Mixing your personal funds with your business funds is a bad idea. Not only is this unprofessional (bordering on business ethics), but it also inhibit your business growth and affects your business structure negatively. It can also disrupt your bookkeeping.
In the eventuality that you need to be audited (which will arise if you are looking for a loan or external investment), there are chances that it would reflect negatively on your prospects.
Although, you may occasionally feel pressured to withdraw funds from your business account, here are a few measures you can take to resist the temptation.
- Secure a Corporate Account for your business
This is the first and most obvious step. At this point however, you need to consider and properly define your business structure. Before you open a corporate account, you would need to register your company with the relevant authorities, in Nigeria – the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Banks require official documentation before you can set up a corporate account. There are a lot of perks that come with specific SME accounts so you should read and understand all the provided documentation, also be sure to ask lots of questions to find which account best suits your business.
- Keep track of your business finances
Proper bookkeeping is the backbone for managing your finances. Years ago, business owners operated ledgers that managed the cash in their bank accounts and the cash in their hands. This went on to form the basis for a lot of tech based bookkeeping software programs available today.
There are a number of software applications that you can employ to manage your books properly. Programs like QuickBooks and Free Agent among others will not only help you track your income and expenditure, but also help you keep track of your cash movement so that you can account for any amount spent.
By monitoring your finances, you will become conscious when you take any money out for your business account. This would mean that you owe the company and you need to pay back in full. There are a number of software programs available to choose from, take a look here to see which one fits your business.
- Do not receive business funds in your personal account and vice versa
As much as possible, avoid conducting business transactions from your personal account. Whenever you have to conduct transactions on behalf of your company, ensure that you do so with your company’s funds and accounts. Don’t receive payment on behalf of the company in your personal account, and don’t also make payments on behalf of the company from your personal account.
You may face situations where you need to settle payments quickly from your personal account, be sure that this is done under strictly supervised conditions; so that you can get reimbursed by the company. Your bookkeeping will act as your supervisor here and you must reference the said transaction accordingly to maintain balance.
Also, while it may be necessary to take some personal funds to cover certain business expenses, it’s never a good idea to receive company income using your personal account.
This means your company has not received income for this transaction and if you spend this in-flow, you may be regarded as cheating your company.
- Hire a professional to screen your books
You may want to speak with a professional to maintain your books if you can’t afford to hire an accountant in the company.
There are a number of SME specialists who are reasonably affordable and can operate within your budget. Accounting hub for example offers bookkeeping solutions targeted at SMEs. Hiring an external bookkeeper will help you maintain professional conduct in dealing with your business finances.
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