Bookkeeping and Accounting
Probably the most important part of running a business is recordkeeping, but it is often the most ignored part of running a business. A high proportion of small businesses and value-added businesses fail, and frequently it is caused by poor recordkeeping. So, learn how to Keep Good Records or hire someone to do it for you. It will be worth the time and money spent. As your business becomes more sophisticated, you may want to move from single-entry accounting to Double Entry Accounting.
For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.
- Records, Keeping your Business on Track – University of Maine Extension -- Describes good record systems for small and home-based businesses.
- Recordkeeping in Farm Management – South Dakota State University – Methods to start recordkeeping practices or improve existing procedures.
- Computerized Farm Record Keeping with Quicken® 2006 – Ohio State University Extension – The newly updated Computerized Farm Record Keeping with Quicken 2006 Self-Study Manual is now available as on online OSU Extension Bulletin in pdf format.
- The Importance of Good Recordkeeping - Iowa Small Business Development Centers -- What's really happening in your business? If you're not exactly sure, then it's time to return to the basics, the basics of good record keeping.
- How Long should Records be Kept – University of Delaware – Some records should be kept forever and others should be tossed as soon as the transaction is recorded.
- Recordkeeping Systems – Small Business Notes -- Recordkeeping systems are frequently one of the biggest challenges in a small business.
- Setting up a Record Keeping System – Ohio State University Extension -- For many small businesses, the biggest problem is not knowing where to start with business records so none are kept.
- Records and Recordkeeping – Ohio State University Extension -- The best time to set up a record system for a small business is before you start the business.
- Your Basic Bookkeeping – CCH Business Owner’s Toolkit -- Accurate financial records will help you answer some very important questions.
- Bookkeeping and Accounting Basics - NOLO Law for All -- While keeping track of your business's finances may seem overwhelming, it's not that hard when you know the basics of accounting and bookkeeping
- Bookkeeping Systems - Small Business Notes – Information on good recordkeeping.
- Financial Management; Cash vs. Accrual Accounting – Texas A & M University Extension – Selecting a record-keeping system is an important business decision.
- Record Keeping in Farm Management – South Dakota State University Extension – Provides producers with methods of starting record-keeping practices or improve their current procedures.
- Farm and Ranch Account Book – South Dakota State University Extension.
- Tracking your Income and Expenses – South Dakota State University Extension – You will know where your money is going, which will allow you to set up better budgets for next year.
- Tracking your Income and Expenses the Budget Register Way – South Dakota State University Extension – This is a simple yet fast method of tracking your income and expenses.
- Monthly Accounting – Small Business Notes -- Here is a description of what you should be doing monthly with your accounting records as well as why you need to do it.
- Accounting Systems - Small Business Notes -- Your accounting system should provide an accurate picture of your business and how it is doing.
- Articles on Basic Accounting - All Business Resources.
- Accounting Terms - VentureLine.
- Cash vs. Accrual Accounting, Cash or Accrual? – NOLO Law for All -- All small businesses need to choose one of these methods of accounting.
- Trial Balance - CCH Business Owners Toolkit -- The trial balance is a worksheet on which you list all your general ledger accounts and their debit or credit balance.
- Do You Need an Accountant - Entrepreneur.com – Series of articles.
Selecting an Accountant
- Selecting an Accountant – CCH Business Owner’s Toolkit -- If you don't have an accountant, you should shop around for one just as you would for any other service provider.
- Selecting an Accountant – Small Business Notes -- Even if you have learned the basics and can prepare your own budgets or monthly financials, it is very possible that you will want an accountant at some point.
- Working with your Accountant – CCH Business Owner’s Toolkit – At a minimum, you will need your accountant to help you close the books annually because you have to file an income tax return every year.
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