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Accounting knowledge question
Old 04-23-2012, 01:09 PM   #1
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Accounting knowledge question

DW and I have been running a (very) small business for a couple of years, and now she's also started another business in a field she loves. This is great and will keep her happy and hopefully add a bit to our cash flow. However, I'm realizing I don't really know squat about business accounting. I've been faking my way through it for the past few years, figuring if I mess up and I get caught it shouldn't be a big issue (small number of dollars, good intentions, and sad puppy dog eyes should keep us out of trouble).

These businesses aren't going away any time soon though, so now I want to start keeping better books, do things right, and maybe even understand what I'm doing and why. So I'm asking the advice of others on the board here that have dealt with doing small business accounting, especially with no real training. Should I just buy QuickBooks (or something similar) and fill in the fields as directed? Or should I take an accounting course or two? If so, should I head up to the local community college for accounting 101? Or take an online class? If online, does anyone have any suggestions for a decent place to take it?

Any advice would be appreciated. I always get nervous around tax time when I realize how half assed my paperwork and accounting is. I don't want to pay more taxes than I legally have to, but even more I want to pay all the taxes I'm legally required to. I never want to get the people with the guns and jail cells too interested in what I'm doing.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
DW and I have been running a (very) small business for a couple of years, and now she's also started another business in a field she loves. This is great and will keep her happy and hopefully add a bit to our cash flow. However, I'm realizing I don't really know squat about business accounting. I've been faking my way through it for the past few years, figuring if I mess up and I get caught it shouldn't be a big issue (small number of dollars, good intentions, and sad puppy dog eyes should keep us out of trouble).

These businesses aren't going away any time soon though, so now I want to start keeping better books, do things right, and maybe even understand what I'm doing and why. So I'm asking the advice of others on the board here that have dealt with doing small business accounting, especially with no real training. Should I just buy QuickBooks (or something similar) and fill in the fields as directed? Or should I take an accounting course or two? If so, should I head up to the local community college for accounting 101? Or take an online class? If online, does anyone have any suggestions for a decent place to take it?

Any advice would be appreciated. I always get nervous around tax time when I realize how half assed my paperwork and accounting is. I don't want to pay more taxes than I legally have to, but even more I want to pay all the taxes I'm legally required to. I never want to get the people with the guns and jail cells too interested in what I'm doing.
Just tell her to get a bookkeeper and accountant. It will all be deductible and none of it will be your responsibility.

Ha
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:21 PM   #3
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I'd have taxes signed off by a CPA, one that's independent or part of a small firm....should be a little less expensive. You're on the hook for all mistakes if you have a non CPA bookeeper do most of the work. Good Luck, if you're making money it's all tax deductable, if not, time to close up the business anyways. Hope you make a ton of money.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:28 PM   #4
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I use Bookkeeper 2012 . I tried Quick Books but it was too confusing . This program is simple and less expensive . Bookkeeper 2012 | Bookkeeping Software | Avanquest
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:43 PM   #5
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Sounds like you could use an accounting for dummies, accountant for non-accountants or accounting for managers course or the accounting game. There are a number of training in accounting for non-accountants out there. Good luck.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:14 PM   #6
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These businesses aren't going away any time soon though, so now I want to start keeping better books, do things right, and maybe even understand what I'm doing and why. So I'm asking the advice of others on the board here that have dealt with doing small business accounting, especially with no real training. Should I just buy QuickBooks (or something similar) and fill in the fields as directed? Or should I take an accounting course or two? If so, should I head up to the local community college for accounting 101? Or take an online class? If online, does anyone have any suggestions for a decent place to take it?
If you have a local SBA or SCORE office, they may have online accounting courses or programs with local community colleges.

If you don't mind teaching yourself then you can do very well at the local library's "accounting" section. The reference librarian might even have handouts of suggested texts and online resources.
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