Why is it essential for small businesses to keep clean books and financial records?
"Accounting is the language of Business" - Warren Buffet, Chairperson of Berkshire Hathaway, Investor, and Philanthropist.
By default, if accounting (and bookkeeping) are the language of Business, and a business has inaccurate financial records or no financial records at all, then what is the business telling us? What does that say about the business's operations, managers, and owners?
Maintaining accurate and up-to-date financial records is essential for any small business. By keeping clean books and financial records, small businesses can maximize their success and ensure the longevity of their operations.
The Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) describes bookkeeping as the recording of a company's financial transactions on a regular basis. Further, with accurate bookkeeping practices, businesses are able to track financial data to make critical operating, financing, and investing decisions (CFI, 2022). Since these types of decisions are vital for a company's financial resilience, the art of bookkeeping has a high rank of importance for financial managers and owners.
The most important reason why small businesses need to keep accurate books and financial records are to ensure compliance with the law. Federal and state tax regulations require businesses to keep accurate records of their income and expenses. Accurate records also enable businesses to report their taxes accurately and to take advantage of tax credits and deductions.
In addition to being compliant with tax regulations, accurate books and financial records enable business owners to get a better understanding of their overall financial situation. Having accurate records of income, expenses, and cash flow, helps business owners get a clear picture of their current financial position. This, in turn, helps owners make informed decisions about their business and identify areas for improvement.
Accurate books and financial records also provide a record of past performance and help business owners plan for the future. By reviewing past records, business owners can identify trends and patterns that can be used to forecast future performance.
Finally, accurate books and financial records provide assurance to lenders, creditors, and investors that small businesses are financially sound. Lenders and investors want to ensure that their money is being used responsibly and that it is being used to support a viable business.
All of these reasons demonstrate why it is essential for small businesses to keep accurate books and financial records. Accurate records provide business owners with important information on their current financial situation, enable them to comply with tax regulations, and assure lenders and investors that their money is being used responsibly. Keeping accurate books and financial records is essential for small business' success.
The Corporate Finance Institute. (2022). What is is Bookkeeping. Retrieved from https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/accounting/bookkeeping-definition/