Small Business Bookkeeping Checklist

For a company to be both sustainable and successful, it needs to have a very efficient accounting and bookkeeping system in place. According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), approximately 30% of small businesses don’t survive their first two years, and another 50% don’t survive their first five [1]. Don’t allow yours to become another statistic. Use this basic bookkeeping checklist as your guide to ensure that your small business continues to operate efficiently for years to come.

Daily Bookkeeping

home business bookkeeping - daily

Here are two simple bookkeeping tasks that you should be performing on a daily basis:

  • Check How Much Cash You Have: The first thing you should do each morning is check your business bank account and see how much cash you have. As an entrepreneur, you’ll inevitably have unexpected expenses that pop up at random times, and without cash on hand, you’ll be in trouble.
  • Be Aware of All Income/Outgoing Payments: By keeping a list of both incoming and outgoing payments for the day, you’ll have a pretty good idea about what your small business’ cash will look like tomorrow.

Weekly Bookkeeping

home business bookkeeping - weekly

Here are three bookkeeping tasks that you should be doing on a weekly basis:

  • Prepare/Send Invoices: Staying on top of your invoices will ensure that your small business operates more efficiently. Obviously, the sooner you send out your invoices, the sooner you’ll get paid. Try to send invoices while your services are still fresh in the customer’s mind.
  • Update Payroll File: This is one rather straightforward: make sure your employees are compensated on time. Pay your employees in a timely manner and they’ll continue to work hard and grow your business!
  • Review Forecasted Cash Flow: As a business owner, you should always have an idea of what your cash flow goals are. Doing this on a weekly basis will give you a holistic view of your long-term cash flow goals.

Quarterly Bookkeeping

home business bookkeeping - quarterly

Here are two bookkeeping tasks that you should be doing on a quarterly basis (every four months):

  • Evaluate Annual Profit/Loss Estimates: How’s your year looking so far? Every four months or so, take a look at your gross profit, expenses, cost of sales, and revenue. Are they holding up to your annual projections? If so, great! If they’re not, now you know that certain changes are needed.
  • Make Quarterly Income Tax Payments: We understand that taxes are a nuisance, but they’ll only get worse if you put them off. Make sure that you’re paying income taxes each quarter as well as accounting for these taxes.

Annual Bookkeeping


Finally, here are three bookkeeping tasks you should be doing on a yearly basis:

  • Fill Out IRS Forms: Get this out of the way early so you can focus on what really matters – delivering high-quality products and services to your customers.
  • Take Stock of Year-End Inventory: If your business sells products, determine how much, if any, is left over. Did specific products sell better/worse than expected? What will you need to order for the following year?
  • Review Tax Returns: Before giving tax returns to your accountant, go over them yourself. As the owner, you’ll definitely want a clear idea of where your business is headed.

All profitable businesses have good infrastructures, so make sure that you take care of these simple yet essential bookkeeping responsibilities to ensure that your small business continues to thrive for a long time to come.

small business bookkeeping checklist infographic


1. Basic Bookkeeping Tips
2. Five Bookkeeping Tips for Business Owners
3. Easy Accounting Tips for Small Businesses

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Letitia Hauser was SO helpful !!! Actually outstanding!!!

Denise Roarke