Bookkeeping is something every business owner has to do – in some form.
Whether you are self-employed or a limited company you have to keep business records. It may drive you mad, you may lose receipts, you have to raise sales invoices and pay your business bills on time.
Of course you can choose to pile up the paper in a box or file until your accountant has to complete your tax return or file your Ltd company accounts. That’s called a “Bag and Box Client”! If this is your preferred approach you probably keep some sort of paper or Excel spreadsheet as well so you really aren’t running your business blind – and you’ll rely on looking at your bank statements too.
There is another way
Running a business is easier if you can start as you mean to go on, in terms of record keeping.
You can key your purchase bills into a spreadsheet, and accept the limitations of this method – or you can buy accounting software that helps you record invoices, expenses and receipts, as well as issue sales invoices to your customers. There are many brands of accounting software on the market – most is now cloud based. That means the software is accessed via the internet so you don’t have it on your hard drive of your laptop or desktop computer.
Prices vary enormously, so does personal preference. Hopefully, you’ll agree it’s a case of horses-for-courses, meaning you should pick the software you like best – the one that meets your needs. You can get advice from Accountants and Bookkeepers for free, on this. The most popular small business accounting software in the UK is a complex picture because it’s a best fit issue for most businesses.
In Norwich QuickBooks, Kashflow and Xero feature strongly with many Bookkeepers able to discount or give subscriptions for free to new clients. Often you’ll find your Accountant or Bookkeeper, and go with their advice. If you’re switching Accountants or Bookkeepers you may stick with what you’ve got until they can show you the advantages of something else. One size doesn’t fit all so you’ll want to get the cloud accounting software that brings you the most benefits at the best price.
It’s worth pointing out that, nowadays, it is easy to switch systems. It’s rarely as bad as you might expect, with new businesses emerging onto the market now, who specialise in doing just that!
With Bookkeeping, some of the key questions, are: How efficiently can you get you business expenses and bills into your accounting system? And do you know what to pay, when? It’s the first stage of getting your books in order.
There are several app developer companies now, who make it much easier for you.
There’s Receipt Bank and Datamolino to name just two.
These smart phone apps take a photo, and then the processing begins – whilst you do something else. They convert bills, invoices & receipts into data you, that your can then use – or your cloud Bookkeeper can then use. It’s a handy way of keeping a record and having the image accessible by others that you choose to give access to your records. This modern method is acceptable by HMRC for tax records. The products are a subscription service, but often that is within the flat fee a Bookkeeper charges you. This process reduces the time it takes to undertake bookkeeping chores. It gives Bookkeepers much more time to do the accounting work, the VAT returns, reconciliations and prepare monthly accounts & analysis for you.
With all game changers there are little creases that could be ironed out over time, and how a data processing tool integrates with your accounting software is one of them. You probably expect most things done quicker, and with maximum ease, when it’s to do with technology – and as your volumes of paper/on-line invoices increase you’ll probably find yourself checking out the latest tech to help you. These Apps that go hand in hand with your accounting software are definitely here to stay, more will enter the market giving you greater choice, and Cloud Bookkeeping will give you your time back and peace of mind that efficiency is being maximised.
For advice on how to deal with your Bookkeeping and or Accounts get in touch today.
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