03 Jan 3 tips to get your accounts sorted in 2017
An ice cream tub of receipts and a handful of bank statements is every accountant’s nightmare. And often a self-assessment form can be every business owner’s nightmare. But it doesn’t need to be that way – there are some simple strategies that you can put into place to make sure you stay on top of your accounts in 2017. Here are a few tips on how to manage your accounts all year round, so you can avoid that accounts deadline panic and confidently fill in your taxes or hand your accountant organised and relevant information.
Set a day a month to look at your accounts in depth, or meet your accountant to see how things are going. By scheduling time in advance and putting it on the calendar now, you know that you have some time solely for focusing on your finances. Whether you phone your accountant on the first Tuesday of every month, you sit down at the computer and look through your cloud accountancy or you spend a day sorting out your receipts and invoices on the 23rd of every month – it’ll be worth it when it comes to those tax forms!
Have a system
Whether it’s a folder on the computer or a plastic one in real life – whatever system you are comfortable with, just make sure you have one. Business owners need to keep detailed records in case of an audit and you want to be able to know exactly where all the information you need is. Use lots of labels and organise your system in a way you are confident both you and your online accountant, or the tax man, can follow. Chronological order is always good, as is splitting incomings and outgoings, and keeping specific information together, like payroll.
Save emails and online invoices
With banking and accounting often online now, it’s important you know where to find the information you need. You could print off invoices or online receipts and keep them in a folder (though that’s probably not the best for the planet) or have a dedicated folder on your desktop for financial information. As soon as you buy something, save a copy to your folder so you know where to find it when you need the information. And don’t forget to make regular backups!
And just another quick tip – make sure your online security is up to date and you’re totally secure online. It’s also important to have your files encrypted, especially if you’re backing them up to the cloud.
It’s a new year and the perfect time to take control of your accounts. And if you need some guidance, give us a call to see how we can make getting your accounts in order easier.