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It the year's end and I am sifting through receipts from traveling, doubling checking mileage and per diem rates for each city and wondering if I am using my accounting program correctly.  I have used Quick Books Pro for several years.  Each year, I find it to be daunting.  It could be that switching from the right brain to the left brain is the hard part.  So, I wonder what others use for keeping track of the necessary accounting that goes along with having a small business.

Do you use Quick Books Pro?

Do you use Quicken?

Do you download your bank statements and credit card transactions into your accounting program?

Do you use paper and pencil with your own method of tracking income/expenses?

Do you use another accounting program?

I have recently started using my smart phone for credit card transactions (My Phone Swipe with Arthur Wedge) and like the records, support and ease of transactions. All those records go into my banking transactions and are easy enough to record from the monthly bank statement.

How do you handle those records?  Download into an accounting program or enter by hand?

Keeping these business records is an important part of having our small business. Traveling and being away from the home office makes it hard to keep up to date.

So, how do you handle your record keeping?

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Can't say it's my favorite, but it is the current one. I have Quickbooks on my computer and haul bank info in there each month. I do not have an automated system for recording sales, but use google docs where I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of them. A good deal of my income comes through PayPal and then those need to be manually added to the spreadsheet.

Credit card payments that are made through our checking account I separate out for the category: travel, office expense, sub-contracted employee, computer expense, PR, advertising, etc., and report them in a breakout/split for that transaction in the Quickbooks.

I also keep track of cash purchases separately. My plan for closing out 2012 is to run the Quickbooks Profit and Loss statement, send it and my separate Cash Report (which is pretty minuscule) to an accountant that we've used for 30 years. After watching each transaction through the year and making sure it is in the right category this report for the accountant is painless, and frankly, rather anticlimactic, considering all the work it represents.

Personally, I have always used the 'OMA' method - wait till the end of the year and then pull numbers 'Outta My A**'.  Someone on another forum pointed out the virtues of waiting till the end of the year to do ALL her accounting - otherwise she forgets what she did earlier in the year.  Works for me!!! Seriously, I use Quickbooks, and can download some of my banking info into it, so that helps.  Accounting was my only grade below a B in college, can't fathom how anyone could want to do it on a full-time basis, but to each his own. 


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