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What is bookkeeping? A small business guide

why is bookkeeping important for a small business

You can see outstanding invoices owed by you or your customers. You will benefit from paying your bills on time and receiving payment for your products or services on time too. Its this delicate balance of cash inflow and outflow that will keep your business going. Investors want to know the financial performance of your business to be able to want to quantify the value of their investment. The balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement all present the value of your business. Bookkeeping is important for helping you maintain accurate financial records.

How do I practice bookkeeping?

  1. Keep personal and business income and purchases separate.
  2. Establish internal controls.
  3. Stay current with automatic bank downloads.
  4. Reconcile your bank accounts.
  5. Review your financial reports.
  6. Keep detailed payable and receivable records.
  7. Back up your accounting software.

The obligations and debts owed by a company to suppliers, banks, lenders, or other providers of goods and services (e.g., small business loans, accounts payable). Nearly three-fourths of small business owners feel they are not very knowledgeable when it comes to the bookkeeping and accounting bookkeeping for small business process. At tax time, the burden is on you to show the validity of all of your expenses, so keeping supporting documents for your financial data like receipts and records is crucial. Generally speaking, accrual accounting is better for larger, more established businesses.

Reasons Why Bookkeeping is Important for Your Business

By staying up to date with your bookkeeping throughout the year, you can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with filing your taxes. The goal of both reports is to be easy to comprehend so that all readers can grasp how well the business is doing. Check out this small business guide to learn more about what bookkeeping is and how you can use it in your business. Balance sheets and income statements are invaluable tools to gauge… Expenses refer to purchases made by the business or costs the business incurs. This can reduce the amount of tax owed to the government.

Yet still, many businesses fail to implement this integral process. Besides the fact you are required under law to maintain accurate books and records, doing so will save you frustration later on. As you dive deeper into the bookkeeping process, it may be tempting to blur the lines between your personal and business finances, but it’s not the best idea. By avoiding this, you’ll reduce the risk of triggering an IRS audit and will allow an accurate picture of your business finances. The single-entry bookkeeping method is often preferred for sole proprietors, small startups, and companies with unfussy or minimal transaction activity.

Why is Bookkeeping Important? Universal Accounting School

You can also track results and adjust your goals accordingly. If you’re looking for a blend of personal service and expertise, Nolan Accounting Center is here to serve you. We provide accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services to small business owners in Southeast Wisconsin. We look forward to working with you to meet your financial goals. A professional bookkeeper may only need 2-4 hours to process one month’s work of bank transactions, finalize a bank reconciliation and produce a set of updated financial statements.

why is bookkeeping important for a small business

ØPlanning Purposes – Bookkeeping helps to present the past financial performance of your company and helps to plan for the future. ØImproved Decision Making – The best decisions are made with access to all your business information.

What is bookkeeping? A small business guide QuickBooks

You will be able to present these data to any interested party, providing additional confidence both in your work as a manager and in the company’s health as a whole. If you’re finding it difficult to stay on top of important bookkeeping tasks, then outsourcing makes sense. Outsourcing is cost effective because you likely only need to pay for a few hours of work each month rather than paying for a full-time employee.

What is accounting for small business?

Small business accounting involves the process of tracking, recording and analyzing the financial transactions of your business. It translates numbers into a comprehensible statement about the profitability of your business.

Bookkeeping will allow you to track profit from one month to the next, and also help you better understand your business cycles. Investors need to know the financial performance of your business to determine if they would like to get involved. Bookkeeping provides up-to-date and accessible information to attract investors. Did your suppliers increase their costs and impact your cost of goods sold during the year? All of these things factor into how you plan out the next year.


Accounting is the umbrella term for all processes related to recording a business’s financial transactions, whereas bookkeeping is an integral part of the accounting process. When you think of bookkeeping, you may think it’s all just numbers and spreadsheets. Bookkeeping is the meticulous art of recording all financial transactions a business makes. By doing so, you can set your business up for success and have an accurate view of how it’s performing. The income statement is one of the documents that is included in the financial statements you receive from your bookkeeper. This allows you to track whether your company is in fact making money and how that compares to years passed. With these months and years of income data you will be able to see trends and gain a greater understanding of your business cycles.

  • Bookkeeping is essential to the vitality and long-term success of any small business.
  • In fact, a better awareness of your business finances will help you determine if you need financing and what type of loan makes the most sense.
  • Small-business bookkeeping involves setting up a framework, choosing your method and keeping track of details.
  • To get started with bookkeeping, the first step is to familiarize yourself with bookkeeping terms and phrases.
  • In the event your business is ever audited, you want to make sure your records are in order and deductions are legitimate.
  • In order for your business to stay afloat, it needs cash.
  • Business accounting software and modern technology make it easier than ever to balance the books.

Choose a bookkeeping software that posts summarized financial statements and attributes all your sales and fees to your bookkeeping system. This will ensure that, as your business scales, your books will always be tidy and accurate. Bench offers affordable outsourced bookkeeping services for your Shopify store. The app syncs directly with your merchant and bank accounts.

Helps You Budget Accurately

If you are keeping your records up to date and accurate it may even prevent the IRS from requiring an audit from your business. In order to properly budget you need income and expenses organized correctly.

  • A common issue with late payments happens when payroll remittances are paid late.
  • If you are paying a bookkeeper to keep your books up to date over the months, less back work is needed by your tax firm to get your documents ready to process your return.
  • The app syncs directly with your merchant and bank accounts.
  • Because of the numerous, daily business decisions you have to make every day, you might not be able to devote your time to bookkeeping.

Many small companies don’t actually hire full-time accountants to work for them because of the cost. Instead, small companies generally hire a bookkeeper or outsource the job to a professional firm. One important thing to note here is that many people who intend to start a new business sometimes overlook the importance of matters such as keeping records of every penny spent. Kylie McQuarrie has been writing for and about small businesses since 2014. Currently, she’s’s accounting and payroll staff writer. Her work has been featured on, G2, and Fairygodboss, among others. But bookkeeping mistakes are costly and threaten success.

Why is bookkeeping important for a small business?

Bookkeeping presents the past financial performance of your company. In order to plan for the future, you have to have a good understanding of the past. Bookkeeping will give you the clear picture of what exactly works or doesn’t work. Being organized is a skill every business owner should have. You should be able to find information regarding your business at any time.

Assets.Resources or things of value owned by a company as the result of its financial transactions (e.g., inventory, accounts receivable). On top of running your business, you also have to manage an asset account, tax returns, credit card chargeback, and more. It can be confusing and overwhelming if you’re diving in for the first time. If your business is a side project with a limited budget, you can probably get by going the DIY route. You might still consider consulting with a CPA or bookkeeper at the beginning, just to make sure you’re doing everything right. 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. Enter your transactions into this Excel template, and voila!

Support to set up or use Xero

By not doing the work yourself, you may lose track of important financial details about customers, vendors, or deadlines to pay taxes. A bookkeeper and an accountant can look over your books and see where your business needs help. A professional bookkeeper may charge $20-$30 per hour for services. This amount can range based on the bookkeeper’s location, level of expertise, and availability. When it comes to budgeting for bookkeeping, the difference hinges on whether you hire or manage using software tools. How to find the best virtual bookkeeping service can help you get the process started.

why is bookkeeping important for a small business

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