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Bookkeeping is essential for all businesses; basically it is a record of what has come in (income) and what has gone out (expenditure). See the Basics of Bookkeeping here.
Everyone really: if you run a limited company, whether or not you earn additional income, if you are self employed operating as a sole trader, or earn money through PAYE. If you earn income from rentals, shares, or in any other way, you must fill in a self assessment tax return, and to do that you will need to have done some bookkeeping.
No, bookkeeping is not the same as accounting, but bookkeeping is a very important element that is required in order to produce accounts. An accountant is qualified, whereas a bookkeeper may have bookkeeping qualifications but will not be a qualified accountant. But bookkeeping is what everyone should do whether they have a business or not, you should always know what your income and expenditure is even to set a household budget.
Yes, anyone can do their own bookkeeping so long as they have all their receipts, bank statements, invoices, receipts and so on, but for the unqualified, the ins and outs of tax law: which expenses are allowed, and how to adjust the allowance on things like equipment or a company car, can be mind boggling. See the Basics of Bookkeeping here.
No. dns can do it for you. We do some people’s accounts from start to finish. We also visit some larger organisations and do their bookkeeping onsite. Have you heard about our brilliant software package, Nomisma? Our online accounting software allows users to input all their income and expenditure, which takes about 15 minutes per month.
The dns online accounting portal was years in the planning, construction and launch and we are very proud of it! It allows users to input income and expenditure, invoices and receipts; it reminds the user of all due dates and calculates monthly income and expenditure. It also calculates tax payments; wages and other outgoings, knowledge of which are essential for good business management. dns are able to then analyse these figures and work in real time to help with management accounts and tax planning.
Bookkeeping is best done on a monthly basis. It is an essential part of cash flow, performance indicators and security.
If you do not do bookkeeping it will be hard for you to produce correct accounts in time, which can result in penalties. Go to our knowledge base/tax tips and articles to read about the sort of penalties HMRC impose for inaccurate accounts or late payments.
We cannot express the importance of bookkeeping enough: it is the beginning and the end of efficient business management and, most importantly, compliance. The consequences of falsifying your books are very serious, so you must be up to date, accurate and keep on top of it. No one can expect to run a successful business without real time knowledge of what is coming in and what is going out, which in a nutshell, is what bookkeeping is.
All successful businesses have tight bookkeeping regimes and will know exactly their income and expenditure as well as their key performing areas. Efficient bookkeeping will immediately identify any discrepancies; it will pick up errors, fraud, or misuse of company money; over- and under-spends, as well as periods where it might be advantageous for the business to lay out capital on equipment and training; just before the year-end, for example.
It is true to say that management accounts run off the back of accounting and that accounting is produced through efficient bookkeeping, but management accounts provide analysis of key performing areas and identify where the business is losing money. Take for example an IT company that runs a consultancy, a repair service and a software retail arm: we can see that the receipts from consultancy are higher than those from repairs; we can also see that income from software sales is greater than both of these put together. We might, therefore, advise the business to outsource the repairs or separate them to another business, thus concentrating manpower on the consultancy area; at the same time we would advise manpower to be directed towards software sales to increase revenue in this area.
Bookkeeping is an ongoing exercise, and if you are contractor it should not take you more than 15 minutes a month with the dns online accounting software. The complexity of your bookkeeping does depend on the number of transactions and what sort of business you run, however. Your accounts for company accounts and/or self assessment tax return are due annually, but in order to get the best tax advice, it is best to do your accounts on a monthly basis.
No, you must keep your books for six years. They must be in good order and available for checking if HMRC want to see them. As a general rule, we would advise clients to retain all their tax and business papers for at least four years from the end of the tax year to which they relate. To find out more follow this link to our Secure Storage facility.
It is as well to have all your receipts, invoices, bank statements and all other relevant information available for checking by your accountant.
HMRC may ask questions if they suspect that something is wrong. They also select some returns at random for checking even where everything appears to be in order. HMRC has 12 months from the normal filing date to notify you if they intend to investigate. dns can insure you against the professional fees arising from a tax investigation. Some of our accountancy packages include this as part of the price. To get a quote for tax investigation insurance use this link.
It is obligatory under the new system to keep documentary evidence supporting all your figures. HMRC are more likely to be assured that your books are correct if you use the dns online accounting portal and a reputable accountant is filing your company accounts and/or self assessment tax return.
Get in touch with dns to arrange a meeting. We will advise you about the information we need in order to bring everything up to date on your behalf.
dns will be pleased to take on your bookkeeping or sign you up and train you on our online accounting portal. For some businesses, depending on the nature of it and the turnover, the best procedure is to outsource bookkeeping. dns do bookkeeping for many of our clients both onsite and offsite. Please fill in the subscription request form and we will get back to you directly. Once you’re signed up, we would then arrange to collect everything we need from you: bank statements, cheque books, receipts, invoices and so on, and organise a pick up on a monthly basis. We would then send you monthly statements of your account.
dns provide a complete Small Business bookkeeping and accountancy service. For some individuals and businesses this includes everything from bookkeeping to accounting, VAT return, PAYE and Payroll and might even include business consultancy. We offer onsite and offsite bookkeeping services and can provide a ten-man team or a one-man band depending on the nature of the task.We hope these have answered some of your questions. If you have a question that we haven't answered here, please email us and a member of our team will answer it as soon as possible.