As we are Marie Kondo’ing our lives, let’s do a little tidying of our businesses.

I do a Word of the Year each year. I use it as a guide for what I need to be doing, as a reminder for what I need to give my attention to, or a goal I want to reach. My 2018 word was ‘More’. I got so much freakin’ More that it influenced my word for 2019 ’Systems’.

Systems help you automate your business, free up your time for the stuff you really want to be doing, and ultimately allow you to scale.

The first system I tackled for 2019 was my bookkeeping.
Yes, its February and I’ve already tackled one system – Boom!

58% of entrepreneurs report that bookkeeping is their least favorite aspect of owning and running a business.

Yeah, you’ll find me in that percentage.
My attitude about my books was refined chaos. I roughly knew what was coming in and going out. I filed receipts digitally – and could access everything if need be. I mostly put things on my biz credit card and pulled together a big spreadsheet at tax time to share with my accountant. I always felt good about finishing up that spreadsheet – it was pretty stressful culling through my whole previous year each tax season.
With my old ways, the only time I was really thinking about my business finances was tax time and quarterly tax time (admittedly sporadically). Otherwise I just let those numbers roll around on their own unsupervised.

My interest is to grow my business and having my bookkeeping handled is instrumental in that. Enter Bench – a bookkeeping service for entrepreneurs.

I was immediately assigned a team and we got started. By the way, my team are real humans. Although you do work through an online portal, you have a good amount of human connection and hop on calls as needed. I like that I have ‘met’ my lead bookkeeper and know who is handling my business.
My bookkeepers first assignment was a hefty undertaking… sort out the past years books, prepare me for the upcoming tax season, and start current seasons books.
From initial calls to last years books complete was a few weeks total!
And now it’s smooth sailing with things handled for 2019. I’m exhaling…

What are the benefits of tidy books?

Monthly statements where I can see what I’m making and spending. Year over year, I’ll be able to get a picture of busier times of year and less busy times in my business. This will help me plan projects and initiatives better. I am forever kicking myself each Summer thinking its a slower time for me…

The tax readiness alone is worth it to me. I receive a full year end report. Expenses are properIy categorized (I get to assist on category when there is a question) and I was able to connect my accountant to the bookkeeper so they can send info directly and even communicate without me being a middle-man.
I also get quarterly tax estimates and can more accurately plan for these expenses. Huge!

I know what you are thinking “Oh Lordy another expense…”
Yes, this is a paid service and I’m totally good with that. These are experienced humans that I get to speak with if I need. I think its pretty comparable to an individual bookkeeper in pricing.

When I look at all my business expenses, the courses I’ve bought and may have not finished (I am seriously getting to that Pinterest course soon…) this is one expense that I know will help me grow and most certainly will help me sleep well at night. My ‘ish’ is taken care of! Its worth it to me.

Bench came recommended to me by a trusted friend but I still poked around a bit and was intrigued by what I found. They are a company that is pretty progressive – kind of like the Kickstarter of bookkeeping. They “strive to support people living their best lives” both in the service they provide and for the people who work there. In addition to an Employee Handbook, which emphasizes being real, they have a Mental Health Guide, that addresses Stress & Anxiety, Depression, Deep Breathing Techniques, Goals and more.
Check out the guide for yourself here.
I am so down with a company that works to avert workplace stress – where were you when I worked in corporate???

Like the idea of tidying your books?

If you think Bench might be a good support for your 2019 business goals, use my referral link to get two free months of their service.

Not ready for a full on bookkeeping service yet?

Check out a service like YNAB (You Need A Budget) to get you started on paying attention to your finances.
YNAB is a finance app you can use for personal or business. It allows for you to sync your bank, helps you set goals for getting out of debt, and provides reports on your spending.
I have a solo-preneur friend who uses YNAB in-lieu of a bookkeeper in running his business. He’s a digital nomad for reals and loves the on-the-go-ness.

So whatever size your business, pay attention to what is happening with those finances. Being able to see your numbers gives you new ideas.
You can release some of the burden of handling your finances by using one of these services. Your future business and stress-free self will thank you for it.

By: Sandra Scaiano