Every business has a legal obligation to keep a record of their transactions.  You can do this however you like – paper/spreadsheet/bookkeeping software – it’s your choice.  Once again the fines are hefty!  Up to £3000 for failing to keep adequate records.

Good record keeping is good for business and is an essential part of running a successful business.  You need to know at any time how much you are owed by customers and how much you owe to suppliers and therefore how much cash is available.  Better decisions can be made with upfront knowledge rather than last minute surprises.

At Bowes Brooks we complete the bookkeeping for numerous clients.  Some drop in records weekly others require monthly management accounts so we see them monthly and others quarterly for their VAT returns.

We even provide bookkeeping training for clients that would like to do it themselves but don’t know how.  Outsourcing your booking to Bowes Brooks offers peace of mind, up to date information and frees up your time.

We can advise on bookkeeping software.  Our favourite at the moment is Xero also we have experience and use regularly most of the packages available on the market.  Xero is cloud based software so you can see your situation anywhere there is an internet connection or even better on your smart phone.

If we are setting up your bookkeeping we would normally use Xero as we can input the transactions in one location and you can view the results from another at any time.  We include the cost of Xero in our bookkeeping costs however we have a limited number of Xero vouchers for 2 months free use if you’d like to try it yourself.

You can do the bookkeeping yourself

Whatever way you choose we can support you.

We charge an average of £20 per hour for bookkeeping although this can vary up and down (agreed in advance) depending on the complexity and therefore the skill level our staff need to complete it.

Whilst this might sound high please remember that all of our bookkeepers have been doing this for years and are very quick using the software and know immediately how to deal with a transaction.  We’ve worked out cheaper more than just a few times by being quicker despite being more per hour than freelancers.  Plus we get it right!

Help & Advice

Articles from our blog written by Jessica Brooks

Further changes to how you can pay HMRC

Important Information about Changes to Paying HMRC

HMRC are making some changes to the ways customers can make payments.

The pay at the Post Office service will be withdrawn from 15th December 2017 and from 13th January 2018, HMRC will no longer accept payment by personal credit card. Debit cards and corporate credit cards will continue to be accepted.

There are still many ways to pay including:

• Direct Debit

• Online or telephone banking (including Faster Payments, Bacs and CHAPS)

• Debit/Corporate Credit card online or by telephone.

Just remember to pay your bill by 15th December 2017 if you want to go to the Post Office

and by 13th January 2018 if you want to use a personal credit card

Can I pay my tax bill with a credit card?

For whatever reason some people would like or need to pay their tax liability by credit card.  It can help spread the payments or free up cash that is needed elsewhere in your business.

Up until now you have been able to do so.  However from 13th January 2018 HMRC will no longer be accepting payments from personal credit cards.  Corporate, Business and Commercial credit cards are not affected and you will still be able to make payments by debit card.

What's the reason for this? - You might have heard on the news that there has been a change in EU law regarding merchants passing on the cost of credit card fees to the consumer, from 13th January 2018 they are no longer allowed to.  And it is good news really for all consumers.. but not if you wanted to pay your tax bill by personal credit card...

Within the change in EU law HMRC are also included as 'merchants' so they are not allowed to pass on the credit card charges to the consumer.  Currently HMRC is only allwed to accept credit card payments on the basis that there is 'no cost to the public purse' so this new law will mean that HMRC cannot accept credit card payments from the date the law changes.

So if you are intending to pay your tax bill by credit card you have until 13th January 2018 to do so.  This ultimately means that you cannot leave your self assessment until the last minute.  You will need to do your self assessment in good time so that you know what you owe and can pay what you owe by 13th January 2018. Don't be caught out unexpectedly and wait until 31st January 2018 to make your payment as you will not be able to make it by personal credit card.

What’s an Accountant for?

What’s an Accountant for?

Why does anyone need an accountant?  

How do they help me?  

What do they do anyway?

Here’s my answers to those questions:

Keeping you Legal.  We help you do your financial administration so you file everything you need to, on time, every time.

Saving Tax.  We help you save tax by making sure you do things in a way that incurs as little tax as possible.

Understanding your taxes.  Helping you understand how you are taxed, so you can plan for it.

Knowing your numbers.  Helping you understand your business by interpreting the numbers for you, so you can make decisions based on fact not just intuition.

Making you rich.  Helping you put a plan together so you can get your personal finances in order and meet your financial goals.

Budgeting and forecasting.  Planning for the future, so you can arrange your finances effectively.

Support.  Your accountant is probably one of the few people you can talk to with complete honesty about your business.  He knows the facts, so there is no need to show off or for false modesty.  

If you need any help with these, you know where we are.

Jess Brooks