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As a small business or startup, money is a big concern. While you would love to earn more money, of course, one thing you have more control over is how you spend. However, to control what you spend, first you must KNOW what you spend. Here are five tips to keep your expenses in check.

  1. Make Bookkeeping a Priority – First, it is important to realise that bookkeeping is not something that you do once a year at tax time. This is something that you should be taking care of on a daily basis. Once you make it a priority and keep up to date with every euro you spend, you will find you are less likely to miss the things you spend money on all the time.
  2. Consider Mobile Accounting Software – If you find that you do not use your accounting software because it is clunky, or it isn’t easy to access on the desktop computer, maybe it is not the right programme for you and your organisation. Today, there are many cloud-based products and even mobile software options. Using one of these tools allows you to record expenses as they happen and raise and send invoices on the move.
  3. Don’t Forget Cash – Cash expenditures are one area where owners of many startups spend more money than they think they do. Make sure that you have a good method in place for recording your cash expenses. This can keep you from having “gaps” in your cash flow that look troubling when you review your books at the end of the week, month or year. Please check out our handy guide to cash flow.
  4. Track Fees – Another type of expense that business owners sometimes accidentally neglect are fees. It is important that these be tracked, not only to keep your budget in order, but also because some fees may be tax deductible. If you are using an accounting software product, make sure there is an easy way to monitor your fee costs and do not miss recording any of these.
  5. Go Paperless – Finally, the days of saving receipts is passed. Going paperless is easier than ever before. Find a way to scan your receipts and invoices to put them directly into the accounting system. Doing this will keep you from missing any entries and can also prevent mistakes from occurring too.

The above five simple ways will enable you to keep track of your small business expenses. There is no doubt that tracking expenses is an easy way to improve bookkeeping within the business. You do not have to employ a team of accountants to get your business finances in order. Once you have a good idea where the money is going, it will be that much easier to make smart spending decisions in the future. Future business growth and increased profitability are both well within your reach!

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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