Bookkeeping advice Essex and London


Anyone setting up in business should make sure they get organised from day one as far as bookkeeping goes so as to avoid any future issues with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Good bookkeeping allows a business to plan ahead financially by showing where the majority of the income and expenditure lies so that profitable sales can be capitalised upon and outgoings can be minimised. And of course, an accurate set of books will ensure no more tax is paid than is necessary.

Lynn Watson, Managing Director of Essex bookkeeping firm Office Assistants starts with a bit of basic advice for new business owners: ‘There are a number of records that you must keep, whether you are a sole trader or an employer of many. Firstly, keep a record of all your income and copies of all invoices you have issued. You also need to maintain records of your outgoings and copies of invoices you have paid for goods or services needed for your business.’

Tax liability is based on profit and loss which is calculated from income and expenditure. For this reason, keeping track of this information on an on-going basis is crucial because if left, everything will mount up and when it is time to file a tax return, a major task will ensue.

Lynn Watson says that keeping copies of or having online access to business bank accounts and statements is vital and that details of any amounts taken out of or paid into the business should be recorded.

Other things that you should keep on file according to Lynn of Office Assistants are:

1. Petty cash book
2. Till rolls
3. Electronic or internet sales records
4. Stock take report
5. Cheque stubs
6. Paying in slips
7. Records of interest earned on savings accounts
8. Details of any income in addition to your main business income

Hiring the services of an accountant means they will charge based on the amount of work they need to do. Simply handing them a carrier bag filled with crumpled receipts will lead to them having a lengthy job on their hands and the resulting bill will reflect this. Lynn says, ‘The more you are able to prepare in advance, the less your accountants’ fees will be.’

Smaller businesses generally find that hiring the services of a bookkeeping company such as Office Assistants is money well spent because it can ease the burden of taking care of day to day accounts paperwork so that time is freed up to concentrate on running the business.

Bookkeeping firms will make sure your books are kept up to date and will get them ‘accountant ready’ for you. They will also make sure that you are maximising your taxable expenditure and that you don’t miss crucial filing and payment deadlines. So by hiring a professional bookkeeper, there is money to be saved all round!

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