Accounting Matters Blog

Do-it-Yourself Bookkeeping??

Do-It-Yourself Bookkeeping?

How to Start Doing Your Own Bookkeeping

1. Avoid using computer software that is not suited to your size of business or your skill level. This is one of the biggest mistakes DIY bookkeepers make.
2. Critical key to success is setting up the correct chart of accounts that is right for your company and industry.

3. Don’t fall behind on billing your customers … and follow-up quickly when payments are overdue. Send out monthly statements and be sure to call them if payments are overdue to determine when they will be paying.
4. File all your tax compliance reports on time, even if you can’t pay them. If you just don’t have the time to get to them that is an indication you need to hire basic bookkeeping help.

5. Too many DIY bookkeepers pay too much tax because their records are not accurate enough to claim valid tax deductions. You might want to bring yourself up-to-date on valid tax deductions for your state and the federal government (United States).

5. My last tip for you is to always do your bank reconciliation and credit card reconciliation EVERY (yup I said every!) month. You are running a business now making this step imperative.

Consider it part of your month end process. What!! You don’t have a month-end process. GASP!!!!! Then checklist might look something like this:
• customer invoices and sales receipts issued including outstanding customer invoices
• on line banking activity including bank statements
• expense receipts including internet receipts - sorted by source of payment: bank, credit card, business cash, and personal funds
• documents pertaining to the purchase, major repair, and sale of capital assets
• investment statements, bank statements including deposit slips and returned cheques, credit card statements including card payment slips, vendor statements
• a check register would be helpful
• a listing of all pre-authorized direct deposits and withdrawals on your bank and credit card statements
• vendor / supplier invoices both paid and unpaid
• listing of accounts payable would be helpful - even if it is just your best guess
• an accounts receivable listing would be helpful - even your best guess helps marking any doubtful accounts
• Documents pertaining to lease agreements, financial loans, insurance or any contracts you have entered into.
• list of all customer deposits and / or prepayments received
• inventory listing
• all government correspondence and tax forms including
• payroll information and reports including new employee information, payroll report and returns

Remember, if you decide not to do your own books because it’s more work than you thought, (or you need to focus on your “unique qualities” that make you a great business person) - please contact me immediately so that I can assist you in setting up your books, or check the books you have set up on your own!


What is the best way to organize my business financial records?


We have found that the most successful small business owners keep good records and maintain a good record filing and retention policy. It is important to keep all monthly bank statements, monthly cancelled checks, credit card receipts, credit card statements, cash receipts, and any important business documents in an organized filing system. We recommend that you keep these documents sorted by month. This makes it easier to send us your documents and also ensures that your back-up documents are readily accessible should the need arise. One easy and effective record retention method is to purchase a scanner and save all your financial documents electronically. By doing so, you can save space and prevent document loss.

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