siding options inverness james hardie siding siding calculator northfield installing vinyl siding south barrington siding replacement .. Chicago Drug testing

Real World Accounting for Small Business Owners

If you're like me, you love accounting. It's so fascinating and such an ingenious system. Don't you just think that Double Entry Accounting is the most beautiful creation of all humankind?

Okay, let's get real. You probably think accounting is boring and best left to pencil pushing geeks (like me!). I mean?BOOORRRRING! Total Snooze-fest!

Well, my friend, I'm about to introduce you to Real World Accounting for Regular People. But, be careful, it just may change the way you look at accounting FOREVER! In fact, one of my clients looked up from a spreadsheet one day and said, "Wow, I never knew accounting could be FUN!" You just might have the same experience.

For starters, a lot of people think accounting is about math, which is an immediate turnoff. Although accounting does include math, it's more like a foreign language. All you need to do is learn the parts of that language that actually apply to you. Think about visiting a foreign country. You don't need to be fluent in the entire language. You just need to know the important things like what to order (or not order) in a restaurant, how to get directions, and how ask where the bathroom is. It's the same thing with accounting. You need to know what you need to know and the rest is unimportant. I mean, do you really need to know about corporate accounting practices or off shore financial transactions. Probably not.

So, how do you figure out what you need to know when you don't even know where to begin? Follow me and I'll show you!

The first thing you need to know is this. You must, must, must keep your personal finances and your business finances separate. Using your personal checkbook for all your transactions is a bad way to go. Here's why:

? The Internal Revenue Service wants to know that you have a very clear distinction between your personal affairs and your business affairs. They want details. If you try to pass off personal expenses as business expenses, you're violating tax laws. They don't like that.

? If you ever plan to borrow money for your business or get credit from your vendors, your lender or vendor will want to see detailed records of your business performance. Handing them your checkbook register is not going to make them want to give you money or sell to you on credit.

? You need to know how your company is performing at all times so you can plan ahead, make adjustments in your operations, and make informed decisions.

? The more accurate your records, the more accurate your tax return. It prevents you from missing deductions.

? It's the only way you'll know whether your business is making money or if you're just kidding yourself.

So, if you don't have a separate checking account for your business, go get one. It's easy and inexpensive and it will give you clarity on how your business is really doing.

The next step is your accounting system. Now, when I say "accounting system" I'm talking about an organized way of keeping track of your records. It can be computerized or it can be the old fashioned pencil and paper route. The important thing is that a) you have one and b) you use it.

Finding a System That Works For You

Your record keeping system needs to be designed so that it works for you. It should be:

? Simple to understand
? Flexible and adaptable to changing needs
? Inexpensive to develop and maintain
? Require little time to maintain
? Be handy and convenient to use

If you use a computerized accounting software package like QuickBooks, all those qualifications are met. I generally recommend QuickBooks to my clients because it's easy to use and you can also find local support for set up and troubleshooting. I don't whole heartedly recommend QuickBooks because I think parent company Intuit is losing touch with its core customer (we, the small business owners of the United States of America). There's too much nickel and dime-ing and poor support. But, at this point, it's still the most widely used system and certainly meets the needs of most small businesses as far as what it can do.

I do recommend that you get professional help in setting up your accounting system if you don't have an accounting background. It's a case of Garbage In Garbage Out. A well set up system will give you the best information with the least trouble. It's less expensive to have it set up right to begin with than it is to have it cleaned up later.

Whatever record keeping solution you choose for your business, the key to success is actually using it on a very regular basis. Otherwise, your business struggles and you're in constant danger of sliding into the Cash Flow Swamp.

Caroline Jordan is a small business mentor and consultant helping small business owners understand, diagnose, and improve cash flow in their businesses. For more information and resources to improve cash flow visit http://www.TheJordanResult.com/mastering.html .

In The News:

432 Page Franchise Report by the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is upgrading the franchise law and... Read More

How to Start a Carpet Cleaning Company

Opening a carpet cleaning business is a great way to... Read More

In Home Daycare Businesses for Profit

To have one of the popular in home daycare businesses.... Read More

Creating Lists to Learn About Yourself, Your Business and Your Customers

I love lists. I make them for everything. And I'm... Read More

Routine Maintenance of High Pressure Hot Water Motors

If you run a pressure washer business you need complete... Read More

Bringing Home the Bacon

In general, all of us know how to accomplish the... Read More

Starting an Aircraft Washing Service

To wash an airplane there are many items you will... Read More

Franchising in The Middle East There Will Bring Significant Opportunity for US Based Franchisors

As stability emerges in the Middle East there will be... Read More

Entrepreneurs Ask: What Can a Virtual Assistant Do For Me?

Great question!Freeing your time is an indisputably key element in... Read More

Shopping For a Franchise

Shopping for a franchise is easy if you know what... Read More

To Buy A Fat Pig

What does buying a fat pig have to do with... Read More

Increase Productivity and Business Success - Take Responsibility

Are you responsible for your results?What comes to mind when... Read More

Breaking The Chains!

Everyday, customers and business owners are bombarded with billboards, logos,... Read More

Eight Key Steps to Selling Your Business and Cashing In

This year, some 700,000 American businesses will be sold. Most... Read More

Who Does Over Disclosure Really Hurt In Franchising?

Costs of over regulation and over disclosure end up hurting... Read More

Common Mistakes When Planning Your Medical Spa

Everything starts with a business plan: If you don't have... Read More

Why You Need A Virtual Assistant

How much is your time really worth? Is it worth... Read More

Dispute Resolution; Competing With Other Franchisees

If you are in a franchise and have a territory... Read More

But This Is Just My Opinion

Hi, Charles...here, Your Cap and t-shirt guy From Texas. How... Read More

Alliances: Drawing The Line

How far can you go based on your relationship with... Read More

A Lesson From ?The Apprentice? That Can Make You A Master

I have to admit, I was curious. When I saw... Read More

Business Success - The 42 Greatest Business Tips

What does it take to grow a business and run... Read More

Are You a Small Business Lone Ranger? Take My 10-Question Quiz To Find Out!

So what exactly is a "Small Business Lone Ranger?" A... Read More

Tips and Tricks for Legal Debt Collections

If a customer owes your local business money, it's hard... Read More

Using Technology to Manage Customer Loyalty

Don't let your customer satisfaction research initiative collect dust on... Read More

led par 38 bulbs street lights sodium Pete's produce ..
led par 38 bulbs street lights sodium Pete's produce ..