Bookkeeping for dummies: busting myths around balancing the books

Bookkeeping is traditionally seen as the less enjoyable aspect of running a business. But the truth is, that a lot of your success in business will be down the bookkeeping and getting it right. How you keep record of your financial transactions and if you’re in or out of the red is going to see you through and help your business to prosper. So do you need to hire a professional?


If the last thing on your mind is going to be looking at your accounts and would much prefer someone else to do it for you, then it can be money well spent. If it would take you a long time to do your own bookkeeping, then hiring it to a freelancer can be a great idea. But if you have an interest in it and want to know what is going on with your business’s finances, then doing it yourself doesn’t need to be that complex. A basic spreadsheet knowledge will be where you need to start. Because put simply, bookkeeping is the practice of keeping a record of all your receipts and expenditures, for the purposes of doing a tax return and for claiming things like VAT. If your business gets checked, then these are the legal evidences that will show you do or do not owe the tax that you owe.


When you don’t keep a proper record of your business spending and accounts, then it can easily get out of control. If you don’t know what you have to spend, but you keep spending, then it can land you in trouble and might need to look at a site like for help. You don’t want to end up with so much debt that you have to bankrupt the business or sell it. So simply, keep on top of your business finances from the start. It should be part of your business plan.


In that vein, it can be a good idea to keep your personal and business accounts separate. You don’t want to keep the two together as things can get messy and complicated. So look for a business account with a great rate on a comparison site like, for instance. Then keep your bank statements in order, and keep invoices filed. It can be easy to let the filing slip, so start as you mean to go on and your business accounts will be looking good, even if they are in the red.


Starting a new business is an exciting time, and when done in the right way, it can bring with it a certain level of financial freedom. Keeping an eye on the basics is going to be one of the most important things that you do. You can expense certain things in your business, from travel to a new laptop. But just because you can, it doesn’t mean that you have to. So think carefully about what you expense, as it will come out of your bottom line.

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