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When developing a system for keeping your books, remember to keep it simple, otherwise you`ll spend more time minding your books than minding your business. For a small business, a simple spreadsheet can be set up to record your sales/income, your expenses (be sure to categorize these!), and your inventory if you have it. There are many off-the-shelf software packages that you can simply install and begin using without much customization. Often these programs are designed to grow as your business grows and are usually compatible with other programs you may be using for other parts of your business, such as contacts, planners, and other databases.