Yup. It is that time again. Time to close the books on last year and get ready to file all those gnarly IRS forms. While I have a business degree, I still need all the help I can get too because I don’t use the accounting part of my degree on a regular basis. Also, I’m old and I forgot it all. Luckily, there are some resources that you can draw upon that make life easier without having to get student loans to go get your accounting degree.
This very topic came up just this weekend while I was at an event. I ran into my favorite handmade pie lady. Katherine (the pie lady) and I were griping about supply chain issues and all the challenges due to the pandemic when I happened to mention that it is tax time again. After a stifled groan, Katherine said that she was having to look up how to create an end-of-the-year financial report. I know you groaned too just reading that.
This is common for almost every one of us. We are far too busy making and selling to think about the numbers each and every day and, quite frankly, the numbers can be boring. Unfortunately, we are forced to not only think about numbers but generate reports at least once a year. I would tell you that you need to think about the numbers far more often than that and how tracking your revenue and expenses on a regular basis makes end-of-the-year reporting so much easier, but you already know that.
During our conversation, I shared with Katherine how I use Quickbooks to keep track of all our revenue and expenses and I even log in every once in a while (a lot more during tax season though) to categorize all the transactions.
I also told her about my secret weapon. Every year about this time, I have to pull out my secret weapon and review all the things that I forgot about accounting, bookkeeping, and financial reporting. I promised Katherine that I would send her all the details but I figured that you might want to know about it too.
My secret weapon is a book. Yup, a book. This book “Keeping the Books: Basic Recordkeeping and Accounting for Small Business” by Linda Pinson is one that I keep close. It is still my favorite resource when I have to look up accounting or bookkeeping tasks. What I like most about this book is that it is relatively short. The author doesn’t add excessive fluff but keeps the topics relevant and succinct.
Take a look at this highly valuable resource on Amazon. While reading it won’t result in you obtaining your MBA, it will arm you with the information you need to better understand the numbers behind your business to help make it successful. It is useful not only for those pesky end-of-year reports but also as an ongoing reference to help you manage the bookkeeping and financial aspects of your business.
I hope that this will make your numbers less daunting.
See you at market!