Bookkeepers Birkenhead Merseyside (CH41): According to the Companies Act (2006), if you run an online store, are a sole trader or own a small business in Birkenhead, you're responsible for maintaining accurate, "true and fair" accounting and financial records for at least six years. Failing to produce these records might leave you facing a fine of thousands of pounds and perhaps Company Director disqualification. There is a significant time investment involved with preparing such financial records on your own, and it can be more cost-effective to employ a professional accountant or bookkeeping company, as according to the trade magazine Accounting Today over forty percent of small business owners spend 80 plus hours each year on their bookkeeping.
If just the thought of producing balance sheets, filling out ledgers, creating profit, loss and financial statements or tracking liabilities and assets fills you with dread, then it's time to contact a bookkeeper in Birkenhead for advice.
BOOKKEEPER OR ACCOUNTANT?
A common question that is asked by many business owners in Birkenhead is "Just what is the distinction between an accountant and a bookkeeper?" The fact is, because of software improvements over the past 10 years many accountancy firms in the Birkenhead area will take on the task of bookkeeping, which at one time was considered to be beneath their skill set, qualifications and experience. To keep their bookkeeping services in step with an independent bookkeeper's fee, it's now fairly common for many accounting firms to have a flat rate for these services. As it provides a wider variety of competition within the industry, this is fantastic news for business owners in Birkenhead, making their bookkeeping costs more manageable than they previously were.
It is basically the level of training and qualification that is required for each discipline, that indicates the biggest difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper in Birkenhead. An accountant will, at the very least, hold a degree in accounting, and should have also had specialist training in business and financial management, and taxes. Whilst bookkeepers in Birkenhead will certainly have a fair grasp of such procedures, they might not have the same levels of training and experience in this field, or hold these qualifications.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A BOOKKEEPER IN BIRKENHEAD
In simple terms, the act of bookkeeping is the recording of the daily monetary transactions of any business enterprise in Birkenhead. This will likely include, but is by no means limited to;
- Recording the receipt of invoices and ensuring that payment is completed punctually.
- Billing of customers for goods or work completed.
- Payroll services.
- Highlighting and rectifying any discrepancies in the financial accounts.
- Documenting of all financial incomings; electronic, card and cash payments included.
- Ensuring accounting and double-entry bookkeeping practices are observed.
- Monthly reports and reconciliations.
- VAT recording and submissions.
If you're able to do most of your bookkeeping work yourself; a professional bookkeeper might only be necessary for double-checking your figures every once in a while. At the bare minimum this should really be each month, to facilitate the rapid detection and correcting of any problems or mistakes. If it is possible to stay in control of your day to day financial transactions and trading, this trade-off can often be the most cost-effective option.
Whatever your current situation is, if you're considering hiring a bookkeeper in Birkenhead, it is fairly likely that you may be struggling with the financial recording aspects of your small business. A decent bookkeeping company will help you with everything from invoicing, creating expense reports and stocktaking, to linking the latest software program with your business accounts to seamlessly process all of your transaction data.
One of the most important aspects of good bookkeeping practice, is the ability to efficiently reconcile cash flow with accounts payable. This means that instead of paying a bill right away, or waiting for an overdue notice, which most small businesses are guilty of doing, your bookkeeper will schedule the payment of bills to times when your accounts are buoyant. This doesn't just keep your business or enterprise financially stable, but keeps you in favour with suppliers and the businesses who supply services to you. This is one of those balancing acts that can be challenging to perform when you're purely focussed on the smooth running of your everyday business activities.
For your small business, or if you are a sole trader, using a professional bookkeeper in Birkenhead, presents you with an opportunity to have an impartial eye cast over your business. This impartial evaluation can enable them to notice business trends and patterns that you may have disregarded. It is not at all uncommon for an intelligent bookkeeper to flag an area which is plummeting in profits, or spot a new opportunity which could prove lucrative. Spotting these key performance indicators is important for the future growth of any small business in Birkenhead.
Having to pursue a late payment can be a fairly embarrassing scenario for you, if you give out invoices in your business operations. Having an independent person from outside your normal business bubble, can take away the awkwardness of making that phone call or visit to your customer. There are legal methods that a bookkeeper can use, if you're troubled with a consistent late payer, and they can help to resolve the issue before the situation ends up in a claims court proceeding.
SOLE TRADER'S BOOKKEEPING REQUIREMENTS
As a sole trader the bookkeeping requirements, as set out in law, start off fairly straightforward. Essentially, sole traders should save all invoices and receipts, and keep records of income and expenditure on a monthly basis. Although this may initially sound quite easy, retaining the expertise of a bookkeeping company is still a good idea. Advising you on what legitimate business expenses you are able to claim back, a dedicated sole trader bookkeeper in Birkenhead will look after your financial dealings with HMRC. This might include printer ink, stationery goods, items such as computing equipment, rent and bills if you work from home and advertising expenses. For more detailed advice, talk to your bookkeeper, and see how they may be able to help your business to grow in the future.
