How to Keep Up Your Bookkeeping Amid the Holiday Season (Yes, It’s Possible)

Business people holding champagne and sparklers

Alright, we’re going to ask you to slow your scroll and get ready for some knowledge to drop like a ton of coal.

The ho-ho-holidays are on the way, and nothing is stopping Santa’s sleigh—that includes small business bookkeeping, accounting, invoicing, and locating the perfect eggnog recipes. The holidays may be stressful, but that doesn’t mean you get a free pass on bettering your business.

It seems like a good idea to pump the brakes a bit since it’s the end of the year. After all, you’ve worked hard and deserve a break. However, ceasing everything can be incredibly detrimental to your business. This is the time of year to be thoughtful and patient— the perfect opportunity to review your contracts, double-check invoices, and create a new budget for 2021.

Let’s just take a moment to imagine your future self, okay? You wake up on January 1 with the fire in your belly and your eyes on the prize. You whisper softly into the ether, “This is the year that I am finally going to [insert that deliciously decadent dream you asked Santa for].”

You don’t want to be catching up for lost time, right? You want to start the new year out with perfect checklists, meticulous spreadsheets, and goals that you’re ready to crush. That means taking the time to work on your holiday bookkeeping starting now.

We get it, honey. You are extra le tired. Tu es mucho burned out. 2020 has been the enemy of your nightly slumber. And you are done. But that’s precisely why it’s essential to keep up (or catch up) with your small business bookkeeping. You may not have been quite as diligent as you should have been during this challenging year. Here are a few ways to keep things moving through the holidays. Jingle this way…


If you’re like most small business owners, you probably have things you haven’t gotten to yet. There are dishes in the sink. Invoices to send out. Promotional emails to schedule. The best advice we can give any small business during the holidays is not to put things off tomorrow.

But…A Christmas Story is on TV!

No. Put that remote down.

If you have an email campaign for Valentine’s Day toggling around the genius brain of yours, start working on the messaging. Maybe you are ready to take on a virtual assistant, start interviewing. There are 3 sheets left of TP in the bathroom—change the roll. Do an inventory check on what’s going on in your life. Here is a very merry list of questions to consider so that you can start your new year off knowing exactly where you’re heading:

  • Are your books up-to-date?
  • Have you sent out all your invoices?
  • Are your accounts in order?
  • What does your cash flow look like?
  • Have you implemented the right automations?
  • Where are your keys?

This seems like basic knowledge, and you’re probably like, “Witch, please! Halloween was barely a thing, and you’re over here, making me think about New Year’s already?” Umm, yeah. Yes, we totally are. Because as an entrepreneur, small business bookkeeping and accounting are your mainstay. Yep, this year has been rough. Yet, it’s vital to remember that it was much, much rougher on businesses that didn’t have their financial house in order. Ignore it at your peril.

You should be counting your cash on the regular. As in weekly. Got it? Okay then.


‘Tis the season to gift with gratitude. Everyone knows the holiday season can really burn a hole in your pocket. Even though this year looks a little different, that doesn’t mean there won’t be unexpected expenses at the end of the year. In our opinion, the biggest loss of the holidays this year is missing out on the pleasure of watching the office manager really let her hair down after a few martinis at the holiday party. The typical things like bonuses, secret Santa presents, gift cards, matching elf onesies, etc. can really rack up. By getting a handle on your end-of-year numbers now, you’ll reduce stress when the credit card statements start rolling in on January 15.


As much as you may not want to admit it, you’ve got a list of some naughty need-to-dos that you haven’t wanted to take on yet. Don’t get too hard on yourself. We know all about this (what’s up, my grinches). As much as we feel your pain, your “presents” is requested (sorry, that was terrible). The point is, turning to technology is a sure-fire way to raise your elf-esteem and get your accounting tasks done. Not really sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with a few easy applications to get your list checked off. Because truth be told, yule be sorry if you don’t get it done one way or another.


Your team is what makes your business sleigh, right? Employees are the most important asset to any company; that’s why you must do them right by paying them promptly. Utilizing an invoicing program can ensure that you are eliminating mistakes, documenting effectively and efficiently, as well as managing cash flow. More than anything, you’ll keep your team members happy, and that’s the biggest thing you can do for your business (holidays or not).

