Overall, it is always recommended that you choose proper befitting software or other method for your own manual investments tracking needs.

This series of blogs will delve into a possible method for tracking your paper investments within a specifically created QuickBooks Desktop company file.


To begin, you should always begin the bookkeeping for your paper investments upon the purchase date (of the investment) and not some other date well into the future, otherwise it may be a bit of a challenge to ascertain your cost basis and then process accurate financial reports based on a given date. It also may be a bit of a challenge to reconcile your reports to the monthly or quarterly reports submitted to you by your investment brokerage firms. Sometimes those brokerage firm reports can be confusing or possibly the information given doesn’t seem to be helpful, especially when only percentages signify the market value gains and losses, rather than actual dollars.

Bookkeeping for your own paper investments, especially in a simple software or other manner, can be helpful for you as the investor, because you can create your own system and thus provide your own reports that make sense to you and causes you to look at things from a different perspective, instead of the chosen (often glossy) perspective of the investment firm.

On the downside, bookkeeping for your own paper investments can be a challenge for the following reasons:


  • It can be very time-consuming.
  • You have to be able to fully understand all of the information presented to you on those monthly brokerage closing statements and then hopefully reconcile to the stated market value for each equity holding or just the entire portfolio if that is your only interest.
  • It is recommended that you keep up with these reconciliations per each and every closing statement; often this is not feasible for the average investor and thus a severe dependence develops on a particular auto-entry type of software, or perhaps an outsourced bookkeeping service, provided that the bookkeepers are specially trained for this maintenance (that typically is in not too high of a demand).
  • You should develop an overall system and forecast what really will be truly beneficial for you and thus worth your time in the long run; perhaps for tax purposes and/or market value purposes and/or gains/losses earned.


Stay tuned for part 2 of this investments tracking series.


Note: AccuraBooks is a bookkeeping firm only, so please consult with your C.P.A. for verification and clarification about the contents of this article.

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