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Be honest: how difficult were your taxes this year? Did you have trouble figuring out how much you made and how bad your expenses were? Were you afraid you missed something? How many fistfuls of hair did you pull out?
Many sole proprietors start their businesses as a hobby or side income. It might not seem worth it to go to the hassle of opening a whole new business bank account. But keeping your personal and business finances combined can lead to some pretty bad headaches. And not just at tax time, either. There are several reasons why you should consider splitting your two financial worlds up immediately. Here are a few that could be affecting your business right now.
Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or an old hand, money occupies a prominent role in your business. Failing to get – and keep – your finances in order can doom your company or consulting practice in the long run. While each entrepreneur has their own set of unique financial challenges, there are several areas where nearly all entrepreneurs can draw from a general well of wisdom.
1. Pay yourself first, Uncle Sam second.
No doubt, you’ve heard the expression “pay yourself first.” That’s good advice for everyone. However, entrepreneurs must remember that with no employer-initiated tax deductions to count on, they must also make provisions to cover self-employment taxes.
2. Hire pros, but know what they’re doing.
You didn’t go into business to spend hours working on spreadsheets. That’s why you hired a Certified Public Accountant. However, you should still understand the basics of keeping the books, if for no other reason than to be able to answer your accountant’s questions at tax time.
By Mike Bertrand, Founder/CEO of MoneyStream - and as a special offer to MyCorporation customers, try it free for 90 days.
It’s a common joke among small business owners: I’m the CEO and the sales guy and the billing department and I make the coffee. As the founder of multiple successful software companies, including personal finance management service MoneyStream, I’ve certainly used that line more than a few times.
Of course, we don’t complain about making the coffee. Hey, someone’s got to do it. But there has to be a limit.
I’ve been fortunate to work with numerous entrepreneurs over the years. One of the pitfalls they fall into is the wasted timed on low-payoff work like running to get office supplies. Meanwhile, they short the activities that drive growth, such as negotiating a lucrative contract or persuading an existing client to grow their business.
Managing your personal and business finances is not low-payoff work. But it’s not your core competency either. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a CPA to properly manage your finances. Here are a few tips for saving time on financial management.