I am a startup co-founder but I have no experience in bookkeeping/accounting. Is it possible to do the bookkeeping myself? What are some hands-on learning resources?

Kruze Consulting Startup Q&A Author
Vanessa Kruze Founder, CPA

If you have the time, you can train yourself to do some of the bookkeeping. Start with these resources:

  • Lynda is a great resource for how to learn QuickBooks and Xero.
  • YouTube has some fast and easy QBO tutorials here.

You’ll get the most benefit if you simultaneously work on your company’s books while watching the videos. Two caveats though, 1) your time is truly better spent growing and managing your startup and 2) if you get it wrong it will very likely be expensive to clean up the books.

So while you can learn how to do the accounting yourself, you should invest in spending a few hours with a CPA so that you can go over how to do things properly. I had one client who insisted on doing their own bookkeeping with no training. Come tax time we had a lot of cleanup, and so what would have been a between $400 to $750 tax return amounted to a $6200 bill. We would have charged ~$400/month to do the bookkeeping, so not only did they pay more in the end… they wasted their own time :(

You can get a feel for what it should cost using the tool on our site here.

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