Wednesday, January 26, 2011

DIY Small Business Accounting Made Easy

 When you are running a small business one must wear many hats. As solopreneurs, we're always looking to save money and do things ourselves to cut cost. Many things are worth hiring a someone else to do. Lots of administrative duties can be outsourced because, lets face it, our time is often more valuable elsewhere. I highly recommend hiring a CPA to file end-of the-year taxes. Tax laws change and professionals know about all kinds of write-offs we may not know about. But how do you handle the day to day numbers? If you are a public speaker or consultant, you may not have daily revenues or expenses to track. You are doing yourself a disservice by saving receipts and check stubs all year and waiting until the end of year to tally everything. You may be in for a shock.

Since I run a retail business, Gumdrop Swap, I have to record data daily. I wasn't sure if I should invest in a program like Quickbooks. I've heard good things about it but I just didn't want to purchase it yet. I designed a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel with my basic skills in formula making. It was beautifully colored and prettified and then... my laptop was stolen (my mistake for not backing that document up and I encourage you to back up everything! Even email it to yourself if you don't have another drive to save things on.) I knew I wouldn't be able to duplicate that Excel spreadsheet so I went on the hunt for a (free) or cheap one online. I figured if I could find a sample one I could tweak it to my needs. I stumbled upon a site called Basic Accounting Help. I read a few articles and then there was a claim to have free spreadsheet for download. I bet this is a scam or virus, I thought to myself. But I dared to download it and I was so glad I did! There was a simple but sophisticated Excel workbook that has 12 months and an end of year summary. You plug and play to tailor it to your needs. It was better than the one I had designed from scratch! So, I am sharing this with you. The woman behind the scenes is named Vickey and she'll answer any questions you have. She is passionate about helping small businesses. Soak up her advice. All she asks is that you sign up for her Small Business News (enewsletter) then she'll send you a link to download the spreadsheets. Feel free to tell her you learned about her from my blog. I told her how much I appreciated her and that I would spread the good news.

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