S Corporation Bookkeeping: A Beginner’s Guide

S corporations are a popular choice for small and medium-sized businesses due to their tax benefits and limited liability protection. However, managing an S corporation’s finances requires careful attention to detail and adherence to certain regulations.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the fundamentals of S corporation bookkeeping. We will delve into essential topics such as keeping money in an S corp, capital contributions, balance sheet requirements, and the closing of the books at the end of the financial year.

We will also answer some frequently asked questions such as “Is bookkeeping required for an S corp?” and “What are the record-keeping requirements for an S corporation?” Whether you are new to S corp accounting or simply looking for a refresher, this beginner’s guide is a must-read for anyone seeking to manage their S corporation’s finances effectively.

So buckle up and get ready to dive into the world of S corporation bookkeeping. By the end of this guide, you will have a solid understanding of how to keep accurate financial records and ensure your S corporation’s financial success.

S Corporation Bookkeeping: A Comprehensive Guide

As a small business owner, bookkeeping can seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re trying to juggle many other responsibilities. However, it’s critical to stay organized and up-to-date with your financials. In this subsection, we’ll discuss the basics of S Corporation bookkeeping.

Understanding S Corporation Bookkeeping

The first step in managing your S Corporation’s finances is to understand exactly what bookkeeping entails. Simply put, it’s the process of recording and tracking your company’s financial transactions. This includes income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.

The Importance of Accurate Record Keeping

Accurate record keeping is essential for several reasons. It helps you stay on top of your company’s financial health, make informed business decisions, and ensures you’re prepared for tax season.

Organizing Your Finances

Organizing your finances is the key to successful bookkeeping. This involves setting up a system to track income and expenses, managing receipts, and reconciling bank statements.

Tracking Your Income and Expenses

One of the first things you should do is set up a system for tracking your income and expenses. This can be done using software or even a simple spreadsheet.

Managing Receipts

It’s important to keep detailed records of expenses and receipts. Keep physical or digital copies of all receipts, and organize them in a logical manner.

Reconciling Bank Statements

Reconciling your bank statements is the process of ensuring that your financial records match the transactions in your bank account. This can help identify any errors or discrepancies, and ensure your records are accurate.

Hiring a Professional

While it’s possible to handle S Corporation bookkeeping on your own, it can be helpful to hire a professional to assist you. A bookkeeper or accountant can provide valuable insights and expertise, helping you stay organized and on top of your financials.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional

Some benefits of hiring a professional include saving time, reducing stress, and ensuring accuracy. Additionally, they can help identify opportunities for cost savings and provide guidance on tax planning strategies.

In conclusion, S Corporation bookkeeping involves understanding the basics of financial record keeping, organizing your finances, and potentially hiring outside help. With proper management, you can ensure your financial records are accurate, up-to-date, and easy to understand.

Keeping Money in S Corporation

As an S corporation owner, managing your finances adequately is essential. One of the first steps toward achieving this is keeping your business finances separate from your personal finances.

Separate Business and Personal Accounts

When running an S corporation, keeping your business finances and personal finances separate can help you avoid potential legal and tax issues. This approach ensures that any business expense and revenue are kept in separate accounts for better tracking.

Employ a Bookkeeper

To keep your S corporation in good financial health, you should consider employing a bookkeeper. Bookkeepers can help sort through your financial records to ensure that you keep track of all expenses and revenues, making it easier for you to take care of taxes.

Have a Budget

Having a budget is another essential aspect of keeping your business finances in order. Budgeting can help you monitor your spending patterns and ensure that you do not overspend on unnecessary expenses.

Use Accounting Software

Using accounting software like QuickBooks can help you track your finances and generate financial statements. QuickBooks can also generate reports and summaries that can provide insight into your business’s financial status.

Invest in Retirement Plans

As an S corporation owner, it’s essential to invest in retirement plans. Retirement benefits provide skills and knowledge that employees can bring to your business. Additionally, offering employee benefits can be an excellent way to keep employees motivated and happy.

In summary, keeping money in an S corporation involves separating business and personal accounts, employing a bookkeeper, budgeting, using accounting software, and investing in retirement plans. By keeping these tips in mind, you can take control of your finances and ensure that your S corporation remains profitable.

S Corp Capital Contribution

When starting an S Corp, one of the critical things you need to consider is how to raise capital. A business needs money to grow, and an S Corp is no exception. Luckily there are several options for raising capital as an S Corp, and we’ll explore a few of them below.

Personal Investment

One way to raise capital for your S Corp is through personal investment. This simply means that you put your own money into your business. It’s an attractive option as it doesn’t require outside financing, which means no interest payments or equity dilution. However, it’s essential to make sure that you have enough personal funds to invest and that you’re comfortable with the risks associated with investing in your business.


