There are three types of people in this world – those who are good with numbers, and those who are not.
Terrible dad jokes aside, if you’re not one of life’s natural human calculators, the prospect of dealing with your books can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be so hard. There are loads of ways you can make things easier – here are just a few.
Keep good records
We know paperwork is never going to top the list of ‘exciting priorities in your business’, but having all your important figures in some semblance of order is going to make the number-crunching much easier. Some sort of system will make a huge difference, from the lowly plastic wallet full of receipts to a new-fangled techy solution like Autoentry– our new favourite app which lets you track expenses from your phone or tablet.
Take advantage of HMRC’s ‘easier’ methods
If you’re self-employed and you run a small business (not a limited company or limited liability partnership), HMRC have some methods that are aimed at making your books much easier. First up is cash basis which lets you declare money only when it’s coming in or out. The trickier alternative is traditional accounting, which goes off the date an invoice or bill was sent or received – even if the money hasn’t changed hands yet.
Cash basis is easier to track and eliminates the need to do long-winded stock checks, or work out who owes what.
On top of this, HMRC also allow sole-traders and partnerships to take advantage of simplified expenses. Instead of working out your actual costs, you can just use a flat rate when it comes to mileage, working from home or living at your business premises. It can save a lot of time and it’s certainly easier. You may or may not be better off on the flat rate – it depends on your businesses circumstances. It always pays to check!
Use accounting software
Ready for some help, but not quite ready to call in a human just yet? Dedicated accounting software such as QuickBooks is designed to be intuitive and easy-to-use. There are no tricky formulas to remember, and much of the process is automated to reduce boring data entry time. You can link your bank accounts and point of sale systems, and even generate invoices and reports automatically too.
Hire someone else
There’s no simpler way to do your accounts than letting someone else do it! But the benefits go way beyond ease. For a start, all our accounts team are lovely maths nerds who take the time to get to know you and your business, as well as your numbers. And with decades of experience between them, they know all the tricks, and are right up-to-date on any new changes in the accounting world. Being so close to the heart of your business can help them objectively identify any areas of growth that you might not be able to spot.
Make your life easy and our accountants happy by giving them your numbers. Get in touch to find out more.