Stephen Covey 's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People can be worked out in many areas. Of course you can also use it for highly efficient business accounts. Because, if bookkeeping is not your hobby or your profession, you better deal with it as efficiently as possible.
1: Be proactive
2: Start with the end in mind
Consider carefully why you are going to do bookkeeping. What do you ultimately want to know about your company and what do you ultimately have to deliver to the tax authorities and the Chamber of Commerce. It is striking how much is kept in most accounts, which is not necessary at all. This way you do not have to transfer data from your supplier to an business accounts program, a copy of the invoice is sufficient. And it is not necessary to divide infinitely into cost items, unless it gives you insight. For example, the Tax and Customs Administration works with only 12 cost items, while an accountant for a small administration can quickly work with a standard schedule of more than 800 cost items. Most of the work that an accountant does therefore has no added value to the end result.
3: First things first
No matter how big or small your company is, you have a duty to keep records and you, and only you, are responsible for it. You can never hide behind a bookkeeper or accountant. For example, Ahold 's CEO and CFO was held personally liable for fraud, even after Deloitte approved its annual figures. So make sure you keep up with your administration. Schedule half an hour every 14 days in your diary and make sure that your accounting is and remains in order. Because once you are behind, it is often almost impossible (or very expensive) to catch up.
4: Think in terms of win / win
This is the area where many business accounts firms derive their right to exist. They often use one of these two reasons to justify their compensation: 'A good accountant yields more than it costs' and 'As an entrepreneur you should be concerned with your customers and not with the administration'.
It is true that external advice can be of great benefit to you and it is true that you should not waste time on side issues. But: an accountant always costs money. Often even a lot of money. And no one, except the House of Orange and very large multinationals, receive a discount from the tax authorities. So an accountant can never yield you anything, because the rules are the same for everyone, regardless of whether an external accountant does your administration. An accountant always costs money. And most of the time (and therefore money) every bookkeeper spends on stupid work: booking invoices. That is something everyone can do, usually automatically and where no profit can be made. So only outsource where you can get something. Most business accounts firms make over 80% of their money doing stupid work.
5: Try to understand first and then to be understood
The traditional accounting method dates back to 1495 and has hardly changed since then. Jargon such as 'journal', 'ledgers' and 'journal entries' can quickly confuse you. But hidden behind this jargon is not much exciting. Modern accounting programs have long ceased to use this jargon. Make sure you understand what accounting is all about. It is all knowledge that you can acquire for free. Download the tax return program of the Tax Authorities. If you know what to deliver at the end of the year, you also know where your knowledge is lacking. You now know what you don't know and you can estimate what you will be working on yourself and which part you will outsource to, for example, the tax adviser.
6: Work synergistically
1 + 1 = in one way or another always 3. But not with bookkeeping. Many entrepreneurs (1) throw overdue accounts over the fence with an accountant (+1) who then has a lot of manual research. The result of the work of these two is not even ½ net. So there is a huge waste of time and money in this process. If you outsource, make sure you learn something from it every time you do that. How can you deliver something better? What happens with the information you provide? What can you do to reduce work at the next link in the chain? Only then will you become smarter, better, more efficient and the next in the chain will also become more efficient. Only then does 1 + 1 = 3 apply.
7: Keep the saw sharp
There are a lot of buzz's in the business accounts world. Such as 'UBL' and 'Scan en Herken'. These are presented as 'breakthrough innovations' but are nothing more than symptom fighters of an outdated accounting method. Of course, a 'Scan and Recognize' solution works faster than retyping an address from your supplier, but you do not have to process this in your administration at all. So why speed this process up if it has no value at all? Let alone pay for these 'innovations'.
So don't be fooled by all kinds of innovations that only combat the symptoms of an outdated system and are therefore not an improvement. See what you really need and let your decisions depend on it.
The 7 habits in practice
The 7 habits for highly effective business accounts are the basis of the new accounting method 'Entrepreneur Focused Accounting'. An accounting method invented by accounting program Jortt . This allows entrepreneurs to efficiently keep their own accounts. By only linking invoices to bank transactions, the rest of the administration is done automatically. The VAT calculation, profit and loss account, balance sheet and even the Chamber of Commerce annual accounts are then automatically made