When you’re just starting out in business, managing accounting responsibilities is relatively easy. It doesn’t require a lot of experience to send and pay a few invoices, and keep track of your account balance. As businesses grow, however, so do the accounting demands. Larger, more sophisticated operations need to forecast and manage cash flow, reconcile accounts, manage accounts receivable and payable, and much more. Since most small business owners don’t have a financial background, it’s always helpful to have resources to help you navigate the basics. The following organizations provide just that.
SBA Learning Center
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is an excellent resource for business owners and entrepreneurs looking to start, operate, and/or grow a small business. In addition to its online help, it also provides one-on-one counseling through its Small Business Development Center.
SBA counselors are available to help guide you in person; however, the Learning Center is a useful online space to get accounting guidance. Here you’ll find a dedicated section titled, appropriately, “financing.” You’ll find a variety of online courses on topics that include “introduction to accounting” and “how to prepare a loan package,” among others.
IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center
The IRS has a reputation as a scary, bureaucratic institution. Most people try to avoid it and deal with it only when necessary. Through the years, and with the help of the internet, the IRS has grown to be a more helpful, accessible institution by proving in-depth guidance on all things tax related. It’s done so in part by culling some very useful information for small business owners that is easily navigated online.
The IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center is full of information covering a wide range of topics. Tax preparation articles discuss business tax credits, expense deduction, recordkeeping, employment taxes, etc. Tax filing and paying resources include a tax calendar and a range of articles on employment taxes for small business, self-employment taxes, and electronic filing.
According to its website, Score is “the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters.” It is a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SCORE provides a range of small business guidance through personal mentoring, workshops, and educational resources.
SCORE is an excellent place for business owners who need help navigating and who understand the range of responsibilities involved in starting and operating a small business. Its accounting and financing specific guidance included access to mentors with years of real-world experience. It also provides a host of articles on topics like “managing your money vs. managing your business finances.” And it offers workshops and webinars that discuss payroll, taxes, and more.
Entrepreneur Accounting From Entrepreneur Magazine
This print- and web-based publication has stood the test of time as a leading international media provider. It provides useful and actionable information for those looking to start and operate small businesses. A section of its website is dedicated to small business accounting. Because Entrepreneur is a publication, it provides a constant flow of articles covering a wide range of small business topics.
The accounting section is fairly robust. Some of the topics covered include guidance on how to work with accountants, tax tips, and tips on using cloud-based accounting software. Although Entrepreneur is typically known as a traditional print publication, its online offerings include articles as well as videos, interviews, and blogs. In many cases, it interviews renowned experts in the field of business and accounting.