The Importance of Maintaining Your Financials and Accounting Books

The role of accounting in business and its importance

Accounting is the process of recording a company's financial activities in an organized and precise manner. Micro-enterprises, government, forensic, management accounting, and corporate accounting are just a few of the entities that must focus on accounting in their business practices. 

Accounting is crucial to running a business because it allows you to track income and expenses, maintain statutory compliance, and give quantitative financial information to investors, management, and the government to aid in decision-making.

Most companies typically generate four different types of critical financial statements that aid in accounting. 

  1. The income statement includes financial expenditure and receipts that indicate how much money will earn and how much money is lost.

  2. The balance sheet depicts your company's financial situation at a specific point in time.

  3. The cash flow statement connects the income statement and the balance sheet that shows how much money was made and spent over a given period.

  4. The debt schedule lists all of a company’s debt in a schedule based on when it matures. 

You must keep your financial records clean and current to carry on business as usual. These four documents play a vital role in accurately tracking your company’s financial performance. Maintaining current financial reports helps with the following aspects of accounting: 

  • Assessing a business’s performance 

Your small business or corporation's financial status will reflect in your financial records, as well as the results of operations. Accurate and current papers will not only help you keep track of expenditure, gross margin, and possible debt, but they will also allow you to compare your existing data to past accounting records and allocate your budget accordingly. All of this information will provide you with a complete picture of your business’s performance and financial health. 

  • Complying with the law 

Although state laws and regulations differ, having suitable accounting systems and processes will help you maintain statutory compliance within your organization. Accurate accounting can help you abide by laws regarding sales tax, VAT, income tax, and pension funds, to name a few. 

  • Preparing budgets and future projections

Budgeting and future estimates can make or break a company, and your financial records will help you stay on top of everything. You can base profitably, operations maintenance, business trends, and estimates on previous financial data. This financial data is most helpful when it comes from well-organized accounting operations.

  • Preparing financial statements for filing

The Registrar of Companies requires businesses to file financial statements. Listed companies must file them with stock exchanges and the IRS for direct and indirect tax purposes. Accounting, of course, is crucial to filing accurate financial statements. 

The importance of accounting to lenders

Lenders utilize borrowers' accounting information to measure their creditworthiness or their capacity to repay any debt. They assess your financial health to determine how much you can borrow and what types of credit you are eligible for. 

The borrower's capacity to pay its liabilities on time, strong profitability, considerable securable assets, and liquidity are all signs of good financial health. Poor financial health may appear as inadequate liquidity, low profitability, a lack of certain assets, and an inability to pay liabilities on time.

What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping plays a vital role in understanding your company’s financial health and involves documenting all financial transactions regularly. Bookkeepers typically handle the documentation and run all financial data for businesses. With perfect bookkeeping, you can closely track your books to make vital operating, investment, and financing choices.

Companies would not know their current financial situation or internal transactions without them. External parties, like investors, financial institutions, and the government, require accurate bookkeeping to make better investment and lending decisions. Therefore,  both internal and external entities rely heavily on precise and reliable bookkeeping to inform their financial decisions.

Proper bookkeeping allows involved parties to reliably gauge the company's performance. It also serves as a guide for making general strategic decisions and a benchmark for revenue and profit goals. Once a firm is up and operating, it is incredibly important to devote more time and resources to preserving accurate records.

Some small businesses may skip this step due to the price of hiring full-time accountants or bookkeepers. Other small companies are more likely to hire a bookkeeper or outsource to a professional agency. Your company’s bookkeeping capacity is heavily influenced by the resources available. 

Why bookkeeping is important in business

  1. Create accurate budgets 

Every firm needs to focus on bookkeeping to make budgeting a lot easier. It's easier to analyze your financial resources and costs when you have well-organized income and expense sheets. 

A budget serves as your company's financial roadmap. You can use a budget to prepare for future spending for your business that will ultimately help you grow. Obtaining funding is far more challenging if you don't keep accurate and up-to-date books. 

  1. Keep records in order

Last-minute stress caused by searching for critical financial documents can result in missed deadlines and minor blunders. Companies of all sizes can't afford to make mistakes, and keeping track of your finances daily will help you avoid them. 

Completing your books frequently helps you keep organized books, stay on top of your finances, and avoid last-minute issues. 

  1. Make business goals more visible

Most companies dream of expanding, but bad financial records can stifle that growth. Setting growth goals is difficult when there are no exact numbers or data to analyze. Staying on top of your finances and keeping regular financial records will help you plan out your business goals more appropriately and grow. 

  1. Keeps you tax-ready

Businesses must file their taxes at the end of the tax year, no matter how inconvenient. If you have an accounting system in place, you'll have financial information ready for tax season so the tax preparer won't be breathing down your neck.

Suppose HMRC requests a financial statement from your company for tax purposes. In that case, regular bookkeeping means you'll be able to predict the conclusion more precisely if you keep detailed balance sheets over time.

  1. Increases your sense of security

The last thing you need on your mind as a business owner is bookkeeping troubles. Unorganized books, troubles with HMRC, and looming tax deadlines may lead to anxiety and stress.

Your books won't keep you awake at night after they're completed and organized. You may relax knowing that your company's financial records are ready for inspection without having to worry about HMRC. You'll feel at peace and be able to concentrate on other aspects of your company.

Basic record-keeping tips for small businesses

Financial records require a significant amount of preparation and organization time, especially for small businesses. In truth, most startup companies and small business owners overlook this component of their record-keeping, either because they don't know how to do it effectively or because they can't find the time. You can use these tips to help improve your record-keeping skills: 

  1. Don't use cash

It's especially challenging for business owners to preserve and maintain accurate financial records when they spend cash without proper paperwork. Without sufficient documentation, it's easy to forget how and where you spent money. 

Instead of cash, it's best to use a credit or debit card or a check because there's a paper trail to follow and allows you to easily track spending. You may also miss out on write-offs since there is no documented proof when you use cash.

  1. Open a bank account for your firm

A simple method to distinguish yourself from your business is to open separate bank accounts for your company. Doing so allows you to differentiate yourself from your business while simultaneously separating business and personal activities and expenses. You can conveniently track business income and expenses with a business bank account.

  1. Hire a professional bookkeeper

As your company develops and grows, you may want to consider hiring an experienced and well-trained bookkeeper. Hiring a bookkeeper is a corporate tax credit, and you'll have more time to focus on building your business instead of worrying about keeping your business documents up to date. 

Bottom line 

Accounting and bookkeeping both play a vital role in ensuring your company’s financial health, complying with the law, and helping your company grow. Accurate financial records also make the loan application process smoother. 

You should focus on accounting and bookkeeping, no matter how big or small your company is or how many resources you have. As your company grows, consider investing in personnel that can manage the bookkeeping process. 

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