What Bloggers Need to Know About Bookkeeping

What Bloggers Need to Know About Bookkeeping

Running a blog is fun and creative, and it’s so easy to set up these days that just about anyone can get started. If you’re running a blog as a business venture, however, a whole new level of responsibility opens up. Bookkeeping is one of the most important aspects of being in business, so here are the basics you need to know.

Open a Business Bank Account

What Bloggers Need to Know About Bookkeeping

Keeping business money separate from personal money is important for two

● It makes bookkeeping easier, since all the transactions in your business account relate only to your blogging business.
● It’s faster to update your business records because you’re not wading through personal expenses.

There’s a third reason too: if and when you decide to use professional accounting services such as an accountant or bookkeeper, they will have access to your personal finances if you use your everyday bank account for your business records.

As a business blogger, you should register as self-employed with HMRC and file a tax return each year whether you make a profit or not, and whether you hit the tax threshold or not. A business account simplifies the process. Most banks will give you a year or more of charge-free banking, so in the beginning, it won’t cost you any extra.

Save and File Receipts

Receipts (for both purchases and sales) and invoices are the backbone of your financial paper trail. They are the records you must keep to prove you have made and spent what you are claiming.

These days you don’t have to keep all paper receipts as HMRC will accept digital copies. Scan or photograph paper receipts and log them safely in an appropriately named file either on your computer, in the cloud, or backed up to an external drive. An external backup is a good idea however else you store them.

Keep Bookkeeping Simple

Simple systems work best for small businesses. You could use a notebook, a ledger from a High Street stationer, an Excel spreadsheet or an online accounting package such as Quickbooks or FreeAgent. There are many more online accounting services that help sole traders keep simple books. Avoid anything complicated that expects you to have records for VAT or Payroll. If you don’t need it, there’s no reason to complicate matters.

Get Some Professional Help

When your blog gets busy and demands more of your time, you may benefit from some professional help with keeping your books up-to-date. Bookkeepers will work with you on a part time basis, offering as many or few hours as you need each month. A big advantage in using a professional bookkeeping service is that you know your books are accountant-ready at the end of the tax year.

To start, you may decide to take care of your own tax return. However, an accountant also has the experience to offer business advice if they see areas where you could use money more efficiently, or do things differently, so there are advantages there too.

They’ll also make sure you’re claiming all your allowances, not paying too much tax, and you’ll avoid penalties for late submission. Turning your blog into a business is a logical next step for many bloggers.
Organise your bookkeeping into a simple system that’s easy to update, and blogging is probably one of the most fun and rewarding ways to be in business today.

This is a collaborative post. 

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What Bloggers Need to Know About Bookkeeping

This article has 92 comments

  1. bev

    I never knew there was so much to it!

  2. A S,Edinburgh

    Very helpful advice, thank you. Even if it feels over-the-top for something small-scale, it’s a good idea to get your system in place right at the start,

  3. Rachel

    Seems many skills are required to be developed in order to take on such a role.

  4. Micaela Levachyov

    This post has some great advice, thanks for sharing. When I decided to go freelance I spent a lot of time getting all my records etc set up so I know how important it is to be organised!

  5. Nisha

    Interesting blog, thank you for sharing. this is essential for the present and future.

  6. Kayleigh Watkins

    A very formative post with great tips, I didn’t realise blogging had so many different aspects to it xxx

  7. Izzy Grey

    Interesting post, though I wish my blog were successful enough that I needed a book keeper, lol. There’s some great tips here though, so thanks!

  8. Amber

    I don’t think my blog is big enough to need a book keeper! I do write everything down though, just in case, so maybe this would come in handy!

  9. Hayley Warren

    Some great advice here! I’m really not very good at the book keeping side of things.

  10. Joan Cajic

    I haven’t reached book keeping part when it comes to my blog ut these are really great and useful tips when time comes.

  11. Heather

    I like to use excel spreadsheets. It keeps the paper clutter down. Great tips for business bloggers here.

  12. Alison Rost

    There’s nothing like keeping everything organized and having a system that allows you to keep track of everything that you need to keep track of. I think bloggers should definitely consider this especially those who are earning through their blogs.

  13. TheSuperMomLife

    This is such great information! A lot of people ask me about this when they first start. I’ll pass them over here 🙂

  14. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place

    I’m pretty bad at bookkeeping, so thanks for this post! I need to look into the professional services you suggested here.

  15. Robert Price

    There is a lot to it

  16. Hannah Marie

    My blog isn’t earning yet but I know this will be useful for me in the future. I wish and hope I will need a book keeper too.

