Often, as a business grows, the time and effort spent on bookkeeping becomes a burden and it is left for later, or done when time allows, or just ignored in the hope that a solution will appear.
Good records which are kept up to date are a must for all businesses. HMRC have a requirement for self-employed people to keep proper records and have stated their intention to increase the random checks on this. Limited companies have a statutory requirement to keep “proper books and records”. Most businesses need to know how they are doing throughout the year, especially in difficult times, not just 6 months after the year end when the accountant provides the annual accounts.
If it is all getting too much for you, or if you are just starting out and don’t have a clue where to begin we can help. We offer various levels of assistance from training to a complete package.
At the beginning many people are very willing to keep their own records but just don’t know where to start. We will get to know you and find out your preferences. Are you a computer whizz or a technophobe? Do you already have experience of a particular software or are familiar with spreadsheets? Does the idea of a hand written ledger where errors are corrected with an eraser appeal?
Once we have determined your preferences we can train you to keep your own records with a series of short (usually 2 hour) visits. As many or as few as you need, taking it at your own pace, until you are confident to strike out alone. We are always still here for a quick call or visit when something puzzles you. Money spent on training now reduces your annual accounts fee for many years to come, as well as ensuring that you understand your business’ finances and are complying with HMRC or legal requirements.
Sometimes you are happily keeping your own records when something happens to throw your routine. A period of illness or family commitments, maybe a large job or contract you really don’t want to turn down, or just a period of growth in the business which catches you unprepared. Often the bookkeeping is left and when you go back to it there is too much and you are unable to catch up.
We are here to pick up your records for that short period so you don’t get behind, or step in to get you back up to date. We will continue to keep the records using your system either by visiting you at your place of business or by bringing everything to our office for a while. You don’t have to commit to continue using us as we are happy to hand back as soon as you are ready. Our service is all about providing what you need, when you need it.
If you decide that bookkeeping is not for you then you still have several options. You can employ a full or part-time bookkeeper; you can use a self-employed bookkeeper who specialises in visiting small businesses to provide assistance or you can use our bookkeeping service.
Employing someone is a big step and you may be unsure as to how much work you will have for them or how much you want to pay. You also may not want to be responsible for running a pay-scheme and paying holiday or sick pay.
Self-employed bookkeepers are often seen as a good option for small businesses. They work as much as you need and you only pay for them while they are working for you, but how do you chose one and how do you know that will provide the right service.
We provide the same service as a self-employed bookkeeper at a very competitive hourly rate. You know that your records will be prepared to suit us which will reduce your annual accounts fee and you have one contact point for all your business support services.
Again we will discuss with you exactly what your requirements are. If you just want to hand it all over that’s fine. Maybe you want it set up in such a way that you could take it back in the future or employ someone as you grow, that’s also fine. We provide a tailored service to suit you. And we are always happy to change that service as your requirements change.
We can work at your place of business, collect the information on a regular basis, or you can drop it off to us. This can be weekly, monthly or quarterly. Once we receive the information we will prepare your records and, if you prefer, let you know when everything is ready to collect. We will discuss the position of the business with you and deal with any queries we or you may have with the information.
More clients are now using cloud services which allow you to upload information to a shared site. We can also use a cloud based package allowing you to access the financial data whenever you want. The cloud also provides flexibility for you to take on some of the bookkeeping, while retaining our services for specific areas; for example, you may input the sales and purchases but want us to reconcile the bank accounts and prepare the VAT returns.
Many businesses first use our services when they become VAT registered as we will prepare the quarterly VAT returns, discuss the figures with you then file the return online on your behalf. With HMRC now accepting direct debit payment for VAT returns you don’t even need to remember to write a cheque!