Author Topic: Bookkeeping: I'm in need of some help  (Read 429 times)

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Stone

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Bookkeeping: I'm in need of some help
« on: January 28, 2018, 01:12:18 PM »
I'm not a bookkeeper. Never have been, but need to start, or find someone who LOVES crunching the numbers. Just finished up my first calendar year "in business", so it's time to get serious. Anyhow. I'm not a numbers guy. I'm a builder, I work with my hands to build stuff, not calculate the numbers. Have spoken with a couple local bookkeepers, but their fees for "drop all my receipts in an envelope to you once a week" is pretty damn high(like $250/mo or more). So, I'm looking for a SIMPLE, effective solution. Preferably something I can link my bank account/paypal to. Have heard about quickbooks, but I'm a klutz with computers, so maybe paying someone to do it "right" is better after all. Would prefer an in-house solution, or even web based, to keep costs down. I can dedicate 1hr/week to doing bookkeeping on my own, especially if it can automatically calculate sales tax numbers, transferring that money to the state(I'm in California at present),etc.

Even better would be something that I could take a picture of my receipts, and it automatically inputs it for me into an "expenses" category. does that even exist?
Then again, maybe I should just hire a live person who can do this, and answer questions for me, haha... Someone with some sort of certification and knows how to really maximize deductions per annum.
I'm a one-man operation at present, and I need to maximize my time. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

thx,
Dan

Gear Dynamics

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Re: Bookkeeping: I'm in need of some help
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 04:00:12 PM »
For us, in Canada, the simplist and cheapest method was to find a good accountant and work backwards. Once a year we provide all the info they need to do our annual tax returns, based on how they suggested that we collect it. The simple version is that we maintain a revenue spreadsheet, an expense spreadsheet (broken down by catigories), and an inventory spreadsheet. These can be as detailed as you like, as long as they are easy to continually enter data into. At year end, we count our inventory, calculate our cost of goods sold, total revenue and total expenses by category. That info goes on a summary sheet and is simply passed off to the accountant.

BergspitzeCustoms

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Re: Bookkeeping: I'm in need of some help
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2018, 07:01:27 PM »
I utilize a combination of the app from my credit union that I bank with, a Google Spreadsheet (that I can access on my phone, computer, or tablet and it all syncs) and the PayPal business tools.  Before my credit union updated their app to be more capable, I used Wave, which had a useful receipt scanning function and some other things that were great.  A few of my fellow small-business friends use one called FreeAgent, I can't recall the pricing on that but they love its capability to track time on projects to calculate billing.  They are consultants rather than makers, so they don't have much material costs to worry about so I don't know if that affects their perspective on FreeAgent.

Wave was free when I used it.  Might still be.  It was a useful tool.

I don't like paying people to do something I can do myself.  It took a little while to get a system figured out, and of course doing all the formulas and such for the spreadsheet took some time, but now it pays off.  I can quickly see any week/month/year information that I need, and all my valuable numbers (EBITDA, P&L, etc.) are calculated automatically.  I set aside some time each week (less than 30 minutes) to review everything, and take a deeper look at the start/end of each quarter, but because I take a quick glance every day when I tally up daily stuff, it all stay pretty well on track.

Corvus

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Re: Bookkeeping: I'm in need of some help
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 11:17:49 PM »
I'm using Wave and it is free unless you need to do payroll, which is an add on. It works well for me and if I put some more time into the background information, I could use the info it provides for a lot more. Linked to bank accounts, credit, PayPal. There is a companion app that allows you to shoot a picture of your receipts and it loads them into an expense account, it's called Receipts. Running reports is easy, and the interface is pretty intuitive. I've looked at quickbooks, and learning an entirely new system wasn't in the cards. I've talked to an accountant, and I'm confident that is the best solution, but for now, Wave works well.
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Stone

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Re: Bookkeeping: I'm in need of some help
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 08:43:16 AM »
Thanks guys. I appreciate your input. Right now, I'm going to take my stuff to an accountant. California requires me to file by the 31st, so I've filed an extension request so I can hire a CPA to get this all worked out for me.

Corvus, I've been looking at Wave. I need automation as much as possible, simply to save time. Hence getting a bookkeeper lined up to simply hand things off to, going forward.

cheers,
Dan