Welcome to the Sideline Sisters blog, where we share essential tips, tricks, and tools we’ve found for growing a successful Network Marketing business.
On occasion, here in the Sideline Sisters blog, we will address business finance topics—to break them down into easy-to-follow steps. We know this topic may make you want to roll your eyes back in your head and take a nap, but we promise to make this quick and simple. Today we’ll be highlighting the how and why of business expense tracking.
When I first started out in my business, I sort of knew that I should be keeping track of my expenses. However, other than stuffing my receipts into a folder, I did nothing else with them. When tax time came, it was an unholy disaster and so incredibly stressful! Luckily, I had a good accountant who helped me get it straightened out, but I do not recommend anyone approach their business in this manner! If you already have, it’s never too late to go back and fix it. If you’re just getting started, trust me, it’s worth getting off on the right foot.
You may already be aware of the tax benefits** available to small business owners. There are a multitude of expenses that can be written off come tax time; cell phone bills and internet, product purchases for demonstration purposes, postage for sending items to clients, even travel and lodging and fees for business conferences. There is a plethora of information to be found at the IRS Small Business website, and we strongly encourage you to visit and learn what you can. This is worth your time.
Next, let’s talk quickly about the HOW of business expense tracking. It’s actually quite simple, and if you keep up on it daily or even weekly, you’ll find it’s not nearly as daunting as you may believe. Right now I’d encourage you to check out our freebie called, conveniently enough, Expense Tracker.
You’ll see four boxes for different expense categories-for instance, you’ll want to keep your postage costs separate from your product purchases. (Categorizing them now will save you time when you’re preparing your taxes). Write in the date, the amount, and a note or description of the purchase. At the end of each month, total your expenses at the bottom of the box. Most importantly, be sure to keep those receipts! One easy way is to tape them to the back of the page. If that doesn’t make sense to you, simply attach the page to a manila envelope—keep all of your receipts inside! Print as many of these pages each month as you’ll need to cover all of your expense categories.
If you follow this simple system, we can guarantee that you’ll not only feel much better at tax time, but you’ll also be able to see where your business is spending money. This all leads to you being able to make more informed decisions about your business
** Please note—we are NOT tax professionals, nor do we claim to know about the particular tax laws in your state. Please see a certified tax professional for official advice and tax preparation. We are simply speaking from our own experiences. **