Keeping The Books. Accounting And Your Cleaning Business

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by Tom Watson on August 27, 2010

When I first started my cleaning business I was worried about one thing. Keeping the accounting part in order.

This worry resulted from countless people telling me just how hard this act is.

Couple that with the fact that I’m a little challenged in that area to begin with and my worries were multiplying faster than a family of rabbits. So I developed a plan of action to ease my fears.

I called an accountant.

Unless you are a expert in IRS regulations you will probably need a accountant who will perform your yearly tax returns, among other duties that may come up (such as your monthly State tax remittance and Federal quarterly tax payment). All you need to do is keep track of things throughout the year.

Contrary to popular opinion, none of the horror stories about how hard it to stay on top of the accounting turned out to be true. In fact, it’s quite easy. In a very simplified scenario, all you need to do is track two things.

Income & Expenses

Income is nothing more than money you earn from your customers. Expenses are just what it cost to perform those duties. Some expenses of note would be supplies like vacuum cleaners, trash liners and the actual cleaning solutions.

Of course many other items fall under the title of expenses. A few more include insurance, advertising, cost of business cards and joining a networking group to name a few. The real trick of being in business is to create a nice balance of income and expenses (which is more income than expenses of course).

Now that you know what you need to keep track of, you need to know how to do it. My accountant recommended a program called Quickbooks. You have probably already heard of this program, as it has been around for a long time. For me, it was the best thing I could have done.

The Quickbooks program makes the process extremely simple and easy to use. If you can use a checkbook, then you can use this program. The only time I needed any help was when I first loaded the program ten years ago (I called my accountant and he walked me through it in five minutes).

If you are looking to go a cheaper route, buying a ledger from an office supply house like Staples will work as well. I actually used a ledger for a few months in another company of mine a long time ago.

Most ledgers come with some instructions on how to use them. Personally the software is just so much more versatile, but if your on a tight budget go with the ledger to start. It will get the job done just the same.

At the end of the day, don’t fear the accounting aspect of starting your own cleaning business. It is not hard or complicated whatsoever. If I can do it…you can do it!

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DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase any items through my links odds are I’ll earn a commission of some kind. I only recommend products and services that I have used or think may be useful to those starting or operating a cleaning business.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa September 1, 2017 at 5:54 pm

Can I buy a carpet shampooer for my cleaning business and write it off as equipment even if I only use it occasionally for some clients?

2 Tom Watson September 1, 2017 at 11:16 pm

Sure. That’s how it works!

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