Bookkeepers Stansted Mountfitchet Essex (CM24): As stated by the 2006 Companies Act, if you are a sole trader, own a small business or run an online store in Stansted Mountfitchet, you're responsible for maintaining "true and fair", accurate accounting and financial records for at least six years. Failure to produce these records might leave you faced with a fine of thousands of pounds and possible disqualification as a Company Director. It can pay you to use a professional bookkeeping company or accountant to do this for you, as according to Accounting Today magazine over 40% of small businesses spend 80 plus hours each year doing their bookkeeping, which is a significant investment of time, and may be more effectively spent on actually running your business.
If you are filled with a sense of terror just thinking about filling out ledgers, preparing profit, loss and financial statements, producing balance sheets or tracking assets and liabilities, then the time to contactin Stansted Mountfitchet for guidance has arrived.
BOOKKEEPER OR ACCOUNTANT?
For many business owners in Stansted Mountfitchet, the first question that springs to mind when faced with this challenge is "What exactly is the distinction between an accountant and a bookkeeper?" In truth, because of huge software improvements over the past 10 yrs or so many accountants in the Stansted Mountfitchet area will consider taking on the task of bookkeeping, which was previously regarded as beneath their skill-sets, qualifications and experience. It is quite common for accounting firms to have a fixed rate for bookkeeping services commensurate with a dedicated. This is good news for business owners in Stansted Mountfitchet because it provides a greater variety of competition within this sector and can make your bookkeeping costs much more affordable than previously imagined.
It is essentially the level of qualification and training that's required for each discipline, that reflects the big difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper in Stansted Mountfitchet. Anwill generally hold at least a degree in accounting with further training in taxation and other business and fiscal management. While having an understanding of these procedures, a bookkeeper in Stansted Mountfitchet may not have the same levels of experience and training, or hold these qualifications.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A BOOKKEEPER
The recording of daily fiscal transactions of any enterprise or business in Stansted Mountfitchet, describes the process of bookkeeping in simple terms. This is likely to include, but is by no means limited to;
- Documenting of all financial incomings; including cash, electronic and card payments.
- Monthly reports and reconciliation.
- Ensuring accounting and double-entry bookkeeping practices are followed.
- Recording invoices received and making certain payment is completed punctually.
- Highlighting any discrepancies in financial accounts and rectifying them.
- Billing of customers for work completed or goods.
- Payroll services.
- VAT submissions and recording.
If you're happy to perform the vast majority of your bookkeeping work yourself; a bookkeeper may just be needed to double check your figures every once in a while. As a bare minimum this should be each month, to facilitate the swift identification and rectification of any problems or mistakes. This compromise can sometimes be the most economical if you are able to stay up-to-date with your daily trading and financial transactions.
Whatever your circumstances, if you're looking to hire a bookkeeping firm it is fairly likely that you may be getting stressed about the financial recording aspects of your business in Stansted Mountfitchet. To enable the seamless processing of financial data, a good bookkeeping service will help you link the most up-to-date software to your accounts, and will offer advice and guidance on such things as invoicing, preparing expense reports and stocktaking.
An extremely important element of a good bookkeeper is the ability to reconcile accounts payable with cash flow. Which means that by scheduling bill payments to times when your accounts are in good shape and buoyant, your bookkeeper will avoid the mistake that most small businesses are guilty of i.e. paying an outstanding bill straight away, or waiting for a final notice. This doesn't just keep you in favour with suppliers and those people who supply you with services, but also makes certain that your business is financially secure. When you are completely focussed on the smooth running of your company, this is a juggling act that you may find tough to perform as an individual.
Employing a certified bookkeeper in Stansted Mountfitchet, if you are a sole trader, or for your small business also gives them the opportunity to cast a critical eye over your financial situation. This unprejudiced assessment can enable them to notice business patterns and trends that you may have disregarded. A bookkeeper spotting a new opportunity or flagging up an area which is falling in profits, is by no means unheard of. Such key performance indicators are crucial in driving growth for any business enterprise in Stansted Mountfitchet.
