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DIY Bookkeeping Do’s and Don’ts

Some business owners want to run and hide at the thought of handling their own bookkeeping. But some business owners prefer to be more hands-on and personally handle every aspect of their books. If you choose to tackle your business’s bookkeeping on your own, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind to avoid major headaches in the future.


DON’T

Forget to record transactions from each day. Accurate records of your sales are essential to your reports and understanding your profit.

DO

Record every single transaction your business had for each day. This is something that can feel overwhelming if your business has a lot of transactions each day, but staying on top of it is the best way to keep organized. At the end of every week, I make sure to enter any sale or transaction that took place. It’s much easier to do this while things are fresh in my mind. It’s important to note that some businesses document sales only when the money is paid while some document the sale when the invoice is sent. Be sure to consult with your tax professional to pick one method and stick to it so your records stay organized.

DON’T

Throw away your receipts. It’s important to keep track of all of your business expenses and have organized records for easy bookkeeping and tax purposes.

DO

Develop a system for keeping track of your receipts and expenses. Some business owners like to keep all of their physical receipts in a folder or box while some prefer digital copies. I actually do both! I keep all of my physical receipts in a folder after I upload them to QuickBooks Online. Once the transaction hits the bank, I make sure to match the receipt to the uploaded transaction. I find it easier to log my expenses as I pay them vs stashing all of my receipts to log at one time.

DON’T

Inaccurately categorize income and expenses. For example, categorizing a transfer as income is a common mistake I see business owners make.

DO

Make sure you’re categorizing business and non-business transactions correctly. Categorizing a transaction the wrong way impacts your reports and in turn, can impact your understanding of the health of your business.

DON’T

Ignore the analytics and reports that QuickBooks Online has to offer. These are powerful tools right at your fingertips!

DO

Take time to understand what each report means and how you can use them to make better business decisions. These reports are a direct indication of how your business is performing. If you use them well, they allow you to see trends and make informed decisions.

DON’T

Miss your tax deadlines! If you miss your deadline without filing an extension, you’ll start to accrue penalties and interest. Keep in mind there are penalties for failure-to-file as well as failure-to-pay.

DO

Mark your calendar at the start of each year or quarter with your tax deadline dates. I like to mark these dates in my calendar and set an alert for a few weeks prior to ensure I have enough time to get everything prepared and filed without too much stress.

DON’T

Feel like you’re completely alone and get frustrated. Sometimes bookkeeping can feel like you’re playing a game where you don’t even know the rules. Remember that you’re not expected to have all the answers and you’re not alone.

DO

Reach out to a professional if you have questions or need a second opinion. It’s so much easier to ask questions and do something correctly the first time vs trying to go back and fix previous errors. Feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions, I’d love to help you tackle your books with confidence!

This list could go on and on, but these are non-negotiables for clean and effective bookkeeping. My team and I are always here to help with any of your bookkeeping needs! We’re here to answer your questions, teach you how to work in QuickBooks Online, or even do your bookkeeping for you. Learn more about our services here or book a discovery call.