Another option for raising capital is by taking out loans. This can be done through traditional lenders such as banks or credit unions, or through alternative lenders such as online lenders. However, keep in mind that taking out loans means that you’ll have to pay interest, which can affect your bottom line. It’s also essential to ensure that you can make the payments on time to avoid damaging your credit score.


Crowdfunding has become popular in recent years, and it’s also a viable option for raising capital for your S Corp. Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow you to solicit funding from a large number of people, typically in exchange for a reward or product. However, keep in mind that for crowdfunding to be successful, you’ll need to have a compelling story and a well-planned marketing campaign.

Issuing Equity

Issuing equity means selling ownership shares in your business to investors. It can be an effective way to raise capital, but it also means that you’ll have to give up a portion of your ownership stake and potentially have less control over your business. It’s essential to have a solid business plan and a clear understanding of the terms of the equity sale before considering this option.

In conclusion, there are several options available for raising capital as an S Corp. It’s important to carefully consider each option and determine which one is best for your business. With the right approach, you can successfully raise capital and grow your S Corp into a successful business.

S Corp Accounting for Dummies

As an S corporation owner, accounting can be stressful, especially if you have a limited understanding of accounting principles. However, it doesn’t have to be a complicated process. In this section, we’ll discuss S corp accounting for dummies.

Overview of S Corp Accounting

S corp accounting involves keeping track of the company’s financial transactions. Essentially, it is the method used to record, classify, and summarize financial transactions, ensuring that the S corporation’s financial statements are accurate.

Type of S Corp Accounting Records

S corps are required to keep accurate accounting records, which include the following:

Income and Expenses

Keeping track of your company’s income and expenses would help get a clear picture of your financial performance. You can use accounting software such as QuickBooks to track your transactions.

Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a financial report that shows a company’s assets, liabilities, and equity at a particular point in time.

General Ledger

The general ledger is a record of all financial transactions of the company, including purchases, sales, receipts, and payments on account.

Payroll Records

If your company has employees, you must keep payroll records to track their earnings, taxes, and other deductions.

Record Keeping Best Practices

To ensure efficient S corp accounting, follow these best practices:

Stay Organized

Keeping track of your expenses and receipts can be a daunting task; however, staying organized can make the process smoother. Keep your financial records in order and file everything in one central location.

Regularly Review Financial Statements

Financial statements are a reflection of your company’s financial health, so it’s essential to review them regularly to identify overspending, unnecessary expenditures, and other issues.

Consider Hiring an Accountant

If you’re struggling to keep up with accounting tasks or feel overwhelmed, consider hiring an accountant or a bookkeeper trained in S corp accounting.

In conclusion, S corp accounting does not have to be difficult or overwhelming. By following best practices, keeping accurate records, and reviewing your financial statements regularly, accounting will become a manageable and straightforward task for S corp owners. Remember to stay organized, consider hiring an expert, and use accounting software to make the process as smooth as possible.

S Corp Balance Sheet Requirement

An S corporation is a popular entity type among small business owners looking to reduce their tax burden. One important requirement that S corporations must fulfill is the preparation and maintenance of a balance sheet.

What is a balance sheet

A balance sheet is a financial statement that shows a company’s assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific point in time. The balance sheet provides a snapshot of a company’s financial position and is an essential tool for investors, lenders, and other stakeholders.

Why is a balance sheet necessary for S corporations

S corporations are required to prepare and maintain a balance sheet for several reasons. First, the balance sheet helps the company’s management and owners to track the company’s financial health and make better-informed decisions. Second, the balance sheet is necessary for tax reporting purposes, as it shows the company’s financial position at the end of the tax year.

What should an S corp balance sheet include

An S corporation’s balance sheet should include the following:

  • Assets: This section should list all the company’s assets, such as cash, accounts receivable, inventory, and property.
  • Liabilities: This section should show all the company’s liabilities, such as loans, accounts payable, and taxes owed.
  • Equity: This section should show the company’s equity, which is the difference between its assets and liabilities.

How often should an S corporation prepare a balance sheet

An S corporation must prepare a balance sheet at the end of its fiscal year. However, it’s good practice to prepare a balance sheet at regular intervals, such as quarterly or monthly, to track the company’s financial position and make informed decisions.

In summary, an S corporation’s balance sheet is a crucial financial document that shows the company’s financial position at a specific point in time. It’s necessary to prepare and maintain a balance sheet to comply with tax reporting requirements and make better-informed decisions. Small business owners should ensure that their S corporations prepare and maintain accurate balance sheets to stay on top of their finances and meet their legal obligations.

