4 simple tips for better account keeping

When the end of tax year approaches, many small and medium-sized business will be facing the prospect of doing their tax return. For some people, this requires spending a huge amount of time and money on accountants which can be seen as a daunting prospect. However, it doesn’t have to be like this.

The relationship between a business and its accountant is critical and can be the difference between a successful and a struggling business. That’s why we’re bringing you four top tips on how to keep your accountant happy and your business in the black.

Think of your accountant as a business partner not a business service

Do not just see your accountant as a reporting service; they can also advise on strategy and business decisions. If you share your business aspirations and long-term goals, they can help make sure you manage your funds in an appropriate way to achieve them. They can also make you aware of valuable tax deductions, which can help your bottom line.

Therefore make sure you are keeping in touch with your accountant on a regular basis and not just when you have to file a return; that may be too late to deal with any problems from the financial year.

Have open lines of communication

Poor communication is the biggest cause of bad accounting and could also mean that you miss important deadlines, which can lead to penalty charges being imposed on your business.

Tax regulations can be complicated and often use hard to understand jargon, so never hesitate to ask if you don’t know your Class 2 from your Class 4. Your accountant is there to help and will be able to support you to navigate your way around the system; whatever your problem is they will have seen it before!

Your accountant is there to support you and can only do this if they have the most accurate and up-to-date information. If you provide false information about either your income or business, you could risk lengthy investigation, as well as prosecution.

Always keep your business receipts

File these in a safe place and always ensure your business receipts are stored separately to personal receipts; you don’t want to be caught accidentally claiming your birthday dinner as a client meeting! To be extra safe, you might want to scan your receipts or take a picture of them with your mobile phone. Also avoid cash; it’s hard to track and often difficult to mark against receipts.

Get organised

Tax authorities don’t just want to know what you’ve spent but they’ll need to know the business justification for any claims. So make sure you keep detailed notes of your purchases. These will also help you chase payments from your customers, which is often a high priority for small businesses.

Through developing a comprehensive way of maintaining your records, you can reduce the time you need to spend with your accountant. To help you with this, Worldpay’s My Business Hub provides an all-in-one system for all your accounting needs.

It allows you to automatically reconcile cash and card transactions, track receipts and monitor trends too. This means lower fees and could give you the time to have the strategic conversations mentioned earlier.

If you follow our four simple tips, you’ll find that your accountant will help rather than hinder the running of your business. This will lead to a stronger, more strategic company, which is good news for you and your customers.