It’s that time of year when all accountants and bookkeepers start to get really busy and some of us small business owners might go into a bit of panic depending how organised we are . . . . .
. . . Have you done your end of year accounts yet?
. . .the tax return deadline for 2015/16 year is the end of January 2017 . . .but with christmas distraction in the way, then it is easy for the time to fly by without realising. . .
. . . but Mr HMRC doesn’t care. . the deadline is the deadline. . . .
I have gradually got better with my own bookkeeping / end of year accounts after starting with a pretty basic Excel document that I got years ago from a training course I did . . . .
(happy to share if you email me and ask – its a bit old but still functional).
. . . and adapting it with my own additions as my knowledge of Excel has improved.
My problem was remembering to add things into it and sometimes forgetting . . . . but then forgetting that I remembered and getting mixed up because I didn’t always put the dates in. . . .
. . . . and then I cross reference my end of year accounts with my bank statement sometimes and other times I cross-reference with my online banking and then sometimes things get put in twice . . . or not at all . . . .
. . . . and so by the time we get to the end of the year I hope it kind of makes sense, but the end of year accounts has very rarely in the past tallied with anything that my bank account said. . . .
. . . so all in all not a very perfect method at all.
. . . but whichever way you look at it I am a graphic designer and so maths is not really my thing. . . .
. . . . funnily enough I am really good at numbers . . . bank account . . credit card. . . login codes . . . phone numbers. . .
. . . I can memorise all manner of those. . . . I can often buy something online with all the details of my bank card from memory . . .(until I get a new card and have to start again)
Anyway . . back on track . . the tax return . . . that online form . . . to submit your end of year accounts.
What I submit to the tax office is fairly straightforward but I also do have a conscience and I do get a little bit panicky about making a mistake . . . .
. . . . if everything isn’t perfect someone is going to point the big finger down at me and find me out and I’m going to be in really serious trouble.
So bearing that in mind, last year in a bit to get a more perfect method – I made a bit more of a focussed effort to keep better track of my turnover and cash flow . . . .
. . . . when I tallied my end of year accounts figures with my bank account I was quite impressed that I was only about £50 /£60 out . . . .
. . . it should be easy enough to work out where the mistake is . . . . the trouble was when I found the mistake it somehow made the figure even bigger . . . .
. . . . so in the end to sort all my end of year accounts out I had to get my bank statements for the whole year and cross reference against my bookkeeping . . . .
. . . . I found several mistakes I added them in and hey presto . . . . . some kind of miracle happened . . .
. . . . . the figures all tallied.
so it just shows that all you have to do to get the perfect method is be a little bit more focussed and organised . . . .
The perfect method means making sure that you spend the time each month when you get your bank statement to . . .
TASK 1: sit down and take the time to cross reference everything out on your bank statement with everything on that months bookkeeping. . .
. . . and mark it off carefully so you know what you have done.
RESULT 1: when you get to end of year accounts it will all add up. . . . no stress no worries no panic.
OPTION 1: of course if you’re turning over so much that you’ve got too much paperwork then you need to employ a bookkeeper to do it for you.
and if, like me you are fed up with stressing over getting it right, and putting off the end of year accounts tax return because it scares you . . . .
OPTION 2: well then use the services of an accountant. . . . because not only are they good at numbers. . .and maths . . .
. . . they even enjoy doing it!
TASK 2: Get a ring binder with sections and date envelopes and starting on April 1st, every time you get a receipt / invoice / bank statement just file it (in logical, and date order) . . . then repeat till end of March each year.
TASK 3: Keep Calm, breathe and relax as you hand the whole end of year accounts file over to your accountant.
RESULT 2: They will do their thing – heck you don’t even need to care about what they do to your end of year accounts – because you don’t have to do it. . . no stress no worries no panic.
RESULT 3: They WILL save you money on things you didn’t even know about.
RESULT 4: THEY will complete your tax return on your behalf. . . saving you the 3 hours that it takes wading through each section and carefully reading and stressing over if you have understood it all.
TASK 4: pay their bill with the relief and satisfaction that they have provided an excellent service and its all done legally and Mr HMRC is happy.
TASK 5: mark in your diary /calendar to guarantee you remember to pay any bills for tax / NI when you get them from Mr HMRC – to keep him happy – or ask your accountant for a reminder.
I waited far too long to use an accountant. . . and this year I am really glad that I did. . .
. . . . because part 2 of the perfect method produced the following results. . . .
RESULT 5: It cost far less than I imagined
RESULT 6: what she saved me covered most of her bill
RESULT 7: she reduced my stress levels totally.
This blog is created and written entirely by Linda Wild
Thanks for reading.