, it can be difficult to catch up. This is when most people throw bank statements and receipts into a box and procrastinate. If this happens, you’ll usually end up with option E below.
B. Train and hire a family member to maintain the books. From a supervisory role and internal control system standpoint, it’s still critical to have a basic working knowledge of the software and procedures.