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Adz

Adz

Soldato
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Get an accountant and book keeper. Honestly, in the beginning I did my own books and it's really not worth the effort. Much better to concentrate your time and energy on running the business.

If you do want to handle things yourself, check out Sage or Quickbooks.
 
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My best advice is KEEP EVERYTHING. Every single bank statement, receipt, cheque stub. Sounds ridiculous, but if you're badly organised they just disappear. Then your accountant will spend time phoning you, phoning the bank, phoning your suppliers, and will just run up a huge accounting fee.

Hire a bookkeeper 1 day a week to post all transactions and keep your invoices and payments in order. Might cost you £100 (or more) a week but it's probably much better than trying to run a business and keep the books at the same time. Just make sure you get a decent bookkeeper, I've seen people hiring fulltime bookkeepers-cum-PAs who really don't know what they're doing and just end up costing a load of money.

Your bookkeeper should be able to prepare your accounts to trial balance, and you can get an accountant to throw your accounts together. The tax man prefers accounts to be prepared by an accountant anyway.

There's no point in you trying to run a business and prepare accounts at the same time. You might work til 6 or 7pm and at the end of a long day last thing you want to do is shuffle paper for a few hours!
 
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smoove said:
I dont want to hire a bookeeper just yet, since £400 PM will leave me witht £200 lol.
Ahh. So I'm assuming you don't deal with VAT just yet?

Any accounting package will do.

Keep a folder containing purchase invoices and number them sequentially. Post them onto your accounting package with the same reference number. Mark the invoice as posted.
Then, when you write a cheque, allocate it against the purchase. Mark the invoice as Paid.

Same goes for sales. Raise the invoice, put a copy on file, post it to your accounting program, and when you receive payment simply allocate it against the invoice and mark the invoice as paid.

At the end of each month, you should have a procedure to rec the bank (find out which cheques haven't gone through the bank yet), follow up any unpaid bills, etc, compare the supplier statement with the balance per your accounts. You really need to keep good records otherwise you'll get burned in a dispute with customers and suppliers.

It probably would be good advice to tell you to do a cash flow forecast or something, but in reality most small business owner just know that the big payment they will receive next month will pay all outstanding bills! Having said that, just be very careful that you're able to match money coming in with money going out!

Finally, cutoff. When posting to your accounts you will need good cutoff procedures, mainly to make sure you don't double-count something. Also, after your financial year you might receive a purchase invoice dated before the financial year... basically, you date it after the financial year. Once you close a period, you shouldn't post into it again otherwise you're just causing yourself a huge headache. If you're dealing with VAT, you have this to worry about every 2 months (or is it 3 months in the UK?).

Anyway, it is REALLY simple to post accounts to accounting programs BUT if you don't know what you're doing it's easy to make a mess of it.

I don't know if any of that makes sense but the main point is to keep all documentation you receive, and have a good method, otherwise you will get disorganised really quickly and won't know what your finances are like!
 
Soldato
Joined
1 Dec 2003
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2,818
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Liverpool
You are a webmaster, like me. I worked online for 4 years and i am now starting an online store.

Best thing to do is to take a look at Quickbooks, it will allow you to do everything in a business format and will keep you very organised, i used it in the past for all my sites i owned and i will be using it in the future too :)
 
Soldato
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Overground, underground..
chris_r said:
You are a webmaster, like me. I worked online for 4 years and i am now starting an online store.

Best thing to do is to take a look at Quickbooks, it will allow you to do everything in a business format and will keep you very organised, i used it in the past for all my sites i owned and i will be using it in the future too :)

I would recommend QuickBooks as well. We use at work and I've used it when I've been treasurer of my Badminton club. Sage is more for accountants.
 

Pho

Pho

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Derbyshire
I've constantly heard that it is good to open several bank accounts. I.e. bank accounts for general maintainence, things like gas/electricity and just keep those topped up with enough money to cover those bills.
 
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Pho said:
I've constantly heard that it is good to open several bank accounts. I.e. bank accounts for general maintainence, things like gas/electricity and just keep those topped up with enough money to cover those bills.
That sounds messy IMO and given the small operation the guy has going I doubt he wants double the bank fees.
 
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