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How to Manage Your Small Business Accounting and Billing

Know, How Businesses Manage their Accounting & Billing Process Effectively

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Do you know how much the Accounting & Billing process for your business is important?

An accounting process allows the business to understand their past activity and where they currently stand to plan for the future.
As Warren Buffet says “Accounting is the language of business”. And it is true!. The accounting information is then used to reach decisions about how to manage the business, or invest in it, or lend money to it. Without this, the business can’t grow.

Know the fact

Many small businesses often neglect their accounting and billing until tax time or won’t do it at all.
8 out of 10 small businesses fail due to financial mismanagement of their company. This often leads to their failure to decisions for their business growth, meet financial obligations such as paying their employees or rent, missing tax deductions that can save the money or fail to pay their taxes altogether.
You can probably have a good product or service that you have to give to the world. Eventually, you will be faced with the reality of accounting and it’s best that, you should be prepared for it now so that you don’t want to suffer this type of problem later.

Don’t worry about that, We are here to help you out!

Let’s get started, First thing you should know, what is accounting? 

What is Accounting?

Accounting is the process of recording, reporting, interpreting, and analyzing financial information.
Before that, you have to know that why accounting is important or a thing in the first place. To understand why accounting is important, It is best to look at a simple example, Let’s say you own a painting company. And you charge $150 to paint one person’s house and that includes additional coating, applying primer, removing fixtures, covering floors and furniture to protect from damage and so on. That time let’s say you just started your business so you decide to do everything yourself at beginning, fast forward some months later all of a sudden your business is booming, your phones are ringing off the hooks, your schedule is full for the week and you don’t have time to do anything from customer service, sales or even delivering the painting services and it’s going on. 
And now you’re stressed, you don’t know what to do. Logically this is a good problem to have your business is growing and perhaps you just need to hire some people to help you out at this point. And now you need to take some very tough decisions such as for one who do you hire first, how much do you pay that person, how can you ensure that there’s enough work for that person to do, and most importantly how much can you afford to spend to hire that person and also how much can you afford to spend to keep expanding your business at the same time.
Now there are some things to help you make this decision such as 
  • Knowing your profit margin.
  • Knowing your current financial obligation like dept and expenses.
  • Knowing how much cash flow currently your business generates.
Knowing your profit margin
If these things are absent then you are unable to make informed decisions to grow and scale your business, and If you make the wrong decisions it can be detrimental to your business. 
For example: What would happen if you hired someone but they did not have any idea or interest to work on that project, now you’re wasting money on that person or what would happen if your customer doesn’t pay you on time and you don’t have enough cash to pay your vendors, and now you can’t afford to operate your business or lastly what does it takes to expand your business, how much can you afford to spend in marketing or service improvement. 
Whatever you decide to do there will likely be financial implications, in other words, it will cost money and if you don’t understand how money is currently flowing in and out of your business you risk making an ill-advised decision that can cause your business to fail. You also risk tax consequences by missing business deductions that can save you money on your tax bill.
Now you can save yourself from these financial headaches by having reliable accounting & billing system in place from the very beginning. 
Now, Let’s discuss the accounting process that you need to deploy to accomplish this.
Earlier, We saw that the accounting process is broke down into 4 simple steps recording, reporting, interpreting, & analyzing which are all very important. So let’s go over these steps. 

Recording

The first part of the accounting process is to record all the transactions that occur in your business. Every time a transaction occurs then you must record it. And there are 5 major transaction types that you must know,
  1. Revenue 
  2. Expenses
  3. Assets
  4. Liabilities &
  5. Equity
Now, You must understand what these five transaction types are because they will determine how your reports are organized and influence how you interpret your business finance. Here we look into its detailed view.
  1. Revenue

Revenue is the value of all sales of goods and services recognized by a company in a period. In other words, revenue is income earned by the company from its business activities.
For example, When a customer paid the painting company for its painting services their payment represents revenue. Now revenues are also commonly referred to as sales.
  1. Expenses

Expenses, on the other hand, are costs incurred to run your business. In the painting example, My expenses would be the cost to hire a contractor and the painting supplies used those services are provided.
  1. Assets

Assets are resources that are owned by the company with a measurable future value.  In other words, An asset is something that provides a current, future or potential economic benefit for an individual or other entity. Therefore, a $10 bill, a desktop computer, a chair, or a car are all assets.
  1. Liabilities

Liabilities are what the company owes to creditors.
For example, If you took out a loan to pay for your expensive more number of painting tools, then it would also have a liability to pay that loan back later in this scenario you would gain an asset(the painting tools) and a liability(the loan).
  1. Equity