Closing the Books for S Corporations

Closing the books for an S Corporation can be a daunting task, but it’s necessary to keep the business running smoothly. Here are some tips to ensure that the closing process goes as smoothly as possible:

1. Set a Closing Date

The first step in closing the books for your S Corporation is to set a closing date. This date is usually at the end of the fiscal year, but it can be set at any time that you prefer. Once the closing date is established, you’ll want to make sure that all transactions up to that date are recorded in the books.

2. Reconcile Accounts

After you’ve set the closing date, you’ll want to reconcile all accounts. This means making sure that all transactions are accounted for and that all account balances are correct. It’s also important to make sure that all bank statements match up with the corresponding accounting records.

3. Adjust Entries

s corporation bookkeeping

Next, you’ll want to make any necessary adjusting entries. This includes recording depreciation, amortization, and any other adjustments that need to be made. Adjusting entries are important because they ensure that the financial statements accurately reflect the financial position of the company.

4. Prepare Financial Statements

After all accounts have been reconciled and adjusted, you can prepare the financial statements. The financial statements include the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. These statements are important because they provide an overview of the financial health of the company.

5. Close the Books

Finally, you can close the books for your S Corporation. Closing the books means that you’ve completed all necessary accounting tasks for the period, and the financial statements accurately reflect the financial position of the company. It’s important to keep all financial records organized and safe for future reference.

Closing the books for an S Corporation may seem overwhelming at first, but with proper planning and organization, it can be a seamless process. By following these steps, you’ll have everything in order and be ready to start fresh for the new fiscal year.

S-Corp Balance Sheet Equity Section

When it comes to preparing an S-Corp balance sheet, one essential aspect that needs to be highlighted is the Equity Section. The Equity Section of the balance sheet is a vital part that shows the worth of a company’s assets after all its debts and liabilities have been paid.

Understanding the Equity Section

The Equity Section comprises several accounts, such as the Common Stock, Retained Earnings, and Additional Paid-In Capital. The main aim of this section is to show the shareholders’ equity, which is essentially the amount of money that would be left over if the company sold off all its assets and paid off all its debts.

Common Stock

The common stock account represents the shares of stock that are issued by the company. The total number of shares outstanding is multiplied by the par value per share to arrive at the amount recorded in the Common Stock Account.

Retained Earnings

Retained Earnings is the account that shows the accumulated earnings of the company that have not been distributed to the shareholders in the form of dividends. The Retained Earnings account is calculated by adding the current fiscal year’s earnings to the accumulated earnings at the beginning of the year and subtracting any dividends paid during the year.

Additional Paid-In Capital

Additional Paid-In Capital is the difference between the price paid by investors for shares of stock issued by the company and the par value of those shares. This account shows the additional funds contributed to the company by investors and is an important metric for assessing a company’s financial health.

In conclusion, the Equity Section of an S-Corp balance sheet plays a crucial role in showing the worth of a company. It comprises several accounts, including Common Stock, Retained Earnings, and Additional Paid-In Capital. A comprehensive understanding of these accounts is essential for understanding a company’s financial position.

Year-End Closing Entries for S Corporation

As the end of the year approaches, S corporation owners must prepare their year-end closing entries to ensure their financial statements reflect their actual financial position. Year-end closing entries are necessary to ensure all the transactions made during the year are recorded accurately.

Defining Year-End Closing Entries

Year-end closing entries are necessary to close the books and prepare financial statements. In simpler terms, the entries record transactions that occurred during the year and give an accurate picture of your financial position at the end of the year. The entries must be made before the financial statements are generated.

Gathering Necessary Information

Before making year-end closing entries, you need to gather all the necessary financial information. This includes bank statements, loan documents, credit card statements, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and other relevant documents. It’s essential to ensure that all the transactions are recorded before the year-end closing entries are made.

Recording Deferred Revenue and Expenses

You need to record all the deferred revenue and expenses in the year-end closing entries. Deferred revenue is the income you received but didn’t earn yet, while deferred expenses are costs you’ve paid but haven’t used yet. Accurately recording deferred revenue and expenses will make sure that your financial statements are precise.

Reconciling Accounts

Before generating financial statements, you need to reconcile all your accounts. Reconciling your accounts will ensure that all the transactions are accounted for and will reduce any errors or discrepancies in your financial statements. This includes reconciling bank statements, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.

Preparing year-end closing entries for your S corporation can be overwhelming, but it’s necessary. Make sure you gather all the necessary information, record deferred revenue and expenses, and reconcile your accounts. Accurate and precise year-end closing entries will help you make informed decisions and set realistic financial goals for the new year.

