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Bookkeeping - « back to Articles

You do not have to be an accountant or bookkeeper to be in business. You should, however, have enough accounting knowledge to recognize which information is important to you, how to collect it, how to understand it, and how to record it. Knowing this is only to your advantage as it is a part of your business.

Bookkeeping skills can be developed from a variety of sources. The Business Library (Canada Business Service Centre) stock accounting and bookkeeping texts that will assist you. Many banks, Management Consultants and other business consultants offer home study and reference materials that cover records keeping.

It would be wise to turn to an accredited accountant for help in setting up your initial records and financial reporting. If you feel you do not have time to attend to this necessary task yourself hire a part-time bookkeeper to assure the job gets done.

A small business record keeping system should be simple and easy to understand while including enough information to permit you to produce a Balance Sheet and an Income Statement which is a record of your income, expenses and "profit".

There are several different types of record keeping systems. Simplest is the handwritten; it may be a book, nothing more than a loose leaf binder. Alternately you can purchase, at any office supply store, journals and ledgers. Your financial consultant will assist you with your selection based on your needs.

A once very popular type of small business record keeping is called the "One write" system. It was designed to minimize record keeping time by eliminating the duplication. A one white payroll system would allow you to complete an employee's payroll cheque while updating the statement of earnings, your own payroll journal and the earnings ledger in a single copy operation.

Computer owners can purchase software programs that automate many of the bookkeeping functions. Rapid and accurate cash flow budgets and financial forecasts are the advantage of a computerized system. A computer can be a tremendous business tool but do not purchase one just to avoid your bookkeeping and filing tasks. An understanding of the manual system is still beneficial even when using a computer.

Take all necessary steps to ensure your records are accurate, complete, easy to read, and easy to use.

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