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Accounting

 
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I will be moving to my new homestead/farm in about a month, and I'm super excited to finally be starting this adventure!!!

Anyways, it's about time I stop researching all the fun permaculture stuff and figure out how farm accounting works. I don't plan on making a lot of money, but I do hope to make a little - and uqualy importantly, I hope to avoid any and all taxes if possible. Can anyone recommend good books on small farming where I picture eventually selling at farmers markets and CSA's in my future?

Also, I've always been a Quicken guy for tracking my personal finances. Would you all recommend quickbooks, quicken, or something else?
 
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I would actually recommend using a program called GNU Cash. In order to broaden my bookkeeping knowledge I use quickbooks, but I am going to be going back to GNU cash for my own personal finances. It is free and relatively easy to use. Since it is free if you try it out and you don't like it, you haven't lost anything.

Also if you want to avoid paying taxes (or just want a lot of tax breaks) you will want to work on it well in advance of when you will file your taxes. Typically you can't waive your wand and pay less taxes, but if you structure your finances in a certain way you can get quite a few tax breaks in the future. You should check out a book called "How to Pay Zero Taxes". I think they come out with a different one every year.

 
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I think it depends on your knowledge and such. You can easily keep track of basic finance in Excel. If you're getting more in depth you might want a different program. Quickbooks is all I have experience with.

As for taxes, I agree with the previous poster, plan. Plan and know your deductions. At this point my husband and I don't buy anything major unless there is a tax deduction involved.
 
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Dean Moriarty wrote:Anyways, it's about time I stop researching all the fun permaculture stuff and figure out how farm accounting works. I don't plan on making a lot of money, but I do hope to make a little - and uqualy importantly, I hope to avoid any and all taxes if possible. Can anyone recommend good books on small farming where I picture eventually selling at farmers markets and CSA's in my future?



Taxes and personal liability are two things that you want to shield yourself from as much as possible. The good news that selling food is fundamentally not that much different from selling just about everything else so there are tons of resources out there that are useful. There are whole books on the pros & cons of the various structures you can use (sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, s-corp, c-corp, etc.), the various permutations thereof, and how certain states have oddball case law that present a few pitfalls.

I ended up just listening to a bunch of business podcast (just type "business podcast" into itunes), so I could have an intelligent conversation with the pro hired to set things up.
 
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