Accounting Techniques for WAHMs
With the many responsibilities of the work at home mom (WAHM) also comes the inevitable necessity of handling both personal and professional finances. Between raising a child, managing a small business or freelance enterprise, and maintaining a healthy personal life it seems there is little time to pay special attention to the books. Luckily, there are a few tools which come in handy when it comes to approaching one’s taxes in a time efficient, easier, and less stressful way.
1. One of the most important rules of thumb when attempting to stream-line the process of bookkeeping is keeping good records. The bottom line here is that you don’t want to be caught unawares if you should be audited. This means keeping an organized and detailed account of all of the cash flow, investments, assets, and liabilities associated with your small business. Keeping all receipts, invoices, and financial statements in neat order by date can cut your time spent on taxes in half during tax season.
2. Weigh the pros and cons of hiring an accountant. If you are the type of WAHM who (like many) pour their heart and soul into their business and family 24 hours a day 7 days a week, you may find that you are stretched a little thin to attend to something you may not be an expert in. In this case it may be in your best interest and it may be well worth the annual fee to hire an accountant to do your taxes while you keep the weekly books.
If you do decide that hiring an accountant is best for accuracy and your sanity, you should make a point to be sure you can trust them. Checking references and accreditation of the institution your potential accountant has earned their degree at can give you a piece of mind.
3. Consider managing your finances through online accounting programs. There are a few programs available to those who are neither accounting professionals or are current on the latest tax breaks. This is often a good choice for handling personal finances, however, there are typically options to do accounting for small businesses as well. These programs ask leading questions which help you determine what your refund will be.
4. Obtain accounting software. As your business grows you will want to consider a simple way of tracking and managing your cash flow on a weekly or even daily basis. Accounting software such as Quickbooks can save you a significant amount of time troubling over numbers, invoices, and checks in an organized manner.
5. Brush up on your accounting knowledge. If you are dedicated to handling your finances it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with bookkeeping basics. Some universities are offering an online accounting degree. Even if you feel you may not have time to navigate the entire program, taking a course or two on business accounting is a good way to gain fresh knowledge on the topic and make you feel more in your element when managing business accounting, especially if you are new to it.
Jennifer Kardish works for Accounting Degree where you can find information on Accounting Associates Programs and research online accounting programs.
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