Avoid Co-mingling Money
We’ve all done it. Used the company credit or debit card to buy personal items or vice versa.
Whether it’s because one account had money and the other didn’t or because you simply had a mind blip and pulled the wrong card out the truth is money was co-mingled.
The best way I know to overcome this is with systems, which we will talk about in a moment. Understanding why it is so important not to co-mingle I believe will be the best motivator for creating new systems.
When people are doing business with you, it is important that they know they are doing business with a business. The best way to do this is to create an entity with a name that lets people know that is the body they are engaging with.
The reason for this is asset protection or liability protection – however you want to see it. In other words, in the worst case scenario of anything going wrong the buck stops with the business and does not flow over to your personal life.
For example, if you are driving a company car and happen to be in an accident that is your fault then there is a potential for a lawsuit. If the individual is aggressive they may go for more than the insurance limits meaning they are looking at the assets and cash making of your business. If they are super aggressive they may want to also come after you personally and if they are successful “piercing your corporate veil”, or proving you and the business are one, they may win.
Co-mingling funds is one very common way that corporate veils are pierced.
So how do we avoid co-mingling?
I encourage my clients to pay themselves first. Find a figure that can be paid consistently from your business account to your personal account, like a payroll even if you are not on a formal payroll yet. There are many reasons I encourage this process and eliminating co-mingling is one of them.
Now that the money is in the right places for paying the right expenses, you need to have a system in your wallet – one side business cards, one side personal to ensure you are paying for expenses from the right place.
If you happen to co-mingle again then the best next step is ensuring your accounting is documented really well.
Think of your entity as a separate person whom you either lend money too or borrow from. Document this in your accounting. It will help as long as its not a consistent habit.
If we can help let us know!