Keeping records in order is important for any business. However, for many busy small businesses, this task is often at the bottom of the priority list and can be left until the last minute.
There are many benefits to being organised with your records and there are also requirements to ensure you comply with HMRC’s rules and regulations.
Here are our top tips to get your records in order and ensure you’re HMRC compliant:
Make the most of online systems
There are many different options available for online accounting systems and apps to make things easier. Saving time and money, programmes like QuickBooks will allow you to connect to your bank account, stay on top of your finances and much more, whilst complying with HMRC’s regulations.
There’s also added apps to connect directly to your accounting software, such as Receipt Bank. Connecting to QuickBooks you can automatically convert your purchase invoices and receipts into data to be stored electronically.
To find out more about online software or for assistance with conversion, training and setup, speak to our digital experts on 01268 770099.
Know exactly what you need to record
You can use your software to comply with HMRC’s regulations of what you need to keep. You will need to be able to provide recorded business information and records of services/products supplied or received, such as online invoices and sales data.
We would also recommend keeping original copies of these records including:
· Sales Invoices
· Purchase Invoices
· Cheque stubs
· Bank Statements
· VAT workings
· CIS Records
This is in case of any issues with your online software or if you change software providers. These records should be kept for at least 6 years.
Separate personal and business finances
It’s essential to separate your business and personal expenses, not only will it take time to go through a confusing mix of transactions, but you might miss important deductions you’re entitled to. This also makes it clear to HMRC which expenses are relating to your business.
To ensure you’re keeping your finances separate you will need to open a business bank account, separate to your personal account. There are a large range of banks all keen for your business – do some research on which one will work best for you, taking into account what they will be charging you for banking with them. Most offer free business banking to start you off.
Regular reviewing and reconciling
You should regularly check your bank account against your accounting software to keep track of your income and expenses. Although some accounting programmes will automatically match and sort certain transactions, you will still need to oversee the process.
Regularly reviewing has many benefits including:
· Identifying issues sooner
· Checking for fraud
· Knowing the amount you have available to spend
· Review any outstanding payments
Knowing when to hire help
If you’ve found that your bookkeeping and records are getting out of hand, you don’t have the time to focus on it or you would just like to pass it over to someone else – there are professionals who can help.
Whether you need help with online software, bookkeeping or accounting - our experts will be happy to help. To discuss your requirements further speak to us on 01268 770099.