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Accounting Tips for Startups: Expert Advice and Strategies

accounting tips for startups

When you’re ready, consider updating your accounting practices to a more sophisticated system that will take the burden of bookkeeping and accounting off your shoulders and into the hands of the pros. As you can see, there is a lot that goes into maintaining accurate books and financial records. With all the responsibilities you already have as a business owner, taking on these financial responsibilities may become overwhelming, especially if you have not overseen business finances before. If you’re going to have employees, you’ll need to have a payroll system. Having payroll in place when you bring on your first hire will help you ensure that they are paid on time and accurately, which will benefit you both. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to set up payroll, you can use our step-by-step guide or sign up for our flexible payroll services.

Investing in the right accounting software can streamline tasks such as generating invoices, tracking expenses, reconciling accounts, and preparing financial statements. By opening a separate business bank account and having a dedicated credit card for business expenses, you can simplify the accounting process and ensure the accuracy of your financial reports. Using accrual accounting for startups lets you track how much you owe to creditors or suppliers in real time. It also surfaces the number of unpaid invoices in accounts receivable at any given moment. On the flipside, if you get your accounting set up properly from the start, you’ll set your new company up for success. You’ll be able to track all the financial data that forms the lifeblood of a startup, including revenue, expenses, payroll, and general ledger.

Conclusion on Startup Accounting Tips

Using a manual system means recording transactions and putting together financial statements by hand (in books, paper, or spreadsheets). The owner’s equity is usually used by huge corporations to make decisions on dividend disbursements, company evaluations, and so on. The owner’s equity statement (also known as the statement of retained earnings) is a sum of the owner’s investments and withdrawals, as well as the business’s income and expenses. This report differentiates revenues and expenses in order to see how much net income has been generated. That in turn, allows you to analyze how well your startup performed during that time period.

  • One of these, FreshBooks, starts at only $6 per month for up to five clients and $20 per month for unlimited clients.
  • Aim to evaluate your startup on an ongoing basis to determine when a professional accountant might be the most beneficial to your business.
  • As the business expands, it may become too time-consuming for one person to handle it all.
  • But you must pick one matching your business structure and accounting system.
  • You can use the credit card to pay for things like inventory or any other business expenses.
  • A qualified accountant is an invaluable asset for any business as he or she can guide you through complex topics, especially tax law.
  • Outsourcing is typically less costly and often preferred when a business matures to the point of first requiring a professional accountant.

Read our recent blog posts on all things startup, accounting and finance. Yes, venture-backed high-growth businesses should have as close to GAAP financials as possible. Of course, having the right systems bookkeeping for startups set up can dramatically lower the amount of effort required; we’ll get to those systems in a moment. Collaborative work management software is changing the way we acquire and keep clients….


If your contractors do not live in the United States, you aren’t totally off the hook. Make sure to collect a W8-BEN form, which is a tax form used by non-US persons who are receiving income from US sources. The purpose of this form is to establish that the person is a foreign individual or entity and is therefore exempt from certain US tax withholding requirements.

We’ve put together a calculator to help you estimate the cost of preparing your business’ return. Remember, your early-stage company is unique and this tool is intended to be a guide. Let the professional https://www.bookstime.com/ certified public accountants do the heavy lifting for you. However, if you are organized from the start, know what documents to have and keep good records, it may not be that bad.

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