This month, I reached out to Elizabeth Clark from Consider It DONE! Bookkeeping Services to have her share her take on proper bookkeeping for home owners and investors. Even if you don’t run your own business, bookkeeping is incredibly important. Every property renter and property owner should take the same care to track expenses and revenue to make the best lifestyle decisions over time.
You can apply business bookkeeping techniques to your household management so you know where you are spending your home maintenance, repair, design and home improvement budget. Tracking allocated resources and expenses is essential, not only for tax purposes but for comparing expenses over time and figuring out ways to manage them. It is also great for comparing the quality, relative cost and types of services of different vendors. I posed the following questions to Elizabeth to shed more light on the issue.
Often clients who are just starting out on their own don’t really know their cost to live. Should proper bookkeeping precede the development of a budget?
You can’t have a budget without proper bookkeeping. In today’s world, it is easy to keep track of your finances. You can literally scan receipts on your phone and they go directly into software that will keep all expenses categorized. At the end of the month you know how much you spent on household utilities, morning coffee runs, gas for your car, and other household expenses. Once you have that information you are dealing with facts. It probably takes about three months to put together a real working budget. Once you have a budget, you can start saving towards an addition on your home, a startup venture, retirement, and other long-term planning.
What are the biggest mistakes that your business clients make in the bookkeeping process?
The biggest mistake that my clients make is not having a bookkeeper! Many of my clients come to me with a shoe box filled with receipts and beg for me to get them caught up. Thankfully, at the end of the catch-up process I am able to provide reports that can be used for tax filings, budgets, and overall business planning. It forces my clients to work with facts and not assumptions; usually resulting in a new excitement and passion for their business.
Can you share some tools and tips that can help my clients stay financially organized, whether he or she is an investor, renter or home owner?
I recommend keeping business and personal expenses separate. If you were walking in to a grocery store to buy food for your family, do not use your business credit card. If you are enjoying a dinner with a client make sure you use your business account. Many business write-offs are lost because their bookkeeper does not have access to their personal bank statements.
Can you share what homeowners can learn from small businesses?
So many people run their homes and businesses in financial fear. Household management should be approached like a business. If you are building a home (or adding an addition), hiring staff, or have a philanthropic tendency, all of these expenses should be accounted for carefully. There are other tasks that my firm can accomplish such as bill paying, project management, and overall household organization. Consider it DONE! can provide efficiency to a household. This results in more time with your family and a better sense of well-being. Everyone can use that.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am passionate about business. The Apprentice, The Profit and Shark Tank are some of my favorite shows! I have owned 4 companies and I know the juggle of being a working mom. As a business owner, I have been the office manager, administrative assistant, bookkeeper, sales team and marketing guru! Wanting to focus my skills, Consider it DONE! Services LLC was born.
Our primary focus is bookkeeping, but sometimes we are hired for administrative or organizational tasks. Our list of clients is varied – retail, restaurants, real estate development, art consultation, trades, interior design and even a pizza truck! We enjoy watching our client’s companies thrive and we do our best to keep clean books for accurate financial reporting. Also, discretion and respect for all things private are always considered. It may be a shoe box filled with receipts or just a fresh look at your books….we are here to help!
For more information about organizing your financial life, contact Elizabeth Clark at:
Consider it DONE!
Bookkeeping & Administrative Services