As a business owner, you probably love brainstorming with staff members, interacting with customers, and seeing your brand grow. At the same time, the thought of bookkeeping might make your eyes glaze over.
It’s all too easy to ignore documentation as you pursue the more exciting elements of entrepreneurship. However, it’s vital to keep records of practically everything that happens at your company. And it’s just as important to keep those records organized so you can find any of them at any time.
Here are a few reasons good documentation is crucial to your success.
1. Legal protection
Ex-employees and customers sometimes make false accusations against companies. Your records could shield you from such attacks.
For starters, if you reprimand or discipline an employee, detail the incident in writing and file it away. In a courtroom, you might be allowed to admit contemporaneous notes as evidence. Plus, those statements will preserve your memories and make for stronger testimony.
Similarly, if a vendor claims you never paid them or a consumer says they never received a product they ordered, you could produce proof of payment or proof of shipping.
2. Smooth transitions
Describe in writing the job responsibilities of every position in your company. And create templates of business letters, invoices, and other forms that employees must complete. That way, when you hire or promote someone, that person always has instructions on hand. As a result, fewer mistakes will occur.
These directions will especially come in handy during emergencies. For instance, imagine you must have your appendix removed. While you’re out of the office, someone could take over your duties by following the instructions on file. Your company wouldn’t have to close or offer reduced services while you’re away.
After all, business continuity is key to your overall professional reputation.
3. Tax deductions and budgeting
When you document every expense and save every receipt, it’s easier to find tax deductions each year. You won’t forget to deduct that conference you attended in Cleveland or the time you bought your supplier’s dinner.
Likewise, with thorough financial documents at your fingertips, your routine budgetary analyses will be more accurate. You’ll get a vivid sense of which products sell well and which fall short of your expectations. You’ll have a clear picture of which divisions overperform and which underperform. Thus, you can make adjustments that will really boost your revenue streams.
4. Regulatory compliance
The government requires businesses to keep certain records, and they vary by industry. For example, if you supply dough to companies that bake and package cookies, the FDA asks you to list where you get your ingredients and where you send your dough. So be sure to consult an attorney about records for compliance purposes.
At this point, you might be wondering how you could possibly file all of your documents. Perhaps you generate dozens if not hundreds every day.
Fortunately, there are expert IT support firms that can help. Their team members will work with you to organize the documents you already have and to store new ones in an orderly manner. And they can create a unified communications strategy that will prevent emails, texts, and other messages from being misplaced.
It feels great whenever you’re able to quickly retrieve a certain document for a customer, inspector, or coworker. It makes your company look truly professional and also provides peace of mind. There’s no terror quite like needing a certain form right away and staring at massive stacks of paper, wondering if it’s in there somewhere.
Contact your managed IT services provider today for help getting a better documentation strategy in place for your business.