#Collaborative post

Whether your blog is a side hustle or your full-time job, you’ll know just how much work is involved behind the scenes to keep it looking good, entertaining visitors, and staying up to date. And that’s just the stuff your readers can see.

Beyond your ‘shop front’ there are plenty of other things that need doing too. Some are obvious, like networking and marketing, engaging with readers or handling sponsorships. Others might feel like ‘busy work’ you don’t need to get too involved with. Accounting or bookkeeping might fall into the second category for you.

If doing the books is something you tend to procrastinate about, here are a few reasons to treat your blog like the business it is and give the accounts the attention they deserve.

Manage Your Cash Flow

There’s nothing worse than needing to buy something for the business and finding out you can’t afford it. Except maybe being offered a lucrative new contract and discovering you don’t have the cash to fund it.

Accounting keeps you on track with money. You can see immediately exactly where it’s performing well and where it needs some help.

Of course, you can see your balance just by looking at your bank statement but that won’t inform you about your capital assets, who your best clients are or how much you’re spending on allowable expenses such as motoring or energy costs. It also won’t warn you about upcoming expenses so you can budget, nor remind you which periods during the year are the leanest.

Accounting For Bloggers - Why it Matters

Keep The Business Legal

Even if your blog is very part time, when you’re earning money from it you need to register as self-employed with HMRC. This applies whether you’re also traditionally employed or not. If you’re running a blog alongside working a normal job, there are guidelines on setting up and managing the two incomes to make dealing with taxes easier.

Once you’ve registered as self-employed, you’ll naturally have to start keeping financial records so you can submit a tax return each year. This is where accounting comes in. That tax return is so much easier if you’ve been diligent through the year.

If accounting is totally new to you (or if you just need to brush up and learn some more) taking an accounting course can speed up the process and give you confidence.

Grow Your Business

Expanding a business can be quite a complex operation. It can also be expensive if you need bigger offices, more storage space, hired help or more sophisticated equipment.

A good set of accounts is worth its weight in gold when you’re approaching your bank manager for a loan. For ‘bank manager’ read any person or organisation who might possibly help financially with your planned expansion. They’ll all want some reassurance that their investment is relatively risk free.

Demonstrating a deep knowledge of your business accounts, along with a solid plan for how you’ll sustain the expansion in the future, can only come from analysing your figures. And naturally you need the figures to start with.

Cost Your Projects

The old adage about time being money is never truer than when you’re talking about business.

A deep dive into your accounts can inform you about time and effort put into previous projects compared to their financial worth. You need to know which jobs took too long and why, what type of project you would like to do more of, and how to change things confidently so you don’t run into unexpected bottlenecks or costing nightmares.

Whilst this can be a bit of a time and motion exercise, it’s also informative to have a financial history of income and expense you can refer to.

Accounting For Bloggers - Why it Matters

Choose Your Route

Accounting is much more than a set of dry figures. It’s a dynamic record of your business history, containing clues that can lead to enhanced profits and a grander lifestyle.

So, while it’s also a legal requirement, it’s also a personal road map to success. Thankfully for some, you don’t have to do it yourself if you really don’t want to.

You could outsource to a bookkeeper, many of whom are also self-employed. They’ll work with you to keep the books current, legal and ready to submit to an accountant for end of year reporting.

Hiring an accountant is more expensive, but with their expertise and deeper business knowledge, many can offer business advice if they see areas where you could make savings or be more efficient. They will also ensure you’re claiming all your allowances, so you don’t pay too much tax.

Learning accounting will help you do it all yourself. There are lots of people who approach the subject with trepidation then find they really enjoy it. So, give it a try, safely knowing there are experts out there who can and will help if they’re needed.

And who knows, once you can do accounting, you might discover a whole new branch to your business opportunities.

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