As a new entrepreneur, you should look for and take at least one business accounting class. You may not have the funds yet to hire a small business accountant to show you the ropes. Business accounting software can be helpful, but it won't teach you accounting basics or the understanding you need to push your business forward. When you take a business accounting class, it can pay dividends.
Learn Bookkeeping Skills
Bookkeeping is a critical task you need to do when you operate a business. Improper bookkeeping has been the source of many audits by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and a host of other problems with the IRS. It also stops your business from growing the way it should, because you don't have a realistic picture of where the business stands. Overdraft fees, late payment fees and other financial consequences of poorly kept books can cost your business too much money, and when you have little to begin with, you could head down the road to business failure.
A business accounting class will teach you bookkeeping skills. You can then train someone in your family to take over the task or do your own books. When you do have more money and more business than you handle, you should delegate the task to a bookkeeper if you don't have anyone in your family who's able to take on the task. The knowledge you gain from your business accounting class will make you effective in reviewing the bookkeeper's work.
Use the Information to Write Your Business Plan
The financial plan is the most intimidating aspect of writing a business plan for most new entrepreneurs. You don't need to take a business accounting class to write one, but taking one does make it easier to tackle the financial statements in your plan. You can understand how each financial statement works, which will help you spot mistakes or write better statements because you know what you're doing.
A business accounting class should cover tax issues for small business owners. Attending one can help you figure out some of your tax obligations and reporting requirements. Other attendees or the instructor may share real stories and solutions for tax problems, which you can use for your business. You can also ask questions, and while you should follow up with your own research, you'll get leads for how to plan and file your taxes. You may also get tips for filing taxes online and the best tax software to use for tax planning and filing.
Bolster Your Resume
It won't hurt to have a business accounting class listed on your resume if you want to work with small business owners. If they are your target market, and you plan to offer financial products and services, then taking a class will bolster your resume, as long as you have the other credentials required for your line of work.
You can take an online business accounting class, if you're unable to attend one in-person.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.