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  • Michael J. Conard, Jr. EA

5 Common Accounting Mistakes Small Businesses Make and How to Avoid Them

## Introduction

Running a small business is no small feat, especially in bustling areas like De Pere and Green Bay. Between managing day-to-day operations and strategizing for growth, it’s easy for essential tasks like accounting to fall by the wayside. Good accounting practices are crucial for the financial health of your business, and a small mistake can lead to big problems. In this post, we’ll look at five common accounting mistakes small businesses often make and how to avoid them. Let’s dive right in!

## 1. Improper Expense Tracking

One of the most frequent accounting errors is not keeping a meticulous record of expenses. Many small business owners keep all receipts in a drawer, intending to sort them out later. However, this approach usually leads to inaccuracies and overlooked deductions, making tax preparation a nightmare. To avoid this mistake, implement a system for tracking expenses as they happen. Use accounting software that allows you to scan receipts and log expenses on the go.

## 2. Mixing Personal and Business Finances

If you’re operating a small business in Green Bay, it’s tempting to use your personal account for business transactions, especially when you're just starting. This common error makes it difficult to distinguish between personal and business expenses, leading to incorrect financial statements. The solution? Open a separate business bank account and use it exclusively for business transactions.

## 3. Neglecting to Reconcile Bank Statements

In the age of digital transactions, it's easy to assume that your online banking statement provides a complete and accurate record. However, discrepancies can occur due to bank fees, errors, or fraudulent activities. Make it a habit to reconcile your bank statements monthly. Reconciliation ensures that your books align with your bank records, making tax preparation more straightforward.

## 4. Underestimating Tax Payments

One of the biggest financial pitfalls for small businesses in De Pere is underestimating tax liabilities. Business owners often forget to account for taxes when planning their budgets, leading to a shortfall when tax season arrives. To avoid this, set aside a percentage of your monthly revenue specifically for taxes. Consult with a tax advisor to determine an appropriate amount.

## 5. Not Seeking Professional Help

Accounting is a complex task that requires specialized knowledge. You may be an expert in your business domain, but accounting is a different ball game. Investing in professional accounting services is crucial, especially for small businesses that may not have the in-house expertise. In areas like Green Bay, where the business ecosystem is competitive, a qualified CPA can provide invaluable advice, from tax preparation to long-term financial planning.

## Conclusion

Avoiding these common accounting mistakes can set your small business on the path to financial success. Accurate and timely accounting not only eases the burden during tax preparation but also provides you with a clear financial picture, enabling informed decision-making. Whether you're based in De Pere or Green Bay, consider hiring a professional to manage your accounting needs and keep your business financially healthy.

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