Best Small-Business Bookkeeping and Accounting


A paper-based accounting system can cost less in the early stages, particularly if you are skilled with accounting and able to set up the basic system yourself with minimal help from a professional. You will also find that doing your bookkeeping by hand, at least at the beginning, will give you an intimate knowledge of the accounting of your business, increasing your understanding and control. Bookkeeping and accounting are essential functions of a business, particularly one that wants to succeed long term. Without a solid accounting system, you will never know whether your business is profitable and if you can afford to purchase a new asset or expand. When you are starting out, or if your business is small, you may choose to use a paper-based accounting system and do your bookkeeping by hand. As you post transactions, you need to post the information to the correct accounts in your bookkeeping system consistently.

  • Also, you won’t catch fraudulent transactions in a timely manner.
  • Get in the habit of staying on top of the amounts your customers owe you.
  • Consider each account listed on this sheet like a category, and as you record transactions, they get sorted into one of these categories.
  • Accountants will either quote a client a fixed price for a specific service or charge a general hourly rate.
  • We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, nor do we recommend or advise individuals or to buy or sell particular stocks or securities.

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. Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years.

Use accounting software if:

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. You don’t have to hire a full-time bookkeeper or accountant to keep your finances organized. Outsource specific financial tasks to a tax professional who is experienced in handling business accounts.

  • Consider petty cash to be an asset on your financial statements.
  • At least one debit is made to one account, and at least one credit is made to another account.
  • On the other hand, the single-entry method of accounting presents a distorted view of business results.
  • The accounting equation means that everything the business owns is balanced against claims against the business .
  • To become an accountant, they must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

Bookkeeping focuses on recording and organizing financial data, including tasks such as invoicing, billing, payroll and reconciling transactions. Accounting is the interpretation and presentation of that financial data, including aspects such as tax returns, auditing and analyzing performance. The way you categorize transactions will depend on your business and industry.

What do accountants do? up a spreadsheet that tracks incoming payments and expenses that comes in and out of your business bank account and credit card. For small business owners seeking tax deductions, having accurate records of financial transactions can help in tax preparation. Bookkeeping is the process of keeping organized records of your business’s financial transactions, such as income and expenses. Bookkeeping includes gathering financial data into a recordkeeping system and posting transactions to an accounting system.


It only works if your company is relatively small with a low volume of transactions. When your small business’s bookkeeping and accounting tasks are too much to handle by yourself, it’s time to hire help. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, and there can be some overlap in what they do, but there are distinct differences. The central role of a bookkeeper is to track and record all financial transactions. This means that a bookkeeper needs an in-depth understanding of your business’s structure and operations to do their job successfully. As a result, your bookkeeper will most likely be very involved in many routine business operations; some bookkeepers will also handle payroll.

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In the accounting software, the primary journal entry for total payroll is a debit to the compensation account and credits cash. Generally speaking, bookkeepers help collect and organize data and may have certain certifications to do so for your business. On the other hand, accountants are generally equipped with an accounting degree and may even be state-certified CPAs. You can expect most bookkeepers to maintain the general ledger and accounts while the accountant is there to create and interpret more complex financial statements. Our bookkeepers here at Bench can do your books for you entirely online. We’ll also give you simple software to produce financial statements, keep track of your daily expenses, and help make tax time a breeze.


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