Episode 42: What You Should Do Next With Your Finances
Transcript Episode 42
Welcome to the 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast, the show for purpose-driven entrepreneurs who want to get inspired to step outside of your comfort zone, expand it to your purpose and grow your business in a big way. I’m your host, Stephanie Skryzowski, a globe trotting CFO whose mission is to empower leaders to better understand their numbers to grow their impact and their income. Let’s dive in!
Hey, everybody, welcome back to 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. I’m your host, Stephanie Skryzowski. And today, this is going to be a super actionable episode, because I am going to go through different phases of your business. And the next step you need to take when it comes to your numbers.
So, we’re kind of gonna go through beginner to advanced. Depending on what phase you’re at, I’m going to tell you the thing that you need to be doing.
Here’s why I’m doing this. I am doing this because I feel like often, we get started in our business, and we’re like, “oh, my gosh, I made like, $2,000 this month. I need CFO!” or maybe we’re like, “Alright, I am $500,000 into my business, do I need a bookkeeper? Or can I keep doing this myself?” Right?
Different phases require different things. I’m going to help sort of demystify some of the things that you need in your business depending on where you are.
So no matter where you are, in your business, if you are just at the point of having a business idea, all the way up to a multi million dollar business, there’s something for you in this episode. And so we’re kind of going through this like a checklist, right? So once you have hit the first level, you’ve unlocked, you’ve achieved, you can check that one off, then you’re going to move to the next thing. And once you can check that thing off, you’re going to move to the next thing. And so we’re going to, kind of progress.
I want to just help you especially those newbies if you feel like “oh my goodness, do I need a CFO? I don’t know, I’ve heard about a CFO, I think I need one” and you’re making like $1,000-$2,000 a month, then no, you probably don’t need a CFO.
So I’m going to tell you one by one, what you need, which phase. So you can make sure you are on the right path and your “finance department” and I’m using the air quotes for “department” because maybe the finance department is just you right now. But we want to make sure you’re sort of your finance department and your systems and processes are right sized for the size business you have. Okay? Are you with me? Let’s get started.
So if you are a newbie, if you have a business idea, or you have maybe no revenue, but a couple of expenses, or maybe a little bit of revenue, couple expenses, the first thing that I want you to have is a business bank account.
Number one, even if this is just an idea that you are very soon going to make a reality, I want you to have a business bank account. That is number one. Okay?
Alongside that 1.a, is making sure that you are registered as a business. So even if you don’t have revenue yet, maybe you just have a couple of expenses. I want you to be legit from day one. So let’s get yourself a business bank account. Okay, step one. That’s it!
Now, if you’re listening, and you’re like, “check, I got a business bank account!” Okay, awesome. You get to move on to the next step. If you don’t have a business bank account, stop right here. Pause this episode, go open a business bank account and come back to me.
Business bank account, number one. Why is this because I do not want you mixing up your business expenses with your personal expenses, your business income with your personal income. Maybe you’re working a day job and you’ve got income from there and you got business income coming in? No, no, we want it all separate. You are going to thank me later.
I really love the phrase “Begin as you mean to go on”. What that means to me is a setting up now for the business that you want to have six months from now or a year from now. Set things up now, for the business owner that you want to be six months or a year from now. Okay? So “business bank accounts” is the first thing.
Now, you have graduated from being a newbie, you’ve got money coming in, maybe it’s not a lot. Maybe it’s just a couple $1,000 a month, you have some expenses going out. You’re paying for some software, maybe you’re paying for some supplies, maybe you have, you know a virtual assistant helping you for two hours a week or something. You’ve got revenue and you’ve got expenses.
You’ve got your business bank account. Now it’s time for QuickBooks, you’re going to get to the point where keeping track of things in a spreadsheet is going to become annoying, right? There’s going to be more that you need to keep track of then you’re going to want to be typing in manually into a spreadsheet. So I want you to get yourself set up with QuickBooks. It can be the cheapest version of QuickBooks, I don’t care. It can be whatever version of QuickBooks you want, but I want QuickBooks.
Once you get in QuickBooks, I want you to connect your bank accounts. That way, you will never miss anything, right? You’ll never miss a transaction, you’ll know that it is all captured in there. It doesn’t automatically. When you get into QuickBooks, and you go to the banking screen and you connect accounts, every time you have any money coming in or going out of your bank accounts, it’s going to pop up in QuickBooks. So all your stuff is going to be accurate, it’s going to be in one place!
