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Bookkeeping 101 - A Beginning Tutorial

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Bookkeeping and Accounting
Black woman paying bills
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Bookkeeping in a business firm is the basis of the firm's accounting system. Bookkeepers are responsible for recording and classifying the accounting transactions of the business firm and techniques involving recording those transactions.

If you are a small business owner, you either have to set up your own accounting system or you have to hire someone to set it up for you. If you are self-employed and it is a one-person business, you will do it yourself. If you are hiring staff and anticipate a lot of growth, you may hire a controller to handle your financial management and accounting. If your business is going to grow but you anticipate slow growth, you may simply hire an accountant or bookkeeper to handle the accounting system.

What Does the Accountant do?

Where the bookkeeper records and classifies the financial transactions of the company, the accountant takes the next steps and analyzes, reviews, reports, and interprets financial information for the company.

What Does a Controller do?

The controller is actually a company's chief accounting officer. He/she is responsible for setting up and maintaining the company's accounting system. The controller is responsible for financial and managerial accounting; in other words, responding to the firm's accounting data in an appropriate and responsible manner. A controller is usually hired as a business gets larger.

Bookkeeping With and Without a Computer Program

This tutorial on bookkeeping teaches you basic bookkeeping without using a computer program. Why do you need to know that since there are so many computer programs out there you can use? Have you ever heard the saying, "Garbage in, garbage out?" You have to understand the basic bookkeeping behind what you enter into the computer program in order to enter in the correct information. A later tutorial will deal with using a computer program to handle bookkeeping for your business organization.

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