S Corp Equity Accounts in Quickbooks

If you’re running an S Corporation, it’s crucial to keep track of your equity accounts in Quickbooks. Equity accounts show a company’s financial position by displaying the amount of money invested in the business by its owners, as well as the profits that have been earned.

Understanding Equity Accounts

Equity accounts in Quickbooks are classified into two types: Contributed Capital and Retained Earnings. Contributed Capital refers to the initial investment or money paid by the business owners into the company. Retained Earnings, on the other hand, are the profits earned by the company that were not distributed to the owners as dividends.

How to Create Equity Accounts in Quickbooks

To create Equity Accounts in Quickbooks, follow these steps:

  1. Open Quickbooks and click on the “Lists” menu.
  2. Select “Chart of Accounts” and click on “New Account”.
  3. Under “Account Type”, select “Equity”.
  4. Choose between “Contributed Capital” or “Retained Earnings”.
  5. Enter the Account Name and Description.
  6. Click “Save & Close”.

Recording Transactions

To record transactions in Quickbooks, follow these steps:

  1. Open Quickbooks and click on the “Lists” menu.
  2. Select “Chart of Accounts”.
  3. Locate the Equity Account you want to record a transaction for.
  4. Click the “Activities” dropdown menu and select “Make Journal Entry”.
  5. Enter the transaction details in the “Journal Entry” window.
  6. Click “Save & Close”.

s corporation bookkeeping

In summary, setting up and tracking S Corp Equity Accounts in Quickbooks is crucial for maintaining an accurate financial picture of your business. By following the steps outlined above, you can create and record transactions for Equity Accounts with ease.

Is Bookkeeping Required for S Corp

As a business owner, one of the questions that’ll come to mind when incorporating your business as an S corporation is whether or not bookkeeping is required. Bookkeeping is the process of maintaining accurate records of a company’s financial transactions, including expenses, income, and payroll.

The Short Answer

The straightforward answer to this question is yes. Regardless of your business structure, it’s always best practice to keep accurate records of your financial transactions. For instance, your business may need to produce financial statements for tax purposes, filings with regulatory agencies or investors, or for loan applications.

Bookkeeping Beyond Tax Reporting

Beyond regulatory purposes, there are other reasons why bookkeeping is necessary. For instance, by keeping accurate records, bookkeeping can help business owners have proper oversight on their financials. By comparing monthly, quarterly, or annual financial reports, you’ll get a clear perspective on how your business is performing and make informed decisions based on the data.

What If a Business Has No Transactions

Even if your company has zero transactions in a fiscal year, the IRS still requires S corporation owners to file a tax return. The reason is that an S corp is considered a legal entity; thus, it’s required by law to file tax returns, whether or not it has any financial transactions.

When Can Bookkeeping Get Overwhelming

s corporation bookkeeping

Bookkeeping can get overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to juggle multiple tasks as a business owner. In such a situation, consider hiring a bookkeeper to help you with your bookkeeping tasks. They’ll help you stay organized, manage cash flow, file tax returns promptly, and give you peace of mind that your financial records are accurate.

Bookkeeping is an integral part of running a business. As an S corporation, keeping accurate financial records is essential for regulatory compliance and making informed decisions. Bookkeeping can get overwhelming, but hiring professional bookkeepers and staying up-to-date on your daily financial records is necessary for your company’s success.

s corporation bookkeeping

Making an S Corp Balance Sheet

If you’re running an S corporation, a balance sheet is crucial in keeping your finances in check. A balance sheet provides an overview of your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific point in time. It helps you track your business’s financial performance and make informed decisions about its future. Here’s how to prepare a balance sheet for your S corporation:

Collect Your Financial Information

First, gather all your financial statements, including your income statement, cash flow statement, and retained earnings statement. These documents provide your business’s financial information, from revenues to expenses to net income and dividends.

List Your Assets

Next, create a list of your company’s assets. These can include cash, accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, and property. Make sure to list the value of each asset and the total value of all assets.

List Your Liabilities

After listing your assets, create a list of your company’s liabilities. These can include loans, accounts payable, and taxes owed. List the amount owed for each liability and the total value of all liabilities.

Determine Equity

Finally, calculate your business’s equity by subtracting your liabilities from your assets. This will give you a clear picture of your company’s overall financial health.

In conclusion, a balance sheet is a vital tool for monitoring your S corporation’s financial status. By following the steps outlined above, you can create an accurate balance sheet that will help you make informed decisions for your business. Keep in mind that it’s essential to update your balance sheet regularly and use it to track changes in your financial situation over time.

