4 Reasons Not to Mix Business and Personal Expenses

As an entrepreneur, are you keeping your business and personal finances separate? If not, it's time to make a change. You may be asking, "What is the problem with mixing my business and personal funds?" In my opinion, there are a few reasons not to mix money in the same account.



1. It makes your bookkeeping more difficult.


When you have your personal and business funds together in the same account, it takes time to figure out which deposits and expenses are for the business and which are personal. Even if it is easy to determine, if you are doing bookkeeping with software, all transactions have to be entered so the accounts can be reconciled. That means extra time has to be taken to enter transactions that have nothing to do with the business. You may only want to put in the business transactions and skip the personal ones, but then you can't reconcile the accounts as transactions are not included. Doing it this way could inadvertently lead to missing transactions that should be included in the accounting (either income, expenses, or perhaps both.) It's a sloppy way to do the work.



2. You won't have good financial reports


If your business and personal expenses are all entered in the software to reconcile, then there are additional items included on the income statement and/or balance sheet that are not related to the business. If posting personal transactions to expense accounts (such as telephone, utilities, etc) the expenses are overstated. If posting all personal expenses to a draw account, the equity portion of the balance sheet shows more drawn out of the business than would have been listed had the owner only taken a distribution from the business for support. The income figures are probably also incorrect as most people usually have some deposits personally that don't come from the business. Entering it in the software overstates how much money was earned by the business.



3. It makes the tax return preparation more difficult.


Because your tax return is on business income and expenses, the CPA will have to figure out what is the true profit of the business by reviewing all the income and expenses and removing personal transactions from the equation. Whether filing a personal or corporate return, correct figures need to be reported to properly calculate the tax or refund due.



4. It's an audit waiting to happen.


Are you looking forward to being audited? If not, keep your business and personal transactions separate. If a tax agency looks at your bank statements and bookkeeping file, they may adjust your tax return and assess a balance due notice. They may disallow expenses and include deposits as income because your business and personal items were mixed together.



You may think it's not a big deal to mix funds, or think it's a hassle to have multiple bank accounts. However, it is not as much of a hassle as having to figure out your true business figures, get the correct information on a tax return, and prevent the tax agencies from adjusting your tax return. If you don't want to pay bank fees, look into credit unions that generally don't charge fees if you meet their less stringent requirements than banks have. You'll have an easier time reconciling your accounts, knowing how profitable you are, and it will make your CPA's life so much easier!


Your Numbers Guy is here to help!


I don't mix personal with business expenses and it give me much more control over each.   With decades of experience in finance, supply chain, and process improvement I too have ventured into the world of small business and self-employment.   My ultimate goals are to offer my experience and skills to entrepreneurs/small business where you have access to a professional CPA at affordable rates.   At the basic level bookkeeping & accounting is available but the services we offer are much more than that.     


I would look forward to having a conversation with you.     Let's meet!

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