If there is an easier place to drown in a business than in the depths of its finances, I haven’t found it. When you first dive in, the accounting waters can seem incredibly deep – and they are. Instead of leaping headfirst, take a gentle jump and bring a lifejacket.
These resources for small business accounting can make the whole process easier, and will ensure you don’t drown in information.
FreshBooks is the maker of cloud accounting software, and the company blog covers all manner of small business topics. The focus is mainly on accounting topics, but there are also entries on data backup, hiring, and selling, to name a few.
FreshBooks is very active on social media, meaning readers with more in-depth questions can often get them answered. The blog is a great place to start, and is useful even if you’re not a FreshBooks customer.
Xero is another – we’ve got one more after this – accounting software firm with a solid blog. Like FreshBooks, it caters to users and small business owners. Xero’s blog has a good backlog of core topics on accounting and finance, giving reader a solid foundation to work off of.
Xero is another quick-to-interact online brand, so any follow-up questions you end up with have a good chance of getting an answer.
The massive software firm takes aim at the up-and-coming crowd on its Small Business Blog. The personal look and feel of FreshBooks and Xero may be missing, but that’s made up for by a huge amount of solid content. The blog’s accounting section alone has 61 articles, with 106 in its taxes section.
One of the real advantages to size is the collection of boring but important topics being covered. For instance, organizing a chart of accounts isn’t likely to see much play in mainstream media, but QuickBooks has put an article together on it. Let the fun begin.
The blog associated with SleeterCon – see the conferences section below – the Sleeter Report covers all manner of accounting software, with news on updates, changes, and trends in the industry. The blog doesn’t have any software affiliation, so it’s an excellent place to keep up with real discussions about changes in your favorite accounting packages.
Product reviews sit side by side with small business tips. Designed to get you into the Sleeter mindset, you may find that the blog draws you into the conference. Time to hobnob with some CPAs – do CPAs hobnob?
Apart from having the best blog name on the internet, TooLegitToAudit.com also has a wealth of information for small businesses working their way through the accounting process. Recent entries examine everything from the cost-benefit of doing business in the cloud to how to use Trello for project management software.
Another blog without a software affiliation, businesses can get solid, hands-on reviews from the site before they commit to an accounting package.
Excel can help any sucker with a computer fulfill their accounting fantasy, but there’s work to be put in. When you’re not sure if you should be using a VLOOKUP or INDEX MATCH, the MrExcel boards can straighten you out. A lot – like, a lot – of business rely on Excel for all their accounting needs, and there is a lot of potential power there.
Once you start getting into the weeds and building your own financial reports and forecasts, you’re going to run into some problems. The MrExcel forum has answered your questions already or can answer it now.
While this is largely focused on individuals supporting each other through QuickBooks concerns, there’s also a wealth of information to be found regarding general accounting issues. If you’re interested in how other people have made the move from cash to accrual accounting, or how long it takes to make a partial credit card refund, the QuickBooks Community is there to help.
With topics including “Using A Loan to Grow The Biz”, “PCI 101: Protecting Against Payment Card Fraud” and “Taxes 101: What Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know,” the Small Business Expo offers business owners plenty to think about. Visiting ten different locations over the course of 2015, there’s almost certainly going to be one near-ish you.
Registration is free for the basics and can range up to $500 for more perks, including ad space in the shows’ handouts.
The SBDC conference is a deeper dive into some of the nuances of business. Financial topics covered include “Fear of Financials Hindering Business?,” “Developing Financial Projections,” and “Risk, Cash, Debt, and HR: a Legal Primer.” A chance to learn with around 1,400 other business owners, the SBDC Conference is great way to meet folks and get some knowledge.
This one ain’t free. Early bird registration runs through the middle of August and will set you back $595, while normal registration is $695. The event takes place over four days in September in sunny San Francisco.
Last on the list, but not last in our hearts, SleeterCon is accounting heavy – like the guy in the Hefty Bag commercial. Hosted in Las Vegas, SleeterCon is geared toward CPAs, but every business owner can get something out of this massive, balance-sheet party. Billed as an “Accounting Technology Solutions Conference,” SleeterCon is the kind of place that shines a bright light on the future of the accounting industry.
It runs for four days in the middle of November, this year, and registration starts at $650 for Sleeter Group member – $800 for non-members.
Capterra has a selection of useful resources for small businesses getting into the accounting pool. Check out our Finance Blog, which covers everything from accounting to crowdfunding. Capterra also published a list of the top 20 most popular accounting software. If you’re looking for software, there’s no better place to start.
Maybe you’re the sort of person who likes to get started with a strong background on any topic you tackle. Kashoo – makers of the online accounting program of the same name – have put together a list of accounting topics to get you ready for what comes next.
There’s nothing more instructive than seeing a concept in action. Judith Orloff and Darrell Mullis walk you through accounting using the familiar trope of a lemonade stand with worksheets and quizzes to fill out along the way. Spend the extra $2 and get the print version to fill in as you go. This one holds a spot in my heart as one of my first introductions to accounting.
If you work your way through all of these, you’ll be in an incredible position to make your small business accounting a breeze. Instead of drowning, you’ll be piloting your own yacht.
If you’re already in the market for accounting software to get up and running, check out Capterra’s accounting software directory. If it’s overwhelming, just get in touch and we can help you make the right choice for your new business, absolutely free of charge.