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Today’s post explores resources for learning about bookkeeping/taxes.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Unless you are starting an accounting business, bookkeeping is probably not your expertise. Entrepreneurs need affordable, easy-to-use resources to learn these necessary functions.
You’ve probably explored the internet. You can find articles on every conceivable business topic. There are many YouTube videos that show you how to use accounting software, for example.
As useful as they can be, we recommend personal guidance. A business advisor or mentor is your best bet. They can provide comprehensive, structured guidance on bookkeeping and taxes. Plus a myriad of other tasks necessary to manage your business.
There is also a plethora of small business associations with extensive educational resources.
Let’s discuss your options.
Business Accountant or Advisor
You can save a lot of time by hiring an expert. A small business accountant will help you choose your financial software platform. Then they will help you set it up for your business. Your advisor will teach you how to use the software, file taxes, and run payroll. This may take a few weeks or a couple of months.
Once you know how to do everything, you can hire them on an as-needed basis. Many business owners have a small business accounting firm file their year-end taxes, for example.
A small business accountant will ensure that you comply with laws regarding bookkeeping/taxes. It is a smart investment. It can save money in the long run by allowing you to focus on your core business. If you get bogged down by a tax or payroll problem, you could lose momentum in the critical early stages.
Small Business Associations
The great thing about small business associations is that their bookkeeping/taxes resources are free or inexpensive. You can connect with mentors that have decades of business experience. They offer educational materials specific to your industry, business type, or location. Plus, their online articles, videos, and tutorials aren’t written by marketers trying to sell you something.
The Small Business Administration (SBA)
The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) has guides for everything tax-related. This includes how to deduct expenses, file the various types of taxes, and keep financial records. You can also get all the necessary forms on their website.
The Small Business Administration SBA website directs you to state-level business organizations. For example, there are groups specifically for women, minorities, and veterans.
SBA Industries/Professions Tax Centers
An invaluable tool on the SBA website is the Industries/Professions Tax Centers. It has links to tax instructions and resources for specific industries and types of businesses. This includes agriculture, child and adult care, gas retailers, indoor tanning services, manufacturing, restaurant, construction, automotive, real estate, and trucking, to name just a few.
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is non-profit small business advisory organization created in 1964. It is a partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SCORE provides bookkeeping/taxes and general mentoring from experienced businesspeople It also hosts workshops, and other events. In the past 54 years, SCORE volunteers have advised more than 11 million entrepreneurs. There are currently over 300 local SCORE chapters. Visit the SCORE website to find a chapter near you.
National Federation for Independent Businesses (NFIB)
The National Federation for Independent Businesses is a network of more than 300,000 small business owners. It provides a multitude of resources to members. You can learn about finances and accounting, Human Resources, technology, insurance, legal issues, and marketing.
State and Local Chambers of Commerce
Your local chamber of commerce can direct you to small business resources available in your community. I took a quick glance at my local chamber website and found information on a women’s business network and a variety of workshops and roundtables.
We wish you success with your new business!
By Liz Strikwerda