Double Check Everything – This sounds like more hassle than it’s worth but trust me, you’ll save more time in the long run. If you run a small business or are self-employed then the penalties for getting something wrong can be enormous. Whether you get something wrong in your tax return or get a digit wrong on an employees payroll number, the repercussions can be long, drawn out and difficult to resolve. Taking the time to double-check everything you do will save you a lot of headaches and stresses further down the line.
Do Everything On Time – To some this might sound like an absolute given – something so obvious you wouldn’t even expect to see it on a list like this. You’re one of the good ones. There are those who will leave everything right up until the last minute and cause themselves a lot of trouble in the process. Make sure your accounts, receipts, bills, sales records, and everything else, are up to date and current all the time. Perhaps set yourself a particular day of the month when you sit down in your office and ‘do the books’, making sure everything is recorded and as relevant as possible. Not only will this help with strategy and budgeting, but it will also help your case if you business runs into any difficulties or financial trouble.
Know When To Quit – Sometimes in business, wrong decisions are made. This is an inevitable part of any business, and is almost necessary for growth and change. If an idea isn’t working, don’t ignore the signs and carry on anyway. Look at your accounts, look at the data, and make an informed decision. If you’re unsure about how to interpret the figures in front of you, a chartered accountant can help and offer you invaluable advice. Quite often, when a business is about to fail, there are signs which go unnoticed months beforehand due to lack of insight, awareness or the means to check.
Stick To One Accounting Method – There are hundreds of ways to run your business, but at the end of the day we all have to file tax returns and get to the same conclusion. How you organise yourself along the way is completely up to you, but it’s extremely important to pick an accounting technique and stick with it. This will make it easier to cover the work should your regular accountant become unavailable or one of your employees is sick – if everyone plays by the same rule book you’ll be able to share the responsibility and streamline everything.