Monday, 2 April 2012

So you want to be Self-Employed?! Hints & Tips part #3 Accounts

As April arrives my business thoughts turn all financial! It's Tax Year End!
Collating my financial logs, maintaining spreadsheets, accurately invoicing and all the rest can be pretty taxing (ha ha!) but so completely worth it when it comes to having good, ordered financial year end reports.
 I'm incredibly fortunate as one of my best friends is an accountant and has walked me through the process of accounting. The most helpful Hint and Tip I can pass on is to have a good filing system! You really do need to able to find things easily, and you never know what things may be important to keep. I invested in a fan file box and some large box files and took the time to clearly label everything!

Fan Box files are invaluable
There is some fab stationary out there and some very pretty ways to keep yourself organised! (Try Cath Kidston, Amazon or Paperchase for some good ones!)

The other serious hint and tip is to back up your financial accounts regularly- I try to do this after every day of trading, (which can be time consuming!) and then use a memory stick to keep a copy of my spreadsheets just in case my laptop dies or I need to access my accounts from somewhere else. I can't stress the importance of this as leaving your accounting, even for a few days can result in lots of complications; confusion and general forgetting of little details like the actual P&P costs as opposed to your charged P&P costs!

By updating your books regularly if disaster strikes you have relatively up to date accounts on your memory stick, alternative hard drive or remote online storage facility.
The HMRC offer some helpful advice and are really quite friendly on the telephone so if you do have queries give them a call or check out their website here.

Invest in a good receipt or invoice book; keep your spreadsheets up to date and backed up and when October (or January) rolls around you will have everything you need to complete that Tax Return and you'll have stored it safely in a pretty box file too!


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