accounting tips for startups

All your business transactions should go through this account, while personal expenses should ideally go through your personal banking accounts. Calculating the correct business taxes could become difficult if you don’t maintain accurate financial accounts. Starting a new business venture can be overwhelming and challenging, especially when it comes to accounting. As a startup, it’s essential to establish good accounting practices from the beginning to keep your finances in order and make informed business decisions. In this article, we’ll share some accounting tips that can help you manage your finances effectively.

Larger businesses most often use accrual accounting and, in some cases, the law requires it. Once you have selected the type of business entity your startup will be, you need to open a business bank account. This ensures that your startups’ money won’t get mixed up with your personal finances. The cash flow statement records money entering and leaving the business. It’s a complementary document to the income statement and balance sheet.


It may struggle with a poor credit score, lack of funding, or difficulty fulfilling its working capital needs. Taking the time to understand accounting fundamentals is the first defence against your business failing due to running out of cash. The balance sheet is important because it shows a clear picture of liquidity.

We’ve put together a calculator to help you estimate the cost of preparing your business’ return. Remember, your early-stage company is unique and this tool is intended to be a guide. Let the professional bookkeeping for startups certified public accountants do the heavy lifting for you. However, if you are organized from the start, know what documents to have and keep good records, it may not be that bad.

Hire a Professional

However, incorporating an efficient payroll system eliminates the hustle-and-bustle of paper pushing and spreadsheet filling. It ensures employees receive their payments accurately and provides vital protection for complying with payment regulations. An elementary invoicing system will go a long way in ensuring you don’t make errors in your books, and lose money. Also, it helps you keep track of the amount of tax your startup will have to pay.

  • Remember, VC-backed companies have different needs than traditional small businesses or solo entrepreneurs.
  • Nurture and grow your business with customer relationship management software.
  • Some businesses in specific situations might benefit from hiring an accountant early.
  • Inventory management is critical to your accounting and overall business operations if your startup deals with physical products.
  • Pick from a wide variety of cloud-based accounting project management software that gets bookkeeping in order, streamlines cashflows, and helps you stay updated on finances.

Mary Girsch-Bock is the expert on accounting software and payroll software for The Ascent. As a new business, you must establish good credit with your vendors from the start. But be sure to examine each bill that comes in to make sure that it’s accurate. It’s easier than you may think to pay an incorrect bill, so don’t let that happen. While it is possible to manage your business accounting in a manual accounting system, you’d be much better served using an accounting software application.

Accounting for Startups

With our reliable services, you can focus on growing your business without worrying about accounting or payroll complications. Office supplies are tax-deductible expenses that can benefit small businesses in multiple ways. In general, office supplies are defined as consumable items that are necessary for conducting business operations, such as paper, pens, printer ink, toner, envelopes, and other similar items. These expenses are typically deductible on the business’s tax return as ordinary and necessary business expenses. This means that the business can reduce its taxable income by the amount spent on office supplies, thereby reducing the amount of tax owed. By understanding the available tax deductions, you can keep more money in the business and maximize its profitability.

If your contractors do not live in the United States, you aren’t totally off the hook. Make sure to collect a W8-BEN form, which is a tax form used by non-US persons who are receiving income from US sources. The purpose of this form is to establish that the person is a foreign individual or entity and is therefore exempt from certain US tax withholding requirements.

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When you’re ready, consider updating your accounting practices to a more sophisticated system that will take the burden of bookkeeping and accounting off your shoulders and into the hands of the pros. As you can see, there is a lot that goes into maintaining accurate books and financial records. With all the responsibilities you already have as a business owner, taking on these financial responsibilities may become overwhelming, especially if you have not overseen business finances before. If you’re going to have employees, you’ll need to have a payroll system. Having payroll in place when you bring on your first hire will help you ensure that they are paid on time and accurately, which will benefit you both. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to set up payroll, you can use our step-by-step guide or sign up for our flexible payroll services.

accounting tips for startups

Read our recent blog posts on all things startup, accounting and finance. Yes, venture-backed high-growth businesses should have as close to GAAP financials as possible. Of course, having the right systems set up can dramatically lower the amount of effort required; we’ll get to those systems in a moment. Collaborative work management software is changing the way we acquire and keep clients….