5 bookkeeping tips

The effects of work-related stress and how having a bookkeeper could help.

Not only is April the start of springtime and a new tax year, but it is also International Stress Awareness Month. Held every April since 1992, this annual event is all about increasing public awareness of the causes and cures for stress.

This year the Stress Management Society, which heads the monthly initiative, is encouraging people to regain connection, certainty, and control in their lives through the use of daily challenges. They are encouraging members of the public to pick one action to benefit their physical, mental and emotional well-being and carry it out every day.

If you have a small business, you are probably no stranger to stress. There is a lot to remember and even more to juggle – especially if you are doing your own bookkeeping. At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we understand that not everyone who starts their own business is well-versed in the challenging and complex work that is often required to stay on top of your finances. So, you might put it off, or spend a prolonged period just struggling on your own. As a result, all of this work can keep piling up, creating more and more stress, and taking a toll on your wellbeing. But what actions can you take to better it?

How stress can affect you

Stress can affect you in all sorts of ways. A moderate amount can be good. Without stress, our ancestors would not have been able to stay alert to potential dangers in their environment. The environment may have changed – we are no longer in caves – and so have the dangers – we are no longer worried about the potential of being attacked by a sabre-toothed tiger. But the response in the body has stayed the same. According to the Stress Management Society, when we are stressed, our bodies go into what you have probably heard referred to as ‘fight or flight mode’, releasing a mix of hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine to prepare us for action. This was useful when we have to flee from or face up to real danger. The problem comes when our bodies enter this state in inappropriate situations such as at home or work, or in response to a looming deadline.

The bodies’ response to stress will differ from person to person and can be emotional, physical, or behavioural, but it often exacerbates pre-existing problems an individual can have. This makes it hard to pinpoint specific or universal effects of stress. However, the University of Cambridge has observed common effects of work-related stress, including:

Behavioural Effects:

Substance misuse
Lack of punctuality
Situational displays of ‘inappropriate behaviour’

Emotional Effects:

Frequently fluctuating emotional state

Effects on the work organisation:

High absenteeism and labour turnover
Poor timekeeping, motivation, performance, and productivity
Low morale
Increased employee complaints, ill-health, and accident & incident reports

Physical Effects:

Sleep disturbances
Gastrointestinal upset
Raised blood pressure

Prorogued stress can be especially bad for the body and, according to the Stress Management Society, can contribute to many serious health conditions like heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, strokes, ulcers, diabetes, IBS, tooth loss, joint pain, miscarriage, allergies, and alopecia.

How a bookkeeper can help you

So, what can a bookkeeper do? If you run a small business and are finding the work of staying on top of your finances is causing you stress, you may want to consider enlisting the help of a professional bookkeeper.

This is different from the role of an accountant, whose job is to give you an overview of trends, profitability, cash flow, and other financial factors. A bookkeeper provides more hands-on support in taking care of your books through the regular recording, tracking and management of your business’s financial transactions and data. This will allow you to reliably measure your performance and help to formulate the proper strategies to better position your business within its market.

A professional bookkeeping business can help you with the job of managing your books by:

Carrying out data entry
Balancing bank ledgers
Preparing bank reconciliations
Tracking income and expenses
Carrying out VAT returns
Maintaining the general ledger
And sometimes even completing payroll and also producing monthly Profit & Loss reports.

Save yourself from the stress of bookkeeping by outsourcing to Rosemary Bookkeeping today. To find out more about our services, or to chat with our experts, give us a call on 0345 862 0072, or find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business now.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer