We all know as business owners that keeping track of expenses, saving for taxes, and making sure your books are balanced is so important. But bookkeeping for event planners is not an easy thing at first, because of the unpredictable schedule of being a planner – working in the service industry means a lot of time on the road, in the field, and away from your administrative, desk-based tasks. Here’s how I tackled tightening up my bookkeeping processes.
Hire a bookkeeper!
Hire a pro! They do not need to be full time. I hired a bookkeeper for an initial analysis and software recommendations; quarterly checkins; and end of year profit-and-loss and tax prep. It did not cost a fortune and truly worth every penny.
If you can’t afford taking credit cards – and if your revenue is unsteady or you are in the first 2-3 years of your business, that’s a smart call – see if there are any cloud-based, bookkeeping and invoicing systems that use ACH deposits to take from your clients. Try to find something that schedules invoicing so you don’t have to think about it – clients get regular invoices on time, so that they are well aware of when their next payment is due. Then as the cash comes in, the software keeps track of it, and balancing the books just got a lot easier.
Automate your tax savings.
This can be a super tough aspect of bookkeeping for event planners (I speak from experience!). What helped me was having my CPA give me tax projections in Q1 of every year. Then, I could set aside – or at least manage expectations – of what my taxes would be. I got quite accurate at planning ahead and it saved me a lot of stress and sleepless nights. Schedule quarterly or monthly allocations to a separate bank account for taxes, and plot reminders in your calendar throughout the year to send your payments to the IRS. Or you can also ask your bookkeeper consultant to do this, and they can remind you.
Don’t be afraid to hire a pro to help you manage this process – a little professional guidance means big time savings in stress, and possibly business fees and tax penalties. Being organized = peak efficiency in all levels of your business! And, I can’t recommend enough this book: Accounting for the Numberphobic. It has outstanding small business advice and is actually pretty fun to read, too. Find it here – and happy planning!