4 Things You Need to Be Tracking If You're Self Employed

April 8, 2016

There are more than 14 million entrepreneurs in the United States today. Together, they represent more than 10 percent of the nation's 146 million workers. But it doesn't stop there; the employees those entrepreneurs hire constitute yet another 20 percent of the U.S. workforce--putting a whooping 43 million people (three for every 10) under the self employed/small business umbrella.

However, it's a well known statistic that eight out of 10 small businesses fail within the first 18 months. Which means that 80 percent of those 14 million entrepreneurs will never get their small business off the ground.

Why? Well, there's a number of reasons a business can fail, but almost all of those failures can be attributed (at least, in part) to inconsistent or nonexistent tracking. One of the most critical things you need to track is also the easiest to do ... but oftentimes the most overlooked--and it can save your business thousands of dollars in gross payroll costs each year. Sound good? Keep reading. These are the four things you need to be tracking if you want to see success.

1. Your business AND personal expenses.
This might seem like a given, but you'd be surprised how many business owners don't realize the importance nor have an accurate view of their business vs. personal expenses. Use a do-it-all expense tracking system like Expensify to keep your bank account, and your business, on track.

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2. Your quarterly and yearly taxes.
Tax time for entrepreneurs can be a huge hassle--and a major financial blow--especially if you haven't been relentlessly tracking your business and personal expenses. Tracking and understanding where you stand come tax season will help you avoid any nasty surprises and ensure you're getting every dollar you deserve! Use tax software designed specifically for small businesses like yours. I recommend Avalara for automatic monthly and quarterly tax filing or TurboTax Home & Business for to track, organize, and maximize your annual refund.

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3. Your billing and invoicing.
Are you still billing and invoicing using paper invoices and snail mail? Pay or get paid faster and easier with a business payment system like bill.com. Knowing exactly what your profits and losses are, right now, enables you to make smarter decisions for your business and ultimately make more money.

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4. YOUR TIME.
Time is your most precious commodity--do you know where you're spending it? Accurate and easy time tracking results in real-time business insight, more accurate job and labor costing, and faster payroll. Customers who use TSheets save an average of 2-8 percent on gross payroll costs each year. Time is the easiest and most important thing you should be tracking--but often the most overlooked. How much would you save, simply by making the switch to automated time tracking? Find out here.

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Now, hire a trusted advisor to bring this all together.
If all this sounds like an insurmountable task, or a foreign language, considering hiring an advisor to support you and your business. QuickBooks ProAdvisors are accounting experts who have been trained in the art of small business success. They can help you track everything from your taxes to your time--and they're available whenever (and wherever) you need them. Ready to get started? Ready for success? Find your ProAdvisor.

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