Bookkeepers Hedge End Hampshire (SO30): In accordance with the Companies Act (2006), if you operate a small business, run an online store or are a sole trader in Hedge End, you're entirely responsible for maintaining "true and fair", accurate accounting and financial records for a minimum of six years. If you can't produce this information you might face a hefty fine and possibly disqualification as a Company Director. According to the trade magazine Accounting Today over 40% of small business owners spend 80 plus hours every year on their bookkeeping, so while you can do these financial recordings on your own behalf, it can pay to employ a professional accountant or bookkeeper to do them instead.
If you're overcome with a sense of panic simply thinking about the possiblility of creating profit, loss and fiscal reports, tracking assets and liabilities, writing ledgers or compiling balance sheets, then the time to contact a bookkeeper in Hedge End for assistance has arrived.
BOOKKEEPER OR ACCOUNTANT?
Precisely what is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant is the first question that springs to mind for most small business owners in Hedge End. The truth is that while in the past many accountants considered the task of bookkeeping to be beneath their experience, skill-sets and qualifications, many accountancy companies in Hedge End will now undertake bookkeeping, due to improvements in software over the past decade or so. For many accountancy firms it is now common practice to charge a fixed rate for bookkeeping services, so that they are in line with the usual charges of a typical bookkeeper in Hedge End. Since it provides a wider variety of competition within this sector, this is excellent news for business owners in Hedge End, making their bookkeeping costs much more manageable than they previously were.
When you are looking at the differences between an accountant and a bookkeeper, the main one is the standard of training that's needed for each of these disciplines. An accountant will, at the minimum, hold an accounting degree, and should have also had further training in business and fiscal management, and taxes. A bookkeeper in Hedge End may not have the same levels of training and experience, or hold these qualifications, but will still have a good grasp of these fiscal skills.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A BOOKKEEPER
The bookkeeping process put simply, is the recording of the daily transactions (financial) of any business or enterprise in Hedge End. This can include, but is not limited to;
- Billing of customers for work completed or goods.
- Recording of all financial incomings; cash, card and electronic payments included.
- Highlighting and rectifying any discrepancies in the financial accounts.
- Monthly reconciliation and reporting.
- VAT recording and submissions.
- Making sure that accounting and double-entry bookkeeping practices are implemented.
- Logging the receipt of invoices and making sure payment is completed promptly.
- Payroll services.
Dependant upon the level of service you require, a bookkeeper may only be needed to double check your records on a set schedule, if you're willing to perform a large majority of bookkeeping work yourself. To make sure that any mistakes or problems can be detected and corrected speedily, as a bare minimum, this should really be every month. If it's possible to stay on top of your everyday trading and financial transactions, this compromise can often be the most economical.
It's fairly likely that if you're looking to hire a bookkeeper in Hedge End, you are currently struggling with the financial recording side of your small business. To enable the seamless arrangement of transactional data, a decent bookkeeping service will help you to link the most suitable computer software to your business accounts, and will provide advice and guidance on procedures like stocktaking, generating expense reports and invoicing.
One of the most important elements of good bookkeeping, is the ability to efficiently reconcile accounts payable with cash flow. Which means that by scheduling bill payments to a time when your finances are in good order, your bookkeeper will avoid the thing that many small businesses are guilty of doing i.e. paying an outstanding bill straight away, or waiting on an overdue notice. This does not just keep you in good stead with suppliers and those people who supply you with services, but also makes sure that your business is on a good financial footing. This is just one of those juggling acts that can be difficult to accomplish when you're primarily focussed on the streamlined running of your everyday business operation.
Having a person who's not associated with the business cast an unrelated eye over your financial affairs, is another good thing about employing a qualified bookkeeper in Hedge End if you are a sole trader, or for your small business. It's entirely possible that an independent appraisal such as this will highlight business patterns and trends that have previously been missed. It's by no means unusual for an astute bookkeeper to flag up an area of the business where profits are decreasing, or spot a new opportunity which may be lucrative. Spotting such key performance indicators (KPI's) is important for driving the growth of any small business in Hedge End.
Having to pursue a late payment can be an awkward scenario for you, if you send out invoices in your business operations. If that phone call or visit to your customer is made by somebody outside your normal business situation, it's possible for some of that awkwardness to be eliminated. There are legal options a professional bookkeeper can employ, if you've got problems with a repeating late or non-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. Even though this may at first sound quite simple, hiring the expert services of a bookkeeper is still advisable. A specialist sole trader bookkeeper in Hedge End will be able to give you advice on what you can claim back from HMRC as business expenses. This may include rent and bills if working from home, printer ink, advertising, stationery goods and items such as computers. Talk to your local bookkeeper for more detailed advice and discover how they can help your small business to grow.
There are certain niches in bookkeeping where the skills of a specialist could be needed. For instance, if you run a store online, you'll be wise to employ a bookkeeper in Hedge End who understands multi-currency processing, exchange rate transfers, online payment procedures and cross-border and international taxes. Keeping track of inventory on a 24 hours a day basis is also a crucial priority, if the same outlet distributes goods that you hold or produce, as I'm sure you will be aware the internet never sleeps, therefore nor should your bookkeeping software or services.
In conjunction with bookkeeping services, it is also possible to provide a virtual office. This enables a sole trader or online only business to provide a physical link with their buyers, via a postal address and telephone service. It is definitely worth talking about this possibility if it's something that could benefit you, although not all Hedge End bookkeepers will provide this service.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
It is not necessary for a certified bookkeeper in Hedge End to hold a degree, and a lot of the bookkeeping qualifications are held at Certificate and Diploma level. Bookkeeping qualifications can be obtained via further education colleges and universities but there are also an ever-growing array of online courses available.
Bookkeepers are represented by two main training and certification organisations:
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT): The AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) provides advanced qualifications and a training schedule entitling a fully certified bookkeeper to use the letters AATQB after their name. They're then able to become approved AAT bookkeepers, which assures their customers a decent standard of service which is backed by the organisation. To safeguard the integrity and values of the AAT membership, an AAT bookkeeper can be subject to disciplinary and tribunal procedures if a complaint is made against them or they are found to have violated the code of conduct.
The ICB or Institute of Certified Bookkeepers: Offering accreditation to certified bookkeepers, along with reference material and training to keep their associated members up-to-speed with the latest trends, the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is the largest organisation in the world.
It's possible to check the qualifications of any bookkeeper in Hedge End on the register of ICB or ATT members on their respective websites. Before hiring the services of any local bookkeeper in Hedge End it's a good idea to perform this check.
If you're self-employed or have a small business in Hedge End, you may be required to file a self-assessment tax return. This task can be daunting, as the process can be complex if you're not acquainted with it. To keep your records in order and prepare your tax return accurately and on time, a bookkeeper can help you.
Using a bookkeeper for your tax returns has numerous benefits. They'll have the experience and expertise to make sure that your return is completed correctly. This will help you to stay clear of penalties or interest charges from HMRC. Second, the use of a bookkeeper can save you a lot of time, stress and hassle. They will look after the calculations and paperwork, so you can focus your attention on the business side of things. Thirdly, bookkeepers in Hedge End can provide you with essential advice on tax planning. This can enable you to minimise your tax bill and maximise your earnings. (70193)
Hedge End Bookkeeper Tasks
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Bookkeepers Near Hedge End
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