Bookkeepers Stafford Staffordshire (ST16): For any person in Stafford who owns a small business, acts as a sole trader or operates an online store, it is their sole responsibility to maintain accurate, "true and fair" financial and accounting records for at least 6 years. This is laid out by the Companies Act. If you can't produce this information you may face a hefty fine and possible Company Director disqualification. It can be more economical to use a professional accountant or bookkeeper to undertake this for you, as according to the trade magazine Accounting Today over 40% of small businesses spend over 80 hours each year doing their accounts, which is a significant time investment, and might be better spent on your key business activities.
It's time to contact a bookkeeper in Stafford for advice and guidance, if just the thought of compiling balance sheets, tracking liabilities and assets, writing out ledgers or creating profit, loss and fiscal reports brings you feelings of dread.
BOOKKEEPER OR ACCOUNTANT?
"What exactly is the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper?" Is a question that is asked by most business owners in Stafford. The truth is that while in the past a lot of accountants considered the task of bookkeeping to be beneath their experience, qualifications and skill-sets, many accountancy companies in the Stafford area will now take on the task of bookkeeping, because of software improvements over the past 10 yrs. Many accountancy companies now charge a set rate for bookkeeping services, to keep them consistent with what a dedicated bookkeeper in Stafford would routinely charge. This means that the cost of bookkeeping is more manageable than it once was, and is fantastic news for business owners in Stafford as it generates a wider variety of competition within the industry.
It is essentially the standard of training and qualification that's required for each of these disciplines, that reflects the big difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant in Stafford. At least a degree in accounting with specialist training in the field of taxation and other business and fiscal management, will normally be held by an accountant. A bookkeeper in Stafford might not necessarily hold the qualifications or levels of training and experience, but will still have a really good understanding of these disciplines.
A BOOKKEEPER'S RESPONSIBILITIES
In the simplest of terms, bookkeeping involves the recording of day to day monetary transactions of any business enterprise in Stafford. This will include;
- Recording of all financial incomings; card, electronic and cash payments included.
- Billing of clients for work completed or goods.
- Payroll services.
- Monthly reports and reconciliations.
- Recording the receipt of invoices and making certain payment is completed by the due date.
- Ensuring accounting and double-entry bookkeeping practices are followed at all times.
- VAT recording and submissions.
- Highlighting any discrepancies in the financial accounts and rectifying them.
If you are happy to do the bulk of your bookkeeping work yourself; a bookkeeper might just be necessary for double-checking your accounts every once in a while. This really needs to be done each month at the bare minimum, since this allows for any problems or mistakes to be uncovered and amended quickly. If you're confident of keeping in control of your day to day trading and financial transactions, this trade-off can sometimes be the most cost effective.
Whatever your circumstances, if you are seriously considering hiring a bookkeeper it is fairly likely that you may be getting stressed about the financial recording aspects of your small business in Stafford. A professional bookkeeper will be able to give guidance and advice on everything from invoicing, stocktaking and creating expense reports, to linking the most suitable computer software with your accounts to enable the seamless pull-through of data.
Being able to reconcile accounts payable with cash flow, is an extremely important element of a good bookkeeper. Which means that rather than waiting for an overdue notice, which many small businesses in Stafford are guilty of doing, or paying a bill immediately, your bookkeeper will arrange the payment of bills to times when your accounts are in the best possible position. This isn't merely to make certain that your enterprise or business is financially secure all the time, but also to keep you in good stead with the businesses who supply you with services or materials. When you are mostly focussed on the operation of your business, this is a balancing act that can be difficult to accomplish on your own.
Having an individual who is not connected to the business cast an eye over your financial transactions, is another good thing about employing a qualified bookkeeper in Stafford for your small business or if you are a sole trader. It is quite possible that an unbiased evaluation such as this will pinpoint business trends and patterns that you haven't previously noticed. It's not at all uncommon for a keen eyed bookkeeper to flag up an area of the business which is falling in profits, or spot a brand new opportunity that could prove worthwhile. For the growth and success of any small business in Stafford, it is vital that such key performance indicators are spotted early.
