The worst mistake you can make as a business professional is ignoring your finances.

We all want to make more money, but keeping track of our finances can be a headache; anyone who is really successful with money knows how important accounting can be.

As business professionals, having adequate accounting knowledge is very important as it can influence our decisions, and this article will be sharing some 7 accounting tips to help you take charge of your finances.

1. Carefully Plan Out Your Monthly Budget

This seems like mundane advice, but you can save thousands of dollars every month you follow it.

If you don’t have any idea how much you’ve been spending monthly for the last 6 months, then you’re probably losing a lot of money. I know it sounds funny, but a lot of us don’t have a clue of what our money spending is.

Take a diary now, and keep track of your spendings for the next 1 month…to every minute details.

Compare your spendings with your earnings, and look for ways to cut unnecessary costs for good. Once you’ve figured this out, plan your monthly budget and follow it religiously.

No matter what it is you need, make sure it doesn’t exceed your monthly budget.

Keeping a monthly budget can look like pain at first, but you’ll eventually find it a life saver.

2. Keep Your Accounts Separate

This is especially important if you’re a one man business, or if you’re the main person behind your business.

It doesn’t matter what your motivation or ideals are, keeping business and personal affairs separate will help you greatly.

Make sure you don’t make personal transactions via your business account, and that you don’t make business transactions via your personal account no matter the situation.

A lot of people are experiencing financial problems today because they find it difficult to differentiate business funds from personal funds, and as a result they use money they get however they want.

If you’re a one man business, pay yourself a salary; know what you really need to sustain yourself, differentiate careless spendings, and pay yourself a fixed rate as salary every month.

Doing this will help you know where you stand, enable you to be able to invest your money into other ventures and grow your business significantly.

3. Hire a Certified Accountant

Depending on your business budget, size and location, hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) might be the best thing to do right now.

I’ve tried it several times, and I can tell you that one of the things I hate to do the most is counting my money, tracking my expenses,and keeping a budget; yet, these things are very important to the success of a business.

It’s all about asking yourself a question of whether it is worth it or not.

How much is not keeping proper accounts costing your business every month? Do you think you can pay an accountant and still have something left? Consider this and then create a budget for an accountant.

Hiring an accountant might look like a waste of money right now, but you’ll find it much more profitable on the long run.

4. Use an Invoicing System

As a freelancer or business professional, how do you get paid?

Is there a way to keep track of every amount you’re being paid?

If not, create one, and if you find that difficult you should start using an invoicing system.

There are dozens of quality services online that allow you to create an invoice and get paid, and most of these services will work irrespective of your location or business size.

You might also want to keep a spreadsheet that shows your income and spending every month so you can have enough data to analyze regularly.

One of the best ways to save your business is to observe income and expenses, and nothing makes that easier than an invoice system.

Payment systems like Paypal can do the work, but using a service like Freshbooks makes things better.

5. Avoid Debts or Procrastinating on Payments as Much as You Can

If you make a decision to pay someone for services rendered, or to use a service, make sure you never delay on payments.

Debts can threaten the very existence of your business, and the best thing you can do is to avoid them before the surface.

Don’t delay on making payments for services rendered, and make sure your debts are paid on a timely basis.

6. Set Aside Money for Taxes, on a Regular Basis

The idea is usually to wait for that time of the year when taxes is paid, and to start looking for means to pay your taxes quickly.

While that seems easy, it isn’t usually effective.

Not paying your taxes threatens your business, and you can never predict the future.

You might think you will have enough to pay your taxes when the time comes based on an estimated business growth, but you’re never sure of what can happen.

God forbid, your business might experience a downward growth towards the end of the year, and the government doesn’t care.

Put aside tax money every month, and make sure your taxes are properly kept.

There are a lot of threats to the success of a business, but you should never offend the government.

7. Create Online Backups of Your Files

The worst thing that can happen to you is a sudden crash in your hard drive that takes away all important files, including your accounts, or a flood that takes away all your account books.

The internet has made things easy, and you can ensure you’re always safe by keeping constant backups of your accounts.

Make sure you don’t have your backups all in one place, and make sure you only backup with a reputable site.

4 Tools You Should Use to Take Care of Your Accounting

To properly implement the tips above, you need the right tools. Here are 4 tools you should use to take care of your accounting.

1. Freshbooks: If you want to take charge of your business with the right invoicing tool, then make sure you check out Freshbooks. Freshbooks is currently the best invoicing tool available that I know of, and it easily integrates with all major payment services available online.

2. Quickbooks: Another great invoicing software, and an alternative to Freshbooks.

3. Dropbox: If you want to back up your files and sync them across various computers, Dropbox is a great option for you.

4. iDrive: An alternative to dropbox, but more effective because it supports automatic backups. All you need to do is install the iDrive software on your computer, select folders and files you want automatically backed up, and then select a time you want the back up to take place. iDrive will handle the rest for you, and you never have to worry about losing your files.