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The 12 Most Common Bookkeeping Mistakes And How to Avoid Them Bench Accounting


An example is when you miscategorized something on your books, you may not be able to get them to balance. This also trickles down to income tax time because your records won’t accurately reflect items that may be deductible. Not deducting sales tax.A common mistake in retail businesses is not deducting the sales tax from the total sales. This results in a higher total sales amount and does not lower the amount of taxes due.

You don’t need a strong background in finance or a degree to be a bookkeeper. You can learn to be a bookkeeper at home and save yourself some money. Similar to incoming money, not all outgoing money is an expense to your practice. Incorrectly categorizing outgoing money as expenses can lower your profit totals and ultimately affect your tax bill at the end of the year. Understanding which costs can be categorized as a business expense is vital to accurate reporting. To keep track of those tiny yet vital receipts, establish some smart habits for any time you use your corporate credit card.

Not hiring a professional accountant

From a bookkeeping compliance perspective, you should always make sure your receipts and remaining cash line up. Lack of communication.Having someone handling bookkeeping is only effective if they are filled in and kept up to date on all financial transactions. A frequent mistake is paying someone a bonus and not reporting it or buying supplies and not providing the bookkeeper with the information or receipts. You can rest assured that we will work closely with you to create actionable business plans and accurate financial reporting.

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No matter what bookkeeping method you use now, you probably have a way to keep track of your expenses and income. Small business bookkeeping solutions – both in person and through technology – can generate a wide variety of accurate customizable reports in seconds. These reports help you develop a clear financial picture of your business. In case providing documentation to auditors, you may require to offer full records of business-related activities that are kept separate from personal accounts. Make certain that your bank account statements are reconciled on a monthly basis.

Indistinguishable personal and business transactions

Learn more about why QuickBooks online is the best bookkeeping software for startups. Bookkeeping is the proper recording and reconciling of all the transactions that run through your balance sheet accounts – bank accounts, credit cards, loans, owner capital contributions,…. Reconciling those accounts on a regular, consistent basis ensures all the transactions have been recorded. Missing this key step in bookkeeping can result in crucial errors and a loss of tax deductible expenses. Overlooking receipts and invoices is another common bookkeeping mistake.

  • This ensures sound estimates and favorable visibility on your burn rate and expenses.
  • Bookkeeping is no easy task, and without proper knowledge, the business is more likely to fail if one tries to maintain records.
  • It’s an obligation financially that should have been happening over on your balance sheet, in a liability account or a clearing account.
  • But when it comes to really understanding how much you made in sales, you’re not gonna know that, and you’re not gonna understand your expenses in terms of how much you paid in order to collect that money.
  • We field multiple calls a year from startups worried that they owe $40,000 to $80,000 towards their Delaware Franchise Tax.
  • With over two decades of founding experience he has overall responsibility to shape, and execute upon, the strategy of the company in line with the vision and mission.

Mixed finances can make it difficult to track your business’s income and expenses accurately, making it challenging to claim tax deductions and credits. It is easy to feel as if Excel is the best software no one is talking about. Ask our COO, Scott Orn, who began using the software for investment banking when he was twenty-one years old. Excel presents as an easily accessible software; however, we do not recommend using it to do your accounting.

Spending More Time on Bookkeeping Than You Need To

Reconcile your accounts at least once a month to avoid this bookkeeping mistake. The problem with not updating bookkeeping records regularly is that it can create issues down the road. For example, if you’re trying to apply for a loan and your bookkeeping records are outdated, the lender won’t have an accurate picture of your business’s financial health. Another mistake businesses make is not updating their bookkeeping records regularly. This seems like it would be easy to do, but it’s often overlooked in the day-to-day grind of running a business. This makes for sloppy bookkeeping because you will have to sort out all of these transactions later on.

In the heat of the moment, it might seem easy to pay for a business expense with personal funds. But in the long run, commingling your finances makes bookkeeping a bit of a maze. It can even remove a layer of legal protection in the event that your business is audited or sued. You can avoid this situation by opening a dedicated business bank account early on.

One of the biggest bookkeeping mistakes is not keeping accurate records. This can lead to errors in financial reporting, tax problems, and cash flow issues. Make sure you keep detailed records of all your financial transactions, including income, expenses, and assets. Poor or inaccurate record-keeping can be the foremost common bookkeeping mistake in business. To forget about small expenses or loose receipts is common and seems impossible to remember everything.

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The tiresome and monotonous task of maintaining the books can take up valuable hours of your time which can be put into the things for which you started the business in the first place. Additionally, we recommend updating and maintaining your books on a monthly basis. This ensures sound estimates and favorable visibility on your burn rate and expenses. This is why it is necessary to maintain your books in a timely manner and examine your burn rate and expenses every month. You need to strike a balance when making them so they’re pointed enough to categorize the right expenses, but not too pointed that they’re leaving some expenses out.

Well, In this article, we’ll go over the 5 most common bookkeeping mistakes made by small business owners, providing you with a pro tip for each one to help you avoid them in the future. Today, we’ll discuss the five most common bookkeeping mistakes made by small business owners—and how to avoid them. One of the major small business bookkeeping tips is to keep the track of your cash flow. Quite often, business owners tend to operate with a small amount of cash with very little knowledge to track it. To avoid such bookkeeping errors, ensure to set up a system which lets you track the cash handy for the business and what is used.

You can usually do this automatically by setting your bookkeeping software to update itself automatically. Another common bookkeeping mistake is not staying organized. This is particularly true for businesses that are just starting and don’t have a system to track bookkeeping records.

You need to transfer all your financial information into your accounting software. You shouldn’t purchase the software then expect to start a blank slate. That simple mistake can make your finances look a lot different than they actually are.

  • So you wanna understand how to manage and grow your business and that’s just one of the things that they could potentially look at as well.
  • By following these best practices, you can ensure the success of your business and avoid costly mistakes.
  • You’ll struggle to remember what your receipts and transactions were actually for .
  • Consider hiring an interim CFO or taking advantage of outsourced bookkeeping services.
  • CEO at IBN TECHNOLOGIES LTD & Many more Start-ups & Turnarounds!

It’s a smart investment to hire someone more specialized, who can dig into your what is an enrolled agent and give you proper advice and guidance. The bookkeeper you choose should be someone you trust to help you grow your business. At Accounting & Tax Group, we can help you make sure your bookkeeping is accurate and organized.

business owner

Get the right team and process to sort this process where you do not necessarily need to always look at the books thoroughly. The accountants provide you with the insights and you make the decisions based on that. Resolving errors in your books and records will give you an upper hand in managing your small business.


Use general bookkeeping guidelines for standard categorization and create as few new categories as possible. Not having backups can be a serious problem in future prospects of the business. We are the part of the world that heavily depends on technology.

Merging up your expenses with your business ones will cause an error in final records. These records will then show higher financial costs than you expected. As a small business owner, you must understand that you are not programmed to do everything on your own. An excellent running business requires differently skilled personnel for different tasks. The small business owner often handles the day-to-day operations, sales, marketing, and ensuring business growth and profitability.


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