Are you a small-business owner just setting up your books? You need to decide which type of accounting you're going to use to manage your business's finances: cash basis or accrual basis.
If you use cash-basis accounting, you won't record financial transactions until money leaves or enters your bank account. And if you use accrual-basis accounting, you'll record transactions as soon as you send an invoice or receive a bill, not when the money changes (virtual) hands.
Both types of accounting have pros and cons, but—spoilers—accrual-basis accounting is more accurate, and if you manage inventory, it's the method the IRS requires you to use. Keep reading for our more in-depth explanation of the two bookkeeping methods to get a better understanding of which one is right for you.