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Ugh... Accounting

What you need to know

by sandra beck  |  1135 views  |  5 comments  |        Rate this now! 

As if the concept of running your own business wasn’t enough stress, add on the fact that, oh yeah, now you need to pay taxes and do your own accounting -- at least in the beginning, before you can afford to hire someone to help.

I have a really simple way of doing my accounting for www.motherhoodincorporated.com. Here is what works for me. I am not a lawyer, business manager, CPA, or anything like that, so this information is NOT intended to replace the advice of a professional. I am mom and a business owner, so you need to check the laws and procedures in your area.

First, I use QuickBooks. I have not used anything else other than Quicken so I know there are lots of programs out there that are good and useful, but I can only tell you what I do. I write my checks out of Quickbooks. I also went online and have my account downloaded from my bank’s website. This was easy to set up on Bank of America -- only took a few clicks and my bank information. I also do my invoices out of Quickbooks.

Quickbooks took a little time to learn. I bought a book, but that was a disaster. I couldn’t afford the on-line training fee, so I put an ad on my site for a mom who used to work with Quickbooks and she trained me in what I needed to know for $20. She was happy for the money. I was happy for the help.

At the end of the year, I print out a few reports requested by my tax guy at H&R Block and it’s done. After the first year of your business, your tax guy will tell you how much to pay each quarter for your quarterly taxes. My taxes cost me about $300 to get done this way, but it is worth it.

I need to spend my time working on getting business. One friend told me that if can earn $50 in an hour, and I am spending that time trying to do my accounting (at which I am awful), and I spend three hours fussing around with something I clearly don’t understand, and will never like doing, that I am operating at a loss.

When starting up and everything is so expensive, it feels right to do it yourself. But when you look at the limited time we all have, it doesn’t make sense. Try to find a mom with whom you can swap -- swap skills, swap time, swap money, swap childcare. I once watched a woman’s child for a few hours each week so she could set up my computer for me. Was a great deal for both of us. She did the work I needed. She got some babysitting in exchange. Try it. It works!

5 comments so far...

  • thank you ...I am going to get organized enough this year to turn it over...I don't want to spend the time, but everything is on little scribblies and I need to get to the point where I can communicate the billing etc...I am going to try! xo

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by sandra beck on 25th June 2008

  • I'm a CPA (going on 7 years now...wow!). I find that a lot of people in your situation find it difficult to do their own accounting and really, who wants to spend time doing that when you can spend time building a business doing something that you love!? My advice (not that you asked for it :-) ) is to put an ad in the local paper and look for someone to do it a few hours a week for you. If you let them do it from home (by giving them a backup of your quickbooks file) you'd save even more money. You'd find a mom looking for some extra dough so it likely wouldn't be that expensive. Well, good luck!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jo-Ann on 25th June 2008

  • No you are a shiny new good luck one!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Ally on 25th April 2008

  • I am like the proverbial bad penny...lol!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by sandra beck on 24th April 2008

  • Well, Hello there stranger!
    This is a great article. You are my hero... er heroine. You always have such great advice. Hope to see more of you!
    ~Ally

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Ally on 24th April 2008

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