Now where do I put all of this stuff?
Step 3: Organizing the data
Now that you are using your bank accounts properly, and tracking your income and expenses, and receiving all kinds of statements - what do you do with it all? How are you tracking your new banking info? Shoeboxes full of receipts and statements, envelopes, spreadsheets, notebooks - anything is better than nothing. As long as it makes sense to you. Ideally, you'll be using software meant for money management. QuickBooks is the most popular - there's also Xero - both online choices. Why is this better than your handwritten list? Or your elaborate spreadsheet that is easy to follow?
Let me tell you a story...
A business owner contacted me recently. Her business is doing really well; she runs it herself and has control over everything. But she had no "books" - nothing to show a bank for a loan, which is what her financial advisor told her was necessary to get to the next level in her business. I established her books online with relative ease, as she was incredibly organized.
Unexpectedly, she was presented with the opportunity to participate in a MBA program - a spot had opened up and she had 48 hours to submit her paperwork, including formal financial reports. She contacted me in a panic, thinking that this wasn't enough time. I assured her that all I had to do was run the reports and email them to her. She had everything she needed that day, and was accepted into the program.
If she only had spreadsheets, she would have missed out on that opportunity. So I ask you, what opportunities might you miss out on because you don't have this part of the business under control?
Next week: How much money is REALLY in the bank account?