It won't be long before a new year is upon us, and for many businesses that marks the beginning of a new fiscal year. As you're considering your resolutions, think about how you can better organize your small business finances.

Keep your business and personal bank accounts separate

One of the most important organizational things you can do when it comes to your small business finances is to keep them separate from your personal finances. That means having separate bank accounts for each. Pay yourself a set salary, and don't take any more than that from your business finances. Keep your personal funds in a personal checking account.

You can transfer money from your personal account to your business account if you need a cash injection, but once you send it there, don't view it as another source of personal funds. Doing so can put your business in financial jeopardy.

Use bookkeeping software

Trying to keep up with the books can be a daunting task for a business owner. You have so many aspects of your operations to worry about on a day-to-day basis, and this only adds to the burden. This is even more of a chore if you're not a financially-minded person. You can certainly hire someone to keep the books, but you can save both money and stress while remaining more organized by using bookkeeping software.

Software can help you keep the numbers current, manage them on the go from your mobile device, maintain accuracy, and make tax time significantly easier. Most programs also provide useful analytical tools and reporting. There are plenty of options to choose from. Research different offerings online to see which best suits your needs.

Use a payroll service provider

Many small businesses use payroll service providers, which process payroll by calculating employee compensation and withholdings, print checks, prepare payroll reports, and handle payroll tax returns. They can also handle your federal and state deposit schedule and get new hires set up for proper withholding. A provider can ease a significant burden on the business owner.1

"If you don’t have a provider, you should find one who can oversee these tasks or ensure that you trust someone at your business to handle these responsibilities," says Alexa Mencia at the National Federation of Independent Business. "If you do use a service provider, re-evaluate whether they’re adding value to your business and covering these duties."1

Keep digital copies of receipts

Dealing with piles of paper receipts is a great way to become disorganized. Luckily, thanks to advancements in technology over the past decade or so, digitizing them and organizing them in the cloud has become very simple. At the very least, you can take photos of receipts with your mobile phone's camera, but some apps allow you to do so and input them into contextual financial programs.

Whatever your approach, be sure to keep backups in the cloud. If they are only stored locally, they can become lost in the event of a computer failure or a security breach of some kind.

Take advantage of cloud technology

The same advice applies to any of your important financial records. Take advantage of cloud offerings to keep your information safer. If you lose documents kept on a local hard drive, you may have a difficult time retrieving critical data. Cloud storage providers and accounting software can help keep data secure and easily accessible from multiple devices.

Schedule regular times to go over finances

One very simple way to keep your business finances organized is to make yourself sit down and go through them on a regular basis. Set up a certain time of the day or week to dedicate to this and nothing else. You can use this time to review balance sheets and other critical documents, make calculations and projections, and ultimately stay in tune with exactly where your business is financially and where it's headed, as well as any adjustments that need to be made. Simply holding yourself accountable to stick to a scheduled time for financial review can make a significant difference.



The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC