Have you struggled with keeping your own books or unsure of how to even begin? As small business owners, it can be challenging to tackle everything on our plates—especially the not-so-fun stuff, like finances. As an accountant and small business owner, I cannot stress the importance of bookkeeping enough. That’s why I’m going to tell you all you need to know to handle your own books!
I often hear people automatically write off the idea of doing their own bookkeeping—may it be they think it’s too difficult, they can’t find the time, or they simply don’t get it. So, I define bookkeeping and break it down so that it’s not so intimidating and easier to understand. I share with you, solopreneurs and mompreneurs, the not-so-hidden secrets of bookkeeping for a small business.
Tune in to get simple and steps to follow to set up your bookkeeping and how to implement them. I share key tips to remember when keeping your books that will save you the headache later. I also give some tried and true bookkeeping recommendations!
Stop shying away from keeping your books and start expanding your toolbox, save some money on a bookkeeper, and become your own!
Hi, it has been a couple of weeks, so I will, I wanted to start off by saying that obviously there has been a lot going on in our country and in our world, and I felt that it was appropriate, that I just stepped back for these last two weeks, uh, taking things in learning and growing and figuring out what I can do to serve my community. So I am sorry that I went silent, but also know that I was growing behind the scenes. And, um, there are no regrets. So I am back here now this week, planning to start my cycle over again and having episodes come on Monday and Thursday. Um, but know that I will still be working towards doing my part to change this world. So thank you for coming back. Thank you for allowing me to take that time. So yes, happy Monday.
I’m going to go ahead and kick off some bookkeeping here. Um, I’ve talked a lot about my mission and my feelings and giving you lots of raw emotion. Now we’re going to talk about what is bookkeeping. And one of the things that I feel that God has gifted me, his is this, which I would have never imagined that I would, uh, use my knowledge and expertise in this way. But I think it’s important for us as small business owners to really have a good handle on bookkeeping on your books, on your financials, because they are so important. So let’s start off with the definition. What is bookkeeping? Bookkeeping is the activity or occupation of keeping records of the financial affairs of a business. Pretty simple, right? But I know super scary to many of you out there. So basically you are tracking the money that comes in and out of your business.
Why is this important? I do not believe that you can make decisions or the right decisions for your business without having the knowledge of what is coming in and what is coming out of your business. So while many of you would rather push your books to someone else, I still think it’s really important to actually understand what’s going on. I know that when I’m working with clients or talking with people, a lot of times, I hear I have no desire to do my bookkeeping. I can just hire someone and they can do it. And that’s fine. I think that there are most definitely certain companies that need to hire out their bookkeeping, but I’m talking to you, solopreneurs mompreneurs, especially some of you that are just starting your business. There is no need to go cut a $300 check to a bookkeeper each month because you can do this.
And I’m going to give you the tools to do this throughout this podcast. So this will be a journey. Do not expect to learn everything today. We are going through some basics, just giving you an overview of what bookkeeping is. So hopefully you can better understand it. And throughout the next coming weeks, however many weeks it takes. And honestly, really the life of this podcast, it is my goal to give you, um, the power to take control of your books so that you can make the right decisions for your business. First and foremost, the very first thing you want to do. And you’ve probably heard me mention this before is set up a business bank account. Make sure you do this. This will make your bookkeeping process so much smoother. Okay. Don’t use it for personal. If you have to once in a while, because you have no other choice that is fine, but I highly recommend you keep a divide between your business bank account and your personal bank account.
All right? So your books, your profit and loss are going to have income, and you’re going to have expenses. The things that are important to remember when viewing and entering these transactions, as you’ll want to make sure you know, the date you’ll want to know the amount, you’ll want to know who you paid or who you got money from. And you’ll want to know what category you want to put it into. You can keep these categories as general as you want them, or as specific as you want them. But what I will tell you is the more specific you get, the more you can really hone in on what is working in your business and what is not. Let’s take for example, um, you are going to do some marketing this year, and let’s say specifically, you’re going to do, um, Facebook marketing. Now, if you break it out and you have a expense that is Facebook marketing, you can really zero in to determine if that Facebook marketing brought you any income.
