Salon Bookkeeping: How To Manage Your Finances in 2024

Let's cut to the chase. Managing your salon's finances can feel like navigating a hairpin turn at high speed, but it doesn't have to be that way. With some savvy bookkeeping moves, you'll stay ahead of the game in 2024.

Today, I'm walking you through the ins and outs of salon bookkeeping. From choosing salon accounting software that fits just right with your business model to understanding where most of your cash flows out.

We're also tackling how to keep track of all those different ways money comes into your salon because let’s face it – every penny counts. And don't sweat payroll or inventory – we've got smart strategies for those too.

Tax time? We'll get you prepped and ready for smooth sailing come tax season. Plus, learn about financial reports that actually tell you something useful about how well things are going (or not).

Last up is budgeting and forecasting growth without breaking a sweat – because planning should pump you up, not stress you out.

How To Think About Bookkeeping for your Salon

If you're running a salon, you know that beauty is in the details – and so is bookkeeping. Nail it down right, and your financial statements will be as balanced as a perfect hairdo.

Tracking Every Strand of Revenue

The cash register's cha-ching is music to any salon owner's ears. But are you tracking where each dollar comes from? It’s crucial to keep tabs on all sources of income, not just services but also product sales and those ever-popular gift certificates. GlossGenius offers an elegant solution, letting salons monitor their money flow with grace and precision.

Gone are the days of manually recording every sale – technology has stepped up its game. By integrating point-of-sale systems designed for salons into your business operations, keeping track of revenue becomes less about guesswork and more about strategy.

Cost-Cutting Without Clipping Quality

Saving money doesn't mean skimping on quality. You've got salon expenses – from snazzy scissors to lush conditioners. But being savvy with spending can turn cost management into an art form itself. Group similar costs together like hair color products or utilities – this helps make sense of where funds are flowing out faster than shampoo down the drain.

Bonus tip: Keep payroll precise by considering commission structures which GlossGenius software simplifies – a win-win for stylists' pockets and your peace of mind.

A Budget That Beautifies Your Bottom Line

Dreams don’t come true without a plan – or in our case, a budget tailored specifically for salons’ unique needs. It sets clear boundaries while still leaving room for those serendipitous opportunities (like expanding or upgrading equipment). Crafting this fiscal masterpiece requires balancing aspirations with what's actually in the bank account – it’s sort of like picking just the right shade for highlights: get it wrong, and oops. Get it right... pure magic.

What is the best accounting software for a salon?

Here are a few of the best salon accounting software right now:

  1. GlossGenius
  2. Vagaro
  3. Mangomint

Let’s look at each one.


Think of GlossGenius as the savvy personal assistant who never drops the ball. It's designed specifically with salons in mind, and it shows. The platform integrates scheduling with financial management so seamlessly that you'll wonder how you ever managed without it. With features like automated appointment deposits and smart reporting, keeping tabs on your cash flow becomes a breeze.

This savvy software gives you real-time insights into all corners of your business, from service charges to retail sales. With its sleek interface, you can quickly identify which services are turning heads and padding wallets.

GlossGenius also gives you real-time insights into sales trends, which can help tailor your services to what’s hot right now. Plus, GlossGenius’ support team understands salon lingo – they get what "balayage boom" means for your bottom line.


If versatility had a name in the salon bookkeeping world, it would be Vagaro. This tool goes beyond just crunching numbers – it helps manage client interactions too. Imagine having all your appointments, sales data, and customer preferences at your fingertips – this is exactly what Vagaro offers.

Their dashboard feels like mission control but for beauty businesses: powerful yet user-friendly enough that even if spreadsheets scare you more than a bad hair dye job, you’ll find navigating through financial reports surprisingly easy.


Last but not least is Mangomint – think of this one as the zen master of salon software because its design is clean and intuitive. Don't let its minimalist vibe fool you though. Underneath lies robust functionality that includes handling inventory tracking alongside usual bookkeeping tasks.

Mangomint simplifies managing expenses while offering deep analytics to help make sure those high-end shampoos are turning profits instead of collecting dust on shelves.
You can check out Mangomint here.

What Is the Largest Operational Expense for the Salon Owner?

When it comes to running a salon, you might think that fancy hair products or those chic chairs are where most of your cash goes. But surprise. It's actually payroll eating up your profits like a deep conditioning treatment soaks into dry hair. That's right, paying your talented team of stylists and support staff typically represents the lion’s share of outgoing funds.

