I’m going to interrupt this series with an important, unlisted item. Accurate and up-to-date accounting is critical to the success of any business, including woodworking. This can be a problem if you’re like me and dislike the tedium of accounting for your business activities. I’ve always done my own accounting using Quickbooks and now my own taxes using TurboTax Online. While that has worked out fairly well, my lack of accounting knowledge means that I fail to take full advantage of the extensive capabilities of Quickbooks. Plus, my dislike for accounting causes me to put it off as long as possible. Since I have to file quarterly reports, I wind up working on my accounting like crazy just before the tax due date, not a great idea even if you like accounting.
Because of my failings in this area, I have been looking for an easy way (easy for me) to do my accounting for years, without success. At the beginning of this year I found something that really works for me and I want to share it with you.
First, if you can afford an Accountant, by all means hire one. A knowledgable Accountant can save you time and could well save you money in taxes. He or she could also save you from penalties for mistakes. I could never be an Accountant but I value the work they do.
On the other hand, if you run a one person business like me and wish to do your own accounting, my recent find might be of help to you. While I am recommending a company that I use, I am not affiliated in any way with this company nor do I gain anything if you decide to use them.
My accounting is now done by Outright.com. That’s what I said, they do my accounting and for only $10 a month. To make use of their service your business has to be formalized to some extent. That is, you can’t be mixing your personal and business funds, something you shouldn’t be doing anyway. You need to have a checking account for your business. If you make purchases with a credit card, you need a card just for your business. If you accept credit cards or paypal, you need to have those accounts solely for your business.
The way Outright.com works is that your business accounts are registered with their secure web service and they sweep information from your accounts on a daily basis. This information is categorized and formed into your account. You go into your Outright account and check on these items. They categorize but if they are unsure of an item’s category, “not sure” will be listed and you type in the correct information. From then on that expense or purchase is properly categorized automatically. You never have to post anything and you can run reports on anything you choose including sales tax, profit and loss, specific vendor information. You can also add cash and other items that may not be listed on the accounts you have registered with them. It is comprehensive and easy to understand.
Whether you are just starting out or already established and don’t already have an Accountant to handle this for you, I suggest you check it out.
-- Bill, Austin, Texas, http://woodworking-business.com