How To Keep A Business Journal – Strong record-keeping skills? You are in business. Bad record keeping skills? Time to step it up. Keeping business records is an important part of healthy business operations, decision making, and qualifying for business tax credits and loans.
Whether you’re filing taxes or applying for PPP loan waivers, you know how much easier it is when you’re more organized.
How To Keep A Business Journal
If you want to take your financial reporting skills to the next level, check out the following five tips.
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There are a number of business records that you must adhere to. When in doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry and keep records rather than discarding or deleting them.
OK, now how long should you keep these records? Well, it depends on the type of record. The IRS has a time limit for some records while the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets a time limit for others. Also, some entities (for example, an insurance company) may vary in how long records are kept.
In short, you may want to hang onto the records for anywhere from two years to an indefinite period. Here is a short list of basic record keeping requirements:
Also…when in doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry and hang onto the records longer than you need to. Check with your accountant, state, or IRS if you have questions about record retention periods.
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Mixing money can lead to chaos and muddy records. For clear records, consider opening a separate business bank account from your personal account.
By separating your money, you can better track which expenses and income belong to you and which belong to your business. This is necessary for many things, such as claiming tax deductions and applying for a business loan or credit.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to create a separate business bank account. Companies structured as a limited liability company or corporation, as well as those operating under a business doing as (DBA) name, must create a separate business bank account.
Sole proprietorships and partnerships other than a DBA are not legally required to open a separate account. But again, separating accounts makes keeping business records easier.
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Some businesses redistribute money by creating a payroll account. A payroll bank account only stores the money that corresponds to the salary. It is different from a regular business bank account. This can make it easier to handle payroll taxes if you’re not using a Full Service payroll system.
When it comes to keeping business records, one of the things you need to do is document your transactions through journal entries. These journal entries are the basis of your small business accounting books.
There are a number of journal entries you will need to make this list from easiest to hardest. From creating sales journal entries to recording interest earned, there’s a lot to get used to.
To get started, understand the basics of journal entries: debits and credits. Debits and credits are equal but opposite entries on your books. When a transaction occurs, one account is increased while the other is decreased. This is represented by debits and credits.
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Debits and credits affect accounts differently. Asset and expense accounts are increased by debits and decreased by credits. Liability, equity, and revenue accounts are increased by credits and decreased by debits.
Once you know the basics of debits and credits, you’re on your way to creating detailed journal entries.
What could be more problematic than spilling coffee on important business records or accidentally removing them? Although filing cabinets can provide a safe home for your records, they may not be the most efficient storage method on their own.
You can scan paper records into your computer, download digital files, or even take pictures and upload them to your computer.
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Sometimes, when you procrastinate, you end up doing more work for yourself later. The same goes for keeping business records.
Maybe you stop tracking your income and expenses because you think you can go back and add them later. But, this will leave you backtracking and spending a lot of time editing your records.
Make things easier by streamlining the record keeping process. Invest in robust accounting software to easily enter expenses and income and manage your books.
And, if you choose online software, your business records will be in the cloud rather than in a pile on your desk. And if your accounting software allows you to do things like accept credit card payments, create invoices, and enter bank transactions, your records will be in one place with little effort.
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Get up and running with free income setup, and enjoy free expert support. Try our billing software for a free, no-obligation 30-day trial.2 May 2007 – Business ideas will come to us all the time — where are you going to store those ideas for future use? Keeping a journal of your business ideas will be the best business tool you can have.
“We have 50,000 thoughts running through our minds every day. Thoughts are like a fish in slippery water. You have to find them when they appear or they will run away and never be seen again. ” – Earl Nightingale
One of the best tools for your business will be the journal you keep. Ideas come to us all the time and from everywhere. Where will you keep them?
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I keep my journal with me in my purse. If I have a moment to wait for someone my journal is out and I write or review what I wrote in the past. Any thought that pops into my mind I stop recording. If I listen to a motivational or educational tape my journal goes out and I take notes.
I write it all in my Commentary. Why? So I know where to go when I’m ready to sit down and write, plan and dream. If I have an insight I take it to use later.
Part of the fun of journaling is choosing one you like. I personally love Moleskeine Journals. I like my pages to be empty as I prefer not to be forced. What about you? Do you have a favorite color? Do you like lined pages or blank pages? What size will work best? Maybe you like pictures in your… Go to a bookstore and find a nice journal.
Once you have it, take it everywhere. You never know when inspiration will strike. And if the person you’re talking to says something serious, get out your journal and make notes. In fact, I usually take it out and put it next to me when I have lunch with a friend. I don’t know when I want to reference an object or record a new view.
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One of the things that will happen internally is that your subconscious will begin to notice that you are listening. And you will find more and more of your thoughts and insights coming to the surface to be written down. By continuing to record all those lost thoughts and ideas you will find that you have paid more for your access to your creativity! This short image shows a few distances and a diagram. Be aware of how the date is stored, doing it this way makes it easier to navigate when looking for specific entries.
TL; DR: I’m a computer geek, but I always keep a notebook to jot down ideas or sketches. When I started my first digital consulting business, I started using a notebook to take business notes as well. Now my journal is a companion, always with me, guiding me, and keeping me on track. In the New Year I will explain how and when I use it, and what is useful.
No energy required, and no burning eyes. I’m a Millennial, I grew up with my face glued to a screen, and it frees me to get off my laptop or phone to organize my thoughts.
Yes, you look like an ass when someone talks to you with their head towards the phone, or whatever. Taking notes is not an excuse. Respect people’s times and physical contact.
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It is not too early to compare them with computers. Even if you consider yourself a bad artist, you can better illustrate an idea or concept (bubble charts, mind maps, etc.) faster with pen and paper than on a phone.
I just reissued my 2015 book, man is there gold in there. I went to a coffee shop and looked through my thoughts from the past nine months and realized that there are still good ideas that I need to implement. Opinions at the time were not leading, but they may make more sense now. There are also unimportant ideas that must be present
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