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How to Set Up a Small Business Bookkeeping System Pilot Bookkeeping Blog

how to do bookkeeping for small business

This is all of the money that you spend to operate your business which isn’t directly related to the sale of goods or services. Registering your freelance business as an LLC offers limited liability for debts, business name freedom, tax flexibility, and greater credibility. Marketing your business doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Self-employment taxes can take a big bite out of your income—but you can take steps to minimize the impact. Finance and accounting can be intimidating topics for entrepreneurs.

Do small businesses do their own bookkeeping?

A small business can likely do all its own bookkeeping using accounting software. Many of the operations are automated in the software, making it easy to get accurate debits and credits entered.

Rieva Lesonsky is president and CEO of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog With all plans, you have the option of adding Payroll with Gusto for $39 per month. Intelligence Full suite of reports and insights to keep you on track. In fact, this card is so good that our expert even uses it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Step 3: Reconcile your bank accounts

A bookkeeper records all of the financial transactions for a business, while an accountant’s job is to interpret and analyze the data recorded by the bookkeeper. They focus on recording the financial transactions of a business through maintaining records, tracking transactions, and creating financial reports.

If your business had more revenues than it had expenses, it was profitable; if not, it took a loss. The balance sheet takes a snapshot of what your business owns and owes at any particular time. Balance sheets list a business’s assets, liabilities, and equity. The chart of accounts is a list of the accounts you have set up in your bookkeeping system to track all financial activities. This chart forms the skeletal structure that holds your entire bookkeeping system together. Payables – Accounts Payable is also a type of short-term debt. It is the money you owe to the vendors or suppliers who keep your small business running.

Which Style of Bookkeeping Should You Use?

It’s time-consuming to keep up with multiple ledgers and maintain accuracy, so if your plans include growing your business, you’ll need to use accounting software. Keep in mind that in most cases, you can edit the chart of accounts to better suit your business. It’s also a good idea to become familiar with the accounts included in your chart of accounts, which will make it much easier when you begin to enter financial transactions. You also need to understand what debits and credits are before you can start to enter any transactions.

  • Theincome statement is developed by using revenue from sales and other sources, expenses, and costs.
  • Accrual accounting offers a fuller picture of assets and liabilities on your company’s balance sheet, providing a better sense of your profitability.
  • The entry system you choose impacts how you manage your finances and how your bookkeeping processes will work.
  • The more information you can give your CPA at tax time, the more deductions you’ll be able to legitimately claim, and the bigger your tax return will be.
  • At the end of the appropriate time period, the accountant takes over and analyzes, reviews, interprets and reports financial information for the business firm.
  • You can also consult professional bookkeeping communities, accounting blogs or industry forums for available professionals.

We’ll also give you simple software to produce financial statements, keep track of your daily expenses, and help make tax time a breeze. Try setting aside and scheduling a ‘bookkeeping day’ once a month to stay on top of your financials. Use that day to enter any missing transactions, reconcile bank statements, review your financial statements from the last month and make any major changes to your accounting or bookkeeping. Generally speaking, accrual accounting is better for larger, more established businesses. It gives you a more realistic idea of your business’ income and expenses during a period of time and provides a long-term view of the business that cash accounting can’t provide. Lenders and investors want a clear idea of your business’ financial state before giving you money.


The mobile app makes it easy to track mileage while driving and capture photos of receipts for business expenses. This is helpful for freelancers who don’t have a separate bank account for their business activity.

  • It is sometimes referred to as the Profit and Loss Statement.
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  • Enter some basic business information and we’ll send you up to five free quotes customized to your unique bookkeeping needs.
  • For this reason, many businesses hire bookkeepers or accountants to maintain or review their books.
  • We expect many to look at consolidating services, which will increase demand for cohesive financial platforms that help small businesses manage their money end to end.
  • They generally do all data entry into accounting ledgers or software.

You’ll also need to create an invoice template with clear terms, such as «payment is due in 30 days of invoice date,» so you can ask clients for payment. Once a customer pays, file a copy of the invoice with the cancelled check or other proof of payment.

Ready to outsource your bookkeeping, so you can focus on your business?

It can often be difficult to keep the different terms involved in small business bookkeeping straight. If either part-time or small business bookkeeping in-house bookkeeping is not the ideal solution, switching to outsourced bookkeeping or accounting could be your best option.

How difficult is bookkeeping?

Challenges bookkeepers face

Most people would say that the work of a bookkeeper is hard. In addition to having basic bookkeeping education, one should be familiar with laws. Frequent changes in the legislation further complicate this work.

The information provided by accounting can also be used for making comparisons between companies, industries, countries, etc. Entrepreneurs must be on top of all financial aspects of their small businesses to ensure financial stability. Trulysmall Invoices is their free plan, which offers the ability to send invoices, track payments, and send estimates.

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