By Hilary Humphrey from Seofon Business Services
The bookkeeper – does he or she play a truly vital role in your business or is this just an extra cost for doing stuff you could do yourself, or hand over to your accountant?
We have all seen the adverts – happy, smiley business people walking around pristine workplaces, tablet in hand, keeping on top of their accounts. These ads make looking after your books appear to be so simple, and to be honest the cloud software and associated apps available these days make it a lot easier for business owners to keep on top of the numbers side of their business.
So why employ a bookkeeper? Surely your accountant can just take the figures from your cloud system and produce your full accounts from there? Well, yes they can, however they will most likely be doing this after your year end, and may not be in time to pick up things that have been missed. A bookkeeper will be looking at your accounts on a more regular basis and will have a first-hand understanding of how your business is going, and the regular payments that you may have forgotten to record.
For all business owners, figuring out how to process the finances of your business is a steep learning curve. It takes time to understand what you have to do, and how you need to do it. A bookkeeper can save you the time it takes to work all this out for yourself and get your systems functioning correctly for your individual business. Here’s how:
1 VAT Payments
Are you approaching the VAT threshold and need to register soon? Are you on flat rate (as advised by your accountant) but your sales and purchases now make more sense for you to be on standard rate? Are you charging and claiming for VAT correctly (we have the most complicated VAT system in the world and you cannot assume that VAT is chargeable all the time, or at what rate it is set).
2 Cash Flow Planning
A bookkeeper will know the regular bills that you have to pay and when, and can help keep up with the credit control to keep the money coming in so you aren’t wasting time chasing payments and checking your bank statements.
3 Organising Your Tax Return
As well as tracking outgoings for you, and recording them, your bookkeeper will help you claim for all the expenses and purchases that you can, but also tell you which ones you can’t claim. Having your bookkeeper do this for you will save you from using up more expensive ‘accountant time’ later on.
Managing your margins is just one more job that you have as a business owner. But, as a business grows we gradually start to realise that completing all the work ourselves, to save money is going to be impossible. And, doing hours of work that’s not in your zone of genius is not a great investment of your time. You will need to start outsourcing some aspects sooner or later. By engaging a bookkeeper you stay on top of the financial aspects whilst putting your precious energy into the aspects of your business that you enjoy the most.
If you need help with bookkeeping and would like to discuss your requirements contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org.