Elaine Clark is the founder of Cheapaccounting.co.uk and all-round self-employed and small business accounting specialist. She gives her top tips on how to keep your accounting costs low.
Elaine Clark is the founder of Cheapaccounting.co.uk and all-round self-employed and small business accounting specialist. She’s helping us to combine accounting services into the Coconut product, making the first full service business current account for self-employed people and personal business owners.The features we’re planning to launch are accountant Chat, if you want to ask any questions through the app, and Review and File at year end. We’ll be working with Cheapaccounting.co.uk to make sure we deliver a really high quality experience.Here’s some thoughts from Elaine.
When you first set up your new business it’s highly likely that you may have a few questions about accounting and tax.What can you claim? When do you need to register with HMRC? What taxes will you pay? When are your tax returns due?At the outset it might feel like you need an accountant on board to ensure that you're on the right track and don't get caught out by any reporting deadlines. But for many self-employed people and personal businesses starting out funds are short and other pressing priorities have preference over spending on accountancy fees.
If you find yourself in this position it’s usually best to set out a plan for exactly what you need accountancy support for and what you can do yourself. Hook up with an accountant who is prepared to work with you to keep your accountancy fees to the level that you can afford, or I’ve provided some tips for you to hold off until you really need one.
The reason I’m working with Coconut is that it really solves a problem in the early days which I’ve seen many times. By using Coconut for your business you will be in a good position to keep your accounting fees as low as possible.Coconut allocates your costs to tax categories (which you can change if needed). Capturing the receipt or invoice as you go to provide evidence of the cost is essential too. You can bet that in months to come you’ll not remember what the item was and won’t be able to answer a question about it. Having the receipt there will refresh your memory allowing you to immediately answer any queries from your accountant or HMRC.Keeping all business transactions (income and costs) separate from your personal costs and income makes it so much easier to keep on top of your accounting. It means that you, or your accountant, don’t need to wade through lots of transactions making the whole process of producing your tax return or accounts or much simpler.
With or without Coconut, here are some simple tips for keeping your accountancy fees as low as possible.
And finally, in most cases accounting can be very simple and managed yourself at the start with a little bit of prep. As long as you stick to everything above, you can hold off getting an accountant for a while and when you do you will keep accounting costs low and avoid a mad rush.Elaine Clark runs cheapaccounting.co.uk, Coconut’s accounting partner. If you’d like to chat to an accountant for a free consultation, you can fill out this form and an accounting specialist will get back to you straight away.
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As part of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital, sole traders will soon be required to complete 4 tax submissions per year instead of 1.
Take a look at the latest sole trader tax rates for the 2021/22 as well as our advice on how to prepare for the new tax year.