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Accounting is easy



It’s all the smoke and mirrors that make it seem harder than it is. I’ll prove it to you using only what you already know. Let’s start with your business and the things that spin around your head every day about it.

Sales.  Advertising.  My bank balance. My new truck. People who owe me money.  My credit union loan. Wages for the staff.  Rent. People I owe money to.  Insurance.  Travel.

Nothing hard there right? Let’s rearrange them  a bit.

Everyday things

  1. Sales – that’s our favourite part let’s leave them here on their own.
  2. Expenses- Lump the everyday  spending together here. Advertising. Wages. Rent. Insurance. Travel.

Let’s get two more groups going over here with the rest:

Good Things

  1. People who owe me money
  2. My bank balance
  3. My new truck

Bad Things

  1. People I owe money to
  2. My credit union Loan

Now comes the smoke and mirrors part; let’s how investors, banks and accountants see our  business.

Everyday things – Profit or Loss

  1. Sales
  2. Expenses:  Advertising. Wages. Rent. Insurance. Travel.

Subtracting your everyday expenses from your sales is what gives your profit or loss. See? Not that hard. And your profit is what you get taxed on. Sales minus expenses = Profit

All the other stuff forms the balance sheet.  No don’t run away – look its easy!

Balance Sheet

Good Things – Assets

  1. People who owe me money – Debtors
  2. My bank balance – Current Asset
  3. My Truck – Fixed Asset

Bad Things – Liabilities

  1. People I owe money to  – Creditors
  2. My Credit Union Loan – Long Term Liability

But why do they need to do that and why do I care?

This is the only language your bank understands. Just look at what they do with it to pass judgement on you!

Liquidity Ratio

It sounds interesting, but it simply means how much more you have than you owe.

Divide your good things above (assets) by your bad things (liabilities) and  put a :1 after it.
So  if your assets add up to 100,000, and your liabilities add up to 50,000 divide 100,000 by 50,000 getting 2. Your liquidity ratio is 2:1. You have twice as much as you owe.  Do you see? Remember, all your own information.  Nothing scary or confusing after all, is there?

Debtor Days

So one of those things that you ‘have’ is people who owe you money. You don’t physically have it cause it’s in your customers pockets, but make no mistake, it’s yours. What the bank will want to figure out, is how long those people owe you the money, because as you already know, the longer they owe you the less likely it is you will get paid. They basically want to test the likelihood of that potential asset becoming actual. How can they possibly do that without ringing up your customers?

First find out your average daily sales, by dividing your sales figure for the year by 365. Then divide your ‘people who owe you money’ or Debtors figure by that. The answer will be how many days on average it takes you to collect your money.  This is scarily accurate. Try it!  Sales 36,500= average sales of 100, If Debtors =6,000 Debtors days = 60. Obviously the lower the number the better.

Knowledge is Power . Go for that loan or investment knowing exactly how the other party is evaluating you. It gives you clarity and negotiating power.

Did this help prove accounting IS easy?



The Author:

Aileen is passionate about entrepreneurs getting their heads round financial control early on in their business. Like Oprah and Tommy Hilfiger, she believes it is the true key to success. As co-owner of Aisling Software Ltd, she provides SortMyBooks online accounts software and Financial Training for self-employed people. Her background is in programming and systems analysis, and having done the corporate thing in companies like Pepsi, Canada Dry and Coors Beer in New York, and the Department of Revenue and Tax on the island paradise of Guam, and GE Money in Dublin, when she started her own small business in Killarney, the traditional methods of bookkeeping and accounting and the traditionally low expectations for financial knowledge and control for self employed people frankly drove her mad. Together with her sister Anne, they found a better way and produced SortMyBooks Accounting software for small businesses, accompanied by the all-important Financial Control Training. The company headed into the Cloud Computing arena with the launch of SortMyBooks Online Accounting in 2010. This has brought even more flexibility to the busy entrepreneur who wants to watch their business grow from anywhere in the world. Just one year on, the software won the IIA Netvisionary award and was shortlisted for the Eircom Spiders. Aileen is happy to speak at any small business event where the focus is to simplify the concepts of accounting, tax, profit and financial control in general. Give her a call! http://www.sortmybooks.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://corbettmcdonald.com Martin A. Corbett

    Hi Aileen, I am laughing out loud at this it is so clever…….bring on more of these, show them all Accountants are not the boring bumch we are made out to be.
    Martin Corbett, CIMA Accountant.

  • Anonymous

    Very refreshing take on what others would lead us to believe is very complicated and expensive.

  • http://twitter.com/aileen456 aileen456

    oh only got notified of these comments now!

    thank you martin and gerard, glad you don’t mind me blowing the lid off the subject!

  • http://blog.myprojecttracker.com Barney Austen

    Nice and clear – fair play. Also confirmed that I mostly was getting it right as well in my planning – phew!

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    Accountancy for dummies – the book i am sure already exists but this post is “what you already know explained simply” – a perfect coaching companion – teach yourself what you already know (as a business owner that is). Thanks for informing, entertaining, educating and enlightening.
    Off to scream at my debtors!!!
    Elaine