Having to chase up late payments can be a fairly awkward scenario for you, if you send out invoices as part of your business operations. Some of that embarrassment can be taken away by having a person outside your normal business bubble make that telephone call or visit to your customer. To help with resolving the situation, if you're troubled with a persistent late or non-payer, there are legal procedures that can be used by a bookkeeper, so legal proceedings can be avoided.
SOLE TRADER'S BOOKKEEPING REQUIREMENTS
The bookkeeping requirements for a sole trader, as laid out by law, are quite straightforward and easily understood. A sole trader is expected to track expenditure and income on a monthly basis and keep all invoices and receipts. It is still good practice to retain the expert services of a bookkeeping company, even though this might at first sound simple. When dealing with your Self-Assessment tax returns, a dedicated sole trader bookkeeper in Stafford will be in a position to advise you on what your bonafide business expenses are, and make sure these are claimed back from HMRC each year. This could include printer ink, advertising expenses, items such as computing equipment, stationery and rent and bills if you work from home. To see how to help your small business to prosper and grow, speak to your local bookkeeper for more in-depth advice.
BOOKKEEPING FOR ONLINE TRADERS IN STAFFORD
There are niche areas in bookkeeping where the expertise of a specialist might be essential. You'll require a bookkeeper in Stafford who understands exchange rate transfers, international and cross-border taxes, online payments and multi-currency processing, if you operate an online store for example. Since the internet never sleeps, if that same shop sells goods that you hold or produce then controlling stock on a 24/7 basis is a massive priority which will have to be dealt with.
In combination with your bookkeeping service, a virtual office can also be supplied. This enables a sole trader or online only business to have a postal address and phone service to offer a physical link with their buyers. If this sort of service could be helpful, it is certainly worth talking about the possibilities, although this solution won't be provided by all Stafford bookkeeping companies.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
It isn't necessary for a qualified bookkeeper in Stafford to hold a university degree, and a lot of the bookkeeping qualifications are held at Diploma or Certificate level. There are an ever-increasing variety of online courses available, although bookkeeping qualifications can still be obtained through further education universities and colleges.
Training and certification for bookkeepers is mostly provided by two key organisations:
The Association of Accounting Technicians or AAT: Able to use the letters AATQB after their name, a certified member of the Association of Accounting Technicians or AAT will have been provided with advanced qualifications and a training schedule in bookkeeping practice. This guarantees a high level of service to their customers which is backed up by the association, and enables them to become a registered AAT bookkeeper. If an AAT bookkeeper is found to have broken the code of practice or has a complaint filed against them, they can be subject to disciplinary and tribunal procedures to safeguard the integrity and values of the aat membership.
The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers or ICB: Keeping their associated members up-to-speed with the latest trends, the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers or ICB is the largest bookkeeping organisation anywhere in the world, providing certification for bookkeepers, along with reference material and training.
By visiting the register of ICB or ATT members on their websites, you are able to verify the qualifications of any professional Stafford bookkeeper. Performing these checks is generally advised before you actually employ any bookkeeper in Stafford.
What Are the Main Advantages of Using a Bookkeeper in Stafford Over an Accountant?
The following are a few reasons why you may decide to use a bookkeeper in Stafford, rather than an accountant:
- Cost-Effectiveness: Bookkeeping services are generally more cost-efficient when compared with accounting services, which makes them a shrewd choice for small businesses, sole traders and start-ups looking to save money.
- Availability: Bookkeepers are often more accessible and on hand to provide support and answer questions in comparison to an accountant, who might only be reachable during certain times of the year.
- Time Management: By choosing to outsource bookkeeping, businesses can save time and focus on other crucial areas of their business like sales and marketing.
