Bookkeeping For Dummies

Front Cover
John Wiley & Sons, May 9, 2011 - Business & Economics - 384 pages
Accurate and complete bookkeeping is crucial to any business owner, but it’s also important to those who work with the business, such as investors, financial institutions, and employees. People both inside and outside the business all depend on a bookkeeper’s accurate recordings.

Bookkeeping For Dummies provides the easy and painless way to master this crucial art. You’ll be able to manage your own finances to save money and grow your business. This straightforward, no-nonsense guide shows you the basics of bookkeeping—from recording transactions to producing balance sheets and year-end reports. Discover how to:

  • Outline your financial road map with a chart of accounts
  • Keep journals of cash transactions
  • Set up your computerized books
  • Control your books, your records, and your money
  • Buy and track your purchases
  • Record sales returns and allowances
  • Determine your employee [is “employee” necessary here?] staff’s net pay
  • Maintain employee records
  • Prepare your books for year’s end
  • Report results and start over
  • Produce an income statement
  • Complete year-end payroll and reports

This guide features tips and tricks for managing your business cash with your books and also profiles important accounts for any bookkeeper. There’s no question that bookkeepers must be detail-oriented, meticulous, and accurate. Bookkeeping For Dummies shows you how to keep track of your business’s financial well-being and ensure future success!


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User Review  - kaitanya64 - LibraryThing

I may be rating this a little higher than it deserves, as I haven't found anything in this category I'm completely satisfied with. I was able to get the information I needed out of the book, but, for ... Read full review

Bookkeeping for Dummies

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Overall has a nice mixture of information for the beginner and the expert. I needed to brush up on certain terms and they were all there. I will be purchasing their Quickbooks for Dummies soon. Read full review


Conventions Used in This Book
What Youre Not to Read
Preparing the Books for Years or Months End
Where to Go from Here
Part I
Chapter 1
Picking your accounting method
How states calculate the FUTA tax rate
Calculating FUTA tax
Filing and paying unemployment taxes to state governments
Carrying Workmans Compensation Insurance
Maintaining Employee Records
Part IV
Chapter 12
Knowing what you can and cant depreciate

