Hands up who leaves their accounts to the last minute, and finds themselves working long hours to get everything ready for the self-assessment deadline in January, each year?
Not only does it take away your valuable time that could be spent elsewhere on your business or with family and friends, it can affect your stress levels too.
It’s more common than you might think. According to YouGov who asked 500 business owners about their self-assessment:
- 46% estimated they would complete their return in January
- 16% said they would complete it in the final week before the deadline
- 2% admitted that they would miss the deadline completely
It doesn’t have to be that way.
By having a simple spreadsheet system, you can quickly and easily enter your expenses and income to keep on top of those accounts. Save it on ‘the cloud’ and you can access your accounts using any computer or device anywhere – you’re no longer tied to the desk when needing to work through your bookkeeping, and you have the peace of mind that there is always the latest version of your accounts safely stowed away online.
Whenever you get a new receipt, photograph and upload it to your expenses folder (also on the cloud). Go through the folder once a week and add the details to your spreadsheet. It’s a much quicker and easier way of doing your bookkeeping than trying to do it all in one go. It also means that there is no more worrying or trying to find lost receipts when that self-assessment deadline is looming every closer.
It’s simple to track income by adding invoice details each time you bill a customer. By working on the spreadsheet weekly, you can see when invoices are close to overdue and can start your credit control processes early. A friendly phone call or email to remind clients is so effective and easier to do when the bill is only just late than further down the line.
Using a quick and easy spreadsheet system like this doesn’t just prevent that headache in January. By checking how your business figures are doing on a more regular basis, you gain a deeper understanding of how well your business is performing and can identify areas for improvement – too much spent on stationery suppliers or particular clients that always seem to pay late, for example. Not only does this help you feel more in control over your business but it also assists you with any changes that need to be made and goals you can set for improvement.
We’ve all heard the HMRC slogan ‘tax doesn’t have to be taxing’, well neither does keeping on top of your business accounts. Spreadsheets are ideal for small business bookkeeping and there’s no better time to start one than today.