Learn how to do bookkeeping and accounting for startups

  • Understanding Accounting fundamentals For Startups
  • Why Is Bookkeeping & Accounting Important For Startups?
  • What Financial Records Startups Need To Keep?
  • Bookkeeping/Accounting Checklist For Startup
  • Managing Startup Accounting Yourself Vs. Consider Additional Help
  • How To Do Bookkeeping & Accounting For Startups?
  • Key Takeaways
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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    CHAPTER 1:

    Understanding Accounting fundamentals For Startups

    Running a startup is exciting! But it is challenging at the same time if you don’t have a proper bookkeeping/accounting system in place.
    Backed with proper bookkeeping earlier is a must. It is something that contributes to a solid foundation of business growth and success.
    Are you planning to do bookkeeping/accounting for your startup? But not sure where to begin?
    In this guide, we help you go through the understanding of accounting fundamentals for your startup:
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    Finance is one of the elements that any business must embrace to succeed in this competitive world. And this is the reason both bookkeeping and accounting require quick attention by startups. 

    So let's talk about the fundamentals of bookkeeping and accounting for startups in this post, along with the advantages of completely understanding the financial figures.

    So let’s get started with the accounting basics:

    What Is Bookkeeping & Accounting?

    Bookkeeping and accounting is the process of summarising a company's financial situation so that we can better evaluate its prospects for the future. You need to decide on your company's financial structure before you begin the accounting and bookkeeping for your startup. Similar to creating a thorough financial strategy, selecting an accounting method to handle finances is more important than ever. 

    The Most Common Accounting Method Types - 

    Cash basis:

    It is the most common accounting method that startups can choose to recognize revenues and expenses at the time cash is received or paid out.

    Accrual Basis:

    The method that is widely used to manage finances is the accrual basis. Not when the money comes in or goes out, but when the income and expenses happen, is when you record them.

    Revenues and expenses are recorded when they are earned under the accrual accounting system of accounting, regardless of when the money is collected or paid. An accrual basis accounting is used by a startup that wants to expand to secure finance.

    Startups can use intelligent automation and cloud-based accounting tools to perform accrual accounting. This accounting method offers startups with:

    • A clear picture of business finances
    • Instant reports and insights. 
    • Access to books anytime from anywhere. 
    • Protect books by secure encryption technology. 

    Good Bookkeeping & Accounting Starts With Great Systems 

    You cannot create a budget, determine your cash runway, or present accurate financial information without effective accounting and bookkeeping. Additionally, if you're looking to raise money, you'll need transparent financials so that potential investors may decide whether to participate in your business with confidence.

    It's critical to realize that bookkeeping and accounting are two distinct processes. The practice of keeping track of all financial information, such as receipts and bills, is known as bookkeeping. The goal of accounting is to explain the company's financial condition so that you can pay the correct taxes or make calculated business decisions.

    The main components of bookkeeping are:

    • Monitoring expenses
    • Recording financial transactions
    • Generating invoices
    • Maintaining historical data 
    • Completing payroll
    Reports generated by the accounting process include the following and other significant financial indicators:

    • Examining the work of the bookkeeper
    • Making adjustments entries
    • Creating financial reports and other documents
    • Preparing more reports that combine important financial indicators
    • Prepare your income tax returns for tax filing.

    Bookkeeping & Accounting Basics Every Startup Need To Track

    To better manage your business finances, a cloud-based accounting method would be a far better choice. People like you, startups with a limited understanding of bookkeeping and accounting fundamentals, will do well with this accounting system. Additionally, the system makes financial transactions as easy as possible. 

    Below are a few accounting basics that need to be properly tracked:

    Bank Statements: Bulky bank statements need to be tracked properly. If bank statements are not tracked or organized properly, then it might result in possible banking errors. 

    Credit Card Statements: It's crucial to maintain the accuracy of your credit card statements. You make sure to have a backup for every charge on your credit card statement since you are aware that credit card theft can be disruptive.