  17. Elizabeth

    Great tips, these! Bookkeeping is one of my least favourite things about being self-employed, but it needs to be done!

  18. Vian

    You gave us amazing tips. For bloggers, Bookkeeping is really needed. I totally agree with you, to separate personal from business money. I think I’ve done everything – open a business bank account, save and file receipts, keep bookkeeping simple, except asking professional help. Mine is a small business so I’m doing bookkeeping myself.

  19. Ruth I.

    I have a background in bookkeeping so it will be a little easy if I would ever need it. These are good points.

  20. Alessandra

    This posts contains some useful advice about bookkeeping that would be helpful to any other kind of business, plus the blog specific info. A must-read for anyone thinking of turning their blog into a business.

  21. Jessica Taylor

    This is such a great idea! When I started my blog I had no idea i’d actually make any money…so I never looked into hiring someone to help with bookkeeping!

  22. L dove

    Great post and SO helpful! I have an accountant thank god or I swear I’d be clueless!

  23. 1StopMom

    These are great tips. I like using a spreadsheet and my Paypal account. It helps me keep track of everything. I don’t like searching for everything around tax time and getting stressed out.

  24. Terri Ramsey Beavers

    I’ve been thinking about opening a blogger business account. I need to stop thinking about it and start doing something about it. It would make my life easier.

  25. Dana Brillante-Peller

    It’s so important to stay on top of things throughout the year, more so when you use your blog as a business. My friend learned that less this year. She wasn’t tracking all her expenses.

  26. Kara Ferwerda

    I have been working on being more organized! So these are great tips!

  27. Katy

    So useful! I really need to be more organised with mine – I am terrible!

  28. Globalmouse (@globalmouse1)

    These are really good tips and something I really need to get on top of…I don’t even have a separate business account at the moment which is something I really ought to sort out. Thank you.

    • Sarah-Louise Bailey

      I think as long as your sole trader you can use a personal account but it should be one that’s separate from your others, that said I opened a business one last year.

  29. Home and Horizon

    These are all good points. I think getting help from a professional is a good idea if you don’t have enough time to do bookkeeping.

    • Sarah-Louise Bailey

      It really is a good idea, especially if like you say you just don’t have the time as it can be time-consuming especially if you get into a bit of a mess.

  30. dearmummyblog

    Great tips! We’re hobby bloggers but this information would come in handy if we were ever going to try and make money or turn it into a business venture. We’d need someone or a program to look after our books x

  31. rhianwestbury

    I’ve always done my own bookkeeping but I do think if you’re unsure or not confident that employing help is always a good idea x

  32. Rika

    Great tips! I need to organize my business finance and start recording my income and expenses accordingly.

  33. myrabevlife

    I so need to open a business banking account as I have been mixing for the last few years and its getting annoying. I do have paypal but then transfer funds to my personal account.

  34. The London Mum

    I have been self employed for yonks.. pretty much sine I left university and yet i still haven’t established a great way offing my books. Don’t get me wrong I manage it at the end of the tax year but it takes me a while as I sift through all the accounts I have. I really do need to do it in a smarter way to be more time efficient.

  35. Veronica Lee

    Thank you for the very helpful tips. If only my blog were that successful!

  36. Danielle

    It’s so important to really keep track of everything in case HMRC want to see your records.

  37. Richard Brandt

    Wow this blogging thing is beginning to sound like work.

  38. 4theloveofmommy

    This year was my very first year set up as a business. I kept every reciept and I was able to do my own taxes easily. I do however need to set up a business account to make it easier.

  39. Jemma Andrew-Adiamah (@celery_cupcakes)

    It’s so important to have a good routine and plan in place for bookkeeping. It can get very messy otherwise.

  40. Kara

    I have to admit that I have always done it myself but I am tempted to hire someone to help me as its a job I procrastinate over

  41. Jess

    Ah Sarah you’ve read my mind. My fella has just gone freelance and I think this is the thing he’s most confused about. I’ll send it on to him. Thanks for the advice!

  42. Angela Ricardo

    Awesome tips! I personally enjoy using spreadsheet nowadays. I used to just write them down and lose so much time when I need my numbers down. Thank you for this.

  43. lavandamichelle

    Maybe one day I’ll have a more successful blog and I will need a bookkeeper! This post was very informative so I know where to go if I reach that level, thanks for sharing!

  44. Kim Lee (@KimsCravings)

    Great tips! This is super important, especially around tax time.

  45. Jayne T

    Very useful post, I didn’t realise that there was so much to do when your blogging, thanks for sharing this.

  46. Theresa Thomas

    I would never had thought about having to pay tax if you have a blog, there is a lot that goes on when it comes to blogging

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