You have to keep track of a lot of things for a business. Money – what comes in and goes out – as well as potentially client information, employee information, contractor information and more. It can get overwhelming rather quickly if you don’t have a good system to keep track of it all.
Today you have a choice of manual and computerized record keeping. In addition, if you use computerized systems (which most people do), you can keep track of your records in the cloud as well. This saves space on your home system, and keeps everything super secure if there should be a problem such as a fire or theft.
What System Is Right for You?
So how do you choose what’s right for you? It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have; you will need to keep records. But, depending on how large your business is will make a huge difference in how you choose to manage your records. If you have a very small business you may choose to use a manual form of record keeping, but if you have a super large business you will definitely want to choose cloud-based computerized record keeping to save time and money.
What Does Record Keeping Mean?
Think about what record keeping means. It means that you have a process that keeps some sort of order to your records, based on the type of records you’ll need to keep. For example, if you sell widgets, you likely only need to keep track of the inventory, income and expenses without any customer records. However, if you’re a coach you’re going to want to keep track of individual clients and each session you have with them.
What Type of Records Do You Have?
There are customers records, sales records, correspondence, inventory and financial records that you will potentially need to keep. Make a list of the different types of records your business will generate so that you can find or create a system that works.
How Do You Work Best?
The perfect system works in the way you do, not in the way other people tell you to work. So your first course of action is to be honest with yourself. Will you keep records organized if you have to scan them and then upload them to a cloud system?
Will You Outsource?
Can you find someone to help you with the record keeping? If you find an expert to help you such as a business manager, why not let them choose the system to use, set it up, and you follow the expert to successful record keeping?
Keeps Everything Separate
You’re going to have to keep both business and personal records, and the system you use should work with both in a seamless way. As you go through your day, note each time a record is needed or created. Use those notes to determine the best way to keep those records organized.
Look at Business Software
You may already have certain business software that keeps track of certain functions of your business, such as accounting and bookkeeping. This software might have additional “add-on” tools that will help everything work seamlessly to keep track of financial records.
In some cases, there are legal requirements for certain types of records. If you have people’s personal information, you will want to keep them under lock and key if they are physical records. If they are cloud-based, make sure your choice of service meets all the legal requirements for security required by law in your field.
Record keeping is something that you will have to get the hang of eventually. But, it’s important to use a system that works for you, as well as meets all the legal requirements for your business according to the IRS and local taxing authorities. For some people, a paper system works better than a computer system. It’s up to you.