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Don't believe the hype - bookkeeping software is not as simple as the ads make out...



If you don’t know how to use the software you’re trying to run your business with, you need to do one of three things:

  1. Get trained in the software to a level sufficient for you to be able to use it properly or
  2. Pay someone who IS trained to use it on your behalf.  Someone like, oh, I don’t know, maybe a qualified bookkeeper? or
  3. Muddle through until it comes to an HMRC/Companies House calendar milestone and then panic…

I don’t care what the ads say, bookkeeping is not just a matter of getting access to an accounting package and getting on with it – that path leads to almost certain disaster.  Running the books for a business is not as easy as they make out, especially if you run payroll.  That’s why we (the bookkeepers) are here to help, assuming that you value our services and expertise.

Just to explain, you’re not only paying us for the time we spend sorting out your business accounts etc – you also pay for the time we spent getting qualified.

What’s more, when your paperwork is handed over to us, it needs to be in some sort of logical form.  Many’s the Tesco shopping bag I have been given, with crumpled, coffee-stained, illegible receipts, purchase invoices and sales invoices all just stuffed into the bag and then I’m expected to sort them all out, date, group and enter them into a suitable format so we can see what state your business is in.  And that also means we need them well in time for us to be able to get the work done against any scheduled deadlines (for example, 7th of the month for VAT, 31st October for SATR paper submissions, 31st January for online SATR submissions etc)

As an aside, my preferred format is (sent electronically, preferably):

  • Purchase invoices: group everything by supplier, then by date (oldest on top)
  • Till receipts: group by type (fuel, supplies, etc), again by supplier and then by date (again oldest first)
  • Sales invoices: Number order, smallest invoice number/oldest first
  • Bank statements:  If you can't send them electronically in CSV format, then send me the PDFs (NEVER SCANNED COPIES) - and that means ALL accounts that are affected by the business (current and deposit accounts)
  • If you've taken out any loans, HP and/or rental agreements then TELL ME!!! By which I mean, send me a scanned copy of the paperwork showing ALL the detail

We are here to take the strain of running the books so you can run the business – play fair with us and everyone is happy.

Otherwise, you're going to be looking like the bloke in the picture...

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