Accounting & Bookkeeping for Etsy Sellers

If you want to grow your business, you’re going to want to know your numbers, price your items for profit, and create a bookkeeping system for your business.

Unfortunately for Etsy sellers, managing your money is often way more overwhelming than it needs to be.

If you’re feeling like you don’t know where to start with your bookkeeping (or you’re just trying to get your income taxes done), there’s no need to worry!

While I’m certainly not going to pretend to be a financial expert, I would like to direct you to a couple of people who do know what they’re talking about!

In this accounting and bookkeeping guide, I’ll share with you my favorite Etsy money bloggers, explain how they are different, and try to help you decide which accounting system is right for you. 

Let’s get started!

*This post contains affiliate links, and I may earn a commission if you purchase products I recommend.

Bookkeeping Option #1: Paper + Spark

Paper + Spark is a money blog for Etsy sellers that is run by certified accountant and maker, Janet LeBlanc.

Janet creates spreadsheets and accompanying video tutorials that help Etsy sellers get confident in their DIY accounting abilities.

Paper+Spark's Accounting Strategy

Janet’s primary accounting and bookkeeping strategy utilizes spreadsheets

Spreadsheet software such as Google Sheets, Excel, and Numbers are incredibly flexible when it comes to bookkeeping, but it can be tough to know where to start when you’re staring at a blank page of rows and columns. 

Janet’s templates (and step-by-step video tutorials) will help you take advantage of the spreadsheet’s flexibility without causing complete overwhelm.

Click through the slideshow below to see if Paper+Spark might be right for you.

Should You Use Paper + Spark Spreadsheets?
Click the arrow on the right to see if this accounting and bookkeeping strategy is right for you.
Do you want flexibility?
Using spreadsheets is a flexible strategy that you can customize for yourself. It's perfect for the DIY seller! Paper + Spark simply makes it less overwhelming.
Do you need low up-front costs?
Paper + Spark's spreadsheets are incredibly affordable, especially compared to the long-term investment in accounting software.
Do you want/need step-by-step guidance?
Paper + Spark's spreadsheets include video tutorials that will teach you exactly how to use them.
Will you do the work?
Spreadsheets require a little love and attention every month.
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How Paper + Spark Helped Me

At the end of my first year in business, I began to do my taxes…And I quickly realized that my business financials were an overwhelming nightmare. 

I purchased the Paper+Spark Etsy Seller Bootcamp (in April), and in exactly one day, Janet got me 100% organized. 

We’re talking color-coded monthly folders, total financial systematization, numbers ready to be placed directly onto my Schedule C kind of organization.

In short, Janet saved me with her accounting superpowers,  and that’s why I recommend her products.

Where to Start with Paper + Spark

The best place to start with your Etsy seller bookkeeping strategy is with Paper + Spark’s Etsy Seller Spreadsheet. 

It’s a powerful and flexible spreadsheet that will help you keep track of all of your Etsy-related finances, so you can 1.) Be confident in your tax preparation, and 2.) Gain financial insights as the CEO of your business.  

Paper + Spark

Bookkeeping Option #2: Small Business Sarah + QuickBooks Simple Start

Another Etsy money blogger that I just adore is Sarah Korhnak from the blog, Small Business Sarah.

Sarah is also a CPA and Etsy seller who helps small business owners get control of their financials without causing major misery!

Sarah's Accounting Strategy

Instead of creating her own spreadsheets, Sarah advises small business owners to use QuickBooks Simple Start to manage their bookkeeping, and she provides easy-to-use video tutorials to help Etsy sellers learn the program.

Should You Use QuickBooks?
Click the arrow on the right to see if this accounting and bookkeeping strategy is right for you.
Do you want to spend less time on your bookkeeping?
QuickBooks will automatically import your banking transactions and set up reports for you. Note that you'll still have to do manual work in the program; it's just a bit faster than a spreadsheet.
Do you want CEO-style reports?
QuickBooks will provide you with super nerdy, incredibly beautiful reports, so you can run your business like a boss.
Do you want professional accounting software?
QuickBooks is a legitimate piece of software that will grow with your business.
Are you willing to learn it?
I'm not going to lie; there's most definitely a learning curve involved!
Do you mind paying a recurring cost?
The program isn't overly expensive, but it does require a small monthly investment.
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How I Used QuickBooks Simple Start (And How Sarah Helped Me!)

I used QuickBooks Simple Start for a year, and in that time, Sarah taught me about double-entry accounting, charts of accounts, journal entries, and pretty much everything I needed to know to set up (and fix any problems) I was having within the program.

In short, Sarah sparked a love of accounting in me, and that’s why I also recommend her!

Where to Start With Quickbooks Simple Start/Small Business Sarah

Sarah offers tons of free content on her website and YouTube Channel

Before going and purchasing a subscription to QuickBooks, I would definitely read what Sarah has to say about it, so you know if it’s right for you!

Option #3: Etsy Seller Bookkeeping Alternatives

Etsy sellers have choices when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, and the last thing I want is for you to be an uninformed decision-maker! 

While I truly believe that the two options that I detailed above are the best bookkeeping systems you can use as an Etsy seller, it may also benefit you to explore the alternatives listed below.

Craftybase

Designed especially for handmade sellers, Craftybase seems to offer quite a bit of value for Etsy sellers.

GoDaddy Bookkeeping

Many Etsy sellers swear by GoDaddy Bookkeeping. I have never personally used it, so I would hesitate provide an honest review.

Wave

Wave is a free bookkeeping service, and some sellers like it because it integrates with Etsy.

I tried this one myself, and, unfortunately, I wan’t sure the Etsy integration was going to be helpful to me. 

Thoughts & Recommendation

Automatic Importing & Integration Is NOT All That...

The thing about accounting and bookkeeping systems is that they all require work.

In fact, sometimes the systems that require the most work are those that automatically import transactions! 

I started with Paper + Spark, but was enticed by the time-saving automation that QuickBooks offered. 

Let me tell you, it took me almost a month to get my QuickBooks set up…and even after that, I had to go in and make manual entries all of the time. 

It was simply too much. I couldn’t keep up, and I didn’t want to keep paying for it. I went back to a spreadsheet system, and it made me so much happier.

 

Accounting Software Reviews from the Experts

Before you make a final decision, be sure to check out:

Best Accounting Software for Etsy Sellers (An article by Sarah)

Comparing Bookkeeping Options for Etsy Sellers (Video Below)

 

Consider Your Goals

When deciding which accounting system to use for your Etsy shop and small business, consider your goals and strengths.

If you want to get a basic financial picture of your business, get ready for tax-time, and learn about bookkeeping, Paper + Spark is most likely the right choice for you.

If you want to be a CEO and use professional software, QuickBooks Simple Start might just be your right option instead.

What Accounting System Do You Use?

If you’re already using an accounting system for your Etsy shop, your experiences are valuable!

What system do you use? What do you like about it? What would you change? Let us know in the comments below!

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Well, Hey There!

Are you ready to build a happy and fulfilling  creative business (that doesn’t add more stress to your life?) 

You’re in the right place.

I’m Elissa Carden, and my goal is to inspire you to start an online creative business that you can love and to provide you with the tools you need to make it a success.