Small Business Bookkeeping: A Beginners Guide

bookkeeping small business

If either part-time or in-house bookkeeping is not the ideal solution, switching to outsourced bookkeeping or accounting could be your best option. Many businesses are concerned about switching over to outsourcing, not understanding how the pieces fit together with this model. But with today’s advancements in technology, outsourcing has never been easier.

  • Our team of CPAs, accountants, and bookkeepers have decades of collective experience refining accounting processes for businesses in all industries and sizes.
  • If you’re using spreadsheet software as your GL, you’ll need to enter each transaction by hand.
  • One of the most basic tips to follow is that you maintain daily records.
  • Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on bookkeeping for small businesses.
  • A cash account is a central repository for all of your business transactions and is used to track all financial activity.
  • There are three basic documents that will help you answer critical questions about your business.

The software can help you avoid human error in accounting and provide more accurate financial statements. Bookkeeping is crucial for any small business as it helps to monitor the financial health of the company, make informed decisions, and ensure compliance with tax laws. So, whether it’s done by hand or with the help of software, keeping track of the financial transactions of your small business is a must. When customers don’t pay on time, your business’s cash flow can dry up fast. Pay attention to when your receivables are due and contact late-paying customers right away to nudge them along. Even if a customer is having financial problems, you may be able to set up a payment plan to get at least some of what you’re owed.

Outsource Payroll

It also involves checking for errors, learning about your specific software and looking for ways to streamline different parts of your accounting processes. To understand better who has paid and who still needs to pay, business owners must incorporate a system for accounts receivable, or how the company gets paid for delivering goods and services. This includes generating and sending invoices and tracking payments. Bookkeeping is the process of tracking income and expenses in your business. It lets you know how you’re doing with cash flow and how your business is doing overall. Staying on top of your bookkeeping is important so that you don’t have unexpected realizations about account balances and expenses.

bookkeeping small business

The companies that make small business accounting software have worked hard to present this discipline as simply and pleasantly as possible. Notably, Intuit QuickBooks Online and FreshBooks are among the easiest accounting programs to use. Keeping a tight grip on finances is critical for the success of small businesses and freelancers. We’ve tested the best small business accounting tools to help keep your company in the black.


There could also be inconsistencies, such as the name of the company you purchased something from and how they are labeled on your credit card statement; it’s best to investigate these regularly. Reviewing these accounts on a routine basis can also help you keep on top of your financial position and identify potential issues or areas of opportunity. Setting up and managing payroll is often part of the bookkeeping process in a small business. Some businesses use separate payroll software, which can connect or integrate into any bookkeeping or accounting software system. Journals are the place bookkeepers store their records of daily transactions.

Best accounting software for UK small business 2023 – compared – Simply Business knowledge

Best accounting software for UK small business 2023 – compared.

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Though often used interchangeably, bookkeeping and accounting are distinct functions. After the books have been closed, year-end financial reports can be generated. This gives you the most complete picture of your business’s financial performance for the year. Businesses need to file IRS Form W-2 and Form 1099-NEC each year. Copies also need to be sent to your employees and contractors or made available to them digitally or via an online HR management service, like Gusto. Let’s review some tasks involved in bookkeeping, especially as they relate to your business’s day-to-day operations.

Accounts Payable/Receivable

You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy. A per transaction fee is charged for accepting payments as well. Founded in 2003 in Toronto, FreshBooks started as just an invoicing software. Over time, more features have been added, and as of 2023, FreshBooks has over 30 million users.

If you’re growing, the outsourced bookkeeping service should be able to help you scale by adding full service accounting when you are ready for it. They focus on recording the financial transactions of a business through maintaining records, tracking transactions, and creating financial reports. Perfect for small business owners who aren’t ready for full-fledged accounting software. Most accounting software today is based on double-entry accounting, and if you ever hire a bookkeeper or accountant to help you with your books, double-entry is what they’ll use. There are many steps small businesses can take to minimize their income taxes. Throughout my career as both a practicing certified public accountant and an educator, I’ve developed a list of easy-to-use tax tips that I am happy to share.

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If you want to outsource your small-business bookkeeping, there are several ways to find experienced bookkeepers. Ensures that you’re not personally held liable for any debts or issues related to your business. If you’ve accurately kept track of and reported your employees’ salaries and wages, you can claim them with the Employee Retention Credit.

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.

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Analyze Your Accounting Reports

Using the accrual accounting method, you record income when you bill your customers, in the form of accounts receivable (even if they don’t pay you for a few months). Same goes for expenses, which you record when you’re billed in the form of accounts payable. Despite your best efforts, there’ll be times when you pay for a business expense with personal funds. Remember, the Golden Rule says these business expenses should appear in your business bank account. To do so, have the company write you a check to reimburse the expense you paid with personal funds. Many small business owners, including solopreneurs and other micro-businesses, may find it helpful to do bookkeeping using accounting software.

  • You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy.
  • By leveraging the power of technology and professional expertise, you can effectively manage your finances and ensure the success of your small business.
  • You don’t have to hire a full-time bookkeeper or accountant to keep your finances organized.
  • Key deductions include those for home office expenses, health insurance premiums, and startup costs.

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