Bookkeepers Harlow Essex (CM20): To comply with the Companies Act (2006), if you are a sole trader, run an online store or own a small business in Harlow, you're entirely responsible for keeping accurate, "true and fair" financial and accounting records for at least six years. You may face thousands of pounds in fines, and possibly disqualification as a Company Director, if you can't produce this information. There is a substantial time investment involved with compiling such financial records yourself, and it can pay you to employ a professional accountant or bookkeeping company, especially when you consider the fact that according to Accounting Today over forty percent of small business owners spend over eighty hours annually doing their accounts.
The time has come to get in touch with a bookkeeper in Harlow for assistance, if you are filled with terror just thinking about the possiblility of tracking assets and liabilities, writing ledgers, preparing profit, loss and financial statements or producing balance sheets.
BOOKKEEPER OR ACCOUNTANT?
For many people in Harlow, the first question that springs to mind when facing this dilemma is "Just what is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?" To be honest, because of software improvements over the past 10 years many accountancy firms in the Harlow area will undertake the task of bookkeeping, which was previously considered to be beneath their qualifications, experience and skill-sets. For many accounting companies it is now fairly common to charge a fixed fee for bookkeeping services, to keep them consistent with the normal charges of a dedicated bookkeeper in Harlow. Business owners in Harlow are now cashing in on this, because it generates a broader range of competition within the marketplace and can mean that the cost of bookkeeping is way more manageable than it would have been previously.
When you're thinking about the differences between a bookkeeper and an accountant in Harlow, the most notable one is the level of qualification and training that's needed for each discipline. An accountant will, at a minimum, hold an accounting degree, and will have also had further training in fiscal and business management, and taxes. While bookkeepers in Harlow will undoubtedly have a good understanding of these skills, they may not necessarily have the same levels of experience and training in this field, or hold these qualifications.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A BOOKKEEPER
The bookkeeping process in the simplest of terms, is the recording of the daily transactions (financial) of any business in Harlow. This is likely to include, but is by no means limited to;
- Billing of customers for work completed or goods.
- Payroll services.
- Highlighting any discrepancies in financial accounts and rectifying them.
- VAT submissions and recording.
- Logging of all financial incomings; including electronic, card and cash payments.
- Logging invoices received and making certain payment is completed punctually.
- Monthly reports and reconciliations.
- Ensuring accounting and double-entry bookkeeping practices are followed at all times.
Based on service level you require, e.g. whether you are in a position to carry out the bulk of bookkeeping work; a bookkeeper may just be necessary for double-checking your accounts on a set schedule. To allow for any mistakes or problems to be uncovered and rectified swiftly, this really needs to be done from month to month as a bare minimum. If you are confident of staying in control of your everyday trading and financial transactions, this trade-off can often be the most cost effective.
Whatever the scenario is with your business or company, if you're currently considering hiring a bookkeeper in Harlow, it is fairly likely that you might be fretting over the process of financial records and tax returns. To facilitate the seamless pull-through of financial data, a professional bookkeeping company will help you to link the most suitable software program to your business accounts, and will provide assistance with stuff like stocktaking, creating expense reports and invoicing.
An extremely crucial element of effective bookkeeping is being able to reconcile accounts payable with cash flow. Which means that by optimising bill payments to times when your finances are buoyant, your bookkeeper will avoid the mistake that a lot of small businesses in Harlow are guilty of i.e. paying a bill right away, or waiting for an overdue notice. In addition to keeping your business enterprise financially secure, this also stands you in good stead with suppliers and service providers. When you are focussed on the operation of your company, this is a juggling act that you may find difficult to perform on your own.
If you're a sole trader, or operate a small business, using a certified bookkeeper in Harlow, also gives them an opportunity to cast an eagle eye over the financial dealings of your business. Business trends and patterns that might have otherwise gone unnoticed may be pinpointed by this sort of impartial assessment. It is not at all unusual for a keen eyed bookkeeper to flag up an area of the business where profits are dropping, or spot a brand new opportunity that may be worth investigating. Spotting such KPI's (key performance indicators) is crucial for driving the growth of any enterprise in Harlow.
Pursuing late payments can be an awkward situation for you, if you give out invoices in your business operations. Some of that embarrassment can be taken away by having someone outside your normal business situation visit your clients or make that phone call. If you've got problems with a repeating late or non-payer there are legal methods that a bookkeeper can use to help resolve the issue before the situation ends up in a claims court proceeding.
SOLE TRADER'S BOOKKEEPING REQUIREMENTS
There are some reasonably uncomplicated sole trader bookkeeping requirements, which are set out in law. This involves retaining all invoices and receipts relating to the business, and keeping a record of income and expenditure on a monthly basis. Whilst this might sound simple it is still recommended that you hire the services of a competent bookkeeper. When dealing with your Self-Assessment tax returns, a specialised sole trader bookkeeper in Harlow can advise you on what your legitimate business expenses are, and make certain these are claimed back from HMRC each year. This may include rent and bills if you work from home, printer ink, advertising expenses, stationery goods and items such as laptops. For more detailed advice, chat to your local bookkeeper, and discover how they can help your business to flourish and grow moving forward.
BOOKKEEPING FOR ONLINE TRADERS
Specialist bookkeepers are needed now and again for specific bookkeeping niches. If you manage an online store for instance, you'll require a bookkeeper in Harlow who is familiar with international and cross-border taxes, multi-currency processing, exchange rate transfers and online payment procedures. If you produce or hold the merchandise that you distribute through that shop, then it will be an important priority for your bookkeeping services and software to monitor your stock on a 24/7 basis, given that the internet never sleeps.