It can often be rather uncomfortable to pursue late payments if your company sends out invoices. By having an independent person outside your business situation visit your clients or make that telephone call, some of that apprehension can be removed. There are legal options a bookkeeper can make use of, if you have a consistent late payer, and these can help to resolve the issue before the situation ends up in a claims court.
SOLE TRADER'S BOOKKEEPING REQUIREMENTS
The legal bookkeeping requirements if you're a sole trader, are pretty straightforward and basic. This involves keeping all receipts and invoices concerning the business, and tracking income and expenditure on a month by month basis. Even though this may at first sound quite easy, hiring the expertise of a competent bookkeeper is still recommended. Offering advice on what legitimate business expenses you can claim back, a dedicated sole trader bookkeeper in Stansted Mountfitchet will look after your dealings with HMRC. This might include advertising expenses, printer ink, items such as laptops, bills and rent if working from home and stationery. For more detailed advice, talk to your bookkeeper, and discover how they might help your business to grow going forward.
BOOKKEEPING FOR ONLINE TRADERS
There are certain niche areas in bookkeeping where the skills of a specialist could be required. If, for example, you run an online store, you'll need a bookkeeper in Stansted Mountfitchet who understands multi-currency processing, exchange rate transfers, cross-border and international taxes and online payment procedures. If the same store sells goods that you hold or produce, then supervising inventory on a 24/7 basis is an important concern, as I'm sure you'll appreciate the internet does not sleep, so nor should your bookkeeping software or services.
A virtual office can also be provided together with bookkeeping service. This allows a sole trader or online only business to offer a physical link with their buyers, via a postal address and telephone service. If this sort of service could be helpful, it is definitely worth talking about the possibilities, although this solution will not be provided by all Stansted Mountfitchet bookkeepers.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
A number of the bookkeeping sector qualifications are at Diploma and Certificate level, and it isn't mandatory for a qualified bookkeeper in Stansted Mountfitchet to hold a degree in accounting. There are a growing range of online courses available, although bookkeeping qualifications can still be obtained via further education universities and colleges.
Training and certification for bookkeepers is mainly provided by two organisations:
The ICB or Institute of Certified Bookkeepers: The largest organisation of its kind on the planet is the the ICB or Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, and it provides accreditation to certified bookkeepers, along with reference material and training to ensure their members are current with the latest trends.
The AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians): Able to use the letters AATQB, a fully trained member of the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) will have undergone advanced qualifications and a training schedule in bookkeeping practice. This then enables them to become a licensed AAT bookkeeper and guarantees a high standard of service which is backed up by the association. To preserve the trustworthiness of AAT membership, if an AAT bookkeeper is found to have violated the code of practice or has a complaint against them, they will be liable to tribunal and disciplinary processes.
It is possible to check the accreditations of any bookkeeper in Stansted Mountfitchet on the register of ICB or ATT members on their respective websites. It is strongly advised to carry out this check, before using the services of any local bookkeeper in Stansted Mountfitchet.
Cash Flow Analysis
A significant tool that businesses must use to understand their financial health is cash flow analysis. One of the significant duties of a bookkeeper is to carry out a cash flow analysis for a company. This task requires monitoring the cash flow in and out of the business over a set period of time, generally quarterly or monthly. Helping the business owner to comprehend their present financial status, identifyissues, and plan for the future is among the bookkeeper's duties.
A clear picture of a company's financial health is created through reconciling and categorizing all cash transactions, including sales, investments and expenses, in the analysis. A crucial aspect of cash flow analysis is to predict the cash flow for the coming months or years, enabling companies to make informed decisions and avoid potential cash flow issues.
Furthermore, a comprehensive cash flow analysis can be advantageous for businesses seeking to secure financing by providing lenders with a clear view of the company's financial status and capacity to repay loans. Managing finances effectively is impossible without a thorough and accurate, which is a necessary tool for any business.
Bookkeepers Near Stansted Mountfitchet
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