Introducing debits and credits
Maintaining a ledger
Instituting internal controls
Tracking sales
Running Tests for Accuracy
Preparing financial reports
Chapter 2
Wading through Basic Bookkeeping Lingo
Accounts for the income statement
Other common terms
Pedaling through the Accounting Cycle
Cashbasis or Accrual Accounting
Recording right away with accrual accounting
Seeing Double with Doubleentry Bookkeeping
Differentiating Debits and Credits
Chapter 3
Starting with the Balance Sheet Accounts
Tackling assets
Laying out your liabilities
Eyeing the equity
Tracking the Income Statement Accounts
Recording the money you make
Acknowledging the money you spend
Setting Up Your Chart of Accounts
Part II
Chapter 4
Developing Entries for the Ledger
Posting Entries to the Ledger
Adjusting for Ledger Errors
Chapter 5
When Cash Changes Hands
Following outgoing cash
Managing Sales Like a Pro
Keeping Track of Purchases
Dealing with Transactions that Dont Fit
Posting Journal Information to Accounts
Simplifying Your Journaling with Computerized Accounting
Chapter 6
Simply Accounting Pro
Peachtree Accounting
Setting Up Your Computerized Books
Customizing software to match your operations
Converting your manual bookkeeping to a computerized system
Chapter 7
Putting Controls on Your Businesss Cash
Savings accounts
Cash registers
Keeping the Right Paperwork
Creating a filing system
Figuring out what to keep and for how long
Protecting Your Business Against Internal Fraud
Dividing staff responsibilities
Balancing control costs
Insuring Your Cash through Employee Bonding
Part III
Chapter 8
Entering initial cost
Managing inventory and its value
Buying and Monitoring Supplies
Staying on Top of Your Bills
Chapter 9
Discovering the value of sales receipts
Recording cash transactions in the books
Selling on Credit
Deciding whether to offer store credit
Recording store credit transactions in the books
Proving Out the Cash Register
Tracking Sales Discounts
Recording Sales Returns and Allowances
Monitoring Accounts Receivable
Chapter 10
Completing government forms
Picking pay periods
Collecting Employee Taxes
Figuring out federal withholding tax
Settling up state and local withholding taxes
Taxexempt benefits
Taxable benefits
Preparing Payroll and Posting It in the Books
Doling out funds to salaried employees
Depositing Employee Taxes
Outsourcing Payroll and Benefits Work
Chapter 11
Paying Employer Taxes on Social Security and Medicare
Knowing how often to file
Completing Unemployment Reports and Paying Unemployment Taxes
Figuring out the useful life of a fixed asset
Reducing the Value of Assets
How you can use QuickBooks to calculate depreciation
Tackling Taxes and Depreciation
Recording Depreciation Expenses
Chapter 13
Simple interest
Handling Interest Income
Delving into Loans and Interest Expenses
Shortterm debt
Longterm debt
Chapter 14
Making Sure Ending Cash Is Right
Closing the Cash Journals
Finalizing cash receipts
Finalizing cash outlays
Using a Temporary Posting Journal
Tracking down errors
Using a computerized system
Posting Adjustments and Corrections
Chapter 15
Paying attention to initial transaction details
Analyzing summary results
Planning for cash flow
Checking Out Computerized Journal Records
Chapter 16
Conducting your trial balance
Dealing with trial balance errors
Testing Your Balance Using Computerized Accounting Systems
Developing a Financial Statement Worksheet
Replacing Worksheets with Computerized Reports
Chapter 17
Depreciating assets
Allocating prepaid expenses
Counting inventory
Allowing for bad debts
Recognizing unpaid salaries and wages
Testing Out an Adjusted Trial Balance
Changing Your Chart of Accounts
Part V
Chapter 18
Gathering Balance Sheet Ingredients
Acknowledging your debts
Ta Da Pulling Together the Final Balance Sheet
Report format
Financial Position format
Putting Your Balance Sheet to Work
Assessing your debt
Chapter 19
Formatting the Income Statement
Preparing the Income Statement
Finding Cost of Goods Sold
Gauging your Cost of Goods Sold
Monitoring Expenses
Testing Profits
Return on Assets
Branching Out with Income Statement Data
Chapter 20
Sending in wage reports
Producing 1099s for Vendors and Contractors
Filing YearEnd Summaries
Chapter 21
Limited Liability Companies LLCs
Tax Reporting for Sole Proprietors
Filing Tax Forms for Partnerships
Paying Corporate Taxes
Reporting for an S corporation
Taking Care of Sales Taxes Obligations
Chapter 22
Zeroing out income statement accounts
Carrying over balance sheet accounts
Checking customer accounts
Assessing vendor accounts
Part VI
Chapter 23
Balancing Your Entries
Planning Profits
Making Pricing Decisions
Chapter 24
Accounts Receivable
Owners Equity

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Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Lita Epstein, who earned her MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, enjoys helping people develop good financial, investing, and tax planning skills.
While getting her MBA, Lita worked as a teaching assistant for the financial accounting department and ran the accounting lab. After completing her MBA, she managed finances for a small nonprofit organization and for the facilities management section of a large medical clinic.
She designs and teaches online courses on topics such as investing for retirement, getting ready for tax time, and finance and investing for women. She’s written more than ten books, including Streetwise Retirement Planning and Trading For Dummies.
Lita was the content director for a financial services Web site,, and managed the Web site Investing for Women. As a Congressional press secretary, Lita gained firsthand knowledge about how to work within and around the Federal bureaucracy, which gives her great insight into how government programs work. In the past, Lita has been a daily newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and fundraiser for the international activities of former President Jimmy Carter through The Carter Center.

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