What Accounting Method does an S Corp Use

Small business owners who operate an S corporation (S corp) must decide on an accounting method that is best for their businesses. Two primary accounting methods exist: cash basis accounting and accrual accounting.

Cash Basis Accounting

Cash basis accounting is a straightforward system that records income when it is received and records expenses when they are paid. Using this method, a business doesn’t recognize revenue until the money is collected and doesn’t record expenses until the bills are paid. Cash basis accounting is common among small businesses because they have more straightforward transactional activities.

Accrual Accounting

Accrual accounting is a method where income is recorded when it is earned, not when the payment is received. Likewise, expenses are recorded when the products or services are received, not when the payment is made. Accrual accounting provides a clearer picture of a business’s financial performance because it factors in delayed payments, which can impact revenue recognition. Therefore, this method provides more accurate financial statements than the cash basis accounting.

S Corp Accounting Method

Generally, most S corporations use the accrual accounting method because it is the preferred accounting method by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). However, some small S corps might use the cash basis accounting method if they are eligible, according to the IRS.

It’s important to note that if an S corp has a gross annual income of more than $25 million, it must use the accrual accounting method according to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

In summary, the accounting method that an S corp uses may impact annual reporting and tax return purposes and may vary depending on the business’s size and activities. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with an expert on accounting methods before deciding on which one to use.

Does an S Corp Have to File a Balance Sheet

One of the common questions arising among S Corporation owners is whether or not they have to file a balance sheet with the IRS. Let’s dive into what a balance sheet is and whether or not it’s necessary for S Corporations to file it.

What is a Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a financial statement that details a company’s assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific point in time. It gives an overall glimpse of a company’s financial health and net worth. The balance sheet is important to investors, analysts, and lenders as it helps them assess the company’s financial position.

Is Filing a Balance Sheet Mandatory for S Corporations

S Corporations are required to file an annual tax return, which includes a Schedule L (Balance Sheet) and a Schedule M-2 (Analysis of Unappropriated Retained Earnings per Books).

However, S Corporations are not required by the IRS to file a separate balance sheet. The reason behind this is that S Corporations are pass-through entities, which means the profits and losses are passed on to shareholders, where they are reported on individual income tax returns.

Therefore, the S Corporation’s balance sheet is not required to be filed with the IRS as a separate document. However, the information contained in the balance sheet is still required to complete the Schedule L.

What are the Benefits of Maintaining an S Corporation Balance Sheet

Even though S Corporations are not required to file a balance sheet, maintaining one can still be beneficial. An up-to-date balance sheet provides a clear and accurate picture of the company’s financial position. It can help in making important business decisions, obtaining financing, and attracting potential investors.

Additionally, if you plan to sell your business in the future, having an accurate and organized balance sheet can make the selling process smoother and more efficient.

In summary, S Corporations are not required to file a separate balance sheet with the IRS. However, they are required to complete a Schedule L that shows the company’s balance sheet information along with the annual tax return. Although not mandatory, maintaining an up-to-date balance sheet can still be helpful in managing your business and making sound financial decisions.

Record Keeping Requirements for S Corporation

If you’re an S corporation, you know there are a number of tax benefits available. But, these tax benefits come with certain record keeping requirements that you need to fulfill. In this section, we’ll look at the key record keeping requirements for S corporations.

Keep Track of All Your Financial Transactions

The first and foremost requirement is to keep track of all financial transactions. This includes expenses, income, sales, payroll, etc. You can’t afford to miss even a single transaction because it can have serious implications on your tax filing and reporting.

Maintain Accurate Books

Accurate bookkeeping is critical for an S corporation. To fulfill this requirement, you need to keep a record of all the financial transactions in easily readable and understandable formats. This includes general ledgers, balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and other important documents.

Keep Corporate Records Safe

As an S corporation, you have an obligation to keep all corporate records safe and readily available for inspection by IRS agents. This includes financial statements, board meeting minutes, tax filings, and other important documents. Proper record keeping can help you easily demonstrate your compliance in case of an IRS audit.

File Annual Reports

An S corporation is also required to file annual reports with the state in which it is incorporated. The content and format of these reports may vary depending on the state, but generally, they include corporate information such as officers and directors, as well as financial information such as balance sheets and income statements.

Retain Records

Finally, it’s important to retain all financial and corporate records as long as needed. While the exact duration may differ depending on the document type and state, a good rule of thumb is to keep records for at least seven years. By doing so, you can easily provide supporting documentation if an issue arises.

In conclusion, record keeping is critical for an S corporation. By keeping accurate books, maintaining corporate records, filing annual reports, and retaining records, you can easily demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.

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