Your chart of accounts will evolve as your business becomes more mature, but you can start by tracking a few key areas.
Direct expenses – These are items you only pay for if you do a job. The most important are time (labor) and materials (anything you leave or use on a customer’s property: plants, fuel, blades, etc.) If you do not work tomorrow, you will not have any bills in this section. These items subtracted from your income will calculate your gross profit.
Indirect expenses – These are items you must have to be in business, but may be hard to tie directly to a job. These are also things you have to pay for each month even if you did not do any work. Cell phones, insurance and hopefully your salary are great examples. If you do not work tomorrow you will still have to pay bills in this section. These items subtracted from your gross profit will calculate your net profit.
If you start by measuring these three areas, you will get a good idea of how your business is performing. Gross profit will tell you if your jobs are profitable, and net profit will tell you if your business is profitable. Add new accounts as you become more curious about different areas of your business.