Our resident QuickBooks trainer, Dawn Talty, and I have been chatting over some of the common things we encounter with our clients and ‘students’ when getting started with QuickBooks or starting their business. We got to thinking that maybe we should spread the word about some helpful business tips to keep people from tangling themselves up into a confusing mess.

We hope you find these things worth your while!

Talty Tip One:

When starting a business, no matter how small, having your own business checking account is golden. Why? Well, it’s pretty simple! When you’re trying to get your numbers squared away, it goes much faster for your accountant to know that everything on your bank statement is a business expense. In turn, this save you money because we don’t have to spend more time than necessary weeding out personal purchases.

Also, it keeps your books very clean and wrapped like a nice present for when things like profit and loss statements need to be made. In a nutshell, it makes things very efficient.

However, if you can’t have separate accounts or don’t want them, label what is personal ahead of time so your accountant already knows and there’s no lag time having to ask you about it.

Talty Tip Two:

When setting up your chart of accounts in QuickBooks, don’t go overboard with details. For instance, office supplies can cover everything from paperclips to paper towels to snacks. You don’t need subcategories like office supplies general, office supplies bathroom, or office supplies food. When you go out for lunch, you don’t need to distinguish between McDonald’s and Longhorn Steakhouse; it can all be meals and entertainment. When in doubt, remember the KISS method.

Talty Tip Three:

Keep any and all documents regarding your business. This includes all receipts, copies of W2/1099 forms, IRS notices, asset lists, etc. If you can, find a good filing system that you can stay on top of rather than throwing it all in a box.

For instance, have an accordion filing folder where you can separate everything into categories like insurance, office supplies, meals and entertainment, etc. or maybe have separate files within a box with similar categories.

Again, this’ll save your accountant time and you money. Further, if you ever get audited, you’ll be able to easily pull your supporting documents forward and have it all right there and organized.

Talty Tip Four:

When you meet with your accountant, make sure you let them know about all your business banking accounts and credit cards if you have them. In order to help you out the most, we want to be able to account for any and all expenses your business has (this’ll help when it comes to your tax return and allowable deductions) and knowing these accounts right off the bat keeps the bookkeeping easy. In the same regard, if you open another account or get a credit card at some point during the year, make sure you let your accountant know as soon as possible and get the statements to them.

Talty Tip Five:

Remember that running your own show can be really fun and rewarding. When things get confusing or frustrating, just remember that you started your business because you’re passionate about what you’re doing and most likely that has nothing to do with accounting and taxes. Leave that to us! We’re always here to help whenever you need us. It’s our job to navigate accounting and tax regulation so you can spend your energy on what you love doing.

When in doubt though, Just give us a call or email!