    Payroll: The startup also needs to maintain accurate records for payroll, which cover everything from managing workers to keeping track of hours.

    Bills: New businesses must verify the accuracy of each bill that they receive. Track your bills each week to ensure they are paid on time after entering them into accounts payable. You'll probably have to pay late fines, interest charges, or both if they're not.

    By keeping accurate records of company expenses, you may ensure that your year-end deductions are accurate.

    Tax Returns: If your business is just getting started, the likelihood that you haven't filed any tax returns yet is higher. However, once you do, it is your responsibility to get those returns filed away timely.

    CHAPTER 2:

    Why Is Bookkeeping & Accounting Important For Startups?

    Making smart financial decisions is vital for any startup to thrive and survive in the competitive market.
    It is likely for businesses to fail if they don’t start with proper financial procedures.
    Bookkeeping & Accounting is critical for the success of any startup. You can see the actual position of your business without a plan for future growth.
    This chapter highlights the importance of bookkeeping and accounting for startups. Let’s start with the discussion:
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    Any startup business needs to make wise financial decisions in order to succeed.

    It can be challenging for new business owners to choose between hiring a professional bookkeeper and outsourcing the task to accounting services.

    If you don't launch your company with the right financial practices, it will probably fail.

    The beneficial role of bookkeeping and accounting for startups:

    Your Business Is Free From Errors 

    The primary causes of startup companies failing within the first few years of operation are financial mistakes. One of the most frequent mistakes is believing your startup is doing better than it actually is. Some people make the error of being disorganized and uncertain of your company's financial situation.

    Startup bookkeeping can help you avoid such errors, especially if you can hire a qualified accountant. The better the bookkeeping, the better your business can achieve your entrepreneurial goals.

    Prevent Tax Frustrations 

    During tax seasons, every business has to make enormous payments. When it comes to audits and tax payments, many companies struggle to track down their inventory records, invoices, and receipts. A bookkeeper can readily locate the majority of the information even if you occasionally don't know where to look. They'll prepare all the paperwork and file your company's taxes.

    Maintaining Proper Records

    No matter what is going on in your business, keeping your financial records organized is essential. Bookkeeping enables you to access the information you require quickly when it comes time to create a budget, submit a loan or grant application, or check to see whether you're making a profit.

    You can organize all of your information in one location using basic accounting for small businesses. Without accounting, one is unable to provide a comprehensive view of your company's finances. Furthermore, organized financial data might assist you in scheduling your bill payments. You can arrange expenses on your calendar by checking when your bills are due.

    Making decisions 

    Business entrepreneurs have a lot of decisions to make. Simple bookkeeping also facilitates decision-making for small firms. Business owners and their accountants can analyze the data using accounting to make wise judgments.

    Keeping Correct Financial Records

    You can make accurate financial records if your data is organized. You can do a lot of things with those records. Alternatively, you might record every transaction in your books and easily access the information when necessary.

    CHAPTER 3:

    What Financial Records Startups Need To Keep?

    Making a choice for your business entity and knowing about essential accounting methods is vital for startups.
    Another major step to take when running a startup is to keep all the financial records on the track.
    Any document that covers income, expenses, deductions, and credits displayed on tax returns needs to be stored properly.
    In this chapter, let’s discuss the financial records that startups need to keep in place:
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    For a business to expand, accurate record-keeping and a consistent financial flow are crucial. Without sufficient records, it is difficult to determine the company's precise financial status or profitability.

    Startups should understand the importance of proper record-keeping from the beginning for this reason. It is crucial to have correct company documents, which cannot be emphasized enough. All business transactions must be accurately documented by every serious business owner.

    Whether you have accounting or finance experience or not, as a business owner you must choose how to manage your financial records. The amount of effort and focus devoted to this task may influence how long the company may survive... 

    Why Is It Important To Keep Up With Financial Records?

