Financial literacy is an often overlooked component of life. But we need to remember that if we don’t know how to manage our finances well, we risk everything—our business, employment, and personal money. Keeping your financial records secure and safe is the most important element of managing a successful business. Let the reigns go a bit looser, and you’ll find your business in great trouble.
It’s not about knowing financial transactions such as B2B credit card processing. Financial literacy pertains to more than knowing what tax reforms and credit card statements are. It’s the holistic approach that you have about managing finances. It’s knowing where your financial statements are and get the information that you need.
Your business should keep all records safe. Remember how your customers entrusted you with their personal and financial data? They also expect you to keep these safe. If any of this information gets out, you’ll have to answer for it. Your business will suffer, too.
Have a Central Location for All Files
Ideally, you should have a fireproof safety box that only you—and a few trusted employees—can access. It should contain all the documents about your business. The same goes for the digital copies of these files. They should have backups. They should have a main location in your hard drive. If possible, upload them to a trusted cloud service. This way, you can access your records from anywhere in the world.
File Everything Immediately
The tendency for most businesses is to hang on to receipts and invoices. Before you know it, the office drawers will be filled with loose receipts, tax records, and other documents. You won’t be able to recognize which documents you need because they got mixed up.
Secure Documents at All Times
Always think about the security of your financial records. Your laptops and computers should be password-protected. Your vault should be accessible only to a select few. If there are more sensitive documents, keep them in a bank’s safety deposit box. You may have to pay the bank a monthly fee for the service, but that’s nothing compared to sleeping peacefully at night.
Read Your Statements
You will receive your company’s credit card statements and invoices monthly. Make sure to check all transactions for legitimacy. If there are questionable entries on the record, make sure that you report them to the proper authorities. There is a short period when you will be allowed to dispute certain transactions, so use your time well.
Use Your Own Computer
It is tempting to log in to your accounts using another person’s computer. Do not do it. Public computers might have special programs to capture your passwords. They can get into your account and authorize transactions such as the transfer of funds. If you have to use another person’s computer, make sure to clear the history and delete the cache before completely logging out.
Keeping your records neat and organized will help your business achieve its goals. You will also have an easier time dealing with tax agents and brokerage firms. You don’t want to scourge your folders for the right files once the IRS comes knocking on your door. You should always be ready to prove that you’re not a delinquent taxpayer.