Basic rule of accounting for small businesses. Keep good records.
I'm making up for a world of hurt at the moment, however. I found two new online services that are thrilling me beyond what any accounting type program should. The first is a simplified online bookkeeping system (Outright.com) that I can wrap my head around. So many of them are way overloaded with features that I just don't need right now. I don't have a payroll. My needs are few. This system scales perfectly with my little business - and I can always transfer the records to a more robust system down the road if I need to. I just finished entering the 2009 year to date Website records, and most of 2008. It's been a bit of a learning curve to figure out how to enter the data so I can get the info out later like I want to see it. For instance, being able to pull up a report that shows me how much of my income came from the website vs. shows vs. home classes vs. traveling teaching gigs. I think I've got it down now.
And then there's this other cool service that links to Outright called Shoeboxed.com. One of the things I collect in massive quantities are receipts, and I never find time to get them entered regularly like I should. Well, Shoeboxed.com is gonna let me put them all in an envelope and mail them off to some magic place where little elves will scan them into the computer for me and I never have to see those pieces of paper again! (The IRS accepts digital copies of receipts, so this is all kosher.) I pull my receipts up on the website a few days later, dump the info into Outright, and categorize it properly, and voila! Done!
Less paper. Less work. More organized. I'm feeling my old administrative assistant days kicking in...The Clutter Fairy (aka, Gayle Goddard) will be so proud of me!
My eyes are growing heavy, no matter how much I'd love to play office worker a little longer. I need my rest too, since there's a trip to Nomadic Notions on tap for Thursday. Rebecca, who took her first seed bead weaving class from me, and became a great beading teacher in her own right, is moving to College Station soon. We're sending her off in grand style. With food and beads and beady friends. We'll miss her greatly around these parts.
PS - the email box is down to 77!