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Business Tip: Small business accounting

By By Mark Martinez
Sept. 24, 2013 at 4:24 a.m.


As I went through college and decided to major in accounting, I always thought I would end up working in a Certified Public Accountant firm.

I soon found myself working in private accounting instead of public accounting.

What I also realized was that the accounting world was so broad and could be split into different aspects of accounting. Most large companies can hire a full accounting department to keep track of revenues and expenses of the company, along with the reporting required of being in business.

Most small businesses, on the other hand, cannot afford to hire a full accounting staff or hire a CPA to handle their accounting needs, so they rely on their own knowledge to keep their bookkeeping.

As a Certified Business Adviser and a QuickBooks ProAdviser for the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center, I get to see firsthand what the small-business owner's concerns are.

The top concerns are always accounting and bookkeeping. Small-business owners need to be able to keep track of their business expenses and revenues to be able to make decisions on behalf of the company. When a business is able to have a good handle on what it spends and on how much sales it is bringing in, better managerial decisions are made.

Many small-business owners today are moving toward using QuickBooks. The reason for this is that QuickBooks is very user friendly, and with proper training, it can be a very useful tool.

The popularity of QuickBooks has skyrocketed, and even CPA firms have acknowledged this. Many small businesses are using QuickBooks not only because of its friendliness but also for the reports the program generates, which include your income statement, balance sheet and sales just to name a few.

QuickBooks has also included many other features for business owners to use to better help them and the business. Some of the features in QuickBooks include scanning and uploading documents and letter templates such as collection letters.

QuickBooks has allowed the small-business owner to reduce his or her accounting costs, while at the same time empowering the individual with information that he or she did not have before.

As a business owner, it is very important to be able to have real-time financial information that will allow for better managerial decisions. Small businesses also use QuickBooks to run payroll in house, again cutting costs of outsourcing payroll and knowing what your payroll expenses are. QuickBooks also understands that the small-business owner is very busy and on the go most of the time. With this said, QuickBooks now has QuickBooks Online so that you can work on your bookkeeping anytime and anywhere, making it more convenient.

One thing to remember: QuickBooks is a user-friendly program. It is very important to use the complete interview process within QuickBooks to ensure you have set up your chart of accounts correctly. The chart of accounts is the heart of your bookkeeping because these are the accounts that you will be using to categorize your expenses and revenues.

For more information, contact the UHV-SBDC at 361-485-4485, or sbdc@uhv.edu.

Mark Martinez is a Certified Business Advisor with the UHV SBDC and can be contacted at martinezma9@uhv.edu

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