Bookkeepers Whitstable Kent (CT5): Whether you are a sole trader, own a small business or run an online store in Whitstable, you are responsible for keeping "true and fair", accurate financial and accounting records for at least 6 years according to the Companies Act (2006). If you are unable to produce this information, you may face disqualification as a Company Director and get a fine of thousands of pounds. It can be more economical to use a professional accountant or bookkeeper to undertake this for you, as according to Accounting Today over 40% of small business owners spend 80 plus hours per year on their bookkeeping duties, which is a substantial time investment, and could be more efficiently spent on your key business activities.
The time has come to contactin Whitstable for guidance and advice, if the idea of filling out ledgers, compiling balance sheets, tracking liabilities and assets or creating profit, loss and fiscal reports fills you with panic.
BOOKKEEPER OR ACCOUNTANT?
The very first question that many folks ask is "What exactly is the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper?" The fact is that while at one time the bookkeeping process, was considered to be beneath the experience, qualifications and skill set of an accountant, because of substantial software improvements over the past ten years or so, most accountancy firms in Whitstable will now take on bookkeeping tasks. To make certain their bookkeeping services are commensurate with a typical, it is now fairly common for accounting companies to charge a flat rate for these services. This makes the cost of bookkeeping much more manageable than it once was, and is excellent news for small business owners in Whitstable since it generates a broader range of competition within this sector.
The biggest difference of an accountant over a bookkeeper is the standard of qualification and training needed. At least a degree in accounting with specialist training in the field of taxation and other business and fiscal management, will typically be held by an. Whilst in Whitstable will definitely have a decent understanding of such skills, they may not necessarily have these qualifications or levels of experience and training in this field.
A BOOKKEEPER'S RESPONSIBILITIES
The act of bookkeeping in the simplest of terms, is the recording of the day by day financial transactions of any business or enterprise in Whitstable. This will include, but isn't limited to;
- Monthly reporting and reconciliations.
- The billing of clients for work completed or goods.
- Highlighting and rectifying any discrepancies in the financial accounts.
- Making sure that double-entry bookkeeping and accounting practices are followed.
- VAT recording and submissions.
- Logging invoices received and making certain that payment is completed punctually.
- Payroll services.
- Logging of all financial incomings; including electronic, cash and card payments.
Subject to the level of service you require, a professional bookkeeper might just be needed to periodically double-check your records, if you're in a position to undertake the majority of bookkeeping work yourself. As a bare minimum this ought to be done monthly, to facilitate the rapid detection and correcting of any problems or mistakes. If you are confident of remaining in control of your day to day trading and financial transactions, this trade-off can often be the most affordable compromise.
If you're presently considering hiring a bookkeeper in Whitstable, whatever your circumstances are, there is a fair chance that you may be stressed with your financial recording procedures. A professional bookkeeper will help you with everything from producing expense reports, invoicing and stocktaking, to linking the latest computer software with your business accounts to seamlessly process all your transaction information.
Being able to reconcile accounts payable with cash flow, is an especially important element of a good bookkeeper. Which means that rather than waiting on an overdue notice, which many small businesses in Whitstable are guilty of at some time or other, or paying an outstanding bill immediately, your bookkeeper will organise bill payments to times when your accounts are buoyant and in good order. This isn't just to ensure that your enterprise or business is financially stable at all times, but also to keep you in good stead with those who provide your services or materials. When you are firmly focussed on the operation of your company, this is a juggling act that can be challenging to perform as an individual.
If you are a sole trader, or run a small business, using a certified bookkeeper in Whitstable, also gives them an opportunity to cast a critical eye over the financial dealings of your business. This objective evaluation can permit them to see business patterns and trends that you might have disregarded. It isn't uncommon for a bookkeeper to spot an opportunity or flag an area of the business which is dropping off in profits. For the growth of any small business in Whitstable, it is crucial that such KPI's (key performance indicators) are spotted as early as possible.
Having to chase up late payments can be a fairly awkward situation for you, if you give out invoices in your business operations. Some of that awkwardness can be taken away by having somebody outside your normal business bubble visit your clients or make that phone call. A professional bookkeeper can use legal solutions to take care of a persistent late payer, and without the need for a claims court proceeding, help to clear up the issue.