So, we have our business bank accounts. Now we’ve got some revenue, and we’ve got some expenses coming in. They don’t have to be a lot. But now you have QuickBooks, we have our business bank account, we have QuickBooks check and check what’s next.
Now, the next thing I want you to have, which I often start seeing people, once you’re hitting six figures in annual revenue, or the equivalent of what six figures would be on a monthly basis, like about $8,300 a month in revenue, I want you to have a forecast.
And a forecast is simply a plan. It’s simply your best guess for how much money is going to be coming in and going out every single month, we do this on a monthly basis for the next 12 months. So once you’re hitting about 100k, I want you to have a forecast, because this is where we start thinking about spending a little bit more money, because we have a little bit more money, right?
This is also where we find out that oh, maybe we’re not paying ourselves enough. And we need to. So this is where the forecast is going to come in. This is where sometimes entrepreneurs get in over their heads and spend more money than they’re making and end up with not a lot of money in their bank account and wondering what in the world happened. That’s why we need a forecast.
So you’re at the point now where you need to be able to see into the future of your business. If you don’t have a template already, or if you’re wondering what in the world this might look like, I have a free one for you over at 100degreesconsulting.com/profit, you will get our profit playbook for free. And you’ll see what I mean by having a forecast and this template really shows you kind of what you need.
Feel free to take what you like, don’t use what you don’t like, but this is what I’m talking about. You need to have a plan, your crystal ball into the future of your business once you hit 100k or so.
Now, that being said, you can certainly have a forecast earlier. In fact, again, begin as you mean to go on so create a plan from day one if you want to. And that’s awesome. I highly recommend them. But if you’re 100k and you don’t have a forecast yet, now’s the time.
Okay, so we have our business bank account, check. We have QuickBooks Online, check. We have a forecast, check. Okay, what’s next?
COMMERCIAL BREAK: One of the most frequent questions I hear is, “What’s the difference between a CFO, a bookkeeper and accountant? And which one do I actually need in my business?” So I have created a quiz to help you figure out just that, pop on over to 100degreesconsulting.com/quiz, answer just a couple questions about your money management style and your business. And we will tell you exactly the right person that you need to help you manage your business money. Again, 100degreesconsulting.com/quiz
Now, the next thing is once you are making over, say $200,000-$300,000-$400,000 a year, you need a bookkeeper. Okay? Maybe you’ve been managing it yourself. Maybe you have been mostly coding your expenses, mostly keeping track of your revenue. One thing I don’t see a lot of entrepreneurs who are doing their own bookkeeping actually doing is reconciling in QuickBooks. And reconciling basically means making sure that all of your transactions that are on your bank statement are accurately in QuickBooks.
If your bank accounts are connected, it usually shouldn’t be a problem, but this is just a great double check. Sometimes QuickBooks can have a glitch right and maybe bring a transaction in twice or forget something or become disconnected or whatever. Your bank reconciliations are a great place to find that out and make sure your numbers are accurate.
Most entrepreneurs are not doing this. If you are doing this, if you’re an entrepreneur that’s doing your own bookkeeping and you’re doing your bank reconciliations, send me a DM on Instagram. I need to send you the biggest high five and like the funniest GIF ever because go you not a lot of people are doing that.
This is the point. Once you’re at like multiple six figures, this is where I see most business owners bringing in a bookkeeper. A bookkeeper does not need to be wildly expensive. You don’t need to be spending $1000s of dollars a month on somebody to keep your books. But this is somebody that is going to be focused on it and they know the ins and outs. They know the little nuances in QuickBooks and with accounting and making sure things are the right buckets for tax purposes and they know all of those things.
So, once you hit over a few 100,000, it is time for a bookkeeper. Also your time is probably better spent on something else in your business. By that point, it’s probably better spent on some sort of revenue generating activity at that point, right? So once you’re over 300,000, now it’s time for a bookkeeper!
Okay, so we’re checking the boxes, right? Let’s go back to the beginning, you got your business bank account, then you get set up with QuickBooks, then you got a forecast, then you got a bookkeeper. Now you’re like, what’s next?
Well, once you’re hitting over, like half a million bucks, you need a CFO, my friend, you need a CFO, and you probably need, maybe some more sophisticated bookkeeping.
