For many small business owners starting out, the idea of keeping business records can be daunting. But basic bookkeeping needn't be a headache. With some organisations, staying on top of your business income and expenditure will help you stay in control of your finances.
Bookkeeping involves the organised processing and storing of your business records. It is important to ensure that you are up-to-date with the financial affairs of your business.
Having adequate bookkeeping systems in place will help you:
As a business owner you are required to keep and store accounting records for a minimum of six years.
Many small businesses use accountants to do their bookkeeping.
This will involve you passing over all of your books and records to the bookkeeper who will then process the documentation for you. Most bookkeepers are happy to come to your offices and do the bookkeeping on your premises.
Other business owners will do their bookkeeping themselves or ask a family member to do it. This will involve:
Some business owners are confident to carry out all of the above tasks themselves - which will obviously same them a lot of money - but does take up a lot of time. Others may carry out some of the tasks themselves but then use a professional for some services such as Payroll or VAT.
If you decide to take on the work yourself, it is vital that you stay on top of your bookkeeping. To find an accountant or bookkeeper to help with your bookkeeping click here.
Software can definitely help. There are a wide range of software providers available, offering various services and tools from the basic to the more complex.
Some of the features accounting software can offer are:
Here are two examples of accounting software to give you an idea of what's available on the market:
By entering ‘accounting software’ into a search engine will bring up a wide range of options available.
As often as possible. The longer you leave it, the bigger an administration burden it is.
It is a good idea to get into the habit of writing up your books on a weekly basis.
If you are using a professional to do your bookkeeping for you, then the frequency will depend on the size of your business and the volume of transactions. If you are VAT registered and doing VAT returns, then the frequency of your VAT return periods will usually govern the frequency of bookkeeping i.e. you will prepare your VAT returns whilst processing all of the relevant books and records.
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