Small Business AccountingTomChilders
Of all the systems a small business needs, the accounting system is arguably the most important. Yes, you need marketing, yes sales, yes operations, HR, and lots more. But how do you know what you can afford, what you can and should pay, and most important, what you can cash flow? The accounting system is the answer or a large part of it.
Lucky for us in this day and age, the options are limitless and many are quite affordable. The one thing we must do as an industry is use them and use them well. If you read any of the published statistics on business failures today, and especially with small businesses and green industry companies, it is no surprise that accounting practices and the inherent comprehension of costs, cash flow, and profitability are still a challenge for some (not all – there are many that have mastered the accounting side of the business, but they will tell you it gets time and focus).
While the subsequent pages in the section of the site will help with things like cash flow, finance, insurance, human resources, and operations, the main point here is to understand the business need and priority of accounting. It is imperative that you take the time to get something in place that will enable you to understand where your business is from an accounting standpoint and run it prudently. This is not to say you need to become an accountant, you don’t. You do need to find a good one or a system that enables you to make good business decisions that optimize the value of your company and your time.
Throughout this site, The SBA, SCORE, Intuit, and others are referenced. They are all great resources when it comes to the world of accounting. Some even offer free seminars, classes and even mentoring sessions, but they all have fabulous articles and tools on their sites (this site links to many of them). Here is a good SBA starter accounting class with links to financial statement templates and other classes. To learn more about migrating to EMV chip technology, taking online payments, checks, setting up a payroll system, accepting credit cards, or extending credit, try this section of the SBA site. Also, online educational resources like Kahn Academy, Lynda.com, and more have fabulous free or low cost classes. Don’t forget the trade associations, educational institutions, and government resources. Many have fabulous cost effective offerings that will help you as well. Bottom line, make sure you have an accounting system and a knowledge level of it all that empowers a good decision making system.