Using Bookkeeping’s Tools to Manage Daily Finances

By Consumer Dummies

After you set up your business’s books and put in place your internal controls, you’re ready to use the systems you established to manage the day-to-day operations of your business. You’ll quickly see how a well-designed bookkeeping system can make your job of managing your business’s finances much easier.

Maintaining inventory

If your company keeps inventory on hand or in warehouses, tracking the costs of the products you plan to sell is critical for managing your profit potential. If you see inventory costs trending upward, you may need to adjust your own prices in order to maintain your profit margin. You certainly don’t want to wait until the end of the year to find out how much your inventory cost you.

You also must keep careful watch on how much inventory you have on hand and how much was sold. Inventory can get damaged, discarded, or stolen, meaning that your physical inventory counts may differ from the counts you have in your books. Do a physical count periodically — at least monthly for most businesses and possibly daily for active retail stores.

In addition to watching for signs of theft or poor handling of inventory, make sure you have enough inventory on hand to satisfy your customers’ needs.

Tracking sales

Everyone wants to know how well sales are doing. If you keep your books up-to-date and accurate, you can get those numbers very easily on a daily basis. You can also watch sales trends as often as you think necessary, whether that’s daily, weekly, or monthly.

Use the information collected by your bookkeeping system to monitor sales, review discounts offered to customers, and track the return of products. All three elements are critical to gauging the success of the sales of your products.

If you find you need to offer discounts more frequently in order to encourage sales, you may need to review your pricing, and you definitely need to research market conditions to determine the cause of this sales weakness. The cause may be new activities by an aggressive competitor or simply a slow market period. Either way, you need to understand the weakness and figure out how to maintain your profit goals in spite of any obstacles.

While sales tracking reveals an increase in the number of your products being returned, you need to research the issue and find the reason for the increase. Perhaps the quality of the product you’re selling is declining, and you need to find a new supplier. Whatever the reason, an increased number of product returns is usually a sign of a problem that needs to be researched and corrected.

Handling payroll

Payroll can be a huge nightmare for many companies. Payroll requires you to comply with a lot of government regulation and fill out a lot of government paperwork. You also have to worry about collecting payroll taxes and paying employer taxes. And if you pay employee benefits, you have yet another layer of record keeping to deal with.