Setting up Bookkeeping and Database Systems

Okay, you have contacted a few retail stores and made a few sales.  Now what?

Setting up a good system to track your customers and your sales is necessary to maintain your sales records.

Bookkeeping Systems

QuickBooks is the most commonly used computer bookkeeping system available.  You can use QuickBooks to invoice, track sales, expenses, accounts payable (what you owe people) and accounts receivable (what people owe you!).  You can also use QuickBooks to general various reports such as Income Statements (your profit or loss statement) and Accounts Receivable Aging Reports (telling you if customer’s payments are late).

If you decide to use QuickBooks, you have the option of using QuickBooks Pro or QuickBooks Premier for Manufacturers.  Pro version is the standard basic bookkeeping system whereas Premier will allow you to track inventory and cost of good sold (cost to manufacture your products).

Or if you wish to use just a very simple system to keep track of sales, Microsoft Excel gives you the option to list each sale and payment dates.

Which ever system you decide to use, make sure it is kept up to date nor you can easily lose control of your business!

Database Systems

Even though QuickBooks will allow you to track your customers, Pro or Premier does not have a list or label printing option.

Depending how intricate of a system you want, there are several different options for database systems.  Personally, I use Microsoft Access which has many field options depending on how much information you wish to retain.  You can also print mailing labels from Access if you want to send newsletters to your buyers.

QuickBooks has an add-on program called Customer Manager which can manage more advanced customer information such as recent contacts, phone messages, calendar notes, and TO DO lists.

Lots of customer management systems are available, just like there are more bookkeeping systems you can use.  The important point is to use what will work best for you and meets your business needs

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