As a small business owner, there are dozens of tasks that you’re responsible for daily. With so much on your plate, it might be tempting to push your bookkeeping tasks to the bottom of your to-do list.
But some bookkeeping duties must remain a priority.
Whether you have an in-house bookkeeper, outsource your needs, or handle the books on your own, nine accounting duties need to happen every week.
1. Bank Reconciliation
Reconciling your bank account is one of the most important bookkeeping jobs that needs to happen each week.
However, it’s common for small business owners to reconcile their accounts when the statement becomes available. But that’s a common bookkeeping mistake. Allow me to explain why.
Let’s say your account closes on the 25th of each month. But your paper statement isn’t mailed out until the following week. By the time it arrives at your office, 45 days have passed since your earliest transactions in that cycle.
A lot can happen in 30-45 days. If something is incorrect, you don’t want a month to pass before you catch it. Reconciling your bank transactions on a weekly basis ensures that no more than seven days will pass before an error is discovered.
2. Client Billing
How often do you send invoices to your customers?
This is something that needs to happen on a regular schedule. Obviously, the type of business you run and the number of customers you have will impact your process here.
But it’s crucial that you are recording all customer transactions in a timely fashion. For businesses with a high volume of sales, you might even do this daily.
When recording a transaction, always mark the date that the payment was received. Don’t go by the date of the postmark, the date you’re recording it, or the date it was deposited.
Never mail a statement or past-due notice to a customer until all your receipts have been posted. Otherwise, you could end up sending a second invoice to a customer who has already paid.
3. Pay Vendor Invoices
In addition to recording money coming in, you also need to stay on top of cash going out. All vendor invoices should be paid once per week, as opposed to once per month.
Pick a day of the week for writing checks, and stick to that schedule.
For example, every Thursday you pay bills that came in from the last seven days. If one invoice comes in the previous Friday and another arrives the Wednesday before, you’ll write both checks on that Thursday.
The reason why I like paying vendor invoices one per week is because the terms for each vendor vary. One bill might say “due upon receipt” while another might be “due within 30 days.”
It can be confusing trying to keep track of different due dates. If something goes in the wrong pile, it could end up past due. You’ll incur late fees, or worse, your account can be frozen.
Paying the bills once per week eliminates this risk.
4. Transaction Entries
Most of your transaction entries will come from vendor payments and customer receipts. Both of which we already discussed.
However, don’t forget to record other transactions as well. You might have others like automatic debits, bank fees, and interest payments.
It’s important to record these the week that they happen. As previously discussed, you’re going to be reconciling your bank statements on a weekly basis. So, if these transactions aren’t recorded, things will be confusing when you reconcile your accounts because there will be omissions.
5. Review Employee Timesheets
Some of you might run payroll on a bi-weekly or semi-monthly basis. But with that said, employee timecards must be reviewed each week.
Doing this on a weekly basis allows you to understand your upcoming payroll liabilities.
Reviewing timecards early gives you the opportunity to identify any unauthorized hours.
For example, let’s say you have several employees working overtime in a given week. Whether you authorized it or not, you are liable for paying those extra wages. But you can put a stop to those extra hours the following week by scheduling everyone accordingly and making sure that they punch out on time each day.
If you waited to review time cards every two weeks, you could end up being responsible for two full weeks of unauthorized overtime instead of just one.
6. Process Payroll*
This task needs to have an asterisk.
As I just mentioned, not everyone will process payroll each week. But even if you’re on a bi-weekly payroll schedule, you can still get prepared ahead of time on off weeks.
Payroll processing is one of the most important aspects of running a business. Your staff works to get paid, and you need to take this seriously.
If you start missing payroll or processing things late, you could end up with significant problems down the road.
7. Scan Documents and Receipts
You need to make sure that all your bookkeeping documents and receipts are safely stored. The easiest way to do this is by scanning and uploading any paper records to a cloud-based storage system.
Doing this once a day isn’t necessary. But waiting and doing this once per month isn’t effective either. This leaves too much time for things to get misplaced.
It’s easy to get unorganized if you’re paying an invoice at the beginning of a month but wait until the end of the month to upload it. That’s not an efficient system. So scanning documents once per week is a perfect frequency.
For those of you who haven’t upgraded to a digital document management system yet, review our guide on how to implement paper-free bookkeeping.
If you’re keeping records on a computer instead of a cloud-based system, make sure you back up your hard drive at least once per week if not daily.
8. Make Deposits
Most of your money is probably coming from credit card sales and ACH transfers. But some of you are still accepting cash and checks. This money needs to be deposited in your bank account.
Deposits should be made daily. You don’t want to leave cash or checks lying around for too long.
Use your bank’s mobile app to deposit checks remotely. This will save you a trip to the bank if you’re not getting a ton of cash.
I could see skipping a trip to the bank if you only received $100 in cash the previous day. But don’t wait more than a week to deposit these funds.
9. Track Inventory
If your company sells physical goods, you must know exactly how much of each product you have on hand.
Your POS system might have software for inventory tracking. But if not, you’ll need to do this manually. Even if you’re using technology to manage inventory, you probably still need to order more stock manually.
It’s impossible to make informed decisions on what needs to be ordered and what products should be discounted if you don’t know your inventory numbers. Waiting a month to figure this out is far too long.
A small business bookkeeper has lots of responsibilities. Some of these jobs can be done once per month, once per quarter, or even annually.
But there are certain tasks that must be completed on a weekly basis.
If you’re having trouble getting these jobs done in a timely fashion, consider using an outsourced bookkeeping service. An outsourced bookkeeper can handle all these weekly tasks for you. Contact us here at Navitance to learn more about our outsourced bookkeepers.