This isn't just loose change we're talking about; managing labor costs can be quite complex in an industry with commission-based pay structures and fluctuating schedules. To stay on top of things without getting snarled in financial tangles, savvy salon owners keep their eyes peeled on this big-ticket item more than any other.

You'll find that staying ahead involves not only tracking every hour worked but also aligning staffing needs with client demand – think less overbooking and no empty slots—to optimize everyone's time (and by extension, money). So while you may adore splurging on high-end serums for that extra shine, remember: managing manpower effectively will help make sure there’s enough gloss to go around.

Revenue Streams and Expense Tracking

Keeping track of every dollar that dances through your salon can feel like herding cats, but it's a must-do for any thriving beauty hub. Gone are the days when you could get by with a clunky cash register and an overstuffed filing cabinet. It’s time to embrace systems that streamline the process.

The Breadth of Beauty Bucks

Your revenue is more than just haircuts and highlights; it's also those chic little bottles of shampoo flying off the shelves and gift certificates bought by adoring clients. Effective inventory management, combined with clear-cut tracking tools, lets you see which services are making bank and which products aren't pulling their weight.

This insight helps adjust strategies faster than a new dye job takes to settle in.

A Tech-Savvy Cash Wrap-Up

GlossGenius reporting dashboards

Ditching paper-based mayhem for sleek software means saying hello to accuracy (and goodbye to human error). Modern point-of-sale systems tailored specifically for salons do much more than ring up sales – they're smart enough to offer insights into business trends at a glance. With platforms like GlossGenius leading the charge, salons now have access to real-time data dashboards where they can watch their financial health flourish.

Cutting Through Complicated Calculations

We've all been there – staring blankly at spreadsheets wondering if we accidentally stepped into The Matrix. But guess what? When you bring tech into your bookkeeping routine, complicated calculations become simpler than choosing between blonde or brunette – it practically does itself. A robust system not only records transactions but also syncs them across devices so everyone – from stylists booking appointments on tablets to managers overseeing operations, can stay informed without playing telephone with figures and facts.

Payroll Management in the Salon Industry

Salon owners, brace yourselves: payroll is not just about cutting checks. It's a dance of numbers with every stylist's twist on commissions and tips to consider.

Navigating Commission-Based Structures

If you've ever felt like commission structures are as complex as your clients' relationship stories, you're not alone. In salons, pay often hinges on the type of service provided or product sold. So make sure your system can handle different rates for cuts, colors, and those life-changing keratin treatments.

To keep it all straight without pulling out your hair, modern POS systems designed for salons – like GlossGenius – automate these calculations. They let you set up individual commission profiles that work behind the scenes while stylists focus on what they do best: making clients look fabulous.

Incorporating Tips Without Tipping Over Your Books

Tips are more than just a cherry on top. They're an essential slice of the income pie for many stylists – and tracking them should be smooth like that conditioner treatment everyone loves. But here’s where things get sticky: taxes. Remember that Uncle Sam wants his share too.

An efficient salon POS system keeps tabs on tips so when tax time rolls around – there's no last-minute scramble to gather records from under piles of haircut capes or between couch cushions in the waiting area.

The Regular Rhythm of Wages

Beyond commissions and tips lies the steady beat of regular wages – the base layer before adding all those extras (think shampoo before conditioner). Calculating hourly wages might seem straightforward until you factor in overtime rules or holiday pay variances across states.

  • Avoid becoming tangled up by ensuring your software adheres to local labor laws,
  • Maintain clear records because who has time to backtrack through months of shifts?

Inventory Management and Cost Control

GlossGenius inventory management

If managing salon inventory were a dance, it would be the tango – intricate, precise, and needing just the right balance. You've got products flying off the shelves one minute and collecting dust the next. So how do you strike that perfect step between too much and not enough? It's all about regular check-ins with your stock.

Audits are your new best friend. Think of them as surprise visits to keep your inventory in line. Get up close with every bottle and brush at least once a month to make sure what’s on paper matches what’s on your shelf. Enter GlossGenius’ salon software designed by beauty pros for beauty pros. With its sleek interface, tracking inventory becomes less chore-like. Plus, it helps predict which items will fly off the shelves so you can restock just in time without overdoing it.

But audits alone won't cut it if you're cozying up to waste. Leverage those supplier relationships – they can be goldmines for better deals or consignment arrangements where you only pay for what sells.

