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Learning about cash flow, financial statements, finance sheets, transactions, assets, business statements, bookkeeping, debits, credits, equity, and financial concepts and principles. Photo by Sarah Elizabeth on Unsplash
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Software recommendations to do your accounting

If you are considering becoming self-employed or starting your business one of the first things you have to take care of is getting an accounting system in place to follow your company's income and expenses.

You'll have to start working on your bookkeeping or hire someone to do it for you like an accountant or bookkeeper. If you don't want to hire someone you can always learn to use accounting software on your own. You can also sign up for courses where they teach you to use and understand the functionality of any of these programs.

There is a variety of accounting software in the market because there are different branches and goals in the field. Some offer the same service but with a different method, and some have a free trial time. There are also programs for invoicing, transparent pricing, growing businesses, automating accounts, equity, and so on.

Below you will find a list of the best software you can use if you have a small business or if you're self-employed:

  • Wave Financial - this is a free accounting program and it is designed for people who want to balance and track their data expenses and money. You can connect it to your bank account, follow your credits and debits, and offers payroll and invoice features.
  • Xero - it costs $11 per month and it has a trial of 30 days. This is the perfect software for business, especially if you own a growing business.
  • QuickBooks - is popular because it is known for being affordable, effective, and easy to use. This software is probably the most popular one for any small business, it has a trial of 30 days and after that, it has a cost of $15 per month.
  • Sage Business - this software is designed for freelancers and self-employed people, it costs $10 per month and has a trial of 30 days. It's perfect for freelancers and self-employed people because it helps you send invoices and track payments and data easily.
  • GoDaddy - this is an online bookkeeping service designed for online businesses. It is designed for people who need to keep up with a financial entry of both online sales and in-person cash and money. This bookkeeping service is not free, it costs $4.99 per month.
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Accountants will search for solutions for any current financial problem your business is having, for example, they can tell you why you're losing cash and how to fix it. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

To obtain accounting software all you have to do is go online, search the name of the software you're interested in getting, read all the instructions, and take one step at a time. If you need extra help you can always consider working with a private tutor or attending an accounting course.

Discover many other software recommendations to help you do your accounting.

Learn to manage your accounting if self-employed

Self-employment is when someone doesn't work directly for a company or an employer but offers services to different clients and companies. If you are self-employed you don't have a set schedule, a team, or a boss to answer to.

Learning to manage your accounting can be tricky and challenging but the best way to start is by defining how you want to learn. A simple search online can help you get a glimpse at every resource, course, class, and university offering accounting lessons.

You can get any of the software we listed above and find video tutorials that'll teach you the basics of how to use it or you can enroll in a class or financial courses that can help guide you through the mesh.

However, we would argue that the best way to learn to account is by having an expert teach you the basic and more complex things.

You can also hire a private tutor to teach you about income, expenses, payroll, accounts, tax payments, transactions, money management, cash flow, bank statements, assets, and more. If you decide you want to learn with the help of a tutor you can find one right here on Superprof.

The best part of hiring a tutor is that you won't need their help for long and once you learn everything you can continue working on your finances by yourself. If you hire an accountant to do the work for you you'll have to give them a job and pay them a salary forever.

Continue reading and learn how to manage your accounting if you’re self-employed.

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The level of a university course will be higher than the level of independent financial courses, but you can still understand about income and expenses on any course. Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

What are the advantages of managing your accounting when self-employed?

The first advantage of learning accountancy when you're. self-employed is that you will save money if you don't have to hire an accountant.

Don't get us wrong, accountants can be of great help, however, their job is valued and if you don't have much savings or you're starting your own business then it's probably better for you to invest your money in things other than hiring an accountant.

Another advantage, as we already mentioned, is all the tools available for accounting online, for example, the software and courses.

With any program, you'll be able to visualize your data better. You can input your balance, funds, income, expenses, assets, accounts, and more. This can help you manage your performance better.

Finally, another important advantage is having a front seat to your business's finances. For instance, you will know everything there is to know about tax payments, obtaining assets, you'll be able to fill out an income statement, or you can have a clear idea of all your financial reports.

If you have all this information in your mind then you will be more capable of controlling your finances, income, and expenses.

However, if you delegate everything to an external person who is responsible and accounts for every cash flow then you'll probably end up lost and forced to trust someone else. But if you do it yourself then you will understand everything that is going on when it comes to financing.

Learning to account can be incredibly challenging but it can also have great benefits for yourself and your business as a freelancer.

Keep in mind that accountants were students that went to university for four years to master the subject and learn the concepts and principles. We are not saying it is impossible to learn but you should have a balance while learning and take one step at a time.

Continue learning about the advantages of managing your accounting when self-employed?

Additional resources to help you manage your accounting

If you've already learned the basics and principles of accounting then the next step is to follow up on your questions and continue to study the subject and learning about it. Your skills will improve if you make a continuous effort to stay informed.

Students in university tend to study with the resources their teachers give them, and while that's perfectly fine, you should consider going the extra mile and using the following resources.

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You won't learn about accounting watching one video, to learn you must study and spend a lot of time working hard on any course or courses about finance. Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Getting accounting certifications will help you progress in your career as an accountant and it can also save you from having legal issues with your business. The more certificates you have the better accounting level you'll acquire and the more prepared you'll be for obstacles and challenges.

The most common certification is the CPA and generally, to become a CPA you must earn credits from Continuing Professional Education (CPE) on any webinar, course, seminar, conference, workshop, or class certified by AICPA- and NASBA.

You should also know about the Generally accepted accounting principles —also known as GAAP.

Networking

If you become an accountant for a company or if you are self-employed and you need to learn accounting for yourself, either way, you should try to network with other accountants as much as you can.

Imagine you attend a dinner party and one of the attendees works for the company you've always wanted to work for, would you try to talk to them? Your answer is probably yes because, why would you let an opportunity like that pass?

Nowadays we have opportunities like that every day if we know where to go. There are many groups, video conferences, and forums for accountants available for free online, all you have to do is find one you like and start networking.

Accounting Journals

If you want to further your accounting knowledge and skills you must start following news about accounting, finance, business, financial stability, and similar concepts.

An accounting newspaper or journal will focus on covering stories about the subject. They can have different sections but the focus will always be the same.

If you don't know where to get your accounting news, here is a list of resources you can use:

  • Corporate Accounting The Economist - this online segment of The Economist has all the news about international corporate accounting and financial reporting.
  • Accounting & Accountants The New York Times - this section has thousands of archives and the journalists on The New York Times work on reporting the news about industry accounting.
  • Journal of Accountancy - this journal is directed at professionals and in it they can find news about tax, practice management, financial reporting, and management accounting.

Additional resources to help you manage your accounting.

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