Small Business Bookkeeping: Getting Started

by Dawn Fotopulos on July 5, 2011

Small business bookkeeping is the foundation for running a profitable business. Sound boring? It’s actually fun.

No, I’m not kidding. Do you play a sport like tennis, basketball, or even ping pong? Guess what-they all keep score. Why does a football stadium have yard lines? Because each team needs to know how close they are to the goal!

You need to know where you are on the playing field too, except with a business, you get to make a profit and keep the fruit of your labor.

Why do quarterbacks have dozens of plays they can implement at a moment’s notice? Because things happen on the field and the teams have to make course corrections to get that egg-shaped ball across the goal line.

Small business bookkeeping helps you see your progress down the field. Accurate books keep you motivated and help you see the roadblocks to your revenue and expense goals so you can make course corrections too. Sometimes these course corrections will help you make more money. Sometimes, they will help your business avoid bankruptcy.

So, here’s the deal. Small business bookkeeping has three steps to it:

Step 1: Setting Up the Books

Step 2: Logging Expenses, Revenues, and Debits (Updating the Books)

Step 3: Interpreting the Books (For Management Decisions)

This series of articles will take you through how to set up your books, how to log expenses, revenues, and debits and how to interpret the books so you can make better decisions.

Check out our next article in this series: How to Set up your Books: Small Business Bookkeeping Made Simple. We’ve got two more after that to complete your training!

Also, for even more great advice, check out some tips from CPA’s, tax professionals, and veteran small business owners nationwide:


And if you get stuck, don’t be afraid to hit the Panic Button.  It’s the only help desk for small businesses online.  No nonsense.  No kidding.

Don’t forget to watch our training videos.  Don’t know what a P&L is?  Don’t know how to prevent bankruptcy?  You can’t miss these videos, available to you 24/7.  Go to our Learn section to watch as often as you like.  Besides finding great small business bookkeeping tips, you’ll learn highly valuable tips you can’t afford NOT to watch!

The ultimate small business crash course

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pete April 10, 2013 at 4:01 am

I’ve been having problems with my business’ bookkeeping for many years. Then an employee suggested that I try Lou Patten CPA in Lake Worth. I was amazed with the quick and efficient services I received, and most importantly my business is thriving. Here’s his website

Dawn Fotopulos April 10, 2013 at 4:08 am

Please provide the state Lou Patten operates in. Thank you.

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