Ten Top Bookkeeping Tips from Sandra Silk

By Anita Jaynes on December 12, 2016

Sandra Silk Bookkeeping & Business Services is based in Old Sarum, Salisbury.

Sandra and the team offer a range of financial services for your business, including bookkeeping, payroll and help with auto-enrolment staging.

Here Sandra gives us her tops tips for successful bookkeeping. Sandra said: “Following as many of these tips as you can will help keep your bookkeeping simple and ensure you retain control of your finances.”

1. Banking  Have a separate bank account for business transactions – do not mix personal and business spending as it is time consuming to identify and separate.

2. Invoicing your customers  Have a system for recording the work that you do so you don’t forget to invoice for it. Raise invoices promptly as soon as the work is complete and while you remember what you did. Ensure they are accurate, addressed correctly and sent to the person who should receive them. If you have been provided with a Purchase Order Number use it.

3. Credit control  Add payment terms to your invoice and make time to follow up unpaid invoices. Keep paid and unpaid invoices separate. Set up a payment system where you can take immediate payment by card or regular payment by direct debit (try GoCardless).

4. Expenses  Keep receipts to support all your business spending and know what expenses you can put through your business. Visit HMRC website to find out more about business expenses.

5. Travel  If it is not appropriate to have a company vehicle keep a mileage record when travelling on business (keep a notebook in your car or try Tripcatcher at £1.49 per month). Mileage can be claimed at 45p per mile up to 10,000 miles if you are using your own car and is a tax free payment to you.

6. Drawings  Take a regular amount from your business for personal spending rather than paying for personal items through your business. This will keep you aware of how much you are drawing and protect your cash flow.

7. VAT  Be aware of the threshold for VAT registration (£83,000 for 2016-17). If your income from trading reaches the threshold within any 12 month period you only have 30 days from the date it reaches the threshold to register for VAT. Register any later and you will receive a fine. Alternatively choose to register before you reach the threshold if it is of benefit to your business.

8. Record keeping  Find a method of keeping your accounts which suits you – manually in an accounts book, on a spreadsheet or by using one of the latest cloud software (try Xero or Quickbooks Online) which are user friendly and can be accessed from your phone, ipad or computer.

9. Filing  Don’t forget to file all your invoices, receipts, bank statements, mileage records. Boring but you will be glad you did when you are looking for the receipt to return an item or when HMRC ask. HMRC accept electronic or paper format for documents.

10. Get help  If keeping your accounts records is outside of your comfort zone or you are just too busy, ask for help. Keeping your accounts records up to date is vital for your business development.

To find out more about Sandra Silk Bookkeeping visit: www.sandrasilk.co.uk or call 01722 341820