Appearing as part of our 2011 fiscal year end and tax preparation resources for small businesses.

get ready for small business tax season

"Right now, I use a spreadsheet to track my money"

These steps will help you migrate from a spreadsheet into Wave.

1. Ensure your spreadsheet lists both Income and Expenses, with a seperate column for sales taxes. Organize your spreadsheet into categories (like "Office Supplies" or "Rent"), calculate subtotals for each one, and double-check that the totals and subtotals are correct.

Make sure all these transactions are from one fiscal year (2011). If your spreadsheet includes more than one fiscal year, create a new spreadsheet for each one.

(Note: The following steps only work for your Business accounting in Wave. If you're trying to do something similar for your Personal finances, you'll have to use the Quick Entry tool.)

2. Sign in to Wave. Go to Settings.

3. Select Journal Transactions.

4. Select Add Transactions. Fiscal Year end 2011: wave accounting journal transactions

5. For Description, write something like "2011 fiscal year end expenses" that clearly describes your entire spreadsheet.

6. Under Date, select the final date on the spreadsheet. i.e. if your spreadsheet shows information up to May 1, write May 1 in the date field.

fiscal year end 2011: wave accounting journal transactions

7. From the Account drop-down menu, select the account that best fits each spreadsheet category. Under Description, write in the name of the category that you had in your original spreadsheet.

8. Write expenses in the Debit field, and revenue in the Credit field. Continue to add lines until you have input each subtotal from your spreadsheet.

Note: Taxes should not be included in your subtotals. Enter taxes as separate lines. For any taxes you collected, add a new Journal Transaction, select Taxes Payable from the drop-down menu, and input the amount in the Credit column. For any taxes you've paid, select Taxes Receivable and input the amount in the Debit column.

9. All Journal Transactions must balance. That means the total of the Credits must equal the total of the Debits. If there is a difference between these once everything is input, you'll need one more entry to make things balance.

Click Add a Line. Select Retained Earnings/Deficit from the drop-down menu. Next, look at the total Debits and total Credits. Make a mental note: Which is greater? Subtract the smaller one from the larger one. If the total of your Debits is greater, put the difference in the Credit column. If Credit is greater, put the difference in the Debit column.

10. Select Save. The information from your spreadsheet is now listed in Wave as Income and Expenses.

11. Keep your spreadsheet for future use, since it lists each individual transaction.

12. Congratulations, you can skip Step 2 and move on directly to Step 3!

Need more help? If you want more assistance, or if you prefer to let someone else do the work, we can put you in touch with accountants and bookkeepers from the Wave Pro Network. Find a Wave Pro.

Make your next tax year as pain-free as possible: Sign up for free online accounting for small businesses, by Wave.