LARAMIE — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Robert Condie, WSBDC southwest regional director
“What is the importance of good recordkeeping in a slower economy?” Frank, Rock Springs
Information is a primary organizational asset that is needed now and into the future. The following points will go over why it is as important, if not more important, to have good recordkeeping in a period of an economic downturn than in good times.
— Good recordkeeping helps you find and share the information you need: Your business relies on complete and accurate information for it to function daily. Good recordkeeping can help you find and process the information needed. It promotes the creation of full and accurate records from the start. It also involves storing and managing records appropriately so that the information will be available when you need to use it.
— Good recordkeeping results in information that can be trusted: Good and accurate information enables the user to trust the information that is being looked at. Thanks to the proper recordkeeping processes, you can be confident that information is authentic and correct, and that you will be able to use that information without worrying about the source.
— Good recordkeeping helps to make sound decisions: Without good information, making sound business decisions can be difficult. When the information used is full and complete, decisions that are made off of the information will be easier and better informed. Plain and simple, good recordkeeping helps you to conduct a better business.
— Good recordkeeping protects you and your organization from risk: Good recordkeeping can be your proof that you have made considered decisions and taken appropriate actions. Records become your protection if you are questioned or challenged. Without them, you are at risk. Good recordkeeping not only can protect you, but it also can support your organization in legal or other challenges. It also protects the rights of your clients and ensures that they have what they are entitled to. Without records, your organization and your clients are at risk.
Good recordkeeping also can help you comply with a range of legislation and prevent legal challenges from arising. It is a powerful risk mitigation tool. It also ensures that records are destroyed in a timely way, which again mitigates risk. In an economic downturn, this can be one of the best defenses against costly miscues or legal challenges.
— Good recordkeeping can save you money: Good recordkeeping also helps to routinely purge time-expired business information and, therefore, save money. If, by chance, you are audited, that good information will save time and money when you can hand over complete information to the auditor with confidence.
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The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.