If you own an equine business, chances are you have to do at least a minimal amount of bookkeeping, whether you like it or not. Some people stuff their receipts in a drawer to be pulled out at tax time; others are more efficient and keep detailed records on a weekly or monthly basis.
We talked with #HorseChat participants about their bookkeeping methods to see just how many of us truly struggle with keeping accurate financial records and how improvements could be made in our day to day organizing tasks.
Q) Do you currently outsource bookkeeping for your horse business? Why or why not?
@WishingWindsRan: “No but I probably should. I currently do my own bookkeeping using Excel but I am sure there is a much better way.”
@sierrasweets: “Same here. I’m at a point where I’m able to do my own.”
Several chat participants reported that they are currently managing their own bookkeeping records, with some admitting that they are currently struggling to find a better method for a handful of reasons. Rachel Sexton of Sexton Bookkeeping brought up a valid point for those who are uncertain about outsourcing.
“I think many people are hesitant to outsource because they think they will lose control. There are many levels of outsourcing,” she reassured chat participants.
Laura Kelland-May (@hunterjudge) was curious about what kind of money might be invested in such outsourcing. “What kind of $$ should someone pay for bookkeeping services? Is it best by the hour or lump sum for tax purposes?” she asked.
“When thinking about how much money you are paying it is important to realize the time you save by not doing it and the money you can earn marketing or serving clients,” Rachel answered. She added that when she talks pricing with a client, she first takes the time to truly understand their needs before providing a quote.
Q) If you don’t outsource, do you do your bookkeeping in written form, using a computer application or online?
Several chat participants shared ideas for keeping paperless records, such as scanning receipts to store to DropBox.
@BeastmastrRodeo: “If you have a scanner available you could try an online file system like Dropbox, small accounts are free.”
Some people also suggested use of QuickBooks and Excel spreadsheets when using a computer application.
Q) What are some ways that you keep all of your bookkeeping records organized?
Shoeboxes and file folders seemed to be the popular response amongst chatters. @RachelsChance said, ”I find that brightly colored envelopes are helpful for receipts or there is an app called lemon that I have seen and it’s free.”
Per Rachel’s suggestion, we also looked up the Lemon application. You can use the app to scan receipts to your smartphone and digitize the data:
“Quickbooks is a very user friendly program but you need someone to help set it up properly,” she said.
Q) Have you ever taken classes to increase your knowledge of bookkeeping and accounting for your biz?
@WishingWindsRan: “ I did not take any classes specifically for horses, but in college I took accounting and bookkeeping and it has been helpful.”
@elevenia: “I’m looking to do more leading up to my b’ness degree next yr. I find it so boring, but know I need those skills.”
Rachel suggested that those interested in doing their own bookkeeping should at least take a class in QuickBooks. She also mentioned that she may offer online bookkeeping classes via webinar in the future, should there be a demand in the industry.
For those looking to invest in QuickBooks, Rachel offers a fun “QuickBooks Tip of the Day” regularly in the Horse Industry Business Owners group on Facebook:
Quickbooks can store all your customer’s information in one place and you can crreate custom fields and even attach documents.
Are you still handwriting deposits??? There is no need with QB! Printing your deposit slips directly from QB also ensures the deposit along with the names of the customers who wrote those checks are in QB. All you need to do is order deposit slips from a place like Deluxe or where ever you buy your checks, you do not need to order them directly from QB.
Most banks offer free online banking and almost all of them are compatible with Quickbooks online banking. This will save you time by downloading the transactions directly into Quickbooks. Any Transactions entered already will match and show up as a cleared transaction.