Get Over Your Fear of Accounting

So you finally have your own business. Customers are rolling in and all seem to be going well. Suddenly, the paperwork that needs processing are piling up and hiring an accountant to take care of your books isn’t in the cards for your small business just yet.

The alternative? Do it yourself.

Many small business owners dislike this section of their business and approach it with much trepidation. The thought of making a mistake, misplacing money and calculating the payroll and other taxes scare many away from their books. This issue weighs on their minds and cements a fear that sees accountants and bookkeepers making a ‘killing’ for doing simple tasks.

Fear not.

Here are steps you can employ to get over the fear of doing your own books….

Start Early

Adopt good accounting practices from day one. Such as:

  • Place all documents in various file folders and label storing cabinets accordingly;
  • Put a system in place for how financial documents are processed in your business; and
  • Have an accounting and bookkeeping software that will allow you to integrate your organizational procedures seamlessly into digital information. Making it easy to store and easy to access.

Do not procrastinate. When you put off the proper organisation of records, you will find things get lost and when things get lost, ‘holes’ could appear in your accounting records.


Watch Video Tutorials

When in doubt, YouTube it. There are useful video tutorials for just about any problem you can dream up on YouTube. They may not be 100% specific to your case, but watching a ‘how-to video’ should give you some idea of where you need to be going or where you shouldn’t. Most people learn better when they see how it is done; this is the major benefit of how-to videos.


Don’t be afraid to ask for Help

When in doubt, just ask. Any accountants in your family or circle of friends? There must be someone in your circle that knows something about accounting, who can assist you.

Check online for support forums. Find someone there you can ask to explain anything you can’t understand. Information gathering and the learning process will seem tedious and time consuming at first. However, understanding all these concepts will benefit you in the future.


Get reliable, easy to use Accounting Software

When shopping around for an Accounting Software, try to find the one that best suits your needs. There are programmes on the market that have numerous uses and can cover functions for small and large business, from payroll to inventory. Large and extensive software can cost a lot, so stick to exactly what you need. Try to find software with options to upgrade, in case you need to expand one day.

There are also a number of online software options that allow you to do your books anywhere in the world once you have an internet connection. Try HeadOffice, it’s an affordable online Accounting Software on the market.


Redo and Repeat

If something is hard to do, the best thing to do is to practise it often. If you fear doing something, you will find every reason in the world to put it at the bottom of your to-do list. To get over this, make it a habit to do your books. If you do it five days a week, you will find it becomes easier and easier to do. By increasing the amount of times you visit your books you eliminate your chances to dither and waste time.


Create a Work Conducive Environment

Make preparations to do your books: assemble the proper tools, clean off your desk and find the files you need. Make sure that you work in an area where there are no distractions or clutter. This makes a big difference when you are doing any type of work. You will be able to focus more and  you will make less mistakes than if you were in an environment with noise and distractions.

Set Goals

Define your goals. After you have defined your goals, e.g. “organise all 2012 invoices by month”, write or print them out and stick them on a wall that you look at often. This will remind you of your goals constantly, thereby keeping you focused on your task. Plus dividing your goals into smaller actions will make the actual task of completing your books seem much less intimidating.

Set up a Reward System

If all else fails, set up a reward system for yourself. For every accounting and record keeping tasks you complete treat yourself to something you like, e.g. chocolate, a movie night, whatever makes you feel like you’ve just been awarded for your accomplishment. Eventually you will associate the dreadful task of accounting and record keeping with something enjoyable. Likewise, if you fail to accomplish a task, then you should deprive yourself of something, e.g. dessert.



At the end of the day, doing your own books will only help you. There will be less confusion in your business and you’ll have a better experience at Tax Time. You will be able to identify abnormalities and when accountants are not thorough. It will also enable you to make more informed business decisions about every area of your business.

What has your experience with Accounting been like? Let us know if you found these fear reducing tips helpful.

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