10 Bookkeeping Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make that Lead to Business Failure

 Last Updated: Oct 17, 2022  |    MIN READ

Bookkeeping Mistakes

For small business owners, the upkeep of their financial records can become one of the most tedious if not challenging tasks that they face as bookkeeping problems can often take up hours to resolve.

Now is the time to make some quick and easy changes in order to upgrade and enhance your bookkeeping system; turning it from a time-consuming task into a tool to achieve your company’s goals.

Many businesses still encounter many difficulties in maintaining their bookkeeping and other financial records.

Bookkeeping can also become your most trusted weapon and ally in bringing in growth and developing new strategies to improve your business.

It is only with proper and consistent financial documentation that a company can analyze and clearly see options and solutions that can help in effectively managing and expanding the business in the long run.

In this article, we look into some of the most common bookkeeping mistakes and how you can avoid it to ensure that your records are managed well.


10 Common Bookkeeping Mistakes that Business Owners Make

  1. Poor record-keeping

    This common bookkeeping mistake to avoid is one that most businesses, regardless of its scale and level of maturity, can still encounter.

    Many companies may still rely on paper receipts and invoices and often, we could lose them if not recorded accordingly.

    While small expenses can seem like a harmless matter, properly documenting all your expenses can provide the documentation, especially during internal and external auditing sessions.

    Sometimes, even minor discrepancies can lead to penalties, which can increase your expenditures and lower profitability.

  2. Improper categorization

    If your team is not adept in formal bookkeeping practices, this might become a bookkeeping mistake that will be hard to avoid.

    Accurately tracking your business’ income and expenses and placing them in the correct categories ensures proper measurement of profitability.

    It can also showcase which areas you may need to reduce expenditures from and transfer them to develop new products and services that can increase profitability.

    Having an effective bookkeeper and system allows you to know the different tax treatments of each income that go into your business, what kind of net profits you will make and what expenses you will need to make in order to pursue the task at hand. It will also show significant savings in both operations and taxes as well.

  3. Mixing personal and business expense

    Being able to separate both personal and business transactions is a bookkeeping error that some business owners miss out on.

    Doing this is highly essential to segregate activities meant to run your business. When internal and external auditing happens, you may still need to provide additional requirements in order to determine the filing taxes.

    Make sure that your bank statements are properly reconciled and matched according to the receipts and invoices that your business has made every month.

    This will help minimize common accounting errors and identify potential issues, especially with your cash flow.

  4. Ignoring financial statements

    Financial statements allow us to look into the performance of your business in terms of profitability.

    If you lack the time and attention to read it or rarely know how to interpret the information, you can either be misled with the wrong information about your business, which can also lead to poor management decisions.

    This bookkeeping mistake of business owners can usually make you miss out on opportunities to generate more revenue and provide more stability for your business.

    In a nutshell, financial statements allow you to stay in control of your cash flow and help you create and stick to a budget.

    It also allows you to spot ways to find the best trends for your business based on your sales history.

    Financial statements are important as most banks, investors and creditors look into these in order to know how your business is performing.

  5. Hiring an inexperienced bookkeeper

    While there are many who offer bookkeeping services at a much cheaper cost (like on an hourly rate, etc.), the quality may not be the same as hiring an in-house staff or one who has the right bookkeeping experience to assist your business.

    This common bookkeeping mistake can be avoided by hiring an inexperienced bookkeeper can cause more discrepancies and additional hours of work just to correct these.

    It is essential to hire a bookkeeper with an experience towards the niche of your business or someone who has had an experience working for a company in the same industry as yours.

    They would have the know-how and solutions to make your bookkeeping tasks done efficiently.

  6. Sales tax miscalculations

    Reporting sales tax and accounting for it can become a common oversight for businesses, especially with their bookkeeping processes.

    Oversight in collection and reporting of sales taxes can lead to fines and penalties and can eventually incur more costs than savings for your business.

    This accounting error can also lead to incorrect sales tax data and may also result in higher sales amounts that are not balanced can lead to more losses in terms of profits.

  7. Mishandling the petty cash

    Business owners usually run a small amount of petty cash but have little knowledge on how to track it especially if it is a revolving fund.

    In order to avoid this common bookkeeping mistake, businesses should be able to set-up a system which allows you to track the cash kept on hand for small daily tasks.

    The basic activity of keeping track of receipts and documents related to petty cash expenses is a great way to start.

  8. Lack of communication

    While it is important to have an experienced bookkeeper on board, it's also essential to highlight and express what is important to your business in terms of how your team's work and the relationship of their operations with the budget.

    Make sure to always keep your bookkeeper involved and integrated with what’s going on in the business, as this ensures that your bookkeeper can create accurate financial statements which are true and relative to what is needed in your operations.

  9. Incorrect categorization of workforces

    For each workforce that you employ into your business, they have a specific type of expense, which also reflects a particular tax bracket and category.

    Misaligning these categorizations among your regular employees and individual contractors can lead to misfiling and overpayment of taxes.

    So your bookkeeper will try to avoid this bookkeeping error in order to easily look into the tax category that applies to the contractor or staff that your business will engage with.

  10. Lack of digital back-up

    The world relies heavily on technologies nowadays and it is important to always ensure that your financial documents will have a backup just in case an issue arises.

    It's also important for every business to always keep their financial documents as secure as possible.

    Your business needs to have these digital copies prepared in situations where manual copies or even other digital copies are prepared in order to avoid potential losses.

    When a business allows itself to commit bookkeeping errors, it risks itself by endangering the business into misinformation, which can become detrimental.

    Engaging with accounting services will help businesses avoid these common bookkeeping mistakes and improve the way they churn out important documents like financial statements.

    Many business owners still try to do the bookkeeping themselves because sometimes and because of their business schedules, may miss out on this activity because of the many things that they need to do within the day or often commit more errors in bookkeeping.

    Your time as a business owner is valuable and it should be accounted for in the things that will help your business grow.


How to avoid these common bookkeeping mistakes?

Avoid Bookkeeping Mistakes

Hiring an experienced bookkeeper will ease recording and documenting your day-to-day expenses, as they will know how to categorize and interpret each expense. This saves you time and efforts and will help you focus on other aspects of your business that need your utmost attention.

Engaging with an effective accounting service to help you with your bookkeeping needs will provide you the advantage of having a dedicated team that can focus on properly categorizing and recording all your business transactions.

Offshoring these bookkeeping services has also been preferred by most companies and businesses, regardless of its size and scale.

Offshoring your bookkeeping needs will get the right amount of flexibility and other advantages that can speed up your accounting and admin services, making you prepared for any obstacle and provide a faster approach to scale your business further.

Offshore bookkeepers like the ones that Offshore Business Processing provides are composed of finance specialists and accountants who are trained to international standards.

They can help manage your accounting and bookkeeping needs as well as provide a thorough financial analysis for your benefit, providing your business with cost-saving solutions to help you move towards business success.

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