Now, if you were to do Facebook marketing and Instagram marketing, and you were to hand out flyers or post flyers around town or whatever other form of marketing you were to do, and you were just to lump it all into one expense category, you would rarely never be able to determine how much income was brought from that expense. So it’s really important to kind of break things out, especially in the growing phase. So you can see what is working and what is not, is it we’re spending money here to get income here? I hope that makes sense. So, in addition to that, I also like to be pretty specific in my income. Once again, in order to determine what expenses are bringing in income, you need to kind of break those down. So make sure you’re also not just having one lump category for income.
I think it’s important. If you have multiple revenue streams break those out, then you can see how you’re growing or what’s working and what’s not working. When should you start your bookkeeping right away. If you have already started your business and you have done nothing for bookkeeping now is the time I know there are people that wait until December 31st to put their books together. But if you aren’t tracking, what’s going on in your business, you will never know how to move forward. You will never know what is bringing in income. You will never know what is, um, what expense is really killing your bottom line. It is so important to start. Now, there are many ways you can track this. You can create or find a simple spreadsheet to track. This will take more time because you will have a lot of manual input, but it’s completely doable.
Especially as a new business owner, it is acceptable. It is something that is free. You will just need to make sure that you’re taking the time to actually do this. There are also maybe free apps and software out there. These days, waive and fresh books. I have personally not used these. And, um, I’ve done that, uh, for a reason. Um, I’m, you’re going to find out I’m a big proponent of the next one that I’m going to mention. And I’m not saying that these other apps and software are not good. I have heard good things. I just am. I’m very passionate for lack of a better word about QuickBooks. QuickBooks is another source, a resource that you can use. They do charge a fee, but it is very minimal for those of you who do not have the capacity to take on a bunch of expenses.
So for a solo preneur, for a, mompreneur a sole proprietor, you can get QuickBooks for less than $10 a month, and it is so good and so easy. Specially QuickBooks online, I am a proponent of QuickBooks online because you link your bank account or your credit card and you hit a button and it pulls all the transactions in for you. And then you just have to categorize them. They make it so easy. They have a wonderful customer service. So there’s my little plug there for QuickBooks. So how often should one do their books? I think at least once a week, you should be looking at your recent transactions. You should be going into your software or your spreadsheet, and you should be entering in the income you received and the expenses that occurred and making sure that everything has been put in properly. This is gonna make life so much easier.
As you get closer and closer to tax season. Now doing this once a week can vary. It can take some of you 30 minutes. It can take some of you hours. It really depends on the size of your business and how many transactions you have each week. Then at the end of the month, you’ll want to make sure that you are going in and reconciling your bank account or your credit card accounts and making sure the monthly financials look good. I know. And I’ve said this earlier, bookkeeping scares some of you, but it really is, or it can be pretty simple. I think it’s important for you to know that you are going to be taking these financials to a tax preparer or a CPA. So you will technically have a second pair of eyes on your financials at some point during tax season. So don’t let the numbers scare you.
The numbers can be powerful. They can make your business a success. If you pay attention and try to understand that, like I said, you don’t have to spend a lot of time on your books, take at least 30 minutes a week to get caught up. Then at the, after the end of the month, take that time to look at what happened during that month. Make sure you’re caught up in you understand what worked and what didn’t work during that month so that you can make the next month even better. That is my overview of what bookkeeping is. We will dive deeper. And as a reminder, do not be afraid. Give it a try. And if you have questions, come find us in the business minded, mama, Facebook community, ask your questions there. I will be in there weekly looking for any questions that you may have. I hope to be live on there at least once a month, if not more. So really come there, connect to people and we’ll see you on Thursday.