(Re)Starting Your Accounting Fresh

by | May 10, 2024 | Accounting, Bookkeeping

This doesn’t need to be painful

Whether you’re just starting out a new business or you’re looking at starting your accounting out fresh and new, this guide will help you take the first and all the subsequent steps in your accounting.

Bookkeeping gives you valuable insights into your business. And it reduces compliance burden later down the road.

to So many of my clients, potential clients, people I network with, friends, family, and more balk at the thought of bookkeeping not just because of all the reasons to balk, but also because getting started (or restarted) is hard. You (and they) are smart, capable people who can do hard things though. Ready to dive in and get started?

First, let’s break down the steps:

  • Select your Accounting System – Before you can do the thing, you have to select the tool you’ll use to do it. This does need to be accounting software that make use of a double entry method of accounting. By using accounting software for your bookkeeping, you’re using a level of organization that will help you meet compliance requirements.
  • Select Your Business Bank – for most small businesses, modern bookkeeping starts with bank activity imported into the system. This means you’ll need to select a bank and open a business bank account there. 
  • Get Caught Up – This is where the real work begins, and there’s a ton of if-then considerations to make. Yes, we can and are happy to help with this. We have many options for you to choose with varying degrees of Done For You, Done With You, and supported Do It Yourself. If you’re a DIY-type (and I’m guessing you are if you’re reading this), this course on getting started with/into FreshBooks may be for you (assuming, of course, you’ve selected FreshBooks as your Accounting System going forward).
  • Set Yourself Up for Future Success – Bookkeeping (and accounting) are cyclical. It’s a lot of the same actions happening on a regular basis. Some of those are daily. Some weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. What works for you and your business isn’t always the same that works for someone else’s.

Ready for a little more detail? Let’s dig in, shall we?

Accounting System Selection

Accounting systems are important, and making sure you select one that will work for you and your business is just as important.

That evaluation and selection process is more than what I can cover here in this overview. But, I go over it in depth at this article, here.

The highlights and neceissities of a qulaity accounting system include:

  • Reporting – your system should produce a Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss or Income Statement, Accounts Receiveable Aging, Accounts Payable Aging, and General Ledger Reports
  • Bank Reconciliations – you should be able to reconcile your bank and credit cards; that is, match the activity in your system to the activity on your bank statement.
  • Reporting & Sharing – most accounting systems are cloud-based and will let you add your bookkeeper and/or tax professional as a user. This is incredibly helpful in providing you with support. If this can’t happen, make sure you have plans for when you need help and for tax time.

What systems do you recommend?

The best accounting software is the one that you’ll use and you’ll feel confident in making use of. Following are the accounting softwares we use and recommend to our clients:
  • FreshBooks is pretty. It can be a little easier to look at because there is no white space – it’s very neurodivergent friendly. If you are a current or onboarding client and you’d like to use FreshBooks, please tell me so I can set up your invitation. The software is a bit more prescriptive in its approach to doing the accounting and supports you in making the right decisions in your daily business administration. For me to collaborate, you do need to sign up for the Plus level or higher. I do have an affiliate link that gives you a free 90 day trial. I don’t use that link for the pennies; I use it to reduce your costs.
  • Xerohttps://xero.com – is minimalist in its design approach. This software includes a receipt manager with it called HubDoc. The software has many bells and whistles that can be overwhelming. The bells and whistles aren’t shoved in front of your face and are pretty easy to ignore. If you choose to make use of Xero, please let me do the initial set it up for you.
  • Wavehttps://waveapps.com – can be free you don’t it to import activity from your bank account. This does mean you’ll need to manually input every transaction into the system. Wave itself is a little clunkier to use, but is fully functional. It has almost no bells and whistles. Businesses who have no need of third party app integrations, project management, or significant automation procedures may end up okay here.

What's this about a business bank account?

If you’re not already using a business bank account, you should be. And, if you’re just starting your business, opening a business bank account is on the Checklist of Things.

There’s a ton of options out there. We encourage and recommend our clients use Relay. Relay was built for business with accounting specific needs in mind. They offer advantages to the accounting process not seen in other banks. Please note the link above is a referral link, and will automagically grant Crayon Advisory access to your banking. Relay is the only bank we will accept access to, which can make the accounting and support process smoother. If you’re not a client or not onboarding as a client of Crayon Advisory, you should head to Relay directly if this is the bank you’d like to use.

If you’re a current client and you’d like to discuss this more, please send us your questions.

How do I get started?

Looking at a blank slate is perhaps the hardest part of all of this. Sometimes, the easiest way to get started is to get help and support directly. This doesn’t always look like you doing the things. Starting a conversation with us can help you move in a direction. We embrace progress over perfection and aim to develop a program that will suit your needs.

Do I have to do this alone?

One of the advantages of using accounting software is that you don’t have to go it alone. You can add your accountant/tax preparer to your accounting software so we can pop in and support you. Once you’ve made your selection and gotten started, let us know and/or add us as an accountant/advisor user.
Regardless of which software you select, we ask our clients to you add us as accountant type users so you’re not alone. Not only are we able to pop in, but, this won’t count against your user count in the system and lets us have access to some additional tools behind the scenes that are important for you, for our work, and for our practice.

What's this going to cost?

Getting your accounting on rails is an investment of time and money. The cost is dependent on you, your business, the amount of catch-up necessary, and your end goals. If you’re onboarding as a client, we’ll discuss options and cost early and often.

(Re)Starting your accounting fresh may be the best thing you can do for your business.

Accounting is the language of business. Using modern accounting systems helps you speak that language almost immediately. If you’ve not been using an accounting system, getting started can get you where you’re wanting (or needing) to go.
You’re also not limited on working through the past first. Once you’ve made your selections, you can indeed connect your bank account to your accounting software and start understanding important things about your business immediately and stop relying on your bank account balance to make decisions.

This post has been developed as a generic explanation of Accounting Software. This information is written to be informative and is not tax advice. You should consult with your tax advisor as to how this information applies to your situation. Your specific needs may vary and may cause specific attention to need to be given to your processes. You should speak with your tax professional regarding the applicability of these issues to you and your business (and, yes, that includes Crayon Advisory if you are a current or onboarding client).

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