Whether you are doing your business bookkeeping, or you have a bookkeeper, we can support you. We hear regularly from our clients with quick questions:
- What code do I use to post an expense?
- Can I reclaim VAT on an expense?
- The balance on my bank doesn’t match the statement, what have I done wrong?
If these questions look familiar, we can help answer your questions. We want our clients to keep productive, and not waste time with their accounting systems, and not being able to send out bills or pay their suppliers on time.
We are experienced in all of the industry standard accounting systems, and IT proficient enough to be able to use more specialist accounting systems.
Our experts have used Sage, Quickbooks, Sage One, Quickbooks Online, and Xero throughout their careers, often being early adopters to make sure our clients didn’t miss out on a competitive edge.
If you need bookkeeping support, if its adopting a new accounting system, your old one needs upgrading, or its never really worked how you wanted it to, then please contact us today.
What are business accounting books?
Every business is legally required to keep financial records, in the UK this applies to anyone who is required to prepare a tax return (either self assessment, or corporate). If you are outside of the scope of tax, you may still need to keep financial records if you are handling money that isn’t yours, or are regulated. For example, a mutual fund for flat maintenance will need to keep financial records to ensure they are still eligible for corporate tax exemption, and as you may be answerable to other tenants.
What is a nominal ledger?
The nominal, or general ledger is a detailed list of all the transactions that make up the activities of a business. Most reports will be summaries of the general ledger. Some smaller businesses may only operate a general or nominal ledger, but as businesses get bigger offer purchases and sales are split off, to make for quick access to essential business information. In most modern bookkeeping software, the nominal ledger is often displayed as a summary of nominal or general ledger (G/L) codes, to make it easier to read. These codes categorise each transaction by type, be it asset, liability, expense, income or capital.
Can I reclaim VAT on an expense?
If you have a VAT receipt, and your are VAT registered, then you probably will be able to reclaim the VAT. Generally speaking, you will not be able to reclaim VAT on fuel, personal expenses, and entertainment. This is a very general list, and with every rule there is an exception, so if you are not sure, please make sure you ask someone familiar with VAT.
My bank doesn’t reconcile, what do I do?
Most of the time reconciliation differences are down to duplicate entry, missing out a transaction, or mistyping an amount. Most modern accounting systems will import your bank statements reducing user entry error. If you know that your bank entries are correct, then you may have a problem in the history that needs adjustment.
What code should I use to post a business expense?
Expenses belong in the profit and loss account, for the most part you should post an expense in the most obvious place (Rent, Telephone, etc), the key is to be consistent. Changing where you post items part way through the year can make for difficult analysis when you look at your profit and loss report. Modern accounting systems learn where you commonly post invoices from suppliers and make suggestions, or you can set up rules for things like rent that always get the posting right. If you don’t have a code, and you think it would be useful to separate out, then your accountant can help you add a new code to post to.
What exactly does a bookkeeper do?
A bookkeeper keeps the financial records of a business up to date, and may also chase in overdue sales and prepare lists of purchase invoices that need to be paid. A bookkeeper will look collect all of your financial records, bank statements, invoices, and enter them into an accounting system or summarise on a spreadsheet. You must maintain proper accounting records by law, and with making tax digital the frequency of this is now in line with your VAT reporting deadlines.
What’s the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?
A bookkeeper looks after the day to day financial records of a company, entering invoices, statements and expenses onto an accounting system. They are responsible for collecting together the information from all the different sources to make sure that your financial records are accurate and up to date.
An accountant takes a more high level approach, creating reports and financial statements based on the information collected by the bookkeeper. With those reports an accountant will help you make plans, budgets and identify opportunities to run your business smoothly. An accountant will also look after the year end statutory requirements of a business, as well as calculate your tax.
How much does a bookkeeper cost?
A bookkeeper can vary in price, usually depending on qualification, experience and requirements. A bookkeeper who can take your accounts to trial balance, ready for an accountant could start full time from £20,000 per annum, where a bookkeeper who simply maintained the VAT and posted the bank would start at minimum wage. A good self employed bookkeeper would start from £25 per hour.
Can my accountant keep my books?
Yes, at OS accounting we offer a fully outsourced bookkeeping function, which is overseen by chartered and chartered certified accountants. Generally it is more expensive for your accountant to maintain you books, however you have piece of mind and know that your year end accounting fees will remain competitive as the books will be maintained as your accountant expects.