- Customisation: Bookkeepers can provide services that are tailored to a business's particular needs, unlike accountants who might have a more standard approach.
- 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.
That being said, you need to note that while bookkeepers can provide invaluable support, they might not have the same level of qualifications or expertise as an accountant in certain areas such as tax preparation or financial planning. In such cases, it may be necessary to go to an accountant when more specialised services are needed.
Bookkeeping Stafford - Outsourcing Options
All businesses in Stafford should understand the significance of bookkeeping. It helps business people monitor the total value of their liabilities and assets, their incomings and outgoings, the money left in the bank, and the like. With the owner of the business having to contend with a lot of concerns and issues while running a business, the task of performing the bookkeeping is often outsourced to a bookkeeping company or freelance bookkeepers in Stafford.
If a company in Stafford hires a bookkeeper so as to become an employee, the company will be required to fork out a considerable sum of money in training that person for the purpose of working on the bookkeeping work. Moreover, there's no guarantee that the person will stay after the training is completed. In that case, the company can lose a substantial amount of money for very little return. Aside from that, firms will need to look for solutions to offer benefits and incentives to keep the employee within the business. These are a few of the reasons behind companies enlisting the services of professional bookkeepers and bookkeeping companies in Stafford.
With the advent of new technology and the internet there's no need for business owners to stick to a freelance bookkeeper who may continue with outdated accounting practices. Again, they aren't under any pressure to hire and retain some in-house bookkeepers. Bookkeeping outsourcing is becoming increasingly common in the financial sector. One will find many companies offering financial bookkeeping services catering to all kinds of industries and clients in Stafford. The majority of these companies promise and deliver quality service. It is important for a business to look into the background of these Stafford bookkeeping companies when it comes to employing a third party company for bookkeeping purposes.
These specialist bookkeeping companies in Stafford should be able to customise their bookkeeping services with that of the client company's existing bookkeeping system. They should be able to ask for assistance from these bookkeepers as and when they need the required support and backup.
Financial statement preparation - article 211.
Bookkeepers Near Stafford
Also find: Ingestre bookkeepers, Brocton bookkeepers, Acton Trussell bookkeepers, Littleworth bookkeepers, Seighford bookkeepers, Forebridge bookkeepers, Milford bookkeepers, Queensville bookkeepers, Baswich bookkeepers, Weeping Cross bookkeepers, Bradley bookkeepers, Haughton bookkeepers, Great Bridgeford bookkeepers, Castletown bookkeepers, Castle Bank bookkeeper and more. The majority of these places are catered for by local bookeepers. Stafford residents can get quotes for bookkeeping services by clicking here.
Stafford Bookkeeper Tasks
Most bookkeepers in Stafford will be prepared to offer you the following services: bookkeeping services for retail outlets in Stafford, bookkeeping services for pubs in Stafford, independent bookkeeping services, landlord bookkeeping in Stafford, bookkeeping for charities in Stafford, Quickbook bookkeeping services, payment services Stafford, bookkeeping and accounting services Stafford, wages & PAYE, Xero bookkeeping services in Stafford, bookkeeping services for shops, bookkeeping for startups, general bookkeeping services, management accounts, cheap bookkeeping services, bookkeeping services for clubs, corporation tax returns, partnership tax returns, bookkeeping services for restaurants, charity bookkeeping Stafford, assistance with registering for self-employment in Stafford, off-site bookkeeping services in Stafford, company cash books, bookkeeping services for tradesmen, management reports, franchise bookkeeping, invoice processing, professional bookkeeping services in Stafford, bookkeeping services, Kashflow bookkeeping, and more. Listed are just an example of the activities that are conducted by local bookkeepers. Stafford providers will be happy to inform you of their whole range of bookkeeping services. If there are additional Stafford bookkeeper requirements that you want but don't see here, you can easily list them on the QUOTE FORM provided. We will be in touch with details as soon as we are able.
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