|Small Business Bookkeeping|
Bookkeeping refers to keeping the financial records of a business operation. A bookkeeper, business owner, or family member usually performs this function. An accountant may be needed to interpret and adjust these financial records, prepare financial statements, and file tax returns.
Importance of bookkeepingYou need financial information to help you run a business, even a small business. Cash is the life-blood of any business operation. Without cash, or the ability to get cash, your business probably will fail. Financial information tells you the sources and uses of cash. This information can serve as an early warning that you will run out of cash unless you make some changes in your business operation. This same information can help you minimize unnecessary uses of cash. It also can help you develop additional sources of cash. The financial information for your business activities should be kept separate from your personal activities. The best way to do this is to have a separate business checking account.
Do-it-yourself bookkeepingIn this type of small business bookkeeping, the business owner or family member keeps the financial records. This may be done using hand-written records, or it may be done on your computer using an accounting program. The person who performs the bookkeeping may need to read a book on bookkeeping or accounting to know what to do. This type of book can be found at a local library, a local bookstore, or an online bookstore.
Hired bookkeeperYou may want to hire a bookkeeper or an outside bookkeeping firm to maintain your financial records. This person or firm should have the qualifications and experience needed to perform this service. You should have confidence in this hired bookkeeper. You must be willing to share your financial information and discuss financial matters with this bookkeeper.
Online softwareAnother way to maintain your small business bookkeeping records is to use online software. The Outright website is recommended for this purpose. To begin using their services, you give them links to your various online business accounts. Then they can access the information from these online accounts and feed this information into your accounting system. Outright maintains your accounts using IRS-approved tax categories. This simplifies the preparation of your income tax return.
You can review your Outright financial information from any computer with Internet access. They even provide an iPhone app for this purpose. Besides the information that they automatically download from your online accounts, they allow you to enter other information such as your business mileage. Outright provides many types of useful reports to help you run your business operation. These reports include your profit and loss, your sources of income, your best customers, your biggest vendors, and your sales by state.
Final thoughtsThe financial information provided by your small business bookkeeping or accounting system helps you with both day-to-day business decisions and long-term business planning. You can't run your business without it.
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