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Growing up means giving in, letting go of childish fantasies of being different or special, and finally following the crowd. Or wait – maybe growing up means thinking for yourself, even when everyone else is going in a totally different direction. Or maybe it means finding that perfect balance between both ends of the spectrum? When it comes to finding and implementing the best accounting solutions and practices for your small business, it’s best to evaluate these practices in terms of your own individual company and your specific needs.

You wouldn’t jump off a cliff, just because everyone else was doing it….right? So why would you use the same accounting solutions that seem to be working for everyone else? Your accounting software, organizational applications and accounting team may end up as the most popular choice, but only after thoroughly evaluating what they can do for your company. Sometimes what everyone else is doing also happens to be the most common accounting mistakes. Which ones are you making?

1. Fear

To Cloud or Not to Cloud…that is the question. Many companies are still working on internal servers that, while connecting computers to each other via a network, still run the risk of creating problems with multiple versions of files. Spreadsheets that are technically accessible on any network computer may save updates on one machine, and not another. If two employees are contributing to the same document, you could run into some real trouble locating accurate numbers. If your small business does decide to utilize iCloud, Google or Dropbox to update documents in real time, plan on a period of chaos until the transition is complete. While everything is being transferred online, it’s imperative to communicate with your employees and colleagues so everyone knows where to enter data, and when the offline versions of the documents will become obsolete.

2. Sloth

Nothing’s worse than annoying pop-ups. Except maybe those stupid pop-ups that seem to appear constantly on your computer when you’re actually trying to get some work done. If those pop-ups occur within your accounting software, it’s imperative to authorize the updates immediately. Maybe the latest version of iTunes can wait, but the latest version of the application that provides you with integral accounting solutions can’t wait. So don’t be lazy, and don’t procrastinate! The accuracy of your numbers could be compromised, not to mention the security of your files. Besides, selecting “update now” is a great excuse to go grab some coffee, or check your latest fantasy football stats.

3. Vagueness

Feeling a little noncommittal when it comes to accounting solutions for your payables and receivables? Some days it may feel like an accomplishment just to have kept track of what’s coming in and what’s going out. But lumping all deposits and income together isn’t advisable, especially come tax time. Having taxable income in one category, and small business write-offs in another, is essential to keep track of and will make your accountant love you. Heck, with organizational applications like, you don’t even have to do any of the organizing yourself!

While your buddies in the small business club may be afraid of the Cloud, running a four year old version of their accounting software, and adding deposit and payment receipts to a growing pile behind their desk, you know better. As a small business grown-up, you’re ready to compare what everyone else is doing with what everyone should be doing and, in the end, choose whatever works best for you.

What accounting solutions have you tried that no one else thought would work?