What accounting systems do I need for a startup?
I have started up my business, but I am not sure what sort of accounting paperwork and systems I need. Although I have some basic accounting knowledge (from uni) I have no idea what sort of documents the Government requires every year, and a limited budget means I don't have the funds to hire a full time accountant for my business.
What do I need to do?
I should have stated that as a minimum you need to maintain:-
An Excel spreadsheet will suffice at a base level.
Having a good set of accounts is a must however; what many SME,'S forget is Cash flow projections! This can be done with a simple spreadsheet and should be updated every six months to project the next twelve months. Having a great business model and increasing sales is great but if you run out of cash its game over
Hi Ling, Accounting can be both daunting and appear unnecessary. It is also best if you can look at it differently as "what records do I need and why" rather than what does the government, ATO or ASIC need. You need accounting records for many reasons but the key ones are:- To help you map and monitor your business so that you can maximise your returns To demonstrate to others (say future investors or partners) the true value of your business To assist in any future finance applications either as a business or as a self employed person To meet statutory requirements. If computer savvy (I know you are) there are several inexpensive, easy to learn programs available off the shelf or by download - such as MYOB. These really are excellent and come with great guidelines or even guides such as Dummies. They can auto calculate everything you need with just a little set up. There are even more basic guides available free on-line but I would suggest the basic accounting package from a trusted supplier. To help more would involve me writing a book, if you want to talk it through feel free to call me or use my Wardour email or Skype am very happy to chat! Andrew would be well placed to help too!! Cheers & good luck, Neil.
There are some really affordable accounting alternatives these days so I would check them out :) Otherwise when you start out make sure you keep all your receipts and transactions so you can give them to an accountant when it gets too much for you or at the end of the financial year :) As others have suggested, something like Xero can help you log your transactions easily and keep them neat.