Bookkeepers Warminster Wiltshire (BA12): Regardless of whether you operate an online store, are a sole trader or own a small business in Warminster, you are entirely responsible for keeping accurate, "true and fair" financial and accounting records for at least 6 yrs in accordance with the Companies Act. If you cannot produce such information you may face thousands of pounds in fines and possibly disqualification as a Company Director. Accounting Today states that over forty percent of small business owners spend over eighty hours every year on their accounts, so whilst you can carry out these financial records yourself, it's often more cost-effective to employ a professional to do them instead.
If you are overcome with a sense of terror just thinking about the possiblility of tracking assets and liabilities, writing out ledgers, compiling balance sheets or preparing profit, loss and financial statements, then the time to contactin Warminster for help and advice has arrived.
BOOKKEEPER OR ACCOUNTANT?
A common question that is asked by a lot of business owners in Warminster is "Precisely what is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?" The reality is that while at one time the bookkeeping process, was considered beneath the skill set, experience and qualifications of an accountant, because of software improvements over the past 10 years, most accountancy companies in Warminster will now consider taking on bookkeeping tasks. Most accountancy companies now have a set rate for bookkeeping services, to keep them in step with what an independent bookkeeper in Warminster would normally charge. This is good news for business owners in Warminster because it gives a broader range of competition within this sector and can make your bookkeeping costs cheaper than initially thought.
When looking at the big difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant in Warminster, it is the standard of qualification and training that is required for each discipline. Anwill normally hold at least an accounting degree with further training in the field of taxation and other fiscal and business management. Whilst in Warminster will undoubtedly have an understanding of these procedures, they may not hold these qualifications or levels of experience and training in this field.
A BOOKKEEPER'S RESPONSIBILITIES
The bookkeeping process in the simplest of terms, is the recording of the day by day monetary transactions of any enterprise or business in Warminster. This may include, but is not limited to;
- Logging of all financial incomings; including electronic, cash and card payments.
- Logging the receipt of invoices and ensuring that payment is completed promptly.
- Payroll services.
- Monthly reporting and reconciliations.
- Highlighting any discrepancies in the financial accounts and rectifying them.
- Making sure that accounting and double-entry bookkeeping practices are observed.
- The billing of customers for goods or work completed.
- VAT submissions and recording.
If you're able to undertake the vast majority of your bookkeeping work yourself; a bookkeeper might only be needed to double check your accounts every once in a while. This ought to be done each month as a bare minimum, since this allows for any mistakes or problems to be identified and corrected quickly. If it's possible to stay up-to-date with your day by day trading and financial transactions, this trade-off can often be the most affordable solution.
Whatever the circumstances are with your business, if you are seriously considering hiring a bookkeeper in Warminster, it is fairly likely that you could be stressed with the process of recording your financial details. A good bookkeeping company will be able to offer advice and guidance on everything from stocktaking, generating expense reports and invoicing, to linking your business accounts with the latest software program to facilitate the seamless arrangement of financial data.
Being able to reconcile accounts payable with cash flow, is an especially crucial element of a good bookkeeper. Which means that by optimising the payment of bills to a time when your accounts are buoyant, your bookkeeper will avoid the thing that most small businesses are guilty of i.e. paying an outstanding bill straight away, or waiting on an overdue notice. This doesn't just keep your business on a good financial footing, but keeps you in good stead with suppliers and the businesses who provide you with services. This is a juggling act that can be tricky to perform on your own when you are focussed on the smooth running of your business.
Employing an experienced bookkeeper in Warminster, for your small business or if you're a sole trader also gives them the opportunity to cast a critical eye over your business. It's entirely possible that an unbiased assessment such as this will pinpoint business trends and patterns that you haven't previously noticed. It's not at all unheard of for a keen eyed bookkeeper to flag an area where profits are plummeting, or spot an opportunity that could prove lucrative. It is important for the growth of any enterprise in Warminster, to spot these key performance indicators.
If invoices are sent out by your company it can often be embarrassing having to chase up late payments. If that visit to your customers or telephone call is made by a person outside your business situation, it is possible for some of that embarrassment to be removed. There are legal options a professional bookkeeper can employ, if you've got problems with a consistent late payer, and these can help to clear up the situation before the issue ends up in claims court proceedings.