SOLE TRADER'S BOOKKEEPING REQUIREMENTS
As a sole trader the bookkeeping requirements, as set out in law, start off really straightforward. This involves keeping all invoices and receipts relating to the business, and keeping a record of income and expenditure from month to month. While this may sound simple it is still recommended that you hire the expertise of a competent bookkeeper. Offering advice on what valid business expenses you're able to claim back, a dedicated sole trader bookkeeper in Whitstable will deal with HMRC on your behalf. This might include advertising expenses, consumables, rent and bills if you work from home, stationery and items such as laptops. For more in-depth advice, speak to your local bookkeeper, and learn how they may be able to help your business to flourish and grow moving forward.
Some small businesses that operate in niche areas, might need to hire a specialised bookkeeping service. You are going to need a bookkeeper in Whitstable who understands online payments, multi-currency processing, exchange rate transfers and international and cross-border taxes, if you operate a store online for example. If you hold or produce the merchandise that you distribute through that outlet, then it is going to be a vital concern for your bookkeeping services and software to maintain your inventory on a 24 hours a day basis, given that the internet does not sleep.
In combination with bookkeeping service, it is also possible to supply a virtual office. This allows a sole trader or online only business to have a postal address and telephone service to provide a physical link with their clients. It is certainly worth discussing this possibility if it's required, although not all bookkeepers in Whitstable will provide this service.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
A certified bookkeeper in Whitstable need not have a degree and a number of the industry qualifications are at Certificate and Diploma level. Qualifications can be gained via further education universities and colleges but there's also an ever-growing range of courses available online.
There are 2 key training and certification organisations representing bookkeepers:
The ICB or Institute of Certified Bookkeepers: Providing accreditation to bookkeepers, along with training and reference material to ensure their members are up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations, the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is the largest organisation anywhere in the world.
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT): Providing advanced qualifications and training, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), entitles a fully trained member to use the letters AATQB after their name. This guarantees a certain standard of service to their clients which is backed up by the association, and enables them to become a accredited AAT bookkeeper. If an AAT bookkeeper is found to have breached the code of conduct or has a complaint filed against them, they will be subject to disciplinary and tribunal processes to safeguard the integrity of the aat membership.
By visiting their websites, you're able to inspect the qualifications of any bookkeeper on the register of AAT or ICB members. It is generally a good idea to carry out this check, before you employ any professional bookkeeper in Whitstable.
VAT Returns by a Bookkeeper
If you're a small business owner in Whitstable looking to ensure tax compliance and reduce the burden of VAT return preparation, hiring a bookkeeper could be an excellent option. Your VAT return can be handled entirely by, who will manage everything from calculating your VAT obligations or credits to preparing and submitting your return to HMRC, and keeping an accurate account of all your transactions. Likewise, a local bookkeeper can supply you with valuable insights on how to decrease your VAT responsibility and guarantee that you are claiming all the admissible VAT that you are entitled to. By enlisting the aid of a bookkeeper, you can relax with the knowledge that your VAT returns are being managed with efficiency and precision, enabling you to dedicate more time to expanding your business in Whitstable. All in all,by enlisting the services of a bookkeeper in Whitstable, small business owners can benefit from a cost-effective, efficient, and trustworthy way of managing their VAT returns, ensuring compliance with tax rules, reducing their tax liability, and freeing up time to focus on business development.
What Are the Main Advantages of Using a Bookkeeper in Whitstable Instead of an Accountant?
There are numerous advantages to using a bookkeeper rather than an accountant, including:
- Accessibility: Bookkeepers are usually more available to provide support and answer questions on a regular basis than an accountant, who might only be available at certain times.
- Time Management: By choosing to outsource bookkeeping, businesses can save a bit of time and concentrate on other crucial aspects of their business for instance sales and marketing.
- Cost: Bookkeeping services are usually less expensive than accounting services. This makes them a cost-effective alternative for startups and small businesses.
- Specialisation: Bookkeepers tend to have a more focused expertise in day-to-day financial record-keeping and transaction management, leading to greater effectiveness and efficiency in such tasks.
- Customisable Services: Bookkeepers can provide customised services that are tailored to a business's specific needs, whereas accountants may have a more general approach.
That being said, it is important to note that whilstcan provide invaluable 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 these instances, it may be necessary to check with an accountant for more specialised services.
Bookkeepers Near Whitstable
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Whitstable Bookkeeper Tasks
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