Why I need a bookkeeper
As a small business, set up as a limited company, there are certain obligations and legal requirements I need to fulfil to ensure I comply with all the HMRC requirements. Running my business takes time, and despite some previous experience and knowledge of bookkeeping as well as the resources required to be compliant, it was a logical decision for me to employ the services of a bookkeeper .
What do bookkeepers do?
A good bookkeeper will, based on the accounts a business or individual submits, generate monthly reports including commentary and advice on performance, lagging debtors, month on month and year on year comparisons. That ensures there is full disclosure and information on how a business is growing and succeeding.
Each month I submit my paperwork (invoices, expenses, bank statement, etc) to my bookkeeper from which they then carry out data entry using bespoke software to generate the monthly management accounts for my businesses. Dependent on your bookkeeper and the bookkeeping service package you choose this can be on a rolling monthly or quarterly basis.
This information ensures I have real-time insight and understanding of the financial health of my business.
Why Everett King?
I chose Everett King as they were a local practice, a friendly team and very experienced in supporting businesses like mine with their bookkeeping and tax services. Initially they helped me with setting up and incorporating my limited company and looked after all the legalities and paperwork required in becoming incorporated. They are a practice where clients are put first and they offer straightforward guidance. Since I engaged them they have provided me with independent advice on my business performance, budgets and cashflow. They also run my payroll through their bureau service which ensures my NI and PAYE obligations are met. In essence, they are:
- Subject matter experts;
- Approachable; and always
- Have my best interests covered.
Does my business also need an Accountant?
Many accountants rely on bookkeepers to record financial transactions on their behalf. This means they can provide analysis and interpretation of the accounts, offer business recommendations but ultimately enable them to complete yearly tax returns to HMRC.
Tax deadlines are extremely strict and Everett King ensures I avoid any deadlines slipping (and subsequent fines!) and that my accounts are accurate for submission. They also ensure that my monthly management accounts identify my ongoing tax liability so that I can preplan for my year-end liability and put aside funds each month to enable me to settle the final tax bill due. This ensures no nasty year-end surprises.
How to choose a bookkeeper that is right for your business?
Choosing what is right for your business may take time but ultimately it is worth the initial effort as a good bookkeeper will be a real asset for your business. Consider supporting a local practice and shortlist against the following criteria:
- Do they have experience working in your sector?
- What type of clients have they worked with?
- What certification or qualifications do they have?
- Do they have experience with any particular software?
- What process do they go through when they do your books?
- How often will your account be serviced? Monthly? Quarterly?
- How do they invoice and what is their rate? Hourly? Monthly?
- Are they willing to offer existing clients as referees?
Offering an independent and different perspective on your business
Yes, you may be able to do all this yourself but it does take time and expertise and certainly helps to have an unbiased pair of eyes on your accounts and your business. Your bookkeeper can put the financials in order and run reports showing how you are doing each month, where the funds are going and how your efforts are paying off (or might need improving upon). Their expertise ensures my business avails of the allowances it is entitled to and I meet all the relevant legal requirements. They offer the “bigger picture” analysis; they understand fully the numbers based on their own knowledge and wider experience with similar sized businesses and sector knowledge and can offer counsel and guidance based on that.
Do I need a bookkeeper for my business?
Based on my experience – yes. Bookkeepers are a valuable resource for small business owners. They provide financial reporting, guidance and support as well as saving you time so that ultimately, and most importantly, you can concentrate on running your business and looking after your own clients.
Article contributed by CMT Consultancy (Bristol) Ltd
How can Everett King help?
We are here to help and support you and your business with whatever bookkeeping requirements you may have. Why not contact us today for more information.