Equity is the degree of ownership in your business. Your equity is the difference between your assets and your liabilities or in the other words, equity is the difference between what you own and what you owe.
Now the most fundamental part of accounting is recording and categorizing each transaction that comes into your business into one of these categories. There are quick and easy ways to do this by syncing your business bank account to a bookkeeping system and classifying your transactions within that bookkeeping system. This whole process is called bookkeeping. If you are searching for the best bookkeeping system which makes all your accounting and billing processes with all in and out workflow, then ProfitMax is the best ERP(Enterprise resource planning) software with tax entry support. 
Let’s move on to the second major component of accounting,

Reporting 

Once your bookkeeping is complete you will be able to prepare financial reports that depict the financial health of your business. There are three major accounting & billing reports that every business should be familiar with,
  1. Income Statement
  2. Balance Sheet
  3. Cash Flow Statement
Let’s talk about these, one by one.

1. Income Statement

In your income statement, where you can find your total revenues, expenses and most importantly your profit. Your income statement tells if your business is growing or slowing. You can review your income statement in two formats, On a cash basis or an accrual basis. Cash basis simply means that you recognize revenue and expenses based on when money is exchanged. The difference between cash basis and accrual basis accounting comes down to timing. If you do it when you pay or receive money, it’s cash basis accounting. If you do it when you get a bill or raise an invoice, it’s accrual basis accounting.
Accounting

2. Balance Sheet

Your balance sheet shows which assets the company owns, the liabilities it owes and the equity that belongs to the owner. The balance sheet helps you understand your company’s liquidity and its ability to meet its financial obligations.
For example, If your painting company has $20,000 in assets but $15,000 of those assets are not liquid, maybe it’s in equipment then that would mean you only have $5,000 in liquid assets which we can call cash. Now, this could be mean trouble if my expenses begin to exceed the number of liquid assets or cash that I have in my bank. Even worse if my painting company has a high debt to equity ratio It can indicate that my business is over leveraged and could have issues paying my liabilities if a downturn occurred in my business. 
As you can see your balance sheet can give you a clear indication of the financial health of your business.
Balance Sheet

3. Cash Flow Statement

A cash flow statement is a financial statement that gives whole data regarding all cash inflows a company receives from its ongoing operations and outer investment sources. It also includes all cash outflows that pay for business actions and investments during a presented period.
For example, You may have dept payments and expense payments but both of these transaction types show up on different reports. Your dept standing is reflected on your balance sheet, while your expenses are reflected on your income statement. The cash flow statement shows the total amount of cash leaving your business regardless of it’s an expense or a liability. This statement understands the total outflow or cash each month which enables you to make healthy decisions about future projects that require cash.
As you can see these reports can give you a good idea of what’s happening in your business. Knowing this financial information can help you make future decisions to grow your business.
Now, let’s move on to the third step of the accounting process.

Interpreting & Analyzing

Unfortunately, financial reporting means absolutely nothing if you cannot interpret them and there are many ways to slice through your financial reports to derive certain information. In many cases, you can apply ratios to certain pieces of your financial statements to interpret what’s happening in your business. For example, on your income statement, you can find out your profit margin by simply dividing your net profit by sales. 
You can also find out your return on advertising spend by dividing your advertising expenses by your sales revenue on the balance sheet you can find out how liquid your company is by using the current ratio which divides your current assets by your current liabilities you can also find out how quickly your customers are paying you by using something called the accounts receivable turnover method which divides your sales on your income statement by your accounts receivable on your balance sheet which is the money that people owe you.
Accounting
As you can see there are several ways to interpret and analyse your financial statements and to be honest there are hundreds of ways to analyse your financial statements. 
So If you want to make your business profitable it can’t be done without an accounting and billing process. For this, you need to get the knowledge about accounting or you can hire someone who is in accounting. If you are going to hire then your expenses will be too high to hire an educated accounting person. 
But don’t worry we have a solution for this, that is buying bookkeeping software with low investment, with the use of bookkeeping software you don’t need any sort of accounting knowledge perhaps, you just need some financial knowledge to operate the software. So you don’t hire a highly experienced person for your business. And we’d be happy to help you with this process through our bookkeeping with tax planning software(ProfitMax) which is developed by Delving Research & Development Pvt Ltd, to manage the accounting and billing process that happens in any business. ProfitMax has great features which can help businesses to be productive and make more profit. Click here to get a free demo.
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