The 8-step accounting cycle: 2023 beginners guide

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For example, a marina that sells boats will need to keep track of each transaction they make through purchases of equipment, parts, or services rendered over the accounting period. They will also want to note important information to make categorizing and following steps easier. Whether you are an independent contractor or a multinational corporation, bookkeeping is important to you. These bookkeeping tips and best practices will help your business improve its financial recordkeeping. When you file your taxes, it is your responsibility to prove the validity of your expenses.


An income statement can help you determine if your profit margins are too thin, and if so, whether you need to raise prices or cut costs. It’s when you match up the debits with the credits in your ledger, thereby resulting in balanced books. With that being said, even if an expense is both ordinary and necessary, that still doesn’t mean you can deduct the full cost on your taxes. If you work from home twice per week, for example, you may not be able to deduct your entire monthly rent.

bookkeeping processes

Double-entry bookkeeping calls for recording two entries with each transaction in order to manage a thoroughly developed balance sheet along with an income statement and cash flow statement. In the normal course of business, a document is produced each time a transaction occurs. Deposit slips are produced when lodgements (deposits) are made to a bank account. Checks (spelled “cheques” in the UK and several other countries) are written to pay money out of the account. Bookkeeping first involves recording the details of all of these source documents into multi-column journals (also known as books of first entry or daybooks). For example, all credit sales are recorded in the sales journal; all cash payments are recorded in the cash payments journal.

Tasks involved in bookkeeping

I love that I get to work with a wide range businesses, all with their own complications and circumstances. It means I get to meet and learn from, lots of interesting people and it’s great to see their businesses evolve. Having a good bookkeeping process gives business owners the right insight to understand their financial situation better, the direction they are heading and what needs to be addressed for improvement. All your asset, liability, and equity accounts are compiled into the balance sheet. The balance sheet shows how each dollar of your assets is balanced by either debt or owner’s equity.

  • The balance sheet shows how each dollar of your assets is balanced by either debt or owner’s equity.
  • Any transaction posted in your ledger or your accounting software will be a debit or a credit.
  • Getting your books together and producing financial statements is the only way to gauge the financial health of your small business.
  • The most important thing to remember about the bookkeeping process is that it’s all about accuracy and detail.
  • By keeping track of your finances, you can identify areas where you’re spending too much and make changes accordingly.
  • So you’ll want to understand which tasks your bookkeeper is and isn’t responsible for handling.
  • The bookkeeping transactions can be recorded by hand in a journal or using a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel.

You can’t run a healthy, successful business without having your books in order. It’s like driving a car without a fuel gauge or a map—sooner or later you’re going to get lost or run out of gas. Process is critical to small to mid-sized businesses as they support efficiency and productivity.

Step 3. Post transactions to the general ledger

Automate your bookkeeping process and future-proof your firm with profitable and scalable services. When you consistently adhere to a bookkeeping process, you can evaluate which steps delay the project or are redundant. A thorough review will help to streamline the process and increase efficiency. Additionally, following a process allows you to find loopholes within the system which you can address and correct, creating an even stronger process and greater stability.

When I relocated to Crowland from Hertfordshire back in 2010, I decided to make the most of being a ‘numbers person’. Having done the bookkeeping for a small business in a previous role that I was employed in, I started my ICB qualification and set up LJM Bookkeeping in 2011. Most small businesses will either do their books themselves or outsource the work to a professional.

Overview: What is bookkeeping?

Lenders and investors want a clear idea of your business’ financial state before giving you money. They can’t do that without looking into things like revenue, cash flow, assets and liabilities, which they’ll search for on your balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows. With an accounting system, you need to decide when to record transactions. With a cash account system, you’ll record transactions anytime cash changes hands.

Very small businesses may choose a simple bookkeeping system that records each financial transaction in much the same manner as a checkbook. Businesses that have more complex financial transactions usually choose to use the double-entry accounting process. Bookkeeping is the process of recording all financial transactions made by a business. Bookkeepers are responsible for recording, classifying, and organizing every financial transaction that is made through the course of business operations.

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For example, many receipt scanning apps can be used to scan and store receipts automatically. If your records are a mess, it will be tough to find anything, and you will waste a lot of time looking for things lost in the shuffle. Remember the saying that things don’t go wrong; they go right into the wrong place? We work with your existing finance team to fully support your company’s short and long-term growth — with more value and less overhead. Create a single portal for the team members, clients, and stakeholders to send project updates and avoid miscommunications. There are many software products available which allow you to collaborate with the entire team and assign access levels to maintain security.

What is bookkeeping and its process?

Bookkeeping is the process of recording your company's financial transactions into organized accounts on a daily basis. It can also refer to the different recording techniques businesses can use.

Because it is more advanced, being an accountant requires a higher skill set than that of a bookkeeper. Thus, an accountant usually has a degree or certification (CPA), while there is no formal training required in order to become a bookkeeper. Some people use the term bookkeeping interchangeably with accounting, but as we’ll explain in the next point, they’re actually different. With the help of tools like Envoice, you can create an audit trail that will make it easier to catch fraudsters. Everyone who has access to the records will have to log in, and this will create a paper trail that can be used to track down the culprit. With an effective bookkeeping system, you can see where your money is going.

This will help you control your costs and save money in the long run. Create a system for recording and storing transactions that work for you and stick to it. Expenses are all the money that is spent to run the company that is not specifically related to a product or service sold. An example of an expense account is Salaries and Wages or Selling and Administrative expenses. The chart of accounts lists every account the business needs and should have. If you are going to offer your customers credit or if you are going to request credit from your suppliers, then you have to use an accrual accounting system.

bookkeeping processes

Efficient accounting and bookkeeping processes can boost profitability and decrease workload. The entry system you choose impacts how you manage your finances and how your bookkeeping processes will work. However, accountants are brought in when the business needs more strategic advice, especially as it relates to taxes and corporate or financial planning.