Do keep your invoices and receipts - if you have software that allows you to scan each item in, you may prefer to do this but otherwise just set up a file. Make sure you file everything in either date or alphabetical order so that when you need anything you can find it.
Try and keep your books up to date once a week or at most once a month. Trying to remember what you were doing a year ago is one of the reasons it is stressful if you hand over your loose paperwork and ask your accountant to process it once a year. If you enter it onto a spreadsheet or software package once a month, you will only ever have to think back a few weeks.
Keep more information rather than less. If there is an expense that you are not sure about, keep the receipt and note down why it is a business expense. That way your accountant can make the decision for you.
Don't split out the VAT and net figures if you are not VAT registered. It will cost a lot of money to have this reworked later on.
Don't assume that your partner will be an expert in bookkeeping! We work with lots of clients who started out using their partner to 'save money' and then as time goes on they realise having a bookkeeper means there is no argument when they ask us to sort things out!
If you have a business bank account, every transaction needs to be recorded so that the account can be reconciled. Don't be one of those clients who has a 'what happened here...' stories to explain why the records to do match the statements!
Hopefully these are a few pointers you can take on board to stop things going wrong. Lots of clients start off thinking it will save money to avoid using a bookkeeper. Then they get charged a lot to correct the mistakes in their books and it turns out, having a bookkeeper would have cost a lot less!
If you are set on writing up your own books and just want someone there on the phone when you get stuck, this is also a service we offer.
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It was an experiment but BW has done my end of year tax return for 2 years now. Makes it all very easy and answers any questions. Takes all the stress out of my tax return so I can concentrate on my business.
Jaqueline Parkinson, Harpenden
BW was recommended by a friend to help with me with my dog grooming contract, will definitely use again
Daisy Spring, Aston Clinton
BW helps us with all our bookkeeping work - paperwork, banking and finances as well as VAT. Always helpful and easy to chat to. Great bookkeeper for small business support.
Mason Grab Hire Ltd, Aston Clinton