So, what a CFO does is we really help you look at your numbers and tell a story about them. What do the numbers mean? And how can we then use this new information, this analysis to make smarter decisions for your business? How can we use these numbers to gain different insights and deduce how to achieve your goals? Right? So we can see trends in the numbers, we can see how things are trending. And we can look at what history has done.
We can use that information to help you make decisions on the next hire for your business, or what would be a good investment, or what we need to double down on in terms of revenue, or what we need to stop doing because there is no ROI. That’s what a CFO is going to do. So once you’re playing with a decent amount of money, $500,000 a year or more.
Having a CFO, somebody who’s really focused on the numbers is going to be helpful in making some of those decisions and being your partner when it comes to the numbers.
So that’s it, right? Then what comes after that? Okay, maybe that’s not it, after you have a CFO? Well, I think this, a little bit depends on your personal situation. But I think I would add in around the time that you’re hiring a bookkeeper, you probably want a tax accountant. And that’s going to be a separate most likely a separate person from your bookkeeper.
If you want, pop back to the episode, and we will leave the link in the show notes. But pop back to the episode where I talked about the four different finance professionals that you might need in your business and in your life, because that really breaks down the difference between a bookkeeper, a tax accountant, a CFO, and a financial advisor. So if you want to go back to that one, that’s a really good one to listen to.
But you may also need a tax accountant around the same time as a bookkeeper. So once you hit the CFO, once you’re at half a million dollars a year and beyond, you’ve got your CFO, you’ve got your bookkeeper, you’ve got all the things. Maybe it’s a financial advisor, maybe it’s somebody to give you advice on how to invest any excess money that you have in your business. I don’t know what that is, you know. So I think that kind of depends. I’m leaving it off.
What I have kind of laid out for you today is the five or six things that you need, and at what point you need them. So hopefully you listened all the way through. So even if you were somebody who was like okay, I need a forecast. I’m going to stop here. Hopefully you listened all the way through so you know what is coming in the future for you, right? So you can think like, Okay, I think the next thing I’m going to need is a bookkeeper. Let me keep my ears open for an awesome bookkeeper.
So let’s just recap real quick. If you’re a newbie, no, or very little revenue and expenses, the first thing I want you to have is a business bank account. And I will say actually business bank accounts, checking and savings please.
The second thing you need once you get a few, some revenues, some expenses coming in and going out. You want QuickBooks Online.
Once you’re hitting six figures, I want you to absolutely have a forecast.
And then, once you’re at multiple six figures, it’s time for a bookkeeper.
Once you’re at half a million and beyond, it’s probably time for a CFO!
So think about, where are you on this little scale that I just mentioned. From newbie all the way to, you know, half a million dollars in revenue and beyond and who do you have in your business? What do you have in your business? Are you at over 100k, and you’re still mixing up your business and personal expenses? Stop right here. Press pause on this podcast and go open up a business bank account. Stop mixing things up. Your future bookkeeper will thank you, trust me.
So think about where you are and what the next thing you need is. I know that finances can get very overwhelming in this whole arena. This whole like part of your business is not something that a lot of people love. Let’s just be honest. I personally do. Because I understand it, right? We like what we know and I know this really well. I understand it really well.
So I like this, I understand it. But if you don’t, if you don’t like it, if you don’t understand it, I hope that that just made things a little bit more clear, so that you’re not overwhelmed thinking that you need something that you don’t. Or thinking that you’re farther along down the road and needing a bookkeeper. You don’t need a bookkeeper if you’re just making a couple $1,000 a month, right?
So hopefully this was helpful. I would love to know what stage you’re in and what you need. And listen, I am here. My DMs on Instagram are always open. I love chatting with you. So if you’re like, wait a second, I think I’m a little bit farther along. But I still don’t have a business bank account. Where should I start?
Send me your questions over on Instagram @stephanie.skry, I would be happy to chat with you over there and answer your questions. I hope this was helpful, my friends and no matter what phase of your business you are at. I’m happy for you. I’m proud of you. And the next step is not that far away. And it’s not that difficult or scary. I promise you. I’m here for you, and I’ll see you next time!
Thanks for listening to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100degreesconsulting.com/podcast. Make sure to snap a screenshot on your phone of this episode and tag me on instagram @stephanie.skry and I’ll be sure to share. Thanks for being here friends, and I’ll see you next time!