My favorite accounting sites for new small business owners

When I was first learning accounting and bookkeeping, I was hungry for anything break down the accounting process clearly and simply, without putting me to sleep. That’s a lot easier said than done.

I know I’m not the only small business owner who didn’t start out with a background in accounting, so today I’d like to share with you some of my favorite sites that will get you feeling like an accounting superstar in no time. If you’re an entrepreneur just starting out on your own, but want to understand some of the fundamentals yourself, read on.

It’s crucial to understand the basics of accounting and bookkeeping—even if you ultimately end up outsourcing that work—because it helps you understand your business from every angle, as well as the impact your financial decisions have on your business.

  • AccountingCoach.com – This is one of the best accounting sites out there. If you’re not sure what a term means, or you want to test your knowledge, this site covers it all. Their bookkeeping training is comprehensive and accessible, which is especially important for non-accounting entrepreneurs! Their tools help you to build your skills in real-time with immediate feedback.
  • QuickBooks tutorials – For me, there was no better way to learn what I was doing than to immediately put it into practice. QuickBooks tutorials helped me to better understand core accounting concepts because I actually had context for the situation and could see how something worked (or more importantly, didn’t work)—and how things functioned together.
  • StacyK’s Blog – In addition to a having a trove of deep knowledge, I also love Stacy’s voice. I’ve picked up so many different tips, skills, and practice ideas from her blog, which was recently named one of the 15 Essential Sites for Accountants,
  • Dave’s Bean Counter – Though this site is very Web 1.0, when I was starting out, its content was incredibly helpful for me to provide resources for my clients. Similar to AccountingCoach, this site has tutorials, quizzes, lectures and more.
  • Though unconventional, there is a lot to learn from FAQ sections on other accounting/bookkeeping websites, such as Wave. Most FAQ language is really easy to digest, and I felt that they had the clearest explanations for certain situations, like understanding the Chart of Accounts, or how to record reimbursable expenses.

Special resource: Did you know that QuickBooks has a sample online company that you can use to become more familiar with QBO without having to worry about ‘making mistakes?’ QuickBooks explains:

The test drive uses a sample company file called Craig’s Design & Landscaping Services. It can be accessed through the following link: Craig’s Design & Landscaping. You don’t have to create an account or sign in to access the test drive file; just complete the security validation and click Continue. This test drive is designed for you to explore and try out new things without worrying that you will break something or make a mistake. It is not designed to retain any changes you make. Once you close this QuickBooks Online test drive company, it is completely refreshed, so please remember to allow sufficient time to complete each workflow. But don’t worry if you have to close the test drive before you are finished! You can always begin again.

Hopefully this list is enough to get you started down the accounting rabbit hole. I’m always happy to be a resource for any of your bookkeeping or accounting-related questions, too! Message me at sarah@sarahvanloon.com and let’s get working!

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