Bookkeeping Tips: 15 Things Every Small Business Needs to Know

Bookkeeping Tips for Small Businesses

Another type of accounting method is the accrual-based accounting method. This method records both invoices and bills even if they haven’t been paid yet. This is a highly recommended method because it tells the company’s financial status based on known incoming and outgoing funds. Because the funds are accounted for in the bookkeeping, you use the data to determine growth. Bookkeeping is the backbone of your accounting and financial systems, and can impact the growth and success of your small business. It encompasses a variety of day-to-day tasks, including basic data entry, categorizing transactions, managing accounts receivable and running payroll.

Even if you’re just planning to offer bookkeeping services remotely as a sole proprietor, it can still be helpful to flesh out the exact steps you’ll need to take to succeed. Online Bank AccountsBank accounts with online accessibility is definitely the way to go now. If you don’t carry a receipt book with you everywhere you go, you can always rely on technology. Keep track of your cash using cloud software that links through multiple devices, like your phone or laptop. This way, your cash-tracking document or app is always readily accessible. You can use your streamlined online system to note how much cash is exchanged and why.

What is the Difference Between Single-Entry and Double-Entry Bookkeeping?

This is money that you’re due to receive, hence its placement in your general ledger under Accounts Receivable. Tracking purchasers who have paid against those who haven’t illustrate your company’s accounts receivable turnover ratio. In the cash method of accounting, you record the transaction only when the money has actually changed hands. So, even though you received an invoice in January, you’d record the expense as a cash transaction in February, on the date that it was paid. As a business owner, you’ll most likely have to create a complete financial report at least once a year, for tax purposes.

  • Below are some of the most common statements a bookkeeper uses to monitor activities.
  • Pam owns PB Tax and Accounting Services, and she has over 25 years of bookkeeping experience.
  • Regardless of the type of business you run, all business owners should write a business plan.
  • Making sure your records are well-organized can save you a big headache if you’re ever subjected to an audit.
  • For help finding that site, simply type “My state’s comptroller” in any search engine and look for a link with a URL that ends in
  • Every time you perform a financial transaction—for instance, make a sale, accept a client’s invoice, or pay a bill—you should record that transaction in your general ledger.

When you make a cash payment, ask for a receipt to support your recordkeeping when you update the transactions later. Cash may be king, but it needs a bit of extra attention when it comes to DIY bookkeeping. You don’t ever want to lose track of your cash, and unlike checks or online payments, cash doesn’t come with handy documentation. Thankfully, once you have a simple system in place, documenting your cash flow is easy.

Consistently review financial reports

This is particularly true once the business accounts for its operational costs and recurring expenses. Business accounting and reporting standards vary slightly from province to province, so it’s important that you find a bookkeeper that’s based in the same region where you’re operating your business. If your business incorporates brick-and-mortar sales with online sales, payroll will be different between the two. To analyze which type of sales amount to the largest profit for your company, you must segregate in-person sales from online sales. This means you’ll have an accurate valuation of the item and your expenses related to depreciation are accurate.

Bookkeeping Tips for Small Businesses

Plus, you can ensure your payroll account has enough money even if the primary account suffers. You can get additional help with paycheck issuing, employee tax withholding, and payroll tax return filing. When you implement a proper bookkeeping system, you can get up-to-date, accurate records, avoid missing transactions, and have better control over your business savings account. Some bookkeepers choose to obtain certifications for their business.


We’ll show you examples of how to record a transaction as both a credit and debit later on. Along with reading this page to get a quick bookkeeping overview, we always recommend meeting with a CPA (certified public accountant) or bookkeeper before you open your doors. A financial expert can give advice specific to your unique business and give you a more in-depth look at basic bookkeeping principles. The income statement is a holistic report that shows revenue and expenses over a set period of time. It can be produced for one period to gain insight into the month’s profitability, or produced for the year to period. And sometimes it can be produced to include comparisons against the prior year’s same period or the prior year’s year-to-period data.

Bookkeeping Tips for Small Businesses

If the ratio of income to debt is small, you’re operating with a narrow profit margin. Analyze where you can cut some costs, and you can improve a narrow profit margin. You can also track your gross margin weekly, biweekly, or monthly based on your sales. Your goal in bookkeeping is to keep the most accurately detailed account of business financials. Determining the historical cost of something you’ve purchased or acquired is merely accounting for the purchase or acquisition at the then-rate you paid. When creating the company’s balance sheet, the FIFO method of valuation offers costs that most closely resemble the costs most recently incurred.

When you first start a small business, you will hear the terms bookkeeping and accounting used almost interchangeably. There is a difference in bookkeeping and accounting in your business firm. Small businesses may have both bookkeeping and accounting functions, and they are synergistic.

Bookkeeping Tips for Small Businesses

Understanding how to calculate Net Present Value is beneficial for your long-term financial planning. Building a consistent bookkeeping practice can feel daunting, particularly if this is your first rodeo. But it doesn’t have to be difficult or painful, especially if you build healthy habits into your routine from the get-go. In NeatBooks, for example, you can upload a picture of any bill, receipt, invoice, or other source document from your phone.

It can take a professional bookkeeper 2 to 4 hours to process one month’s worth of bank transactions, finalize a bank reconciliation, and produce a set of reports. … And they will have to be processed if they are mixed up with the business transactions. They have to be entered into the bookkeeping system and coded to drawings, taking up precious time that the bookkeeper could just spend entering business data. All new business owners must make it a priority to open a new bank account for their business, preferably an account with online access, to keep business funds separate from personal funds.

  • Creating audit trails in accounting can help your business prevent fraud, improve accuracy, and find missing transactions.
  • At Sleek, we provide accounting services to aid you with an efficient and seamless tax process.
  • Accounting is the interpretation and presentation of that financial data, including aspects such as tax returns, auditing and analyzing performance.
  • This can help you keep your own business expenses organized and separate.
  • In publishing them online, we were thrilled to see an influx of entrepreneurs with super interesting businesses making excellent use of Reckon payroll.
  • Make sure to read online reviews, compare different pricing options, and see which features are included in the service.
  • At its core, bookkeeping is about recording financial data, while accounting is about interpreting financial data.

A good practice is to transfer one amount on a regular basis, such as once a week, from the business account into the personal account. The personal account is then used to buy the groceries, books, toys etc. These tips show you how to do bookkeeping and will increase your ability and knowledge to operate Bookkeeping Tips for Small Businesses your business with skill. It’ll save you countless hours of work and rework in the long run, and all of those hours translate into time you should be investing in growing your business. Small business bookkeeping is a necessary business task, but if it’s not your favorite activity, you’re not alone.

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