    Better Decision Making: Records are the only source of accurate and reliable information that can be used to make management decisions. Although the presence of sufficient records does not ensure that the owners will make the right decisions, their absence reduces the possibility of doing so. Because they are aware of their main operations and where they stand right now, businesses can make better plans.

    Everyone should plan their cash flow, according to experts. Good record keeping will be very helpful in this regard, particularly regarding liabilities that the company must pay.

    Save money by filing your taxes accurately: Records are the main source of information for tax officials. Maintaining your financial records will help you save money and complete your return accurately.

    You should keep a record of all your financial transactions. We will store any records that support the income, costs, deductions, and credits listed on your tax returns.

    • Invoices
    • Bills
    • Receipts
    • Credit card and bank statements
    • Financial statements
    • Proof of payments
    • Canceled checks
    • Previous tax returns
    • Permits & Licences

    Tips To Improve Your Handling of Financial Records

    • It's really difficult to tell which record is for whom. Because of this, it is wise to keep all of your business operations distinct.
    • Update all of your records regularly. Daily, weekly, and monthly arrangements must be made for these.
    • Select a cloud-based accounting system that offers offline access to information from any location.
    • Spend money on a highly qualified bookkeeper or CPAs for improved financial management.

    CHAPTER 4:

    Bookkeeping/Accounting Checklist For Startups

    There are so many activities that go into running a startup business.
    Having professional bookkeeping support will give you confidence that all your processes are well handled.
    This chapter covers the startup accounting checklist that makes things easier for you. With proper bookkeeping and accounting systems in place ensure your business gets the right information whenever needed.
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    Starting a new business is thrilling and difficult at the same time. Following this accounting checklist will help you to make sure you are following all of your company's financial obligations as you launch your business. Accounting and bookkeeping are indeed challenging.

    Despite the importance of these responsibilities, you must have a sound financial plan in place if you want to position your business for long-term success. Due to bad practices and a lack of cash flow, failing to complete these crucial items on your accounting checklist could result in the failure of your company.

    Although bookkeeping and accounting can take a lot of time, you don't need to put in the hours to handle these chores. Hiring the appropriate contracting company to manage these aspects is one of the best things you can do as a business owner. You'll get a better result and be more proactive in defending your company's financial interests.

    Weekly Bookkeeping Tasks 

    • All of your transactions should be entered using your bookkeeping software. Although this is more convenient with integrated financial accounts, you still need to record each cash transaction.
    • Every week, transactions also need to be categorized. You'll be able to track things with the highest accuracy if you keep these records either daily or monthly.
    • Receipts need to be digitalized or filed. Receipts must be stored or digitalized in order for your company to avoid losing them.

    Monthly Bookkeeping Tasks

    • Each month, bank accounts must be managed politely. This stage protects your startup against costs.
    • Create invoices as quickly as you can. 
    • Follow up on overdue bills to make the accounts receivable process run smoothly. For a company to grow successfully, a clear accounts receivable procedure is essential.
    • Every month, you should review your company's financial standing.

    Overlooking The Accounting Checklist

    What will occur if you fail to complete the critical items on your financial to-do list? You might not have any problems at first. However, these issues have a tendency to get worse over time, leading to major issues on the road that can bring your business crashing. Even though tax and financial compliance take time, it is essential to laying a strong foundation for your business.

    These tasks provide you with the data you need to make informed business decisions. By implementing a sound financial plan, you can also avoid paying high fines and high taxes. In addition to learning the proper accounting procedures for your small business or startup, you also need to create the appropriate systems.

    Read More: Accounting For Startups: The Ultimate Guide In 2022

    CHAPTER 5:

    Managing Startup Accounting Yourself Vs. Consider Additional Help

    You are not alone in the struggle of handling the basic bookkeeping and accounting of your business.
    If you think managing your business books is overwhelming, you have a lot of other options and one of the best is to consider the help of a CPA.
    Also having the support of experienced bookkeepers for your business ensures the entire process is well-handled. This chapter explains to you what option you can consider for the best management of your business books.
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    You're not the only one who struggles with basic bookkeeping or accounting for your company. You have a lot of alternative options, such as hiring a CPA, if the idea of handling your own books overwhelms you. 

