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Bookkeeping techniques for morons
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Alright, the title of this article may be offending to some, but if you don't know much about bookkeeping, please don't think that anyone is
calling you a moron to hurt your feelings. I, the writer of this article, was a bookkeeping moron when I first started setting up my files.
Accounting, math or anything in the family was never my cup of tea, and I would rather just add up numbers on my calculator than try to
figure something out in my head. If you are going to be in business for yourself though, there will be many times when you do have to use
your head! There have been many businesses that have completely crumbled simply because they lacked the organization in their basic
accounting practices. You don't want your business to be one of them! Please keep in mind, you do not have to use bookkeeping
computer programs do keep accurate track of your business finances. If you do, and know how to use them, good for you. This article is
meant for those who want a simple pen and paper way of keeping track of everything.

As a small mail order dealer, there is not much that you will have to do at the very beginning. Here is advice to get you started from
ground zero:

1. - Take out a hanging file folder and a label of any kind. If you don't have any, they can be cheaply purchased from any one of the big
retail or office stores out there.

2. - Type or hand print "Receipts" on one of the labels and place that label on one of the hanging folders.

3. - Now, place five manila file folders inside the hanging file folder (the one that says receipts) and label each of the manila folders with
the following headlines:

    
A. Advertising
    
B. Postage
    
C. Office Supplies
    
D. Rent and Utilities
    
E. Miscellaneous

You will now have a hanging file folder with five separate manila folders inside of it. Now, place your hanging file folder in your metal file
cabinet. If you don't have one, you can buy one at the same department store or office supply store that you purchased your other items.
If you want, you can even get inventive and make a neat cardboard box for yourself.

That was easy wasn't it? I know some people reading this will think that I am insulting their intelligence, but please know that this is not my
intention. The reason that this is broken down in step by step methods is so everyone can understand it regardless of their past
experience or knowledge. You have to remember that there are some people who have never worked in an office in their life. What
seems like something simple and common knowledge to some people may be something entirely new to others.

Alright, let's get back to where we were. You now have one master file completed and we're ready to make another one just like it. This
time, the hanging file folder name will be "Income" and the three manila folders inside of it will have the following headings:

    
A. Completed and Shipped Orders
    
B. Inquires and Correspondence
    
C. Open Orders Still Pending

See how easy that is? For now on, you simply make another folder as the need arises. You will always be able to easily maintain your
folders. Once someone has all of this down, they may want to try and get a computer, or if they already have one, they may want to try a
computer program to help them with their bookkeeping. A computer will organize everything in the same manner and works really well as
it does not make the mistakes that our human mind does.

Yes - bookkeeping is a very simple process. The important thing to do is keep the process going. For instance, every single order that I
process, I completely finish before moving on to the next. For example:

1. - Mail is received and opened. As each piece is opened, it is placed into individual piles. Orders that are already paid are placed into
its own pile, information request and other correspondences are placed into another pile.

2. - The orders that are already paid for are processed first. Each one I pick up is processed completely before moving on to the next
one. This means that the customer's order is packaged and ready to be shipped out.

3. - During the process, the date, amount of payment and product ordered is recorded on the outside of the envelope. I also make sure
that the customer's name and address is on the envelope too.

4. - Just before closing up the office for the day, the envelopes are then keyed into the database of our computer. Of course, if you are
not using a computer you will use the hanging files that you have put together. All of the information that was recorded on the envelopes
into the computer or hanging files. Do not ever think that you can get by this and remember everything. We are all in danger of the
forgetfulness of our mind.

As your business grows, your understanding and abilities to handle all of this will improve. When that happens, you can develop a more
sophisticated means of keeping the books. In the meantime, just concentrate on keeping good records. It is the lifeblood of all
businesses and can either make or break a business.  You'll thank yourself in the long run.