General Bookkeeping Information:
Bookkeeping is often looked at as a minor part of the accounting process, whereas in reality, it is probably the most important part. Good Bookkeeping allows business owners to have up-to-date financial information and the ability to have accurate accounts produced by their Accountant. There are other reasons why accurate Bookkeeping is important, such as producing VAT and other statutory returns, spotting any financial problems before they actually become a problem and also for arranging finance when needed.
It is for these reason that Bookkeeping needs a little thought. What is the best way to keep records and information? Which of the many software programmes is best? Do you keep the records yourself or employ a Bookkeeper? Do you use someone cheap with a little bookkeeping knowledge, or do you use a Professional who will keep your books accurately, whilst understanding what an Accountant requires to prepare the annual accounts for a business?
We can certainly help you with these questions. As Certified Public Accountants and Specialist Bookkeepers, we are the experts. We can advise you on what software you need and the level of work required to keep accurate records. If you wish to keep your own records, we can set up a bookkeeping system for you, ensuring that you understand how to use it and enter records accurately. Surprisingly, many of the more expensive accounts packages are not very user friendly and are too complicated for the needs of small businesses - they are really designed by accountants, for accountants, and not for the small business owners.
HMRC are introducing 'Making Tax Digital' and very soon you will have to use sofware and keep it up to date, in order to send in the new, more regular returns that will be needed - ask us what software would meet your personal needs for this.
In general, we recommend a very simple accounts package, that we can supply and install. In this case simple does not mean inferior in any way. It is very reasonably priced, easy to use with a little instruction and provides a vast array of figures and statistics (although you probably won't need these figures, it helps us keep you advised of your financial position). We can also supply any other package such as Sage and Quickbooks, if this is what you would like, but in many cases these programmes do not justify the initial cost, and also you may have to pay an annual fee on top of the original cost.
Specialist Bookkeeping Service:
While you are welcome to keep your own books, and we are happy to assist you in this, if you decide on this route, it can be a false economy. We are not saying that you won't be able to keep your own books, but it is probably not your strong point, otherwise you would possibly be in competition with us! A large proportion of an Accountant's fee can be in checking bookkeeping and records where they are kept by the client, because inevitably there will be several errors and mispostings. Your accountant will have to check through all your records, to ensure that the figures being produced are accurate, otherwise he will not be able to complete the year end function. This time is usually charged at a full accountancy rate, which is much higher than the charge for bookkeeping.
As we specialise in Bookkeeping, we can provide the ultimate service. Being both Accountants and Bookkeepers, we will ensure that your records are entered correctly, whether for us to prepare your accounts or to present to your accountants to enable them to easily prepare your accounts from accurate records.
We can carry out the work on your premises or take the records away to enter on the accounts programme in our offices. The latter is probably the better option, so we can work fast and efficiently without being under your feet at your workplace.
We usually collect all your paperwork once a month, or more frequently if required, we sort through your paperwork and file it in lever-arch files for ease of recovery and checking, and then we enter the details on our specialist software. When this is complete we print out a very useful report, giving you up to date financial information on your business and deliver your records back to you, spending a few minutes discussing the report and how your business is progressing.
This is a very efficient system, causing you the minimum of disruption, but giving you the best possible service and information. It is often this regular communication with clients that enables them keep one step ahead by having accurate financial information, as and when they need it. No more large bills because you need to pay for a rushed job to have figures prepared for your bank or other interested party. At the push of a button we can give you accurate up-to-the-minute figures, information and advice.
Please contact us for further information and advice and we can give you a quotation based on the services that you need. I am sure that you will be surprised at how useful and cost effective this service will prove to be.
Michael Bishop, ACPA, MIAB.
Tel: 01626 336734 - Mobile: 07599 735156