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5 Tips for Successful Association Bookkeeping

1. Be Organized. Have a file system. When you’re starting out, your system doesn’t have to be high-tech. An elaborate system can even bog you down trying to figure out how all the components work. If you can scan to a secure online system that you’re familiar with, then that is wonderful. But having everything in paper format will work too. Simply keeping things organized by date and month will work. Just make sure you keep your files in order and secure. You need to be able to get to them in the future if the need arises, and it will.

2. Be Timely. Do not procrastinate! Enter transactions as soon as possible. Your backup documentation may not have the full story. Post as you go and keep notes in your financial database, then file your documents safely. Setting up a schedule for yourself where you process certain files, checks, statements, or records weekly on a certain day can help give the discipline to keep things running smoothly.

3. Be Proactive. Make sure you have all your documentation before invoices are created or payments are made. Don't waste valuable time chasing contracts, addresses, or W9s after the fact. Make sure you are protected by having the necessary signatures, approvals, and tax documents. Following best practices isn’t just the way to stay legally compliant, it’s more efficient too.

4. Be Confident. Once you have completed your monthly tasks, study your financial and comparison reports. Make sure you correct any posting errors right away. Once everything is in order you will be able to gauge the health of the company. Be ready to answer any questions that your leadership may have. You can also point out unusual things you find that leadership may not have even been aware of.

5. Be Knowledgeable. Stay educated. There are many resources for bookkeeping training, such as QuickBooks training and blogs which will help you stay informed about what is going on in the bookkeeping profession. Make sure you are following GAAP rules and have a network of contacts who are either in your profession or are in similar professions that can help you make informed decisions when tough questions or situations arise.

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