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Finance essentials to build a better business, part II

Finance essentials to build a better business, part II

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Finance essentials to build a better business, part II

Ready to take the next step in preparing your small business for success? Here, William Hayden, Co-Founder of the financial growth platform Bags, shares his favorite tools to help you take control of your finances. 

Top Tools for Financial Management 

  • No cost, high effort: 
    • Google Sheets: For entrepreneurs on a tight budget, learning and using Google Sheets is the best way to manage your finances without incurring costs. With customizable templates and built-in formulas, you can use Google Sheets to create balance sheets, profit & loss statements and cash flow projections – making it easier for a diligent entrepreneur to maintain all of their financials in a single place while making regular adjustments. 
  • Low cost, medium effort: 
    • QuickBooks: QuickBooks is a staple for small business accounting, providing a general ledger of all of your historic business transactions, plus tools for invoicing, expense tracking and financial reporting. A business owner using Quickbooks should still manually reconcile bank transactions every month to ensure accuracy and should not rely on the financial documents it generates without deep review and adjustments. Even with QuickBooks’ automation, business owners should check every transaction categorization for accuracy. 
  • Higher cost, low effort: 
    • Hire a bookkeeper/accountant: After all, most business owners didn’t start their company because they wanted to manage financial documents. No matter their skill and experience, nearly every business owner will want to hire a professional to manage their books at some point. The key to deciding when it’s time to bring on support is to determine the value of the time you’re spending on financial management, or the time you should be spending but haven’t gotten around to. As an example, Bags offers bookkeeping and accounting services from human CPAs starting at $280/month, and many other services offer comparable price points for related services. 

Advice for Financial Success 

Achieving financial success as an entrepreneur requires discipline and strategic planning. And while this series aims to be a starting place for understanding good habits, it’s important for every small business owner to do the following: 

  • Monitor your finances regularly: Stay on top of your financial health by reviewing your financial statements and key data points for accuracy and opportunities for improvement. 
  • Invest in financial literacy: Take the time to educate yourself with online courses, books and mentorship to enhance your financial literacy. 
  • Seek professional advice: Don’t hesitate to consult with financial experts, such as accountants or financial advisors, to gain insights and guidance specifically tailored to your business needs. 

Here are a few templates to get your financial management started: 

Looking for tools to help you act against the advice above? The templates below are customizable, easy to use and provide a foundation to manage your finances effectively. But remember: Every business is unique, so over time you should expect to add a number of line items within each category to better track your business outcomes. 

What’s next? 

Effective financial management requires continuous learning, whether you’re doing it on your own or with help. By leveraging the right tools, understanding finance trends and ensuring your books match the story you tell, you’ll be better equipped to succeed – no matter what challenges might lie ahead. 

Looking for more tips and tools? Sign up here for our monthly newsletter for more access and insights to resources and stories to help accelerate your business. 

About the author

WH Headshot
William is a co-founder of Bags, leading the team’s client services and partnerships efforts. In his role, he is focused on bridging the gap between financial management and access to capital for every Bags customer, developing strategies and tools to help good businesses grow better. Prior to Bags, William helped build internal agencies and capabilities at IPG and advised executives at brands including American Express, Spotify, AT&T, Levi’s and USPS. His past work has been recognized with numerous awards, including People’s Telly Gold.

Post topic(s): Financing fundamentals

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