You don’t need a finance degree to be a successful business owner, but you do need to know how to manage your company’s finances. A lack of knowledge can lead to unnecessary expenses and the risk of not being able to expand.

Financial literacy plays a large role in the success of a business, especially if you’re self-employed. By understanding how to balance your company’s books, you’ll save money, manage risk and grow your company. Here are some specific strategies you can use to stay on top of your company’s finances.

Keeping Records

Keeping accurate records is an important way to manage your finances. You can use paper or digital business records to track your expenses, track your cash flow and identify opportunities for cost savings. Writing down your expenses and tracking them with a spreadsheet or software will help you to stay organized and make sure your financial information is up-to-date. Also, making sure that each owner has a capital account can make cash flow easier to track.

Paying Your Bills on Time

It’s important to pay your bills on time so you have enough money available to meet your obligations. This includes your accounts receivable, such as your bills to vendors or your employees. If a creditor contemplates filing a lawsuit against you because you haven’t paid your bills, it could have a major impact on your business. When you get a bill, make sure you write the date on the bill so you don’t forget. It’s also good to identify areas where you think you could fall behind and make the right adjustments.

Managing Risk

Risk management is crucial for any business owner. You should make sure that you don’t overspend, don’t invest in things that aren’t likely to pay off, and avoid taking on debt that you don’t think you can handle. Also, it may help to choose a business structure that suits your risk tolerance. For example, if you plan to operate in a risky industry such as real estate or the financial services industry, you might want to choose a business structure that offers more protection such as a corporation.

One of the most difficult aspects of running a business is staying on top of your finances. Matters can become complicated quickly, but you shouldn’t let this discourage you. By paying attention to detail and using common sense, you can start making better decisions with your money.