Here are our top 5 tips about the most important things to consider when looking at your accountancy affairs.
1. Not keeping detailed records is one of the major pitfalls we encounter.
Basic bookkeeping isn’t complicated. We can advise you on setting up a straightforward system. But it’s up to you to maintain it.
If bookkeeping isn't your strong point, keep all the paperwork relating to your business, the amounts you earn and bills you pay — or get a recommended bookkeeper.
Go through bank and credit card statements when you get them. Ring and write notes against items which are business related. Also write notes on the back of receipts, particularly if the receipt itself is unclear.
2. Keep an eye on the VAT threshold.
You have to register for VAT once your turnover exceeds the threshold (click here for the current limit) in any 12 month period. If you break this rule, you could face serious penalties.
3. Watch out for deadlines.
Beware of key tax deadlines. In the case of self assessment, the key deadline is 31st January. There are other deadlines for corporate (limited company) accounts. The key one is 9 months after your year end, with any corporation tax due at the same time. Beware - penalties for missing deadlines are rising!
4. A stitch in time...
Whatever your deadlines are, get your accounts and returns done as early as possible. It's much easier to deal with your tax liability if you have plenty of time to make the appropriate arrangements. Good regular bookkeeping will also enable you to assess whether your income and therefore your tax liability is increasing (or decreasing) year on year. You may even be due a tax refund!
5. Look before you leap.
Always seek professional advice before making any significant changes to your business like setting up a limited company. There may be tax implications.