    For your company, you might also employ a seasoned accountant or bookkeeper, or you could just outsource the whole thing.

    When you should do your startup accounting yourself 

    • When you're just starting out, it could make sense to hire a professional to set up your company's accounting. But if you're just getting started, bookkeeping shouldn't be too difficult for you.
    • Modern software programs are made to significantly simplify the bookkeeping procedure. You might be amazed by how simple it can be.
    • Although it could be tempting to outsource your bookkeeping, keeping track of your money with reports like a cash flow statement will help you get a much better understanding of how your company is doing.

    When you should look for additional help

    Is it quite difficult for you to differentiate between an income statement and a balance sheet? Do you find it difficult to calculate financial numbers? Are you still baffled by the figures on your financial statement? You might want to think about getting some assistance if you don't know how to get done with the financial statement analysis and financial forecasting.

    When the volume of daily transactions rises: It's time to search for alternatives if you notice that you are spending more time on bookkeeping and less time on your business.

    When transactions begin to accumulate: Are there any overdue bills piled up on your desk? Have you last checked your bank statement, posted a transaction, or documented payment weeks or even months ago? If so, it's time to enlist assistance.

    You'll be able to maintain greater control of your funds if you manage your bookkeeping and accounting from the beginning. You'll also be able to identify times when you need to boost sales and when you're overpaying. Therefore, keep in mind that the better your business is managed from the start, the more likely it is to flourish, regardless of whether you perform the bookkeeping yourself, hire a bookkeeper or accountant, or totally outsource such tasks.

    CHAPTER 6:

    How To Do Bookkeeping & Accounting For Startups?

    No matter what your business type, it is a must for every startup to pay close attention to their finances.
    This seems like a top priority in the early stage. As a business grows, effective accounting and cash flow management is critical for business growth.
    Well, bookkeeping and accounting prove to be time-consuming especially when one is less familiar with the local rules and practices.
    Let us help you know the most effective way to do bookkeeping and accounting for your startup.
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    The answer is to take into account cloud-based accounting techniques for new startup businesses.

    No matter what industry a start-up operates in, financial management must receive top priority. Effective accounting and cash flow management systems will be essential to your business's ability to grow even though they may not seem like the top priority in the early going. As your firm expands and takes more of your time, they will become more important.

    When you are unfamiliar with local laws and customs, bookkeeping and accounting can be quite a time- and money-consuming. Fortunately, today's entrepreneurs have access to a wide range of innovative tools and technology that are intended to make it easier to manage invoices, payments, and receipts while allowing them to spend more time investigating new business opportunities.

    What Exactly Is The Cloud? 

    Startups can determine their business financial health by leveraging cloud-based accounting solutions. This accounting method enables you to securely host all required databases and servers, enabling small business owners to access their information from any location at any time through an Internet connection. This gives you a better understanding of your finances and enhances team communication.

    Our team at FreeCashFlow.io helps transform the way you do your bookkeeping. The key benefits of using a cloud-based accounting method are:

    Accessibility: From any location with an Internet connection, you may access your data. You no longer need to be seated at your workplace to access your accounts or check your cash flow, which gives you more freedom and peace of mind.

    Real-time updates: Since your data is constantly accessible in real-time, organizations may make more educated decisions regarding their financial future.

    Security: Because all data is routinely backed up to the cloud, a cloud-based system offers improved levels of data loss protection against damage to computers, hard drives, or servers.

    CHAPTER 7:

    Startup Categorization And The Importance Of Bookkeeping

    So what type of startup do you own?

    For most new businesses like Amazon FBA, SaaS, or supplement companies, the main responsibility is for sure managing the financial data.

    Whatever startup business you run, you must take one step forward to learn how bookkeeping and accounting work for your startup’s benefit.

