Bookkeeping And Accounting

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Common mistakes to avoid in bookkeeping

By Praise Arannilewa

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Many factors contribute to the success of a business or company, one of which is bookkeeping. Effective bookkeeping practices help avoid financial problems like tax penalties and legal issues and helps you make decisions vital to your organization's financial health.

While this is true, it is important to note that some individuals find it difficult to keep records, especially those unfamiliar with accounting. A lot of business owners often make common mistakes in bookkeeping that can result in inaccurate financial records, missed grant opportunities, and even legal consequences. 

Therefore, business owners must be aware of these potential pitfalls and establish good bookkeeping practices to reduce their effects to the barest minimum.

By doing so, they can ensure that their financial records are precise and current, and serve as a reliable basis for informed decision-making. With that being said, what are some common mistakes people tend to make in bookkeeping?

Common mistakes to avoid in bookkeeping

While several errors can result in a significant decline in financial performance, the following are some of the most common and seemingly insignificant ones:

Not recording seemingly small transactions

Benjamin Franklin (an influential figure in American history) said and I quote "Don't overlook the small expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship."

It is easy to neglect those seemingly small transactions once, twice, and over again but when this accumulates, it becomes impossible to neglect its effect on the financial status.

This is because it becomes difficult to track every missing piece of the puzzle. Treat every small piece as critical and there would be nothing to worry about at the end of the day.

Absence of effective communication

When multiple people have access to the books or records, such as a salesperson who is not always available, it is crucial to communicate every step taken.

For instance, you should communicate when a customer has made partial payments, when an item has been sold at a different price, when a transfer is being made, or when there are changes in the course of a transaction.

Effective communication can close potential loopholes and provide a solid foundation for proper tracking and informed decision-making.

In summary, by ensuring effective communication in bookkeeping, businesses can minimize errors and potential financial risks while maximizing their chances of making informed decisions based on accurate and up-to-date information.

Mixing personal and business finances

Using business finances for personal needs can be tempting, especially when you're in control. However, this practice can create room for issues in bookkeeping over time.

Tyms Book, for instance, provides a valuable feature that enables meticulous tracking of every financial transaction within your business. Here, you can accurately account for every amount spent and received, ensuring comprehensive financial management. 

Additionally, the software allows you to categorize each inflow and outflow under the appropriate categories, providing organization and clarity to your bookkeeping processes. This way, you can clearly tell what your business proceeds are spent on.

By separating your business finances from your personal finances, you can establish a solid foundation for your business, build a strong brand identity, and ensure accurate accounting of every penny. See this for more reasons why you should separate your business and personal finances. 

Not backing up files and records

Many businesses continue to rely on physical materials such as paper receipts and invoices for record management. While they can be effective, these physical documents are prone to wear and tear or getting lost. This can be a huge problem, especially when there's a need to refer back to a specific record.

Tyms Book offers a solution to this by allowing you to store pictures or documents of evidence in your records. This ensures that you always have access to evidence or supporting documents for future reference.

Failing to take advantage of bookkeeping software 

Manual bookkeeping can appear easier to use, particularly for business owners who are not technologically inclined. They may believe that using bookkeeping software would be more challenging, without realizing that as a business grows and the volume of transactions and inventory increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to track inventory, debt, and contacts manually. 

Imagine the consequences of making a mistake by entering the wrong selling price for a particular record because you sold it differently to one customer. Tracing this error back to the root would be quite tasking, and even if possible, calculations would have to be performed from scratch to obtain accurate updates on the financial status of your business. 

Thanks to modern bookkeeping software solutions like Tyms Book, even the smallest details can be corrected with precision and automated recomputations, eliminating the risk of errors. The advent of this software has revolutionized the bookkeeping process, providing businesses with the ability to make accurate adjustments and recalculate financial data seamlessly.

Failure to reconcile the banks with the books

Some factors can cause inconsistencies between bank and book balances. These discrepancies can arise due to various reasons, such as network issues, fraud, bank service charges, and errors in recording. Account reconciliations from the bank make it easier to discover the differences in records, note the problems, and act accordingly. 

Doing this on a regular basis allows for clarity in business finances. You can connect your bank accounts automatically with Tyms Book and regularly pull your transactions directly from the bank to ensure your books are in sync with what is in your bank.

These are a few of the common mistakes to look out for in bookkeeping. By being aware of and actively avoiding these errors, businesses can experience significant positive impacts on their financial health and overall operations. 

By addressing these areas, businesses can enhance the accuracy and reliability of their financial information, make informed decisions, and ensure compliance with regulations.

During the development process of Tyms Book, great attention was given to identifying and addressing these common errors, aiming to minimize their occurrence to the greatest extent possible. Click here to get started: mybook.tyms.africa/auth/register


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