Health & Medical Self-Improvement

How to Stay on Top of Your Finances

What happens when you spend a lot of time hunting for jobs, chasing clients and trying to meet deadlines? You often forget to keep a track of what's due to you, what's outstanding and what fees are appropriate.
Making note of your accounts as and when is relevant is a simple way of staying on top of things.
In addition, use some or all of the following to ensure you never lose an invoice, miss a bill or forget to collect.
1.
Keep clear and accurate accounts.
I like a simple excel spreadsheet which I update after each job, when it's booked and when I'm paid.
However, depending on the scope of your business,you may want to invest in special book-keeping software.
2.
Keep a separate income system for filing your personal income and the income earned from your writing.
3.
Keep a record of your transactions.
Once again, I use a simple excel sheet for income earned and expenses paid out.
If you have invested in software, it should take care of this.
4.
Keep all cheque stubs for relevant transactions.
I tend never to keep receipts, but I do have a system which tracks all my credit card payments.
For courses undertaken or major expenses, I do keep a hold of my receipts.
A simple accordion folder works well in which to throw receipts as and when you receive them.
5.
File all relevant documents especially those which you will later need for tax-purposes.
6.
Edit all material that is sent out to clients, including invoices.
The latter point stems from personal experience when I sent out invoices to a number of clients, having happily printed the wrong return address on them! 7.
Always maintain a professional front when dealing with clients and suppliers, colleagues and networking friends.
I would never have got a response from a client who owed me money, had I been rude when I didn't receive my cheque last year.
I could have ranted and raved and insisted on payment, only to discover that a) he had indeed sent the money and b) the fault was entirely mine in that I had an incomplete address on my invoice.
Instead, by acting professional, a year later I have received prompt payment as soon as I discovered my error.
8.
Having said that, if you do need to be paid and you know the client is out to deliberately withhold funds, you need to take immediate steps to receive what's due to you.
© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva Want to use this article? You may if you include this blurb: Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience.
To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write! on http://www.
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