Currently I have very little book-keeping processes - it all gets put into a spreadsheet at the end of the year, and I take it to my accountant who files my taxes and generates a couple of statements based on my expense sheet and bank statements.
Currently, only at the end of the year do I know how much money the company made, what taxes I owe, and how much money I paid myself. I'm finding this to be very stressful - not knowing how I'm doing at any given time.
Is there a method I can follow to keep up-to-date, and know at a glance how my company is doing? Would any software packages help with this? I'm good with excel so I dont mind typing it all in that way either, but I just need a process to be able to judge how I'm doing at any given point in time.
I was in the same place as you at one point, and learning the basics of financial reporting was a huge help in moving the business forward. Overall, and no matter how you do it, your goal should be to produce the following reports at least once a month:Financial Intelligence. It's super casual/approachable and you'll learn a lot. Generating and understanding these reports should give you an accurate, up-to-date picture of your business financials.
As for software - we use Quickbooks. I can't say I love it, but it certainly helps us stick to the best-practices of bookkeeping and accounting.
I would recommend Quickbooks. 90% of all small businesses use it and if you want to have an accountant do your taxes, they all are Quickbooks savvy. They also have pretty good reports.
The trick with any accounting tool is to keep it up to date. Make it a point to enter in transactions at least ever week or it gets ugly quick.
You don't want or need something complicated at this stage; certainly not full blown accounting.
Check out what we're doing at Outright.com ; automated bookkeeping from the minds of business owners rather than accountants. We import expenses from credit cards, freshbooks, receipts, and even paypal, and categorize everything for taxes. You need transparency to business finances; the site calculates Estimated Taxes, reports 1099s due to contractors, automates your P&L, identifies best customers and greatest expenses.
Worth a try; it's free