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How to choose a bookkeeper

You’ve set up the business, it’s going well and you are selling your product or service. In the beginning you may have good intentions and try to keep on top of your paperwork or maybe it’s a job that you keep putting off as you have no time. The thought of doing your own books may leave you a bit worried, it is quite easy to make a mess of your books, that then require quite a lot of time to sort out.

There are several key things you need to do when you start a business that make bookkeeping a lot easier.

1 – Set up a separate bank account solely for your business transactions, this really helps stop a headache. It’s then really easy to see what relates to your business and what doesn’t.

2 – Track sales, you may think the VAT threshold (currently £85k) is a long way away, but it can be really easy to hit this. VAT needs to be looked at on a rolling 12 month basis. Log a sales total in excel each month and you will be able to keep a careful eye on it.

3 – Keep receipts and invoices. Did you know in order to claim back VAT, once you are VAT registered, you have to have a valid VAT receipt or invoice, if you don’t there’s no VAT reclaim. You may also be called on by HMRC to produce evidence for your tax return. Get in the habit of keeping these in some sort of order, by month really helps. It’s also a good idea to keep a digital copy so that if anything happens to originals you are covered. Most bookkeeping software enables you to store them on the software itself.

4 – Keep a note on key dates, when your self assessment needs submitting and paying, when your VAT quarter is due. This really helps you to feel more in control.

Bookkeeping is just another word for recording the transactions of your business; from spending, showing your income to who owes you and who you owe. Without it you won’t know how profitable you or if your business is worth investing in.

If you are worried about doing your own bookkeeping or don’t have time to d you rown, outsourcing can really help.

So you have decided that you would like to outsource your bookkeeping, how do you find the right bookkeeper?

You need to know that the person who will do your bookkeeping is going to do a good job. Are they qualified? A qualification helps you to rest assured that your bookkeeper has fundamental knowledge and has passed exams.

Does your bookkeeper have experience? I think a combination of experience and qualifications is really important. If you are unsure just have a chat with a couple of bookkeepers, one may have more experience in your field and may well be more suited.

Do you feel comfortable with the person you have chosen to do your bookkeeping? It’s actually quite important, you may end up speaking/emailing this person quite a bit and asking them for key data about your business. It’s not uncommon to hear that a client didn’t find their last bookkeeper approachable and this can hinder them from asking for information that is needed, so before you engage with one check feel comfortable with them.

If you are interested in working with a Cornish bookkeeper please get in touch on 01209 702920 or pop by our contact page to send us a message.

The information featured in this article is for guidance only, no liability is accepted for the opinions it contains.

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