Tax Preparation and Compliance

When it's tax season, every salon owner knows the drill: gather your receipts, crunch the numbers, and cross your fingers you've kept up with Uncle Sam's latest curveballs. But here’s a hot tip that’s not just blowing steam – staying on top of your taxes doesn’t have to feel like untangling a knotted necklace.

The beauty of GlossGenius lies in its simplicity. With this sleek tool at hand, you can track all those pesky financial details without breaking a sweat. It integrates seamlessly into daily operations, capturing everything from service transactions to retail sales as outlined here. The result? A tidy package of information ready for tax time.

Decoding Deductible Expenses

To keep your finances in vogue, it's vital to understand what expenses you can deduct. Salon-specific deductions might include the cost of shears, combs, chairs or even that fancy espresso machine that keeps your clients cozy while they wait. For more info on what qualifies as a deductible expense in your chic establishment, the IRS has got you covered.

But don't forget those less obvious write-offs. Did you sponsor a local fashion show? Those marketing costs could be deductible too. Keep receipts like they're going out of style – because when tax day approaches, every little bit helps.

Navigating Employee Tips and Taxes

Your stylists' tips aren't just good karma – they're taxable income. Make sure their hard-earned gratuities are reported accurately by using systems designed for salons which make tracking them easier than getting an appointment during prom season.

If this sounds daunting, fear not. You can always turn to professional help – just like customers trust you with their locks – and get advice from an accountant who knows salon specifics inside out. Small Business Administration guidelines can also give some clarity on handling these unique payroll aspects.

Avoiding Audits with Accurate Records

Last thing any salon owner wants is an audit messing up their flow. Stay ahead by keeping meticulous records throughout the year – think of it as preventative care but for taxes.

Digital bookkeeping tools specifically tailored for salons are game-changers here – they do heavy lifting so you won’t break a sweat come tax time. QuickBooks offers industry-specific solutions, ensuring nothing slips through those freshly manicured fingers.

Navigating Financial Reports and Statements

Peering into the world of financial reports can feel like deciphering an ancient language. But fear not. Once you get a handle on these numbers, they'll start to sing sweet tales of your salon's fiscal health – or give you the nudge needed for some monetary tune-ups.

Profit and Loss Statements: Your Salon’s Financial Mirror

A profit and loss statement doesn't just reflect how much cash is flowing in from those trendy balayage treatments or rejuvenating facials. It paints a broader picture that includes expenses – like that fancy organic shampoo everyone loves. To read this document like a pro, pinpoint where your income sources are outshining expenses, and vice versa. Investopedia provides more insights into understanding these critical components.

Beyond identifying trends over months or seasons, use this report to answer questions such as "Are my marketing efforts paying off?" If there's more green than red after promotional costs—that's good news.

The Balance Sheet: Your Salon’s Snapshot of Stability

Diving into balance sheets offers clarity on the stability front – it shows what you own versus what you owe at any given moment. Assets should ideally outweigh liabilities; if they don’t, it might be time to rethink inventory levels or renegotiate with suppliers for better terms (hello bargaining power.). Want deeper intel? Head over to for tips tailored for small businesses.

Cash Flow Statement: Keeping Track of Cash Lifelines

Last but definitely not least is the cash flow statement – an absolute gem when figuring out liquidity puzzles in your salon business journey because even profitable salons can face rocky roads if cash isn't king here. Think about it like monitoring traffic through your salon door – you want a steady stream coming in so everything runs smoothly inside.

When looking at operating activities within this report consider asking yourself, "How efficiently am I converting service charges into cold hard cash?" A dive into resources available at QuickBooks’ guide makes managing these money movements less mystifying.

To truly master these statements, think beyond 'What do they say?' Ask 'Why does it matter?', then make moves based on those answers – because knowledge without action is just trivia gathering dust on the shelf called potential.


So, you've ventured through the world of salon bookkeeping. You're armed with strategies to track every cut and color, making sure not a single dollar slips by unnoticed.

You've learned how to keep those pesky expenses in line – because we know they can be as slippery as wet hair. You now have budgeting tactics tailored just for your salon's needs – planning is power!

You've grasped payroll management – the lifeblood of keeping your team motivated and clients smiling. Come tax time? No sweat! You're clued up on deductions that work hard for salons like yours.

Remember: Embrace technology. It's a game-changer in streamlining finances from appointments to inventory. Nail these fundamentals, and watch your business flourish – a testament to savvy salon bookkeeping done right.

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