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eBay Business All-in-One For Dummies, 3rd Edition by Marsha Collier

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Chapter 2: The Joys of Taxes and Business Reporting

In This Chapter

  • Finding a tax professional
  • Understanding first things first: Bookkeeping basics
  • Saving your records to save your bacon
  • Letting your reports talk to you
  • Keeping your company records organized and safe

You'll get no argument from me that bookkeeping can be the most boring and time-consuming part of your job. You may feel that you just need to add your product costs, add your gross sales, and bada-bing, you know where your business is. Sorry, not true. Did you add that roll of tape you picked up at the supermarket today? Although it cost only $1.29, it's a business expense. How about the mileage driving back and forth from suppliers, garage sales, and flea markets? Those are expenses, too. I suspect that you're not counting quite a few other “small” items just like these in your expense column.

I must confess that I enjoy posting my expenses and sales after I actually get into the task. It gives me the opportunity to know exactly where my business is in its course at any given moment. Understand, I'm not using a pencil-entered ledger system to do that; my tool of choice is a software program that's fairly easy to use. But the concepts behind the tools matter too. In this chapter, I give you the lowdown on the basics of bookkeeping — and emphasize the importance of keeping records in case Uncle Sam comes calling. Keep reading: This chapter is required.

Dealing with a Professional

Have you ever wondered why big businesses ...

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