Mastering Bookkeeping for Your Handmade Business

Mastering Bookkeeping for Your Handmade Business

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Importance of Bookkeeping for Handmade Businesses
  3. Methods for Keeping Track of Bookkeeping
    • 3.1 Simple Spreadsheet
    • 3.2 Wave
    • 3.3 Zoho
    • 3.4 Quickbooks
    • 3.5 Xero
    • 3.6 Crafty Base
  4. Choosing the Right Method for Your Handmade Business
  5. Bookkeeping Basics Workshop for Makers
  6. Conclusion

Bookkeeping for Handmade Businesses: Simplify Your Finances

Running a handmade business can be both rewarding and challenging. Among the many aspects you need to manage, bookkeeping often poses as a daunting task. With various regulations and tax laws to comply with, it's crucial to stay on top of your financial records. At its core, bookkeeping involves keeping track of your income and expenses. Fortunately, there are several methods you can choose from to streamline your handmade business bookkeeping process. In this article, we will explore five different methods, from the simplest and cheapest to the most comprehensive and sophisticated options.

The Importance of Bookkeeping for Handmade Businesses

Before diving into the bookkeeping methods, let's first understand why bookkeeping is essential for handmade businesses. Bookkeeping serves as the foundation for financial management and decision-making. By accurately tracking your income and expenses, you gain valuable insights into your business's financial health and performance. It enables you to evaluate revenue sources, identify cost-saving opportunities, and ensure compliance with tax regulations. Bookkeeping also facilitates the preparation of financial statements, making it easier to assess your business's profitability and growth potential.

Methods for Keeping Track of Bookkeeping

3.1 Simple Spreadsheet

The simplest and most accessible method for bookkeeping is using a simple spreadsheet. With free tools like Google Sheets or other spreadsheet programs, you can create a basic template to record your income and expenses. Designate columns for income and expenses, and break down expenses into categories based on your business needs. While a spreadsheet requires regular updating, it provides a comprehensive overview of your finances and allows for customization based on your requirements. However, it does require manual reconciliation and may be less efficient for complex businesses.

3.2 Wave

Wave is a free, user-friendly software option for handmade business bookkeeping. It offers a straightforward and intuitive interface, making it suitable for businesses with a simple structure. With Wave, you can link your bank account or PayPal account to track your income and expenses seamlessly. It provides essential features like automated transaction categorization and easy reporting. Wave is an excellent choice for beginners or small businesses looking to manage their finances without incurring additional costs.

3.3 Zoho

Zoho, another software option, is free up to a certain income threshold. It offers more advanced features than Wave, making it suitable for growing handmade businesses. Zoho allows you to integrate bank accounts and provides comprehensive bookkeeping functionalities, including invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting. If your business is expanding and you require more robust bookkeeping capabilities, Zoho can be a cost-effective solution.

3.4 Quickbooks

Quickbooks is a popular paid bookkeeping software known for its extensive features and user-friendly interface. It offers comprehensive financial management tools, including expense tracking, invoicing, inventory management, and reporting. Quickbooks allows for bank account integration and simplifies tax compliance with features like automated sales tax calculations. While it comes at a cost, Quickbooks is worth considering if you prioritize efficiency and require advanced bookkeeping functionalities.

3.5 Xero

Similar to Quickbooks, Xero is a paid software option that provides comprehensive bookkeeping capabilities. Xero is particularly advantageous for businesses dealing with complex tax requirements, like GST (General Sales Tax) in Australia. With bank account integration and automated data reconciling, Xero streamlines bookkeeping processes and simplifies tax reporting. It also offers detailed financial statements and customizable reporting, allowing you to analyze your business's performance in-depth.

3.6 Crafty Base

Crafty Base is a specialized software designed specifically for makers and crafters. In addition to managing income and expenses, Crafty Base tracks inventory and cost of goods sold, which is crucial for businesses subject to sales tax regulations. If you deal with multiple materials and inventory items, Crafty Base provides a comprehensive solution to track your products' costs accurately.

Choosing the Right Method for Your Handmade Business

Deciding which method to use for your handmade business bookkeeping depends on various factors. Consider the complexity of your business structure, the number of income streams, and the level of tax compliance required. If you have a simple business with few expenses, a spreadsheet might suffice for now. However, if you deal with complex taxes or multiple income sources, upgrading to software like Wave, Zoho, Quickbooks, or Xero might be more appropriate. Many software options offer trial periods, allowing you to explore and determine which best suits your needs.

Bookkeeping Basics Workshop for Makers

If you find the idea of bookkeeping overwhelming or confusing, consider joining a bookkeeping basics workshop tailored for makers. These workshops provide step-by-step guidance and practical tips to help you establish a bookkeeping system for your handmade business. They often include resources like sample spreadsheets and templates to make bookkeeping more accessible and manageable.


Keeping up with bookkeeping is crucial for the success and financial well-being of your handmade business. By diligently tracking your income and expenses, you gain valuable insights into your business's financial performance and ensure compliance with tax regulations. Depending on the complexity of your business and your budget, you can choose from various bookkeeping methods, from simple spreadsheets to comprehensive software solutions like Wave, Zoho, Quickbooks, Xero, or Crafty Base. Start your bookkeeping journey today, and lay the foundation for a thriving and profitable business.

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