It's also possible to provide a remote virtual office, which can be utilised in combination with your bookkeeping package. This can be handy in allowing an online only business or sole trader to have a telephone service and postal address to provide a physical connection to their customer base. It's definitely worth talking about this possibility if it's something that could be of benefit, although not all bookkeeping companies in Harlow will supply this service.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
It's not mandatory for a qualified Harlow bookkeeper to have a degree, and a lot of the bookkeeping qualifications are held at Certificate and Diploma level. If the preferred route to qualification is through further education colleges and universities, this is still a possibility, although there there's a variety of bookkeeping courses available online.
There are basically two key organisations that offer training and certification to bookkeepers:
The ICB or Institute of Certified Bookkeepers: Keeping their members up-to-speed with the latest trends, the ICB or Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is the largest bookkeeping organisation in the world, providing accreditation to certified bookkeepers, in addition to reference material and training.
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT): With fully certified bookkeepers being able to use the letters AATQB, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) provides advanced qualifications and training. They are then permitted to become licensed AAT bookkeepers, which guarantees their clients a decent level of service which is backed by the association. To preserve the values and integrity of the AAT membership, if a bookkeeper who is associated with the AAT has a complaint against them or is found to have contravened the code of practice they could be liable to disciplinary and tribunal processes.
By going to their respective websites, it's possible to examine the register of ICB or ATT members, to verify the accreditations of any professional bookkeeper. Before you employ any bookkeeper in Harlow it is wise to perform this check.
What Are the Main Advantages of Using a Bookkeeper in Harlow Instead of an Accountant?
There are numerous benefits to using a bookkeeper rather than an accountant, including:
- Affordability: Bookkeeping services are frequently more budget-friendly when compared with accounting services, meaning they are an economical option for start-ups, small businesses and sole traders.
- Customisable Services: Bookkeepers can provide customised services that are tailored to a business's particular needs, whereby accountants whose approach may be more general.
- Specialisation: Bookkeepers have got a more focused expertise in day-to-day financial transaction management and record-keeping, leading to greater efficiency and effectiveness in such tasks.
- Availability: Bookkeepers are generally more accessible and on hand to answer questions and provide support compared to an accountant, who may only be reachable during specific times.
- Time Savings: By choosing to outsource their bookkeeping tasks, small business owners can save time and focus on other areas of their business, for example marketing and sales.
It is important to note that even though bookkeepers offer valuable support, they may not have the same level of qualifications or expertise as an accountant in areas such tax preparation or financial planning. In these cases, seeking the services of an accountant might become necessary.
Bookkeeping Harlow - Outsourcing Options
All businesses in Harlow should understand the significance of bookkeeping. It helps business people monitor their payables/receivables, the money left in their bank, the sum total of their assets and liabilities, and the like. With the business owner having to contend with the issues and concerns of running a business, the task of doing the bookkeeping is often outsourced to freelance bookkeepers or a bookkeeping company in Harlow.
If a company in Harlow employs a bookkeeper in order to join their ranks, the company will need to spend a considerable sum of money in training the person for the purpose of doing the bookkeeping tasks. In addition to that, there is no guarantee that the individual will stay for long in the company. In those circumstances, the company will lose a considerable sum of money. As well as that, firms will have to look for solutions to provide benefits and incentives to keep the employee within the company. These are a few of the reasons behind companies enlisting the services of professional bookkeepers and bookkeeping companies in Harlow.
These specialist bookkeeping companies in Harlow should be able to customise their bookkeeping services with that of the client company's current bookkeeping system. They should be able to ask for assistance from these bookkeepers as and when they need the required back-up and support.
Financial statement preparation - article 211.
Bookkeepers Near Harlow
Also find: Halls Green bookkeepers, Gilston bookkeepers, Newhall bookkeepers, Nazeing bookkeepers, Old Harlow bookkeepers, Epping Green bookkeepers, Brays Grove bookkeepers, Roydon bookkeepers, Church Langley bookkeepers, Temple Fields bookkeepers, Matching Tye bookkeepers, Bush Fair bookkeepers, Tye Green bookkeeper and more. All of these villages and towns are served by local bookeepers. Harlow traders and businesses can get prices for bookkeeping services by clicking here.
Harlow Bookkeeper Tasks
Most bookkeepers in Harlow will be willing to offer you the following bookkeeping services: off-site bookkeeping services, bookkeeping for home-based businesses, Sage bookkeeping services, bookkeeping services for startups, payment services Harlow, bookkeeping services for limited companies, bookkeeping services for pubs Harlow, corporation tax returns, bookkeeping and accounting in Harlow, partnership returns, profit & loss reports, bookkeeping for small businesses, small business bookkeeping Harlow, letting agent bookkeeping, double-entry bookkeeping, landlord bookkeeping, bookkeeping services for freelancers in Harlow, bookkeeping for payroll, bookkeeping services for societies Harlow, bookkeeping services for retail outlets, general bookkeeping services in Harlow, charity bookkeeping Harlow, Quickbook bookkeeping, personal tax returns, cheap bookkeeping services, invoice processing, franchise bookkeeping, maintaining fixed asset registers, assistance with registering for self-employment in Harlow, independent bookkeeping services, and more. These are just a selection of the activities that are performed by local bookkeepers. Harlow professionals will be happy to inform you of their whole range of bookkeeping services. If there are additional Harlow bookkeeper requirements that you need but cannot see here, you can easily mention them on the QUOTE FORM provided. We will be in touch with details just as soon as we can.
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