We get any number of boxes of receipts, bank statements, bits of papers and queries, all in the last few days before the accounts are due!
If you adopt a simple ‘do it as you go’ approach, you’ll find your stress levels will go down, your accountancy fees could be cheaper and well, you’ll generally feel a lot better about the whole process.
1) Bank Statements
Seriously, this is absolutely the easiest thing in the world to organise. Don’t just put them in the pile with all of the other paperwork. Get your self a ring binder, and the second your statement arrives, clip it in the folder. Done. Come January, you won’t have to root through piles of paper looking for your June statement, you’ll just have to pick up your ring binder and hand it to us.
2) Business Credit Card statements
Same again. Simply get an A4 divider for that ring binder, and mark it ‘credit card statements’ The second the bill is paid, put it straight into the ring binder. NOT on that big pile of papers, on top of the inkjet printer. If for any reason there is something on the Business Credit Card that shouldn’t be there, make a note of it now, so it can be adjusted.
The bane of any small business… Business receipts! They end up in your wallet or purse, sandwiched between business cards, vouchers for the cinema etc. This is probably where most small businesses lose out on their tax bill. All those five pounds here and there unaccounted for!
- The best case scenario solution
Buy another A4 folder, mark it ‘expenses’ and every week, simply take your receipts, hole punch them and store them in your folder.
- The modern day best case solution
- You can get apps for your phone which means you can scan every business receipt as you get it, and then send to us via Dropbox or similar, or even email as PDFs.
- The next best solution
Take 12 envelopes mark them April through to March. Pop the appropriate months envelope by the front door (Or back door, if you come in that way). The second you get in the house, look through your wallet/purse and take the receipts out, then pop them in the envelope. At the end of the month, sort through the receipts, into date order and seal that envelope, or even better, pop them in an A4 ring binder.
- The ‘if you have to’ solution
Get a box, by the front door, or wherever you unload your wallet or purse. When it gets too full to close, whip all the receipts out and drop the business related receipts into the box.
4) Pension details
We really need all details of any pension payments made. Pensions are a very tax efficient way of planning for your retirement, but if we don’t know what you’ve paid in, we can’t include it… And if you receive a pension, we won’t know how much tax has already been deducted unless we get to see the End of Year (P60) form.
5) Bank tax deduction certificates
Same again. If you don’t send us the certificates, we can’t deduct the tax! We’d much rather put that money back in your pocket, than send it off to the HMRC!
6) Get it in on time!
The sooner you get it to us, the sooner we can get all of this sorted out for you, including any queries that may arise. Delay just makes everyone stressed, and we’re a big fan of avoiding stress 🙂 .
7) Online Bookkeeping
Why not have a look at an online bookkeeping package. They are designed for people without bookkeeping or accounting skills and tend to be easy to use, and because its online you can use your tablet or even your phone. We offer such a package, why not get in touch.
We know that you probably consider that accounts are boring, and sorting them out is just a major headache. However, if you do a little bit at a time, and just keep your records even roughly in order, you’ll get to January and all you’ll have to do is hand us 2 or 3 folders. You’ll wonder why you ever thought that this whole accounts prep thing was such a headache!
Now you can treat yourself to a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake, instead of pulling your hair out, looking for that final bank statement…