It is estimated that around 30 million people run a blog. Many of those that post regularly, like me, make a little money from blogging. If you are one of the hundreds of thousands who do the same, this article is primarily for you.
Although, many of the accounting tips I share here can easily be used by other kinds of small business owners. So, if you want to hear how to ease the burden of tracking your outgoings and income in a way that will help you to keep the tax authorities happy, just read on.
Use the tools online that are available to you. For example, see this handy, free invoice template. Next, customise it to reflect your brand. If you have a logo, add it. Go online and check that all of the information the tax authorities require is included in the invoice. Once you are happy save and use it.
Number your invoices properly
You should also come up with an invoice numbering system that will make it easy for you to find them should you be audited. A good approach is to put the year at the start of the invoice number, followed by the month and day of issue. Ending with the revenue type and the company you are charging. For this, choose initials that make sense to you.
Using this numbering system makes it easy for you to sort your invoices in year/month order. It also enables you to use a simple search to find all of the invoices for a specific revenue stream or company.
Use an accounting app or keep a spreadsheet
The other thing you need to do is to keep details of your outgoings and income in one place. That could mean using a simple accounting app. There are some really easy to use ones available. Failing that, set up a spreadsheet.
Do your accounting every day
As you complete a job, create the invoice and send it off. Or save it and add other tasks to it as you go, until it is time to issue it. Once a day, fire up your app or spreadsheet and key in that revenue, plus any outgoings. If you do not do this, receipts will get lost, you will forget to bill for some things and finances will get messy. Trying to sort it all out at the end of the month, or worse, the end of the year will be a nightmare that will swallow up great chunks of your time and you could even have lost some important paperwork.
Make sure you understand and comply with the regulations
Doing all of this will help to ensure that when it is time to file your tax return or pay other taxes you will be ready to do so. It is important that you understand what your tax obligations are. If you do not already know, go online, and find out. Articles like this one are excellent sources of information. That one is for UK business owners, but there is similar information available for bloggers who live and work in other countries.