Monday, February 24, 2014

Small Business Accounting Tips

 

Accounting doesn't need to be complicated for the small business.

Accounting doesn't need to be complicated for the small business.

 

Small businesses typically have challenges in their accounting processes because owners usually double up as bookkeepers, or they have part time help for this task. The simpler the accounting process, the better off you are. There is no need for a convoluted process or to spend too much time on it. You need filing cabinets and a way to organize information. Many small businesses use accounting software these days, when systems are affordable and easy-to-use.

Cash is King

Keep separate bank accounts for your business. Don't mix personal and business transactions in one bank account. Deposit income promptly in a business bank account. If you need cash for small daily expenses, use petty cash. Avoid using cash to pay for bills or inventory. Pay with check or credit card whenever possible so that you have a record of the purchase. It is too easy to lose receipts and forget about expenses paid with hard cash.

Tax Based

Keep your accounting information filled and summarized following the tax schedule you will file at year-end. That could be schedule C or an LLC or something else, depending on how you structured your business. If you know you will have to report rent or insurance expenses, for example, then you file these expenses separately. Many businesses enter data in an accounting software, classifying them as they are entered. Make sure that the classifications match your business tax return line items.

Documentation

You should get documentation on all business transactions. If you enter an amount for office expenses today and do not keep receipts, when you look at this number a few months from now, you may not remember what this was about. File documentation and receipts in a way that you can easily find it. For example, vendors' bills can be filed alphabetically. Deposit backup documentation can be filed by date. Backup documentation is important if you have questions, need to do research, or are audited by the Internal Revenue Service.

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