When we start our own business, we do most things ourselves, even the things we don’t like, including the bookkeeping. 
 
While it might be tempting to focus on other things, leaving your bookkeeping until the last minute can cause problems. 
 
Here are six common bookkeeping mistakes we see small and new businesses make, along with our suggestions about how to avoid them. 
People might wonder whether bookkeepers are born or made. Well, in my case, the answer is ‘both’. 
 
It figures… 
I have always loved maths, but was advised not to do A level maths at school. I trained as a teacher at the University of Hertfordshire specialising in Geography but soon discovered I loved teaching maths.  
 
I was a teacher for over fourteen years but for seven of those years I enjoyed teaching maths to years 9 to 11 year old as well as computing and a variety of foundation subjects at Westfield Middle School.  
 
The school believes in high quality education, teaching excellence, providing great opportunities and variety. Most importantly the staff and children needed to have fun 
Bank reconciliation means you have checked that the balance on your bank statement matches the balance you have in your business records. 
 
When the figures match, you can say your bank account is reconciled. 
 
If the figures don't match, your bank account is unreconciled. This means that some of your day-to-day business spending hasn’t been accounted for. 
 
You might have too little or too much in your bank account, but it’s important to know why 
Benefits in kind are items or services that you or your employees receive from your company in addition to your salary. 
 
They can include things like private healthcare, interest-free loans and company cars. They are reported to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) using the P11D form. 
P11D forms must be submitted by 6 July
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Declutter your business with a good book keeper
It used to be called ‘tidying up’, but now ‘decluttering’ has become a lifestyle choice. 
 
The main aim is to simplify your life, and that’s good for everyone. 
 
Working with a good bookkeeper can do the same for your business. Here are just some of the benefits of decluttering your business with the help of a good bookkeeper
Research by Argos for Business says that errors in managing petty cash could be costing small businesses in the UK an average of £355 a year. With over five million businesses across the country that could amount to almost £1.8billion. 
 
Lost receipts and complicated processes are the biggest problems. More than one in 10 (15%) of those surveyed said that they didn’t know how their employers keep track of petty cash. 
 
Petty cash is often used for the wrong things too. For example, the research showed that some businesses used petty cash to buy assets – even a used ice cream van in one example. Petty cash should only be used for small, occasional costs such as refreshments or parking fees. 
Book keeping, expenses, could you be losing over £350 a year?
Expenses, tax returns, Allowable expenses for small businesses
As the owner of a limited company you can receive tax relief on money you spend running your business. Known as allowable expenses, if you claim them correctly, you can probably increase your take-home pay. 
 
Here are some of the most common expenses you can claim. 
Here Lucie explains how one business owner regained control of his bookkeeping and VAT returns. 
 
It’s easy to lose track of your financial records. In this case, a business owner just hadn’t had time to find a replacement when his previous bookkeeper left. 
 
When he realised that his VAT return was due the next day, he knew he was going to have problems – he hadn’t done any bookkeeping for five months. 
Case study- catching up with your records- VAT, Hubdoc, expenses, Xero
Small business owners should be aware of changes that come into effect from April 2019. The national living wage will increase and so will minimum pension contributions. 
 
Here’s a quick summary of what’s happening. 
Setting up a VAT registered client with Xero & Hubdoc 
 
Over the past few weeks I have set up a new client on Xero as they have registered for VAT and wanted to ensure everything is being done correctly. I have been working with the client to add all their information back to the start of their financial year so they have accurate accounts when it comes to year end and we are reclaiming the VAT for the allowable purchases since they took over. 
We have been using the Hubdoc app to input all the recent invoices and some of the historical ones, this has helped to get them organised about how they will do this going forward. 
Using a bookkeeper ensures clients are aware of all new legislations as they come in to force and assisting with the transition to Making Tax Digital. 
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