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How to Do Bookkeeping: Basics Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know

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bookkeeping basics

This was a helpful book to review my understanding of basic accounting and provided pragmatic information to simplify my approach to income and expense reconcilliation. Very easy to understand, gives you a good foundation from set-up to basic entry. Would recommend to anyone starting or correcting a set of books. Very useful for those who need to learn, well, the basics of double entry accounting.

Paying billsearlycan also qualify your business for discounts. The accounting equation means that everything the business owns is balanced against claims against the business . Liabilities are claims based on what you owe vendors and lenders. Owners of the business have claims against the remaining assets .

How to handle bookkeeping for your small business

Accounts payable is the account which is used to track all of the money that you owe to a third party, such as supplier companies, banks, governments or anyone you borrowed money from. An easy example to think about is a mortgage as when you take one out, you sign a contract telling the bank you’ll pay them over a period of time in instalments. Create a new business account, set budget aside for tax, keep your records organised and leave an audit trail.

bookkeeping basics

Bookkeeping is essential to managing your finances and running a successful business. With the help of the Protea Financial experts, you can better understand bookkeeping basics. I have no bookkeeping experience and frankly I am not that great at math but the book was easy to follow.

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While the job of bookkeeper may appear similar as an accountant, they are only similar on the surface. 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. Bookkeepersensure that financial records are kept accurate, up-to-date, and in line with accepted accounting principles. Bookkeeping is often done usingcomputer software, but there are still many businesses that rely on manual bookkeeping techniques. Bookkeeping can be a daunting prospect for the uninitiated.

  • Will you have enough money next month to cover payroll?
  • Liabilities are claims based on what you owe vendors and lenders.
  • But most businesses in the hobbyist stage can get by using either a simple spreadsheet or one of the many accounting or bookkeeping software solutions on the market.
  • These include all incoming invoices, outgoing bill payments, purchases, and sales.
  • This is an excellent book for those new to bookkeeping.

Even sole proprietary businesses and small firms such as local stores and dealers require bookkeeping for tracing expenses, revenue, sales, and purchases. Many small-scale enterprises nowadays use accounting software like “QuickBooks.” Small businesses prefer hiring bookkeepers over in-house accountants. Alternatively, they also outsource such activities to a professional accounting firm.


Proper record-keeping for small businesses makes the process easier and keeps you compliant with the law. You never want to waste time chasing down last month’s missing invoice, and you certainly don’t want to find yourself in trouble with legal requirements. Visit to find out more about how small businesses can stay legally compliant. If you’re searching for accounting software that’s user-friendly, full of smart features, and scales with your business, Quickbooks is a great option. Below, we’ll break bookkeeping down to its most basic principles. Along with reading this page to get a quick bookkeeping overview, we always recommend meeting with a CPA or bookkeeper before you open your doors.

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