Keeping accurate, up-to-date records of your
income and expenses is an essential component of running your business.
You will need income statements and balance sheets to track the progress
of your business, keep tax records, and demonstrate to creditors and
bankers the financial health of your business.
You may hire a qualified bookkeeper to handle
your records, or you may learn to "keep the books" yourself
using business accounting software like Quickbooks or Acumen, or manually
by using a single-entry or double-entry bookkeeping system. For a thorough
guide to keeping books yourself, plus an explanation of important accounting
terms and sample balance sheets, refer to the IRS' Publication
583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records (in Adobe
Acrobat .pdf format).