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3 Reasons Why You’re Behind on Bookkeeping and How to Get Back on Track

Picture this: Your business is soaring, sales are booming, clients are flowing in, and your products and services are hitting the sweet spot. Life is good. Then, reality hits you like a freight train—your bookkeeping is stuck in the Jurassic era, and you're left wondering how on earth you got here.

Don't panic, my friend. You're not alone in this. It's a tale as old as time for ALL small businesses, and there are pragmatic reasons for the predicament, along with straightforward solutions.

Let's dissect the reasons why your books might be gathering dust and explore actionable steps to immediately address the situation.

1. Time Crunch:

Undoubtedly, time is a precious commodity for small business owners. Juggling myriad tasks forces you to make tough decisions about where to allocate your energy. The revelation here is that, despite the apparent time scarcity, you do have enough time for bookkeeping—it's a matter of prioritizing it.

I get it. The whole "I'm too busy with XYZ" excuse can easily become your anthem. But here’s an epiphany: dedicating 15-30 minutes a day to your financial labyrinth won’t only dig you out of the hole but also save you from future spelunking adventures.

Action Steps:

  • List all pending bookkeeping tasks in detail.

  • Allocate small, daily time slots (15-30 minutes) exclusively for financial duties.

  • Schedule these slots in your daily calendar, safeguarding them from other engagements.

  • Gradually work through the list during these dedicated time slots, without overwhelming yourself.

Starting with smaller, manageable increments allows you to cultivate a daily routine without the burden of unrealistic expectations.

2. Perfect System Syndrome:

Ah, the quest for the holy grail of bookkeeping systems. QuickBooks, spreadsheets, Wave, Xero—choices galore. The problem? You're stuck in analysis paralysis, waiting for the heavens to reveal the perfect system. Newsflash: it doesn't exist from the get-go. The secret here is that no system starts off perfect. It evolves with usage, reflecting your workflow and business needs. Hours spent pondering over the perfect system become a hindrance to actual bookkeeping.

Action Steps:

  • Stop waiting for the perfect system and commence with a simple one, even if it feels rudimentary.

  • Consider the learning curve of the system—opt for something with minimal complexity.

  • Choose a system that is accessible immediately; avoid delaying due to software purchases.

  • Opt for a system that aligns with your natural inclinations; if you lean towards pen and paper, embrace it.

Remember, the seemingly basic system you start with will become your ally, teaching you what you truly require in an accounting system. Every use brings insights, refining your system until it perfectly aligns with your business.

3. Fear of Mistakes:

The fear of screwing up your finances is as real as it gets. But guess what? You won't learn diddly squat if you don't wade into the shallow end. Mistakes are inevitable, but they provide invaluable learning opportunities. Yes, business finances can be daunting, but procrastination only results in rushed and error-prone bookkeeping, turning molehills into mountains.

Action Steps:

  • Catalog your apprehensions and uncertainties regarding bookkeeping.

  • Invest time in researching and finding answers to your questions.

  • Dedicate 1-2 hours to address your concerns and gather necessary information.

  • Begin your bookkeeping journey, making note of new questions as they arise.

By proactively seeking answers and addressing concerns, you not only conquer your fears but also steadily enhance your confidence in handling financial matters.


So, there you have it—the gritty truth about the tangled mess that is your overdue bookkeeping. It's never too late to reclaim your financial mojo. The secret sauce? Small, consistent actions that build a financial fortress over time.

In the whirlwind of business operations, bookkeeping often takes a backseat. However, acknowledging the reasons behind the backlog and taking intentional measures to rectify the situation can transform the way you manage your finances. Prioritizing time, embracing imperfections in your systems, and confronting the fear of mistakes are pivotal in establishing a sustainable and efficient bookkeeping routine.

So, if you find yourself drowning in overdue bookkeeping tasks, take a deep breath, follow the actionable steps outlined here, and watch as your financial management transforms from a daunting task to a well-oiled, efficient machine.

- Marlene



Hi, I'm Marlene! Lover of all things spicy, coffee purist, and your bookkeeping ally for pursuing your passion + boosting your bottom line. Thanks for coming by!


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