Posted: 22nd July 2015
Accounting can be a tricky business; there’s a reason people hold those in the field in such high esteem. Small businesses in particular can be stung by high accountancy fees and risk collapse. This can be especially the case if you’re in a micro enterprise, so it’s imperative you have the financial know-how you need to look out for your business’s interests. Here are a few tips that will make your accounting easier.
Help when you need it
Be aware of the small business benefits available to you. Remember, if you use your home as an office, you can claim back a percentage of your heating bill, your gas and electricity, as well as your phone and internet bills. You can even claim for stationery and travel expenses, but you must keep hold of all proof of purchase, no matter what. Time to invest in a decent filing cabinet!
Keep a note of everything
Keep a record of everything from the word go. This means invoices, costs, sales and even keeping receipts from lunch with clients and the money you spend on fuel getting to and from work. Get yourself into the habit of keeping a note of everything, then when it comes to filling out your tax forms at the end of the financial year you won’t have the stress of unexplained expenses.
Get the right advice
You might want to consider hiring a freelance accountant a few hours a week to help you get your incomings and outgoings in order until you have your head around your finances fully. HMRC holds free workshops, so have a look online for more information about when you can attend one in your area. These workshops include help and advice on topics like running your payroll, introduction to understanding VAT and self-assessment for self-employed workers. Once you are up and running, you might want to consider taking an ACCA accounting course to boost your bookkeeping know-how if you start to expand.
Get a small business bank account
There are many benefits of getting a small business bank account; not only can it help you get your business off the ground, there are also many more practical reasons other than just the day-to-day financial support. Your company and its funds are safeguarded, and in the event of an HMRC enquiry, all of your business transactions are in one place.
Collaboration not competition
To understand your market fully, you need to accept help and advice from other small businesses. Promote and support each other – it’s the best way to increase revenue and strengthen your reputation in your field. Always have your mind on improving and growing your business, and look out for any potential business opportunities from all sources.
Remember, before any new business venture, it’s always a good idea to have as much knowledge of your field as possible. Attend seminars, take online courses, read blogs and play an active role in discussions with other budding entrepreneurs in online forums to build as much knowledge as you can before you go ahead with it all.