BY SUSAN GUNN, CFE
Six steps to understand your business finances
SUSAN GUNN is a Certi;ed
Fraud Examiner (CFE) and a
Certi;ed QuickBooks Pro Advisor
with more than 20 years’
experience organizing small
businesses’ ;nancial information.
She has written 39 books geared
for professional practices, and is
passionate about e;ecting change
through her humor-;lled speaking
presentations. More information at
Sitting on the floor with my niece sorting receipts during a rare Houston ice storm in 1994, I declared, “I am not doing this
next year. I saw a computer program that will
keep this organized. I’m getting it!”
And get Quicken® DOS I did! That was
the beginning of a personal and professional
relationship with accounting software. I
now use Quicken for personal finances and
QuickBooks® for business finances. At the
click of a button, I can create a report to deter-
mine how I am financially compared with last
year. And, yikes, yes, sometimes I’d rather not
know. But that’s not good management.
How you structure your financial information is how you accurately determine what
makes your business profitable and what
drains the bank.
ACCOU N TA N T?
SIX SIMPLE STEPS
o INVEST IN business accounting
software. This is the most important
aspect of financial organization. It
will help you create a well-designed
chart of accounts customized for your
business, using simple words with no
accounting lingo, unless you are, of
course, actually an accountant.
o DOWNLOAD bank and credit
card transactions into your software.
OMG, if you’re not doing this, step up
to the 21st century! Seeing the detail
of your day-to-day Starbucks charges
is an eye-opener.
o SCHEDULE time for your
business finances. All my incoming
bills have their own mail tray, where
they stay unopened until Monday
morning. Touch once, move on.
o SEPARATE your business
account and credit cards from your
personal account and credit cards.
No co-mingling. Keep it simple and
o SAVE your bank and credit card
statements to a “Finances” folder on
your computer. Scan your receipts
into this folder. Organize them by
year and month of payment.
o REVIEW your reports. This is the
essence of your financial management.
It’s enlightening to see your greatest
revenue streams, as well as your greatest expenses, in black and white. ■