Simple bookkeeping for your health practice in 5 steps
Most small business owners like yourself don’t look forward to the inevitable task of bookkeeping.
That’s not why you got into the health industry – to file receipts.
For many of these health and fitness business owners, these tasks take a significant amount of time and effort to work through. Furthermore, worrying about the often tedious bookkeeping requirements can easily take your attention away from other important areas like business growth.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- Does the word ‘bookkeeping’ induce anxiety and avoidance?
- Do you worry about making time to manage your books?
- Do you find yourself devoting more time and effort on your bookkeeping than you’d like?
If this is the case, take a gander a look at five easy-to-implement steps to improve your own bookkeeping process.
1) Stake out a time specifically to bookkeep
Slate it in your calendar guys.
Many health clinic and fitness business owners look at their bookkeeping tasks as something they can put off until “later” (a mythical future event).
While it’s obvious that accurate and timely record keeping is paramount to ongoing business success, if you’re faced with client relations and day-to-day tasks, it’s easy to neglect these concerns and put them on the back burner.
As you may have guessed, this type of approach does not work well over any extended period of time. Inevitably, you’ll have to take some time out of your day to focus on the books. Otherwise, you’ll find your small business in big trouble, possibly even ATO trouble, without knuckling down and getting your books done.
Rather than continually put off and then stress over your books, one easy-to-implement strategy is to schedule specific time each week for these tasks. It’s best to get this kind of work done early, it’s one of those ‘eat the frog’ moments.
For example, you could schedule the first half of Monday morning every week to focus on your bookkeeping tasks and then get back to your working week with a calm knowledge you are on top of things.
By specifying a time each week, you’ll always know when you should complete these tasks and this will help you maintain a high level of consistency in your records without worrying about it every week.
2) Keep business bank accounts separate
This is a simple one but it can really save you inordinate amounts of time, stress and money. While the notion of separating your finances between personal and business expenses seems obvious, many fitness business owners don’t get the memo.
You simply need to have separate credit cards and bank accounts. Full stop.
The truth is that you need to approach your expenses like they are oil and water. What that means is that they will never mix, period.
When the time comes to organise your expenses, receipts, statements and transactions – you have a single, consolidated source of information. There is zero confusion and no separation hassles.
If you don’t already have a business account, stop reading right now and open one. Opening a business account ensures all your business-related expenses are ready-at-hand with no confusion. Over time, this can also help you build financial creditworthiness for additional lines of credit, loans, or other related benefits.
3. Create a solid receipt system
According to the ATO, record and receipt retainment is essential when it comes to your health or fitness business. According to their office, the law requires all the following considerations when it comes to your business expenses:
- You can adequately explain all business transactions
- Your receipts are expressed in writing (paper or digital)
- Your receipts are expressed in English or can be easily translated
- Your receipts are kept for at least five years
Because of the importance of this type of storage, you absolutely need a direct and simple receipt storage system for your records. This includes both digital and paper-based receipt storage.
While there is no one right answer to this task, there are several strategies you can take to make receipt filing and storage easier. These include the following:
- Folder-based filing for each year and specific subject
- Scanning procedure with a similar filing process
- Digital filing process for electronic receipts
In many cases, an integrated accounting/financial management software suite can help make this integration process much easier. In the end, it will save you time and energy while ensuring your records are all stored in an easy-to-access location.
4) Get a professional bookkeeper
Take the hassle out of this by hiring a professional bookkeeper – it’s not as pricey as you think and the hidden benefits and savings could very well cover this easily.
You’re a health and fitness business owner who is passionate about what you do. You spend your time and energy pursuing that passion to showcase what you do for your customers. And you work hard to become a preferred choice for each of your customers.
People choose your business because you’re good at what you do and you provide an outcome focused, customer-oriented approach. Why wouldn’t you do the same thing when it comes to your bookkeeping?
If your business is growing or you don’t have the time and resources to worry about your own books, why not let a professional handle it?
Here are all the great advantages you’ll enjoy by letting a professional bookkeeper do your books:
- More time to focus on your business
- Potential savings through outsourcing
- Higher accuracy in records and related financial matters
A professional bookkeeper will help to ensure that your books are handled – meaning you don’t have to worry about it any longer. Despite the expense for this option, you’ll definitely value the peace of mind (and extra time) you’ll enjoy when you work with a professional. In many cases, you’ll actually save money with a more efficient professional handling this essential aspect of your business.
5) Use an integrated finance software solution
Current technology options afford an impressive amount of options when it comes to small business finance. In fact, many cloud-based accounting and finance solutions can integrate your operations into one easy-to-use platform.
Accounting software solutions can include all the following:
- Payroll management
- Finance report generation
- Data analysis & forecasting
- Accounts receivable
- Direct integration to your bank
- Direct link for your bookkeeper to do your taxes
For many small business owners, this type of solution provides an amazing advantage to streamline bookkeeping operations while reducing costs for an even more efficient process. And as any small business owners knows, this type of savings can help your business succeed even more.