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Resource  7, Jul 2012

Bookkeeping tips for lean startups (Part 1 of 2)

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A first of two parts, this series provides bookkeeping techniques for entrepreneurs looking to adopt a lean startup approach.

The accounting industry thrives on entrepreneurs who are not diligent in filing and bookkeeping. Therefore, here are four easy things you can do to cut your year-end bookkeeping bill by 30 percent in your first year of business.

1. Open a corporate bank account

Do yourself and your company a favour. If you have not set up a corporate bank account, do so tomorrow. Open the account, and deposit 10 grand. Say goodbye to it – it now belongs to the company.

Draw down only from this account so you can visually track expenditure every month from a single statement. By having a single account means you only need to reconcile a single statement.

To open the bank account you will need the directors of the business to be present with proof of identity. You will also need the company MAA and bizfile.

We favour Standard Chartered and HSBC because of their friendly internet banking interface.

2. Open mail weekly

Collect mail daily but only open it weekly. With a cup of coffee in one hand, sit and open every piece and either throw it out immediately if it’s not relevant, or file it in a plastic concertina folder.

A plastic concertina folder costs $10 and has tabs so you can file according to transaction type. Print out any important receipts from drop box or email – file them as well. Attach sticky notes instructions.

Operation only takes 15 minutes per week.

3. Pay stakeholders monthly

Set a billing cycle and let your stakeholders (suppliers and staff) know what date they can rely on you to get paid. You will earn the status as a reputable paymaster, which will earn you loyalty and favours when you need them.

Be a consistent pay master. If you are consistent, stakeholders will trust you and will stop bothering you with emails and phone calls to get payment. Poor paymasters are deprioritised. Consistent paymasters are prioritised.

Practice this disciple and negotiate better payment terms because you have street cred. When you do get an inquiry, ask them to send questions to your finance email address.

4. Pay yourself monthly

Set aside a day somewhere quiet where you cannot be interrupted. Take the month’s worth of transactions out from your concertina folder, and place them in piles.

Open your cashbook in Excel and key in the month’s revenue and expenses. Open your expenses claim Excel sheet and key in expense claim items.

5. Download templates

That’s it. Do this consistently every month, you can save 30 percent on your annual cost of bookkeeping. Download template cashbook and personal expense claim forms. Download templates to help get you started.

You can also take a look at this presentation to learn more about bookkeeping for your startup, or view more presentations from Futurebooks Pte Ltd.

About Futurebooks

Futurebooks is Singapore’s and Hong Kong’s most progressive bookkeeping company. Futurebooks offer affordable incorporation, bookkeeping, business planning and brokering, to entrepreneurs with big ambitions.

Whether your goal is to be acquired or to be more profitable this quarter, Futurebooks provide planning to keep your business on track and bookkeeping services that streamline the journey.

Using cloud computing solutions like Intuit’s QuickBooks Online, Xero, SaaSu, DropBox, Workflowmax, Vend, salesforce.com and Google Enterprise, Futurebooks are able to offer clients productivity improvements and reductions in the cost of accounting.

Visit Futurebooks or follow them on Twitter here.

About the author

Anthony Coundouris is the founder of an accounting and analytics firm Futurebooks Pte Ltd. Anthony is obsessed with helping start-up companies incorporate, conduct industry analysis and develop positioning. He has ten years experience in media and marketing, and was founder of Firestarter, a digital marketing agency.

Firestarter was acquired by Novus Media in 2010.

This post was originally published on Futurebooks as Bookkeeping for lean start-ups (Part 1).

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