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Bookkeeping Documents: The Three Different Kinds and What is Included in Each 

Organizing your finances can be daunting, no matter how many times you’ve done it. But this can especially be scary when you’re trying to manage the finances of a company. As many business owners know, the task of bookkeeping is sometimes a dreaded process. Making sure that you have all of your financial reports and statements in order can be difficult and seeing the word “payroll” is enough to send some business owners into a spiral. But don’t spin out on us just yet! We’ve created a guide for you that reviews the three kinds of bookkeeping documents and what is included in each.  

What are financial documents?  

Before we get into it, let’s review what a financial document is. Put simply, financial documents are written records that convey the financial activities of a company. Financial documents showcase the stability of your business - this is particularly true in regard to operational costs and recurring expenses.  

Now that you have an understanding of what a financial document entails, let’s review the most common documents used in bookkeeping to monitor financial activity.  

The 3 Kinds of Bookkeeping Documents 

1) Income Statement 

An income statement is a holistic report that shows the revenue and expenses of a company over a set period of time. This type of document can be used to gain insights into a month or year’s profitability. These statements are also often compared to the previous year’s records to view financial growth.  

2) Balance Sheet 

A balance sheet is an accounting tool that shows the overall financial situation of a company. It summarizes a company's assets, liabilities, and shareholders' equity. This sheet is represented by the following equation: assets - liabilities = equity.


3) Chart of Accounts  

This chart acts as a structured list of all the accounts used by a business and is used to record all financial transactions. This chart is the foundation of the accounting system and organizes all of a company’s financial information. Each account in the chart is sorted into a specific category of transaction such as assets, liabilities, equity, revenue and expenses.  


So, there you have it, the 3 main documents used in the bookkeeping process. Although bookkeeping can sometimes feel like a pain, by learning more about the different documents and all of their requirements, you can make the process as easy and painless as possible. 

That being said, the world of bookkeeping can still be a scary place to navigate, and mistakes can have costly consequences. Sometimes one of the best ways to manage your bookkeeping is to outsource it. Here at STEPS, we offer small business bookkeeping support services and would be happy to take some of your financial responsibilities off your plate. Learn more about how we can help on our services page or reach out to us on our contact page.

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