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!