Is your head in the sand?
Three years ago, a guy enquired whether we could take over the bookkeeping of his business.
He ran two small family run garages.
Of course, we said. It would be a pleasure, we added.
On reflection, maybe pleasure wasn't the right word.
Perhaps challenge would have been more apt.
He mentioned he was a little behind on his bookkeeping.
Ok, not unusual - many small businesses are.
Then we got stuck into the detail.
Turns out, 'a little behind' was an understatement.
He was 3 years behind!
Paying HMRC fines was now part of his regular and anticipated business expenses.
He had bags and bags of receipts, and very little to tie anything together.
It was the most extreme case of 'late' we'd ever seen.
The thing was, his businesses were doing really well - but this was the root cause of the issue.
He had gotten so busy that the administration of running the businesses became something he would park for 'another day'.
It's just that day never arrived.
It snowballed from there, and ended up with him sticking his head in the sand.
We spent the next little while pulling everything together. Making sense of the records. Getting him online with QuickBooks to make things easier moving forward. And negotiating a tax re-payment schedule with HMRC so he could avoid more fines.
It was a big challenge, a lot of work, but very rewarding once we were able to get everything in order.
Bookkeeping is simple, but ignore it, and allow it to get away from you, and it can cause you a significant headache. And financial pain.
To help small businesses make bookkeeping easier, all this week we've posted tips to help you.
On Sunday we gave a snapshot of why bookkeeping is an essential part of running a business ...
Then on Monday we covered how bookkeeping automation will help you stay on top of things, whilst giving you greater insight into the financials of your business ...
On Tuesday we covered simply why its important ...
And on Wednesday we highlighted some options open to you in taking bookkeeping online ...
On Thursday you would find out when you would need a bookkeeper ...
Then finally, on Friday, you would learn how similar bookkeeping is to home schooling, and that with a proactive approach you will find managing it easier.
Today's small business tip is, if you're struggling with bookkeeping, want some advice, or perhaps just some short term assistance to get things back on track: check out our bookkeeping page where we offer more advice.
And if you have any general questions, drop me an email, I'll be delighted to help.