The secret to organising your business finances (no more end-of-year panic!)
As the sun rises on the new financial year, you’re full of good intentions about how organised you’re going to be. Fast forward a few months, and your receipts are crammed in drawers or lost in your email. Then, when it’s time to send them to your accountant, you have panic-fuelled searches trying to gather them all together.
This year, you can be more organised; and here’s how to do it:
Back to basics
For most small businesses, the financial year runs from 6th April through to 5th April the following year. If you’re not sure about your dates, ask your accountant!
To start getting more organised you will need:
• 1 x A4 ring binder, labelled ‘Accounts 2019-2020’
• 12 x plastic pockets, labelled by month
Organising your paper receipts
Put all the plastic pockets in the folder in month order, with April 2019 on top. This is going to be where you store your paper receipts. Every day or week in April empty your handbag/wallet and put the receipts in your April file. Make sure you put them in flat, as the print may fade on a fold meaning the receipt will be illegible in a few months.
Keeping your email receipts under control
Create an email folder called ‘Receipts to print April’. This is where you’ll collect all your electronic receipts for any business-related items you’ve bought online (stationery, train tickets etc.). You’ll need to make another email folder for every month.
Create an online folder (in Google Docs, Dropbox, One Drive or similar) called ‘Sales 2019-2020’ containing 12 subfolders, one for each month. This is where you’ll store all your invoices you’ve issued to customers. If you name them as the invoice number and date, they’re easy to identify and file in the correct folder.
At the end of April 2019
• Get your plastic folder which will be full of April’s paper receipts
• Print off all electronic receipts for April and put them in the folder
• Print off all invoices for April and put them in the folder
• When you receive April’s bank statement, put that on the front of your April plastic pocket and then move the pocket to the back of the folder
• Your May folder should now be at the front, ready for receipts as they come in
• Feel very pleased with yourself!
By the time April 5th 2020 comes around you’ll have all your paperwork ready to be sent off to your accountant, with no last-minute rummaging around!
Don’t be a finance ostrich this year
If finance makes you want to cry, it’s time to get on top of it. Here are some useful links if you’re self-employed:
• You must keep your records for at least 5 years as HMRC may want to check your records.
• If you’re self-employed, you can claim various things on your expenses. Do check with your accountant first, as the list can change.
• Making Tax Digital is currently a key part of the government’s plans to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right.
• If you’re self-employed you need to keep these business records.
• For tax and National Insurance, payment on account means paying a percentage of the next year’s tax and National Insurance in advance, in addition to the tax you’re paying for the last tax year.
• Need more advice? You can ask HMRC for advice on their advice forum.
“I contacted Judi to help me create an easy-use spreadsheet to track the income and expenditure for my new business. I was blown away by her efficiency and her understanding of what I wanted. When I wanted help in getting started with my accounts tracking, she came and sat with me and helped answer questions that I had, making suggestions and tweaks to the process as we went along. She’s a joy to work with – fun, approachable and professional and I will definitely be using more of her services as my business grows.”
If you’d like to get on with the job you love, while giving tasks you hate to a trusted expert, please get in touch today and let’s talk about how I can help you.