Module 2: Recordkeeping
Whichever solution you choose to keep and manage records, be sure that you take the time needed to get the recordkeeping training necessary to use it effectively. As the old saying goes, “you only get as much out of it as you put into it.” If you’re not comfortable with all the features, you won’t use the tools to streamline your workflows, so you have more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Regardless of which tool(s) you choose, here are some ways to get the training you need.
Training and free trials
Most, if not all, programs offer free trials so you can try before you buy and helpful tutorials to guide you on its use. Before starting a trial, spend some time on the vendor’s website to familiarize yourself with the features and don’t be shy about asking questions.
Many websites offer training and webinars on specific business productivity tools and the art of recordkeeping. Some of these are free; others charge a fee. Many of these are self-guided so you can move through the information at your own pace.
YouTube is more than just a collection of cute cat videos. There are plenty of good tutorials on software, including ones that offer helpful tips and tricks that only an experienced user would know. These videos are free to you, but the person teaching the course may also offer paid training or individualized training sessions.
Many community colleges, community centers, technical schools and some city governments offer business and computer courses. These classes range from accounting to training on specific software packages. If you’re looking for courses at a community college, look for the Continuing Education or Adult Learning section on the website. These are non-degree programs suited for the general public.
SCORE executives offer one-on-one counseling, including assistance with using productivity tools, conducting proper accounting and developing recordkeeping processes a small business can use. To find your local SCORE office, visit https://www.score.org.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
This SBA Resource partner is comprised of a network of centers throughout the U.S. SBDCs provide a variety of business training, coaching and counseling services. They can also provide small businesses with financial, marketing, production, and operations assistance. All of the services offered by SBDCs are free and confidential. Visit Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to find a center near you.
Accountants & Bookkeepers
If you are working with an accountant or bookkeeper, ask them what tools to use to keep accurate records. If you also need to do payroll and invoicing, ask them about a solution that can do it all rather than having several different systems specializing in a single aspect of your business.