How to keep the accounts of a company?
A few reminders on business accounting
What is accounting for?
When we speak of general accounting, it is about a set of procedures which make it possible to record and classify all the operations and their values carried out by a company.
From this financial information, accounting documents are drawn up, in this case a balance sheet and an income statement.
The balance sheet concerns the state of the company’s assets, that is to say what it owns and what it owes at a specific time (at the time of the closing of the financial year).
The income statement lists the incoming and outgoing movements made by the company during the financial year. We then deduce the result (positive or negative), called balance, between income and expenses.
It allows you to carry out a real strategic management of your company thanks to the knowledge and the follow-up of the activity and the financial health of your company.
Is keeping your business accounts compulsory?
Any business must keep accounts, whether the business is commercial or industrial ( source ), with a few nuances:
Small craft or commercial businesses can, under certain conditions ( source ), benefit from simplified accounting.
The liberal professions are subject to simplified accounts including the exemption to make a balance sheet.
The accounting of a micro-entrepreneur comes down to a book of receipts and expenses (as well as invoicing obligations).
Chart of accounts and books of account
The chart of accounts is an indispensable tool in the accounting of all companies. This is a nomenclature containing two columns (inputs and outputs) and account numbers classified under 9 accounts (at least). Each revenue or expense, called accounting entries, is classified in this document according to the type of transaction.
There are also accounting books. There are several types of registers:
the journal book , in which the transactions are listed in chronological order,
the general ledger , where transactions are classified by account number,
the inventory book which includes the items owned by the company (it is no longer mandatory since 2016).
Business accounting: rules and obligations
The keeping of accounts must meet certain legal obligations which will depend above all on the legal form of your company. Overall, a few common rules should be remembered:
Absolutely all movements must be made in accounting entries.
All supporting documents must be kept and linked to an accounting entry.
Accounting books must be kept for 10 years.
Personal accounts should be kept separate from business accounts.
The filing of accounts for the companies concerned must be carried out every year.
The different types of business accounting: cash flow or commitment
Two types of business accounting exist. One or the other will be applied depending on your tax regime and the options chosen.
Cash accounting amounts to recording only the receipts collected and the expenses paid, as well as the receivables (customer invoice due) and debts (supplier invoice to pay) at the time of the closing of the financial year.
It is the simplest, easiest and fastest bookkeeping.
It concerns in particular BNC entrepreneurs, and those in BIC under the real simplified regime (optional).
Accrual accounting is the same as recording income and expenses when they are incurred, even if you have not yet paid or been paid.
This accounting is more complex and it is also more precise.
It concerns professionals and companies with IS and BIC (with some possible exceptions in BIC)
Keeping Business Accounts: What Are Your Options?
Excel is not an option
Even if some people continue to use a table to do their accounting , this practice is clearly discouraged since it does not respect several legal obligations of business accounting.
Indeed, according to article 921-3 of the General Accounting Plan, any modification or deletion of accounting data is prohibited. Each accounting entry must be subject to a validation procedure, which is not the case in Excel. You can therefore use an accounting balance sheet template , but it will at least be necessary to complete with a paper version.
Other solutions exist, and you can in particular turn to business accounting software . Modern, intuitive, ergonomic, efficient, this software has many advantages and is increasingly used by entrepreneurs.
If IT puts you off, it is also possible to keep your accounts manually on paper, without erasures. In this case, you respect the prohibition to modify or delete the accounting data.
Finally, the largest companies choose to entrust the accounting of the company to an employee or a department of the company, often with accounting or pre-accounting software?
An online accountant or accountant
You can choose to hire a professional external to your company to keep your accounts. The core business of accountancy firms is the accounting management of companies. In addition to taking charge of all or part of your accounting tasks, they often provide an advisory service, useful for the management of your business and are even able to support you on your business plan .