While working with an accountant certainly brings a measure of relief, you should take some time to prepare prior to turning over your books. So, what does that look like?
Well, the onboarding process is usually the toughest part. It’s the information gathering phase. While you might have some of these items readily available to you, now‘s a good time to make sure you can put your hands on them quickly.
Statements and Receipts
Providing online access to your banking and credit card information is the easiest way to share your transactions and statements. You can send these logins via an application like LastPass to provide secure access without directly providing your password to your accountant.
Or, you might choose to send over statements each month. It means that you’ll need to remember to do it every single month and provide it to your accountant on time..
“Receipts are required.” In the event that you’re ever audited by the IRS, they will look for proof of purchase (a receipt) tied to a business purpose. So, if you aren’t keeping receipts, start now!
Time is of the essence. Some businesses have transactions every single day. With financial information that changes very quickly, it’s important that you respond timely to all requests from your accountant. The goal is to provide you with the most recent information to be able to make the best decisions.
One other thing about time – the time to shop for an accountant is not when you’re in a time crunch for information or assistance with your finances. It should start well before you get in a bind. It doesn’t have to be monthly support, but a semi-annual or annual consultation can help you stay on track until you reach the level where monthly support is a must.
Honesty and Willingness to Learn
You’ll likely learn things about your finances that you weren’t aware – mistakes you’ve made, overspending, unfiled reports, money owed to you, etc.
Grant yourself some grace. You’re getting the help you need now, and you’re learning how to get organized for the future. Take the tips and tools provided by your accountant, and set up calendar reminders and tasks for yourself to be an active partner in your finances.
Are you ready to bring on some support in your business finances? I’m currently scheduling discovery with creatives who are looking to get clear on their financial progress thus far and really crush their money goals for the rest of the year. If that’s you, let’s talk!