    In this chapter, we’ve broken down a few real-world examples of the various startup types and how bookkeeping helps them scale:
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    Amazon FBA Startups:
    While bookkeeping is the most exciting part, it is crucial for Amazon startups to understand its importance early. Proper bookkeeping and accounting systems in place helps give businesses confidence in making wise financial decisions.

    Amazon FBA startups by building solid accounting can stay well-organized, increase their efficiency, control expenses, and drive possible opportunities.

    SaaS Startups:
    Since you know SaaS startups are often subscription-based, they definitely need an accounting system to handle the continual customer demands. When it comes to getting the SaaS startup up and running, most founders face accounting and bookkeeping challenges. Because of the subscription-based system, revenue tracking is an important part of SaaS accounting and bookkeeping.

    Shopify eCommerce Startups:
    If you are starting out a new Shopify eCommerce business, learning how to track your expenses and revenue can feel like a huge challenge. On top of running your startup, you have a lot on your plate to manage from asset accounts to tax returns to much more.That’s where bookkeeping and accounting come in - it shows you the big financial picture of your business and helps you manage everything in a more strategic way.

    Supplement Startups:
    Establishing a proper bookkeeping and accounting system is necessary for supplement startups to keep up with accurate record-keeping and measure their success. While supplements are sold in various online marketplaces, it’s more challenging than ever to track the inventory. With a cloud-based accounting solution, you can minimize the complexity of selling supplements on multiple channels.

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    So how these mentioned startup types should handle their finances: Consider Cloud-based bookkeeping.

    Bookkeeping and accounting are challenging for startup businesses. And the best way to do this is to consider a cloud-based accounting solution. It is the wisest investment you can make if you want your business to run smarter.

    Cloud accounting is an emerging trend that has changed the way businesses do accounting. start-ups are especially benefiting a lot from cloud-based bookkeeping. We are backed by a dedicated team that takes care of all your bookkeeping functions for your startup business.

    CHAPTER 8:

    key takeaways

    The only key to unlocking success for startups is to stay at the top of your finances. Bookkeeping and accounting require patience, dedication, and consistency. Now we will discuss some of the main highlights of bookkeeping and accounting for startups.
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    Maintaining control over the finances is essential for a successful startup. Bookkeeping and accounting components serve as the foundation of every business startup. In conclusion, starting your business with a sound accounting system can help it develop and scale. 

    Some essential key takeaways include:

    • Up-to-date bookkeeping allows startups to prepare the best for sales taxes. 
    • Consider a cloud-based accounting solution to stay on top of your business finances. 
    • As soon as you can, hire a CPA having years of experience in the tax and accounting field.

    CHAPTER 9:

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Have some questions in mind to be answered? Below are some of the most common ones asked by startups on bookkeeping and accounting aspects. If you have an additional question in your mind apart from these, feel free to contact us.
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    Let's explore:

    Why Are Reliable Books Crucial?

    Books are essential because it makes one so much easier to budget. With everything properly organised, bookkeeping makes it simple for startups to review their business financial health. Startups can also better plan for their future expenses. If there are not accurate and up-to-date books, it is quite harder for one to run a business smoothly. 

    Who Are the Bookkeepers?

    A bookkeeper is a skilled individual who will keep precise records of each transaction and expense made by the business. An expert spends a lot of time entering data and finding receipts for business costs to ensure correct books and legal financial records.


    What Is The Ideal Way To Ensure Accurate Bookkeeping & Accounting?
    Many reasons are behind why startup owners should consider bookkeeping and accounting a top priority.
    Bookkeeping enables startups to provide accurate financial data and enhance their forecasting capabilities.
    The best way to guarantee accurate bookkeeping is to take the support of a professional CPA. An expert with years of experience in the tax and accounting field ensures your accounts have been correctly handled. Additionally, one can enjoy great peace of mind.
    We at Freecashflow.io provide you with the most trustworthy bookkeeping services. We look forward to hearing from you!
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