SOLE TRADER'S BOOKKEEPING REQUIREMENTS
If you're a sole trader the bookkeeping requirements, as laid out by law, are really straightforward. A sole trader is expected to keep records of expenditure and income on a month by month basis and save all invoices and receipts. Now, this does not sound too hard does it? However, it's still recommended that you hire the services of a bookkeeper to ensure that it is all done properly. When working through your tax returns, a dedicated sole trader bookkeeper in Warminster will be able to advise you on what your genuine business expenses are, and claim these back from HMRC every year. This might include printer ink, rent and bills if you work from home, items such as computing equipment, promotional advertising and stationery. To learn how they can help your small business to grow, speak to a trusted bookkeeper for more detailed advice.
ONLINE TRADERS IN WARMINSTER
There are several business niches where a specialist bookkeeper might be required. For example, if you run a store online, you'll need to employ a bookkeeper in Warminster who understands cross-border and international taxes, exchange rate transfers, multi-currency processing and online payment procedures. If the same outlet sells goods that you hold or produce, then keeping track of your inventory on a 24/7 basis is a huge concern, as I'm sure you'll be aware the internet never sleeps, therefore neither should your bookkeeping software or services.
A remote virtual office can also be supplied together with your bookkeeping service. This enables a sole trader or online only business to offer a physical link with their buyers, via a postal address and telephone service. If this kind of service could be useful, it's definitely worth talking about the possibilities, although this option won't be offered by all Warminster bookkeepers.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
It is not necessary for a qualified bookkeeper in Warminster to hold a university degree, and a good number of the bookkeeping qualifications are held at Diploma or Certificate level. If the chosen route to qualification is via further education colleges and universities, this option is still available, whereas there there is a choice of bookkeeping courses available online.
Training and certification for bookkeepers is mostly provided by two key organisations:
The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB): Keeping their members up-to-speed with the latest trends, the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers or ICB is the largest organisation anywhere in the world, providing accreditation to certified bookkeepers, along with reference material and training.
The AAT or Association of Accounting Technicians: Providing a training schedule with advanced qualifications, the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), enables a fully trained bookkeeper to use the letters AATQB. This then enables them to become a accredited AAT bookkeeper and promises a high standard of service which is backed up by the association. To protect the trustworthiness of the AAT membership, a bookkeeper who's affiliated with the AAT can be liable to disciplinary and tribunal processes if they are found to have breached the code of conduct or have had a complaint filed against them.
The qualifications of any bookkeeper can be verified on the register of ICB or ATT members on their respective websites. It is recommended that you carry out this check, before hiring any bookkeeper in Warminster.
What Are the Main Advantages of Using a Bookkeeper in Warminster Instead of an Accountant?
There are a few advantages to using a bookkeeper instead of an accountant, including:
- Time Savings: By outsourcing their bookkeeping tasks, business owners can save time and concentrate on other aspects of their business, like marketing and sales.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Bookkeeping services are often more cost-efficient in comparison to accounting services, making them a sensible choice for small businesses, sole traders and startups looking to save money.
- Accessibility: Bookkeepers are usually more available to provide support and answer questions on a regular basis than an accountant, who may only be available at certain times of the year.
- 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 these tasks.
- Customisable Services: Bookkeepers often provide customised services that are tailored to a business's specific needs, whereas accountants might have a more general approach.
That being said, it's vital to note that whilstcan provide valuable support, they may not have the same level of expertise or qualifications as an in certain aspects such as financial planning or tax preparation. In such cases, it may be necessary to consult an accountant when more specialist services are needed.
Cash Flow Analysis
Cash flow analysis is an important instrument by which businesses can gauge their financial health. Bookkeepers are tasked with the important job of conducting cash flow analysis for companies. It requires monitoring the cash movements of the company during a set period, commonly quarterly or monthly. By doing so, a bookkeeper can help the business owner understand their current financial situation, identify anyissues, and plan for the future.
The analysis involves reconciling and categorizing all cash transactions, such as investments, expenses and sales, to create a clear picture of the company's financial health. Estimating the company's cash flow for the next few months or years is a vital component of the analysis and helps the company make informed decisions while avoiding potential cash flow issues.
Moreover, the bookkeeper's cash flow analysis can be used to persuade lenders of a company's financial viability and repayment ability. Any business that desires to manage their finances effectively must have a complete and accurate cash flow analysis as a vital tool.
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