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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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    16

    Default Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Hello everyone!

    I am curious to know what people are using to keep track of their books. I have been selling honey, but also do swarm removals and hive cut-outs. Part of my business is retail, but part is also service. I have used Quickbooks in the past for a small business, but it's been about ten years, and thought there might be something that works better for beekeepers. Thanks in advance!

    Dan Punch

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,344

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    If you keep track you will see how much you loose at your business.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Bristol, Florida, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    QuickBooks can do a very good job of you know how to set it up and you enter all your relavent information in a timely manner
    Gary

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    If you keep track you will see how much you loose at your business.
    That's EXACTLY why I want to keep track! I may just be charging too little for products and services and not know it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeTax View Post
    QuickBooks can do a very good job of you know how to set it up and you enter all your relavent information in a timely manner
    Thank you, Gary. I might just go back to QB then.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Wake County, NC
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Quickbooks is an easy program.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Nowthen,Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    When I turned my hobby into a business in 2009, I bought Quickbooks. It was overkill. But... As my business has matured, I'm glad that I have it. It makes my tax preparer happy as well.
    -Phil Domeier
    www.nowthenhoney.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,756

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Quote Originally Posted by danpunch View Post
    That's EXACTLY why I want to keep track! I may just be charging too little for products and services and not know it!
    I can almost gaurantee you are charging too little. Just from what I have seen other beekeepers doing for years.

    Do you issue actual receipts for your services and honey sales? Keep track of the income and the expenses and get a tax accountant who understands agriculture and what you can do in an agricultural business which you can't in any other business. I'm sure Quickbooks is a good tool and the person suggesting its use correct.

    I'm glad to see you asking this question. It means you are transitioning from a hobby/smallscale mindset to a beekeeping businesslike mindset. Good.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,301

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Due to a recent endeavor that my wife is entering into I have been researching business software. Almost all of them are overkill unless you can find an IT guy who has programmed a specialized software for his own beekeeping business. QB is well accepted in the accounting world but so are some others. The advantage I see about QB is there are so many people using it so it is easier to get help because as you would expect "free support" is a term used loosely these days.
    I am looking towards online software's to alleviate the problem of hardware crashes and maintenance. It will also give me off site access which is necessary. Unfortunately I had to go to Quickbooks online "plus" instead of "essentials" to get class tracking which is really overkill for the business my wife is in. But if you need it you need it.

    The biggest nut to crack is dealing with our state government and payroll for any business. That alone kills most businesses from moving out of the hobby classification. For my personal business with no employees I use a spreadsheet and at the end of the year I do a data sort for the ins and the outs and that makes my accountant happy. I would think most bee businesses with no employees could do the same. Once you have employees you have big brother breathing down your neck and then it becomes a whole new ballgame.

    Good luck in your search.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,393

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    I've used QB for 15 years now. Most accountants use it and that makes it easy to send reports via email. I don't use half of its features, but what I do utilize is well worth the cost of the program.
    Regards, Barry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,301

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    get a tax accountant who understands agriculture and what you can do in an agricultural business which you can't in any other business.
    What would that be?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,393

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Have a honey yield.
    Regards, Barry

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,959

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    I use QB for my business, its great....but a little bit of a pain.
    Set it up as simple as you can to start with. When you launch the program do it with someone that has experience setting up accounts, that is going to do your accounting/taxes or is at the least familiar with QB. Some things are difficult to go back and restructure if you haven't used it.

    I'm on an envelope system for my other endeavors. I place a predetermined wad of cash in a envelope and keep track of every time I add and subtract cash on the outside of envelope.
    If my envelope is fat I can consider my possibilities if it is getting thin, I know what to do.
    It's very motivating and works well for me.

    These links might be helpful setting for setting up the structure

    http://agmarketing.extension.psu.edu...keeperplan.pdf

    http://api.ning.com/files/4N20pw7eZD...ingworbook.pdf
    Last edited by Mbeck; 09-10-2012 at 09:09 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Imperial, MO, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    I used to use Quicken, and liked the fact that my bank statements updated themselves every time I logged in. I never had to balance my checkbook manually, and it automatically categorized most expenses. I switched computers and didn't renew the software, but since I'm also in the process of moving from a hobby to a small scale business, I'm already planning on going back to Quicken or Quickbooks starting Jan 1st. I'll have a seperate "account" for both our personal/family budget and for our "bee business".
    "Teach your kids to hunt and fish, and you won't have to hunt for your kids"
    Four Ridge Apiaries www.fourridgebees.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,756

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post

    I'm on an envelope system for my other endeavors. I place a predetermined wad of cash in a envelope and keep track of every time I add and subtract cash on the outside of envelope.
    If my envelope is fat I can consider my possibilities if it is getting thin, I know what to do.
    It's very motivating and works well for me.
    Do you only put 20s, 50s, and 100s in the envelope? An envelope full of 1s isn't as satisfying as an envelope full of 100s, I find.

    I have an accordion file next to my desk for bills paid and receipt books for sales, as well as my check books. At the end of the year I go thru the receipts and total up my income from Sales and pollination. I go thru the accordion file and seperate the receipts and credit card bills into the different categories found at the bottom of Schedule F Profit and Loss from Farming (or is it Profit or Loss?). Taking that list, along w/ mileage and Motel and Meals data, to my accountant, she figures out where we stand. Not forgetting depreciation of course. So far that has worked for me. What have I forgotten to mention?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,959

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Do you only put 20s, 50s, and 100s in the envelope? An envelope full of 1s isn't as satisfying as an envelope full of 100s, I find.
    I find it easy to put money in and hard to pull it out.

    I wouldn't recommend a envelope for a business, you should use duffel bags or wheel barrows!!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,301

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    I'm on an envelope system for my other endeavors.
    It would be tough to use an envelope system if you were dealing with credit cards, payroll, and any online banking.

    Mark, do you really wait until the end of the year to find out where you stand? There is not a lot of wiggle room if you wait that long. What happens if the truck breaks down and there isn't any cash in the till?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Hughes Springs, Texas, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    I have been using gnucash
    it does as much as quick books but is free

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Bristol, Florida, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Sometimes things that are free are very expensive.

    I would add to those wanting to properly set up their business accounting system, to enter the information as it is available, rather than at the end of the year, and get the records you have to your accountant BEFORE the end of the year. It is hard for me to advise clients on the things they need to do in 2011 to get the most advantage from the tax laws when they bring me their files on April 15th of 2012!

    I do the monthly bookkeeping for many clients, and generally the money I save them plus the time it frees up for them to run their business more than pays for my fees.
    Gary

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,756

    Default Re: Beekeeping Business Accounting

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    It would be tough to use an envelope system if you were dealing with credit cards, payroll, and any online banking.

    Mark, do you really wait until the end of the year to find out where you stand? There is not a lot of wiggle room if you wait that long. What happens if the truck breaks down and there isn't any cash in the till?
    It's not an accounting to see where I stand. What I was writing about was for Tax accounting. And I do look at things before the end of the year, of course.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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