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Small Business Financial Records | Free Financial Management Software

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Sage One Accounting is simple online accounting software for small business. It gives business owners the essential tools to manage their finances and get paid faster.
A FREE version is available.


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Many small businesses often run into trouble because there is not a good record keeping system in place.  The home based entrepreneur is frequently someone with a passion for his or her products or services, enjoys meeting new people, considers marketing to be a challenge, and would prefer torture rather than spend valuable time tracking revenues and expenses.

But if you don't keep good financial records, you have no way of knowing how your marketing and sales efforts are doing and if you are keeping your expenses under control.  In addition, the government has a variety of reporting requirements you must meet.  Everyone must file annual tax returns, but if you decide to add one or more employees as your business grows, there are additional reports you must file on a quarterly basis.

On the list of important reasons given for why home businesses fail is lack of good accounting records.  If you don't know how you are doing financially, how are you going to know if you are on track?  How do you know if your business plan is sound?  How are you going to know whether you need to change your marketing strategies, make price changes, or reduce expenses?

In other words, you need to see your bookkeeping system as a management tool that can provide you with the signposts you need for determining what path to take towards success.

Sage One Online Accounting Available For FREE!!


USING RECORD KEEPING SOFTWARE

You have a choice of bookkeeping methods.  You can keep manual records or computerized records.  Most people today use bookkeeping or accounting software to track business records.  There are a number of options available that range from simple revenue and expense bookkeeping to complex multi-department accounting that is integrated with sales and inventory programs.

The difference between bookkeeping and accounting is one of degreeBookkeeping software is a basic system for recording primarily cash sales and expense figures.  It is quite possible that your bank offers a bookkeeping system based on your checking account activity.  You can download your deposits and check information right into the record keeping system.  When it is time to prepare the tax return, the accountant will use the bookkeeping records as the basis for preparation of the required business forms.  

An accounting system, on the other hand, is designed to handle either cash or accrual record keeping.  It also has the necessary features to create entries for tax accounting purposes such as depreciation or inventory records.  

The kind of financial record keeping system you choose depends on the complexity of your business.   If you operate a simple business selling one particular set of products, do mostly drop-shipping for order fulfillment, and operate on a cash basis, a bookkeeping system will work quite nicely.  If you maintain an inventory in your home, operate on an accrual basis, have employees and sell a variety of products and services, you should obtain accounting software.


Sage One Online Accounting Available For FREE!! The Windows based software that is available today is very user friendly.  You may dread the thought of keeping financial records, but today's software is built for people just like you.  The software can streamline the entire record keeping process.

One important point to keep in mind though is this:  you can only be a better manager in your home or small business if you create a streamlined system of records flow.  You need to maintain a good filing system both on and offline.  You will need to keep backup paperwork for your sales and expense figures which prove the entries made in the bookkeeping and accounting systems are accurate.  But you also need to have a good online method of filing correspondence, email inquiries, order fulfillments and invoices sent through the internet.

Available for Free
Sage One Accounting is simple online accounting software for small business. It gives business owners the essential tools to manage their finances and get paid faster. Available for Free!!

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

When you say financial statements, it seems to imply big corporations with an army of accountants preparing formal reports and making complicated entries.  But even the smallest home based business needs to produce management reports and financial statements which give a clear picture of how the business is doing.

Both bookkeeping and accounting systems produce financial statements either on a cash or accrual basis depending on the kind of program you use.  Financial statements should provide useful information that you can use to judge your business progress and to make future financial decisions.  If you buy a good bookkeeping or accounting system, the program will probably also generate management reports such as customer data and inventory analysis reports.  

The key to successful financial management of your home business is to use the information you have available.  Some people wait until the end of the year and then desperately try to input a years worth of data.  They are really short changing themselves when they handle the financial aspects of the business in this manner.  It means they are not using their management reports as decision making tools throughout the year.

There are many types of record keeping software packages for sale.  They range in prices from as low as $40 to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  Before you buy one it is best to do some research and talk to others who have actually used the systems.  But whatever you choose to buy, it is important the system be expandable in the future to accommodate your business growth.



What this means is that if you buy a basic system for cash bookkeeping, it should be upgradeable in the future with the addition of modules if you so choose.  Or the data in the basic system should be convertible to another more sophisticated version or even another software package.  You don't want to have to recreate your accounting system down the road after your business expands.

QuickBooks Online - Anytime,Anywhere. Easily Track Sales,Bills & Expenses. Try FREE for 30 Days!


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