Are You Looking For A Bookkeeping Service For A Small Business?

Bookkeeper Milton Keynes

We provide a bookkeeping service for small businesses based in and around the Milton Keynes and increasingly across the UK. With the increased use of cloud based systems and processes, we can provide a full services remotely.

This is a modern, highly efficient and convenient solution for small businesses. The whole paperchase that characterised traditional bookkeeping has been replaced.

About Our Bookkeeping Service

Every business has to keep a comprehensive record of its financial affairs. It is necessary to keep track for the financial management of the business.

Your records will be used to prepare your accounts and tax returns and may be inspected by HMRC. Therefore, they must be accurate, full and clear.

Planning your approach to bookkeeping at the start is a far better idea than simply leaving it until the end of the first year. It means you won’t have to retrieve documents such as receipts or bank statements later and will minimise your stress further down the line. As well as meeting reporting and tax requirements, the records will give you a picture of the financial status of your business. You might be able to find and solve problems promptly.

To save on time and accountant’s fees, it makes sense to plan and agree your approach with your accountant as early in the year as you can.

What Are The Recommended Approaches to Bookkeeping?

Paper or spreadsheet based books

This can be a quick and simple approach for small businesses. Consult with your accountant on the layout of each page so they are able to assess your financial situation without needing to spend extra time re-analysing your figures.

Before opting for paper or excel records you should consider some downsides. As the business grows they very quickly become inefficient and unreliable.

A further constraint is that HMRC are expanding requirements for all but the smallest business to keep electronic records. The rules are known as MTD (Making Tax Digital). If, for example, you need to be VAT registered, paper records will NOT be acceptable; spreadsheets CAN be made MTD compliant but its an ineffective, unreliable approach.

Desktop computer cash books

Cashbooks record and analyse receipts and payments. They can also enable bank reconciliations and generate VAT returns. Some simple systems even meet HMRC’s MTD requirements. They may be easier to use than a full accounting system but do support some actions such as generating invoices.

Desktop systems are less common that a few years ago. The rise in online systems (see below) have effectively rendered these desktop applications obsolete. The online systems are more flexible, easier to use and are regularly updated. However, for a small business looking for a simple systems there are few to chose from. The best I know, and the only one I recommend is is VT, available free from:

Although it looks (and really is) a bit dated, this this is properly maintained freeware; it is not a trial or time limited version. It will do just about anything that spreadsheet based books will do, without the inconvenience of having to create and maintain the spreadsheet. If you are looking for free solution for a simple business, it is worth a look.

The link above includes a comprehensive user guide suitable for novices and experienced users.

Online, cloud-based accounting systems

Until a few years ago, the cost and complexity of accounting systems put them beyond the reach of small businesses. In an increasingly digital age, this has changed and there are now many practical solutions at affordable prices.

Most systems for small businesses are online (“Cloud” based). This, of course, means they can be used from anywhere with an internet connection. A less obvious but equally important advantage is the system will be kept up-to-date; changes to legislation imposed by HMRC will be included automatically.

There are many cloud based systems but we recommend Xero or Freeagent. We have a guide to the merits of each but in summary:

  • Freeagent is the simpler system that provides all the support needed by simpler businesses such as a consultants, freelancers and bloggers
  • Xero has more functions but is more complex and takes a bit longer to learn to use. Businesses such as builders, online traders or any business with a high volume of purchases would be better served by Xero

Both systems can be linked to bank accounts and to online trading platforms such as Amazon and Ebay.

The time, effort and stress that Xero or Freeagent make them extremely cost-effective for all but the smallest and simplest businesses. As Freeagent can be obtained free (we can show you how) there really is no reason for at least considering this as a solution.

Use a bookkeeper or bookkeeping service

Using a bookkeeper or bookkeeping service can be a valuable solution for managing your financial data. Bookkeepers have the necessary expertise, time, and established procedures to input data accurately and efficiently. While there is a cost associated with hiring a bookkeeper, it provides peace of mind knowing that the data entry is being handled correctly, freeing up your time to focus on your core business activities.

It is important to provide your accountant with organized and labelled documents such as bank statements, invoices, receipts, and sales summaries. Remember your are paying for the bookkeepers time and expertise. The more you help streamline the bookkeeping process, the lower the cost to you.

Here at Aston Black we can offer a full bookkeeping service; you simply scan or forward electronic copies of documents and we do the rest. Alternatively, if you want to provide paper based records or to have a bookkeeper working on your site, we can refer you to a qualified bookkeeper.

Contact Aston Black Accountants – A Milton Keynes based Bookkeeping Service

If you’re based in Milton Keynes or surrounding areas, give Aston Black a call on 01908 904794, alternatively, you can fill out our online enquiry form and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.