Accounts Payable

Your relationship with your suppliers is key to your business. Utilizing a program that automatically pays your invoices can be a real game-changer. Since it’s the holidays, take the extra effort to let your suppliers know that you’d like to receive your bills on a specific date so you can fulfill them in time. Use the automated scheduling function to get those bills paid, so you don’t overlook them later when you’re celebrating. That’s why it’s important to turn to digital platforms that can help you avoid missed payments, last-minute adjustments, or major mistakes that will get the tax man’s notice.


Some of the most common mistakes made during the holidays start here. Business owners have to manually do their own bookkeeping when employees are on holiday or hours are all askew. Scheduling automated, recurring invoices will lead to a merry holiday for all. Having money flowing in is important every day of the year, but even more so towards the end of the year. Consistent cash flow makes it easier for you to plan and implement your business strategies come January 1.


Ugh, sorry that one made us cringe too. In all seriousness, your cash flow should always be on top of your list. You know that timeless, classic song, Gin and Juice? There’s a piece of lyrical genius we want you to never forget: “with my mind on my money and my money on my mind.” That’s right, get in the cash flow. No matter how busy the end of the year is, staying on top of your small business bookkeeping means you know what is coming in and out. Keeping a clear picture will prepare you for incidentals in the future, as well as some much-needed spending. So, turn up the Snoop Dog and dive deep into your cash flow funds. Because a financial hangover is a real holiday bummer.


It’s time to really spruce things up because we all know one thing is headed your way like a reindeer powered sleigh with a fat guy behind the wheel: TAXES. They might not be on your mind now, but you might be seeing a pattern here with all of our holiday tips and tricks… start yesterday. With all of your holiday shopping and spreading cheer, today’s business landscape is a tricky little devil. You can implement so many tax-saving efforts utilizing some technology, having a heart-to-heart with your CPA, or taking some time out to optimize those deductions. That’s right, let’s get lit with your taxes! This year might be a little bit more complicated than others. Be sure to keep track of your expenses during the holidays and keep records of any potential deductions.


This year was so… it was so… weird? Ridiculous? Confusing? Confining? A cat jumping off a shelf, onto the curtains, and holding onto dear life? What we need from you is to keep maintaining the momentum and finish super strong. Don’t stop working on your marketing strategy. Or tracking your expenses and sales. Keep an eye on your inventory. Everything you’ve been working so incredibly hard on all year shouldn’t fall to the wayside because of the holidays.


Sometimes the most challenging thing is getting started in the first place. It’s all merry and bright when you have the intention to keep at your bookkeeping, but it’s another thing to actually do it. Don’t worry, it takes one to know one. As it snow happens, our holiday gift to you is a straightforward small business bookkeeping task list that you can use to help you get going (see, we’re not elfish). It doesn’t cover everything, but it’s a great start to getting organized. Take about 15 minutes every day to take on everything we’ve listed. You’d be surprised how much freer you’ll start feeling once you get in the bookkeeping flow.

  • Organize your paper receipts
  • File your digital receipts
  • Open and file any finance-related mail
  • Do 10 lines of bookkeeping
  • Check for unpaid invoices
  • Send invoice reminders
  • Update your budget
  • Compare your budget to your account funds
  • Look for mistakes or accidental expenses
  • Shred financial documents you don’t need
  • Run a profit and loss report

Here at Alchemy Accounting, we know that the snuggle is real.

All we care about is that you sleigh, queen! Things may feel overwhelming this time of year, but the sooner you start your holiday bookkeeping, the sooner you’ll be able to pour yourself a huge hot toddy and bask in your newfound elf-esteem. However, if you feel like things are snowballing around you, that’s what we are here for.

As a small business owner, independence soots you, but you’re not expected to do it all on your own. That’s why we’re here, to make sure that you are feelin’ pine when it comes to your business and finances. Give us a shout because, at the end of the day, we know you’re up to snow good.

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Michelle Cooper

Michelle Cooper is a powerhouse entrepreneur, CEO of Alchemy Accounting & Bookkeeping, author of Confessions of a Money Rock Star, Your MoneyDate Journal, and co-author of the collaborative book, Women Rising. She has helped many business owners climb out of entrepreneurial poverty into the land of profit.