Monday, March 5, 2012

Take Control of Your Biz Bookkeeping in 10 Simple Steps

ATTENTION: If you're here from the March 13th newsletter... I messed up the link. HERE is the link you are looking for... sorry for the confusion!

Today's the day! If you've been reading the newsletter, you already know I'm super excited to have my very first guest blogger, Holly from Accounting Spot! Read her 10 simple steps and if you have any questions, leave a comment.

Hi! This is Holly from Accounting SPOT :) I am so excited to be here with Kelly today! I am an Accountant and I love simplifying bookkeeping for small business owners. Having had a stationery shop on Etsy in the past, and working with many small business owners (on and off Etsy) I've become familiar with the trials, tribulations and concerns of taking transactions and creating useful financial data from them.

I think just getting started is often a huge part of the battle. Today I want to share with you, 10 steps that will help ease the pain of small business accounting. So! Lets get started:

1) Know the very basic. 
It might go without saying... but then again it might not. 
Revenue - Expenses = Profit

2) Separate your business funds from your personal funds. 
Bank, PayPal & Credit cards. The books are SO much easier to balance when there are only related transactions to deal with. This is not a requirement for Sole Proprietors, but I highly suggest it.

3) Downloading detail is your friend.
 Etsy, PayPal and probably your bank and credit cards have the option to download transaction detail in to excel and/or QuickBooks. USE THIS OPTION! The less data entry you have to do, the more time and accuracy you gain.

4) Keep your paper (and computer files) organized.
You don't need to enter your transactions in to an accounting program daily. But, if you keep all the information organized in between entry points, entry will go much smoother.

5) Accounting software: Start simple...& free.  
Start with the free versions and work your way up as your business grows. Some of the options I endorse (and work closely with, so feel free to contact me if you have questions):

6) Use the Schedule C as a guide for your expense categories.  
It is not the end-all, be-all of expense categories, but it is a great starting point. Use these categories and then add in your own subcategories as necessary for your business.

7) Reconcile your accounts.  
Doing this assures you know what is coming and going from your bank/PayPal accounts. It verifies that all data is included and the amounts are accurate.

8)Surround yourself with like minded entrepreneurs.
  We live in a unique entrepreneurial world. Finding communities of other micro business owners gives us a good level of support. Not only for general business, but even for accounting based questions too! It is helpful to know what others in a similar situation would do. I enjoy the Etsy business Team, the forums on Accounting SPOTand even twitter.

9) When in doubt, research the answer.  
Just be sure you are using a reliable resource when doing your research. Some that I use often are:
The QuickBooks Community Forum (answers to many questions beyond just QB)
The Small Business AdministrationBusiness.Gov

10) Review and use.
  After taking the time to create accurate financial reports, be sure to USE them! Financial reports are the basis of sound business decisions. Knowing the health of your business allows you to make good choices for your business' future.

You can find Holly on her website, Accounting Spot, connect with her on Facebook, and chat her up on Twitter.

Don't miss the newsletter tomorrow, Holly has another great tip for us all! Sign up if you haven't already:

Did you enjoy Holly's post? Then let's Tweet about it!
Click HERE for the Geekery Tweetable!


  1. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to receive one MORE tip. It is my favorite! :)

    Thanks for sharing this Kelly!

  2. Thanks for the great tips! Wonderful advice!

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