Bookkeeper Bill’s top tips for keeping bookkeeping costs down.
- The easiest way to start getting your books in order is to get two boxes.
- One will be for every penny you pay out and one for every penny you get in.
- Keep a stapler handy to attach wee notes to the receipts / invoices that are not clear what they are for.
- Keep a log book for mileage that is business related only.
- Keep a separate business bank account – makes reconciliation faster, easier and accurate.
- Keep special note of items (such as computers) bought for business use – the entire amount (not just the VAT) may be claimed back.
- Don’t waste your time programming a spreadsheet or buying accounting software, if you do not know how to use these tools they can actually do more harm than good.
- If in doubt if you should be putting a receipt / invoice through as business related – do it anyway but fill out an accurate note and attach.
- If you are a limited company, you only need an accountant to sign off the final accounts; bookkeepers will do all the donkey work much cheaper.
- Make sure you are able to contact your bookkeeper outwith your normal working hours. You don’t want to take time away from your business operations which are making you your money!
All of the above will make it a lot cheaper to hand over to a bookkeeper to do your books. Don’t use an accountant as they will charge at least twice as much – use a bookkeeper.
If you haven’t been doing the above points, don’t panic, it just means spending some time sorting them out before handing over to a bookkeeper. If you don’t want to sort them out yourself, a bookkeeper will do it for you but will charge time for it.
The less work you give a bookkeeper, the less they will charge you. So to keep expenses down, it is a good idea to go through your own hard copy records and physically sort them out.