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  • Melissa Leediker

What should you be doing with your books?

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

Essential bookkeeping tasks for small businesses

There are so many things to keep up with when you're a small business owner. From marketing, to sales, to keeping up with your finances, there just doesn't seem to be enough time to accomplish everything. Combine that with trying to figure out exactly what tasks you need to complete and it's very easy to get overwhelmed and start putting things off.

This list of tasks was consolidated to help small business owners stay on top of their bookkeeping.


Look at your bank account to see how much cash you have. Are there checks that haven't cleared or deposits that haven't posted? Keep those things in mind so you know what you really have available to use.


Record transactions. Notate the category of the expense. Or sort them in your accounting software. It will be helpful come tax time to know where to put the expenses on your return.

Save your receipts. If you have accounting software, you can actually save your receipts within the software to ensure you always have them if you need them. Not sure why you need to keep receipts? Check out this post.

Review unpaid bills and get your vendors paid. Take a look at any outstanding bills. Have you received the product or service in full? Consider your bank balance and get those bills paid or schedule a payment if you don't have the money to pay them yet- online bill pay through your bank is a great option to accomplish this.

Create and send invoices. Have you performed work, but haven't collected payment? Get those invoices sent out. The quicker you send those out after completing the work, the quicker you generally get paid.

Review your cash flow statement. Take a look at where your money is coming from and going to. Are you spending more than your making? You may need to look at your expenses and see where you should cut back. Do you consistently have a large balance in the bank? Maybe you can reinvest to grow your business. Or take a higher salary.


Balance your checkbook. Get those accounts reconciled. Make sure you don't have duplicate transactions or improperly coded transactions. Incorrect transactions lead to incorrect reports and potentially poor decision making.

Review unpaid invoices. Do you have lots of unpaid invoices? You may need to review your processes and start requiring payment upfront or upon completion. Make sure you have a follow up process to your clients or customers don't forget about their invoices.

Update inventory. Do you have inventory that's not turning over? Maybe you need to adjust your pricing or consider phasing out. Are you consistently out of stock of the same items? Maybe you need to adjust your reorder point or stock more of the product.

Review your income statement. How did your month shake out? Did you make more than you spent? Did you make as much as you thought you would after paying all your expenses?

Review your balance sheet. Do you own more than you owe? Are those balances decreasing to improve your financial position?

To download a free PDF quick reference sheet for these tasks, visit my resources page.

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