While it may not be the most exciting part of your business, keeping proper small business accounting records and financial statements is clearly one of the most important things a business owner can do. At some point, you may need to raise capital from a financial institution or lender, and if your books are not current or accurate it can jeopardize or risk losing your financing. In addition to keeping your records up to date, paying and recording the proper taxes are imperative, so as not to risk penalties and fines from the state and federal government.
Getting Started (Basic Accounting)
- Business Plan Elements | Key Components of a Good Business Plan - Many would-be entrepreneurs shudder at the prospect of putting together a business plan, but the task need not be daunting.
- Cash Budgets - Learn to develop cash budgets to create a plan for operations, and a capital budget to evaluate major capital investments.
- Accrual Method of accounting | Basic Accounting of Cash Method - Learn to maintain your books and to keep track of your income and expenses through the cash or accrual methods.
- Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, Corporation Advantages - Make an informed decision about the structure of your business using the information in this section.
Understanding Standard Financial Reports
- Balance Sheet - The Balance Sheet describes the overall health of a business: What it owns and what it owes. This article is a guide to preparing and evaluating a balance sheet.
- The Income Statement - An Income Statement or Profit and Loss (P & L) statement measures a company's sales and expenses over a specified period of time. Use this guide to create one for your business.
Analyzing Financial Performance
- Useful Financial Metrics and Ratios 1 - Learn about Financial Metrics like Gross Profit Margin, Net Profit Margin, Quick Ratio, and Accounts Receivable Turnover... and how they can help you analyze your business.
- Useful Financial Metrics and Ratios 2 - Learn how Financial Metrics like Return on Investment, Debt to Equity Ratio, Economic Value Added, and Asset Turnover Ratio can help you analyze your business.
- Useful Financial Metrics and Ratios 3 - Learn about Financial Metrics like Return on Assets, Return on Equity, Inventory Turnover Ratio, and Profitability Index.
Making Smart Financial Decisions
- Financial Forecasting - You cannot plan without forecasting. Learn the basics of forecasting sales, production and cash.
- Pricing Methods | Basic Pricing Methods and Pricing Strategy - while still managing to clear a profit - can prove to be one of the biggest challenges facing owners. Learn the basics of pricing.
- Type of Business Insurance Coverage - Protect your company and your employees. This article will help you determine the types of insurance your business needs.
- Company Vehicles: Lease vs. Buy - Company vehicles can be purchased or leased; this article will help you determine which method of ownership is right for your business and your needs.
- Break-Even Analysis - Are you making or losing money with your pricing or management decisions. This article will help you make sound financial decisions.
- Borrowing Wisely - Finding a banker and determining whether to seek short- or long-term financing can be daunting. This article will help you determine what might be best for you.
- Business Valuation - What is your business worth? Learn why and how to perform a business valuation.
- Depreciation - You should hire an accountant to help you with your taxes. This section gives you basic information on depreciation to help you when talking with your accountant.
- Payroll and Payroll Taxes - What are your options with handling Payroll and Payroll Taxes? This will help you decide what option is right for you.
- How the IRS Determines Independent Contractor Status - This information will help you determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
- Deducting Vehicle Expense - This section provides basic information on how to deduct vehicle expense. This will help you with the basics when speaking to your accountant.
- The Home Office Deductions - If I work out of my home, do I qualify for tax considerations? Learn the basics.
- Meal and Entertainment Deductions - Make the most of meal and entertainment expenses. Learn what expenses qualify and how to keep accurate records.