Keeping track of purchases and collecting receipts is a headache for most businesses. Spicer & Co Charted Accountants help businesses across Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard with their book-keeping and accounts. Their book-keeping advice? If in doubt keep all of your receipts – even they are simply stored in a box.
Why do you need every single receipt? “We will know what you can claim for – and what you can’t” explains Suzanne Spicer of Spicer & Co Charted Accountants. “If we don’t see the receipts then we don’t know what you’re spending your money on – you may be missing an opportunity!”
Three Big Reasons for Brilliant Book-Keeping
Not many of us enjoy book-keeping! However there are distinct advantages to being efficient and up-to-date with your records…
2. Accuracy – efficient book-keeping enables you to see what’s happening in your business, spotting any anomalies. This is vital as inaccurate book-keeping can harm your business and lead to penalties.
3. Action – identifying who hasn’t paid you is vital information you need to run your business. You can send timely reminder asking for payment. Up to date info enables you to look ahead more easily and plan for your business.
Four Common Book-Keeping Questions
1. Is frequency important?
Smaller businesses can usually manage with monthly book-keeping, however larger organisations should probably move to weekly or even daily record keeping. This is much quicker and easier than you may think thanks to cloud-based software.
2. What records should I keep?
The list will vary according to the type and size of business you are running. Common requirements are:
– Sales invoices
– Purchase invoices
– Expense receipts
– Mileage log
– Cash receipts
3. Should I keep paper copies of receipts, invoices and bank statements?
You only need to keep paper invoices if you don’t have electronic copies archived. Documents need to be kept for a number of years. If you are keeping them electronically, you need to make sure they are backed up securely. You can record invoices electronically by scanning them to the cloud (e.g. Dropbox), or send them to a service like Autoentry or Receipt Bank and they scan these for you. You can even take a photo on your mobile phone and send to a cloud bookkeeping package such as Xero.
If you are sent paper copies of bank statements then you should keep these.
4. Why should I consider cloud-based book-keeping?
Cloud book-keeping is bookkeeping on the move, keeping up to date wherever you are. You could be travelling to a job, on holiday on a beach somewhere, or at home with a cup of coffee – just login to your cloud bookkeeping package and you have your numbers at your fingertips. For example, you could find out: who owes you money, who you owe money to, your business’ bank balance, how much profit you’ve made so far this month or year, how much you’ve invoiced and much more. You can even find out how much your VAT bill is going to be (the dreaded question)!
So much technology available now that it’s possible to link a couple of systems to make life simple. Suzanne Spicer of Spicer & Co explains: “Instead of ending up with a carrier bag full of messy receipts, you can use a service like Autoentry or Receipt Bank to scan the invoices into bookkeeping software such as Xero or Quickbooks. You can email, scan or take photos and send to Autoentry or Receipt Bank, and then they appear in Xero or Quickbooks. In today’s digital world, systems can link together to create the best solution for your business.”
Is book-keeping causing your business a headache? We have the perfect remedy – a chat and a coffee with the friendly team at Spicer & Co Chartered Accountants. Pop in for a no-obligation chat and we’ll happily offer you some book-keeping advice… and put the kettle on.