Bookkeeping Tips: Staying Organised

Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 2:26:31 PM EST by MIchelle Baldi

To be an organised bookkeeper, you need to have good juggling skills!

juggling

It requires co-ordination, keeping your eye on all the balls that are up in the air.  There’s also repetitiveness to bookkeeping which doesn’t have to be tedious. If complacency does set in, it becomes easy to forget all the tasks that are required in a week or a month.  This is where a monthly checklist becomes an incredibly useful tool.

As a bookkeeper you are generally in charge of tasks like

  • accounts payable
  •  accounts receivable
  • cash flow maintenance
  • payroll & superannuation
  • submitting PAYG & BAS
  • bank account reconciliation
  • credit card maintenance

Just to name a few!

By putting thought and preparation into a monthly checklist, all these duties and responsibilities are accounted for, in advance, before deadlines come & go!

So where do you start? 

Separate your duties into a weekly format, namely 1st Week of the month, 2nd Week of the month and so on.  Now, for each week itemise the tasks that must be done.  Here’s a basic example:

2nd week of month Date or Deadline Complete
Process wages on Monday / always update cash flows    
Reconcile Credit  Cards    
Accounts Payable due – process manual payments    
Produce P&L and Balance Sheet    
Process any new jobs that arrive    
Pay PAYG Tax for previous month    

Be as specific as you can.

Knowing what you are responsible for, and when it has to be done.  For example, if every Monday you pay wages, put it in your checklist. 

Don’t forget that every second Thursday you follow up outstanding debtors: it’s in your checklist.  If in the third week of every month you have to ensure that your customers’ credit card details are up to date, slot it in. 

You might have 200 recurring invoices that will automatically send on the 1st day of the month the minute you open MYOB.  Remember on the last day of each month to check any recurring invoices for errors. A good idea would be to add it to your checklist.

Plan your workload for the month, so you always know what needs to be done in each week.  Be flexible, add jobs or remove them as you adapt to using your checklist.  Among other benefits, your bank reconciliation will prove much easier to keep up to date and you will be aware of issues like accounts that need to be paid as they become due, or whether petty cash is running low.

By having your checklist in a prominent place where you can refer to it daily, you will be aware of payroll obligations before they become due, such as PAYG tax, BAS and Super.  Add these tasks to your checklist, for example:

Quarterly Tasks  Complete
 Process and pay BAS - this includes payment of GST  
 Pay super for each quarter & give staff printout of quarterly super with payslips  
BAS & Super        July - Sep - due for payment by 28.10  
BAS & Super        Oct - Dec - due for payment by 28.02  
BAS & Super        Jan - Mar - due for payment by 28.04  
BAS & Super        Apr - June - due for payment by 28.07  

 Keeping a checklist will see your time management skills improve.  Work satisfaction is staying one step ahead rather than two behind!

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