BOOKKEEPING FOR ONLINE TRADERS
There are several business niches where a specialist bookkeeper might be essential. You're going to require a bookkeeper in Birkenhead who understands cross-border and international taxes, multi-currency processing, exchange rate transfers and online payment procedures, if you manage an online store for example. Because the internet never sleeps, if the same outlet sells goods you hold or produce then regulating inventory on a 24 hours a day basis is a huge priority which will have to be dealt with.
A remote virtual office can also be provided together with your bookkeeping service. This allows a sole trader or online only business to have a postal address and telephone service to offer a physical link with their customers. Not all Birkenhead bookkeeping companies will be able to provide this service, but it is worth discussing if it is something that could benefit you.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
A certified bookkeeper in Birkenhead need not have a degree and a great many qualifications in this field are at Diploma or Certificate level. There is a number of online bookkeeping courses, although qualifications can still be obtained through further education universities and colleges.
Representing bookkeepers, there are two main certification and training organisations:
The AAT or Association of Accounting Technicians: The Association of Accounting Technicians or AAT provides a training schedule with advanced qualifications entitling a fully trained member to use the letters AATQB. They're then permitted to become licensed AAT bookkeepers, which assures their clients a standard of service which is backed up by the organisation. If a bookkeeper who's a member of the AAT has a complaint against them or is found to have broken the code of practice they can be liable to tribunal and disciplinary processes to protect the integrity of AAT membership.
The ICB or Institute of Certified Bookkeepers: The ICB or Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is the largest organisation of its kind on the planet and provides accreditation to certified bookkeepers, together with training and reference material to keep their members up-to-date.
By visiting their respective websites, it's possible to check the register of AAT or ICB members, to confirm the qualifications of any professional Birkenhead bookkeeper. Performing such checks is generally advisable before you actually hire any bookkeeper in Birkenhead.
What Are the Main Advantages of Using a Bookkeeper in Birkenhead Rather Than an Accountant?
The following are just some reasons why you might opt to use a bookkeeper in Birkenhead, as opposed to an accountant:
- Specialisation: Bookkeepers tend to have a more focused expertise in day-to-day financial transaction management and record-keeping, leading to greater efficiency and effectiveness in such tasks.
- Customisable Services: Bookkeepers can provide customised services that are tailored to a business's specific needs, whereas accountants may have a more general approach.
- Availability: Bookkeepers are usually more accessible and ready to provide support and answer questions in comparison to an accountant, who may sometimes be difficult to reach.
- Time Savings: By choosing to outsource their bookkeeping tasks, businesses can save a bit of time and focus on other areas of their business, for example marketing and sales.
- Cost: Bookkeeping services are often less expensive than accounting services. This makes them a cost-effective option for startups and small businesses.
That being said, it's important to note that while bookkeepers can provide invaluable support, they may not have the same level of qualifications or expertise as an accountant in certain areas such as tax preparation or financial planning. In these cases, it might be necessary to go to an accountant when more specialised services are needed.
Financial statement preparation - article 211.
Birkenhead Bookkeeper Tasks
Most bookkeepers in Birkenhead will be ready to offer you the following accounting and bookkeeping services: bookkeeping for pubs, bookkeeping services for societies Birkenhead, accounting and bookkeeping, mobile bookkeeping services, tax return preparation, small business tax returns, bookkeeping for freelancers, bookkeeping for sole traders, tax returns, credit control, bookkeeping services for startups, letting agent bookkeeping, management reports, personal tax returns, payroll bookkeeping, bookkeeping services for clubs, Sage bookkeeping, charity bookkeeping Birkenhead, bookkeeping for shops, bookkeeping for self-employed people, maintaining fixed asset registers, VAT returns, bookkeeping for home-based businesses, assistance with registering for self-employment in Birkenhead, general bookkeeping services, bookkeeping for organisations, landlord bookkeeping Birkenhead, bookkeeping services for charities, franchise bookkeeping in Birkenhead, Quickbook bookkeeping Birkenhead, and more. These are just a handful of the duties that are conducted by local bookkeepers. Birkenhead professionals will inform you of their whole range of services. If there happen to be other Birkenhead bookkeeper requirements that you want but don't see here, you should mention them on the QUOTE FORM provided. We'll get back to you with details just as soon as we are able.
Bookkeepers Near Birkenhead
Also find: Upton bookkeepers, Rock Ferry bookkeepers, Thingwall bookkeepers, Liscard bookkeepers, New Ferry bookkeepers, Claughton bookkeepers, Egerton Park bookkeepers, Prenton East bookkeepers, Seacombe bookkeepers, Moreton bookkeepers, Prenton bookkeepers, Woodhey bookkeepers, Oxton bookkeeper and more. Most of these villages and towns are served by local bookeepers. Birkenhead traders and businesses can get prices for bookkeeping services by going here.
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