Paying bills may not be the most exciting tasks for you as a small business owner, but it’s definitely one of the most important.If you ever get into a situation where your bills pile up and you can’t keep up with due dates, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Without an organized bill management system, your bills could quickly get lost in the shuffle. You might come close to missing payments, getting hit with late fees—even dinging your credit score.Many small business owners want to get a better handle on organizing and paying their bills, but often they’re stuck using spreadsheets to log each monthly bill payment. While a spreadsheet is a good place to start, it may not be the most effective way to stay on top of your credit card payments, bank accounts and all the different types of business bills.
With a spreadsheet, you could run the risk of misplaced data, broken formulas, and lost files. Using a spreadsheet can also be time-consuming and potentially harmful. An error in one cell can trigger a waterfall effect on your bookkeeping.
Here are other helpful tips for staying on top of your business bills.
Keep your bills in a designated place
To help ensure your bills are easy to find and paid on time, organize them in one place. This lets you easily keep track of everything. You could stash paper bills in a slotted organizer file, or designate a specific folder for incoming bills. Bill organization like this can help prevent your bills from getting overlooked, misplaced, or mixed in with other paperwork.
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For electronic bills, you could create a digital folder for each month and year, and even break it down by type of bill. For example, you could create an online folder for utilities and business credit card statements. As soon as you receive an online bill, address it right away-whether you’re ready to make a payment or just need to review any discrepancies. After you handle your online bill, file it in the appropriate folder in your digital filing system.
Set aside 30 minutes a week
The process of organizing your business finances may seem daunting, but you don’t have to reserve a huge block of time to get it done. You may be surprised by what 30 minutes a week can do. When you commit to spending 30 minutes each week on your business bills, you’ll come away with a clearer view of how your finances are doing.
By managing bills weekly (instead of daily), you can batch tasks together, which means you get precious time back. If you look at your bills only once a month, you could miss important payment deadlines. Once you block out the time on your calendar every week, it’ll become a habit, and soon you’ll be a pro when it comes to managing your business bills.
Manage bills according to due date
It’s important to first handle the bills that are due soonest. To help manage all the various payment dates and ensure you pay on time, consider using a bill reminder app. Many allow you to receive bill pay reminders, link your bills and sync to your bank account-making it easy to stay on top of your invoices and payments from anywhere.
Take advantage of paying bills online
You can certainly pay your business bills by check, but keep in mind that it could take 7-10 business days for delivery and posting. You can keep things moving faster by using online bill payment options, which is a great option for handling recurring monthly bills.
By going paperless, you can avoid all that paper clutter and schedule payments to be automatically withdrawn from your business checking account. During your 30-minute weekly business bills check in, you can track and confirm automated payments, ensure your account balance is adequate, and take note of confirmation numbers.
Rethink the way you pay business bills
As a small business owner, you’re probably familiar with getting paid late. It can take a hit on your business growth and increase stress. Committing to getting organized and better managing your business bills is a surefire way to stay on the other side of the equation.
When you take the time to create an organized bill management system, you can streamline your bills, alleviate stress when bills come in, and spend more time doing what you love-growing your business.
This article was produced by the Quickbooks Resource Center and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.
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