What differences in accounting work are there between a sole proprietorship and a single-member LLC with S-Corp status?

Answer by A Quora admin:

You are correct that the major difference is paying yourself a reasonable salary and paying payroll taxes on those wages.  You will have to file a separate tax return for an S Corp as opposed to a sole proprietorship which is just a schedule C on your personal tax return.

With an S Corp it becomes more important to maintain a separate set of books for the business using true double entry accounting as opposed to a sole prop where you can usually get away with just tracking your revenue and expenditures.  You will need the ability to create a balance sheet for the S Corp, which is usually not needed for a sole prop.

I don't think it is a good idea, but you can get away with running a sole prop through your personal bank account because there is really no limitation on co-mingling business and personal funds.  With an S Corp, while you can freely take withdrawals and even make capital contributions, you will need to keep track of those transactions and having a separate checking account and respecting the business by not paying your personal expenses out of the business account, becomes much more important.

Finally doing your own accounting is probably manageable for a small S Corp, but I would suggest that you develop a relationship with an accountant who offers those services and preferably one who can prepare your tax return for you, so that you have a resource to go to when you are not sure about a transaction.  In my experience, the business owner doing his own accounting and taxes is not the area where he adds value to the business, so any time devoted to researching accounting and tax questions is time when some activity more valuable to the overall business is not being done.

What differences in accounting work are there between a sole proprietorship and a single-member LLC with S-Corp status?