The Legal Implications of Bookkeeping

by Lynnea Bylund on June 5, 2012 · 6 comments

We should be flattered – one of our Small Business Intelligence Update (SBIU) got picked up by Nina Kaufman’s Small Business Legal Blog at –  “Smart small business bookkeeping is the new sexy!” .  Well it’s just common sense!

Source: Nina Kaufman |

Nina Kaufman Esq.

Aside from the “two sets of books” scenario that provides the fodder for tabloid headlines and old movies, I tend to think of bookkeeping as, well, mundane. (Apologies to bookkeepers nationwide as well as to my own, Debbie, who’s a real firecracker).  Not something sexy, just something that has to get done. Like brushing your teeth or doing the laundry.  Ho hum.

But Lynnea Bylund’s May Intelligence Report, made me think differently about it.  (Lynnea just happens to be the co-chair of the President’s Small Business Advisory Council).  Just look at the legal (and other) problems that can emerge because of lack of proper bookeeping!

  • Losing income because you haven’t kept track of who hasn’t paid you.
  • Not qualifying for a business loan because you have nonexistant or insufficent financial statements.
  • Over paying taxes due to overlooked deductions.
  • Not being able to sell your business because you have no measure of what the business is worth.
  • Losing sleep from stress and anxiety.
  • Setting prices at a level that you think is profitable, but actually isn’t.
  • Getting into trouble with the IRS or state tax agencies because of missed or inaccurate tax payments, or the inability to provide supporting documentation.
  • Deciding to rent and signing the lease for a larger office, but not being able to pay the lease after three months because your financial projections were inaccurate.
  • Getting into legal trouble because you are paying someone as 1099 contractor when they are in actuality an employee.
  • Not focusing on the work and growth of a business because you have no system to accurately monitor its financial health.
  • Spending nights and weekends trying to manage the books yourself without sufficient training or software.
  • Missing opportunities for business growth and development because critical information is missing or inaccurate.


Nina L. Kaufman is an award-winning business attorney, author and speaker. Through her New York City-based law practice,, and as president of Wise Counsel Press LLC, a legal information company, she has spent more than a decade helping hundreds of entrepreneurs navigate successfully through the legal issues they face in starting and running their companies.


1 Sami Canne November 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm

This was an excellent rundown on the legal importance of regular good bookkeeping. Thanks! sc

2 Serious Sue February 16, 2011 at 2:06 am

I never looked at it that way before. Lack of good bookkeeping can have serious implications.

3 Latrice Hazelgrove March 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Helpful blog, bookkeeping has important legal implications, after-all!

4 Agape Anne March 22, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Great list of reasons Lynnea!

5 Myrtice Mondragon April 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Lynnea has a great newsletter too!

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