Have you been looking for a reliable record keeping software to help your micro business, teens? You are not alone! I was asked to bring clarity to record keeping. Take a look at my answer for some helpful tips:
“My 17-year-old niece started her pet sitting business this summer. I sent her the book, Teens and Taxes, from your series. She has found this helpful. However, we are trying to find a software program that she can use to track her clients, mileage, and income from each sitting. Since her income is paid to her in cash, this has been difficult for her to track. Is there one you would recommend for her?” – Claudia
Claudia, thank you for contacting me! Here’s a short excerpt from an article I just finished writing on record keeping:
Record keeping can be easily recorded on paper, in a spreadsheet program, or on a computer. If you prefer paper, use columns labeled Date, Description, and Amount. Or use several columns to separate income and expenses. Then, record all of your income and expenses in the columns. Total your income and expenses every month and start a new page for the next month. Review your records each month and make adjustments to your spending if needed. This simple record keeping system can easily be transferred to an electronic spreadsheet. It also makes tax preparation easier!
If you are set on software, try these:
Personal Money Management Software
Quicken: Popular personal financial software that can be used for business, but has limitations (no inventory management or invoicing)
Mint.com: A cloud-based program that automatically downloads your checking account transactions
Ace Money: I use the “lite” version that is free, but limited to only two bank accounts. For many small businesses, that may be all you need.
Small Business Accounting Software
Quickbooks.com: A tried and true favorite, but get training to set it up and use correctly.
Freshbooks.com: A cloud-based system originially designed for freelancers.
Outright.com: Says you can “free yourself from accounting” and put accounting tasks on auto pilot.
GnuCash.org: Free, open source personal and small business accounting software.
For more details on record keeping software, see one of my earlier posts here. I think the Running a Micro Business book will be helpful. It has several chapters on record keeping with lots of examples!
Carol Topp, CPA