Manual Bookkeeping
Synoptic Journal

by Rebecca
(Wasco, U.S.)

My husband and I are starting a very small home business. Is it too old school to keep manual records?

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Hi Rebecca,

Yes you can keep manual records using a Synoptic Journal ... but I don't know why you would want to. You lose the ability to use the financial information to help you run your business.

If you are unsure how to get started, here are two suggestions:

First check out Intuit's free QuickBook offer for Simple Start at Cnet (Canadian visitors, that link is for the U.S. version. Click here for the Canadian version called EasyStart.)

You can download their free introductory bookkeeping system for free. Play around and see if it might work for you. Don't be scared of it.

The benefits for your business are:

  • tracking of every cent of every business transaction so you can run valuable business reports;

  • organizing your records for easy tax preparation throughout the year instead of at tax time; and

  • automating routine transactions freeing up your time for other things.

Next, you might want to check out my article How To Start Doing Your Own Bookkeeping.

Comments for Manual Bookkeeping
Synoptic Journal

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Mar 25, 2013
Prior Purchases
by: Small Business Startup

I am starting a business up and I bought the main materials before I had my business bank account.

How would I record this since I plan to use a single entry recording method and I was told that all the invoices must match the bank account?

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I honestly don't know how to do single entry recording. I assume you are usinig a system like one-write or you will be keeping a synoptic journal.

In a synoptic journal, you use a spreadsheet, either paper or Excel, and record each expense or deposit on one line. Across the top of the page you write your accounts:

Owner's Draw/Contributions
Asset Purchases
Loan Payments
Office Supplies
Other Charges (for non-recurring or annual charges)

At the end of each month, you draw a line and total all your columns. Leave a few lines and start your next month.

In your case, as you didn't have your business bank open when made your purchases, you used your personal funds (your cash, your credit card, your bank account). This is considered an owner's contribution and would be recorded as such.

Hope that helps.

P.S. I would like to remind you there is a difference between information and advice. The general information provided in this post or on my site should not be construed as advice. You should not act or rely on this information without engaging professional advice specific to your situation prior to using this site content for any reason whatsoever.

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