Small Business Accounting - Financial Statement and Tax Information
While it may not be the most exciting part of your business, keeping proper small business accounting records and financial statements is clearly one of the most important things a business owner can do. At some point, you may need to raise capital from a financial institution or lender, and if your books are not current or accurate it can jeopardize or risk losing your financing. In addition to keeping your records up to date, paying and recording the proper taxes are imperative, so as not to risk penalties and fines from the state and federal government.
Getting Started (Basic Accounting)
- How to Create a Business Plan - Many would-be entrepreneurs shudder at the prospect of putting together a business plan, but the task need not be daunting.
- How to Develop Cash and Capital Budgets - A budget is a blueprint for your business' future. Learn how to develop cash budgets to create a plan for operations, and a capital budget to evaluate major capital investments.
- The Right Accounting Method for Your Business: Accrual or Cash - Learn the basics of maintaining your books and keeping track of your income and expenses through the cash or accrual methods.
- Forms of Business Ownership: Corporation, Partnership, Proprietorship - Make an informed decision about the structure of your business using the information in this section.
Understanding Standard Financial Reports
- Balance Sheet - The Balance Sheet describes the overall health of a business: What it owns and what it owes. This article is a guide to preparing and evaluating a balance sheet.
- Income Statement - An Income Statement or Profit and Loss (P & L) statement measures a company's sales and expenses over a specified period of time. You can use this guide to create a profit and loss statement for your business.
Analyzing Financial Performance
- Useful Financial Metrics 1 - Learn about Financial Metrics like Gross Profit Margin, Net Profit Margin, Quick Ratio, and Accounts Receivable Turnover… and how they can help you analyze your business.
- Useful Financial Metrics 2 - Learn about more Financial Metrics like Return on Investment, Debt to Equity Ratio, Economic Value Added, and Asset Turnover Ratio… and how they can help you analyze your business.
- Useful Financial Metrics 3 - Learn about Financial Metrics like Return on Assets, Return on Equity, Inventory Turnover Ratio, and Profitability Index… and how they can help you analyze your business.
Making Smart Financial Decisions
- Financial Forecasting - You cannot plan without forecasting. Learn the basics of forecasting sales, production and cash.
- Pricing - Pricing products and services competitively while still managing to clear a profit can prove to be one of the biggest challenges facing owners. Learn the basics of pricing.
- Business Insurance - Protect your company and your employees. This article will help you determine the types of insurance your business needs.
- Company Vehicles: Lease vs Buy - Company vehicles can be purchased or leased; this article will help you determine which method of ownership is right for your business and your needs.
- Break-Even Analysis - Are you making or losing money with your pricing or management decisions. This article will help you make sound financial decisions.
- Borrowing Wisely - Finding a banker and determining whether to seek short- or long-term financing can be daunting. This article will help you determine what might be best for you.
- Business Valuation - What is your business worth? Learn why and how to perform a business valuation.
Managing Cash Flow
- Cash Flow The Life Blood of Your Business - Cash Flow is vital to the life of your business. This primer will help you understand the basics and the basic terminology of cash flow.
- How to Manage Accounts Receivable - Every business needs to be paid on time; this article includes ways to manage accounts receivable and improve cash flow.
- How to Avoid and/or Survive a Cash Crunch - Businesses of all sizes can find themselves in a cash crunch. This article will help you avoid a cash crunch and if worse comes to worst, survive short-term cash problems.
- Managing Inventory - You want to ensure that you minimize cost and maximize customer satisfaction. This primer will help you determine the right levels for you.
- Credit Checks - No sale is complete until money is in your account. This article will help you determine whether to extend credit and if so, under what terms.
- Optimize Collection Efforts - Receiving the money you are owed can at times be difficult; this article will help you put a straightforward collections process in place for customers who are slow to pay.
- Depreciation - You should hire an accountant to help you with your taxes. This section gives you basic information on depreciation to help you when talking with your accountant.
- Payroll & Payroll Taxes - What are your options with handling Payroll and Payroll Taxes? This will help you decide what option is right for you.
- How the IRS Determines Independent Contractor Status - When the line between employee and independent contractor is fuzzy, huge penalties can result. This will help you determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
- Deducting Vehicle Expenses - This section provides basic information on how to deduct vehicle expense. This will help you with the basics when speaking to your accountant.
- Home Office - If I work out of my home, do I qualify for tax considerations? Learn the basics.
- Meal and Entertainment Deductions - Make the most of meal and entertainment expenses. Learn what expenses qualify and how to keep accurate records.