Different ways of managing your bookkeeping, paper, spreadsheets or dedicated programs: So many options.
In the world of bookkeeping and business, there are numerous options and choices when it comes to managing your expenses and sales. It’s a bit of a minefield really. In my experience most clients of Accounting Angels start out a bit confused or bamboozled on what to choose (or hiding from their bookkeeping in general, but that’s discussed here) but there are so many easy and wonderful options.
Our first option is paper books, yep there are special books just for this, and these are called accounts ledger books. Simply put you basically have a column for each type of purchase and sale in your business, list them in the named column and have a total at the end. This was the traditional way of doing bookkeeping, yep even bookkeepers used these they had piles and pile of ledger books, one for each client or so I am told that was a little before my time. As mentioned these are still an option however they can be very manual, there is no back up and let’s face it your human and do you really want to sit with a paperbook, pencil, eraser and calculator just like back in math’s class?
Your second option is a spreadsheet, think excel here people. This can definitely be a viable option for the starts of your business, it works very much like the ledger books of yester year (oh and well now for a select few) but are online. My concern with these is, unless you have a very crisp knowledge of Excel as a program, formulas, formatting and backups this can still be very manual and whist giving you totals of certain expenses your still having to add and subtract to get a clear view of your business and that’s before we take into account the disaster of your computer crashing. Yes this has happened, I had one very upset new client well more than one but let’s focus on one, she had been so well behaved and virtuous sorting her bookkeeping on a fancy spreadsheet each month, then BOOM her computer goes and there goes all her hard work, time to start again.
Now our final option is a dedicated Accounting software package. This is by far the preferred option for most bookkeepers and small business owners alike. The issue here is there are SO many, in summary we have MYOB (Prob the most famous to date in the small business world), Quickbooks, Xero, Cashflow Manager, Sassu, Wave Accounting, Sage Accounting and soooooooo many more as well as I am sure many more to come. The issue here is once you have purchased your chosen software and that’s IF you got past working out which one, how do you then set it up? Does it matter if you set it up fully or just use the basics? Do you need to use it all? Do you want online or on your computer? Still kind of a mind field I am guessing is what you’re thinking.
Of course your business will still open its doors, sales will still come in and your bills will still need to be paid no matter what bookkeeping system you choose BUT and it’s a big BUT will your bookkeeping give you the information you need simply and easily or will it be overwhelming and need a degree ie your Accountants $150-$200 an hour appointment to work it out so your know where your business is going and what your liabilities and or profits are?
To help out we have created a checklist to help you know what to consider, should that not answer all your questions please client here to get in touch.