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Keeping the Books: Basic Recordkeeping and Accounting for the Successful Small Business [Paperback]

Linda Pinson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 2 2007 Keeping the Books
The premier resource for basic bookkeeping and business record management, Keeping the Books is a comprehensive, yet down to earth, treatment of one of the most important, yet often neglected, aspects of running a business.  User-friendly and packed with easy-to-understand illustrations, worksheets, and forms, this popular financial reference tool is completely updated, and replete with the variety of IRS forms that entrepreneurs have to be familiar with.  From updating car and transportation expenses to exploding the myths around independent contractors, the author presents everything a small company needs to know to maintain proper records.


Following the roadmap outlined in Keeping the Books, entrepreneurs will learn how to:
  • Prepare and analyze financial statements to stay in touch with the heartbeat of their business
  • Set up bookkeeping systems to keep track of financial details
  • Maintain the required IRS records necessary to stay out of trouble
  • Plan for required taxes due

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About the Author

Linda Pinson is a nationally recognized speaker, award-winning author, educator, consultant and expert in the areas of small business planning and financial management.  Author of numerous bestselling titles for entrepreneurs, she has also developed the popular ""Automate Your Business Plan"" software to accompany the bestselling Anatomy of a Business Plan.  A member of the U.S. Small Business Advisory Council for the past five years, she is an active speaker at the Association of Small Business Development Centers annual conferences and has served as delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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The keeping of accurate records is imperative if you are going to succeed at business. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book sucks Nov. 3 2001
When they say "basic" they mean really, really basic. The book does have some useful sample spreadsheets, like a sample P&L, but the advice is way off base. First off, she recommends you buy a small hardbound journal record in it every thought you have about your business, any expenses, etc. I'm sure her accountant looooves her when she brings this to him every year. Clearly this should not be your primary recordkeeping system. Since this book is about recordkeeping, this serious destroys her credibility.
The book is written to a low-tech, low-IQ audience. It might be useful if you have never had a job before or if you're 12 years old. Otherwise, don't even bother.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book For Small Business People March 30 2000
"Keeping The Books: Basic Record-Keeping and Accounting For The Small Business" by Linda Pinson and Jerry Jinnett is an excellent introduction to record-keeping and accounting for small business owners.
The book does a solid job introducing record-keeping. It discusses the:
General Journal
General Ledger
Petty Cash Record
Inventory Records
Fixed Asset Log
Accounts Receivable
Accounts Payable
Independent Contractor Record
Payroll Records (though the authors recommend you hire a payroll firm to handle your payroll due to the government's extreme demands for payroll records)
Mileage Log
Travel Expense Records
Entertainment Records

Sample forms of all of the above are given and explained, as well as blank forms the authors state you can copy and use for your business. Today most of us would put such records on a computer, but we should still understand the process, the authors point out.
"Keeping The Books" is especially good, as it discusses, not only single-entry accounting, but also gives a decent introduction to double-entry accounting. The brief explanation, though very good, is not as good as taking an introductory class in double-entry bookkeeping. Taking a basic bookkeeping class is one of the best things a new business owner can do.
For example, "Keeping The Books" casually mentions there are two sides to any business transaction and the two sides are recorded as debits and credits. Then it lists the rules for how revenue, expense, asset, liability, and equity accounts are affected by debits and credits. (Debit increases the value in an asset account; a debit decreases the value of an equity or liability account, etc.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good for SMALL business owners Sept. 1 2001
By Nicole
I found that this book is great for small business owners who don't have much background in accounting and records management. Keep in mind that this book explains the cash basis and the accrucial basis of accounting quickly and very close to the actual accounting methods that you could learn in a basic intro course. I took an accounting course and it explains a few tricks to remembering the debits and credits of accounting(accrucial basis). There are a few critical components that are left out in it's explanation - although it explained it very well in JUST a few chapters. If you are planning to use the double-entry method in your books, I advise you take an accounting course or consult with a professional for more information on how to keep your books. Also, it didn't put much emphasis on the fact that accrucial basis accounting is actually more effective vs. that of cash basis. - a trade i learned in an accounting course. Although it is argued that either method is just as effective. A Good book for the start up a business or if you just started a business.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! July 6 2001
This is a really great book for beginners. I'm not a proffesional accountant (my primary area is computer systems administrations) but I have been working in banks for 5 years and I read a lot of books about accounting basics because it was part of my job. And usually those books were either too practical or too academic. But this one is perfectly balanced. It explains you not only what to do but it also gives you a pretty solid background why you should do this and what for. It shows you a complete picture of a small company accounting including major forms, reports shedule, books etc and that's all in just 200 pages. It's amazing how the author can explain in a couple words some concepts which usually takes a whole chapter in some other tutorials. You can read it to just to get some idea about accounting wording and concepts, or you can keep it on the table and use as a Howto giude in your everyday work, it works both ways. And it's pretty fairly priced. Very, very nice book!
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I purchased two copies of this book. One for a student taking her first class in bookkeeping and the other to give to my boss, who is excellent in what he knows how to do. Give orders and knows very little about accounting. He is the president of the company. To be honest he is a good boss and we all like him, yet I find it so frustrating when trying to explain what the financials are all about. He gets lost and puts them in a drawer. I wanted to see for myself what was in this book so I read it. It was very easy to read and understand. This is an excellent book to give to anyone who is starting a new business and has little to no knowledge of accounting and needs a fast primer to get started. Also, for the boss who wants to learn and is afraid to ask. And for a student. Good value for what you get.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not that much information
Based on some of the glaring reviews, I was really expecting a superior book here. What I got wasn't even good for the green as green novice. Read more
Published on April 24 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Good to average accounting book
This bookisn't bad for somebody who is completely new to accounting, but I found it average for anyone with any modicumof experience. Read more
Published on April 13 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, average accounting book...
This book is more dictionary, than actual hands on. Also this book is geared to the small business owner (schedule C) or possbile S corp. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2004 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay for someone new
Most og the context in Keeping the books is either basic or outdated. If you are brand new or like I was, lousy at organization, you will find an idea or two from Keeping The... Read more
Published on July 6 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Bookkeeping for dummies - brilliant!
When I started my first business, I found this book priceless: step-by-step instructions on how to keep business accounts and what accounts need keeping, and when to update them. Read more
Published on March 23 2002 by Marco Polo
5.0 out of 5 stars Must own book!
This book contains a lot of good information. It is aimed towards people who don't have a background in accounting/recordkeeping...but who maybe know the basics. Read more
Published on June 28 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written for Non-Accountants/Bookkeepers
This book is excellent and well written for people who are NEW to bookkeeping/accounting for small business. Read more
Published on Aug. 18 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was an excellent resource!
This book was great for helping cope with all the difficulties and stressors of bookkeeping. I really enjoyed this book and would like for others to know that it's a great book.
Published on May 17 1999
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