It’s that time of year again. You’ve left your accounts until last minute and you need to rush to get them to your Accountant for filing. These tips can help to get your accounts finished quickly before the return date. Therefore saving your Accountant time and hopefully saving you some money.
I appreciate it’s quite annoying if your Accountant is constantly calling you for this and that; fiddly little things that maybe you don’t see as important. We’re not ringing or emailing you just for the sake of it. Obviously you would get fed up of the calls so try to stop that happening by making sure you have everything handed over correctly in the first place.
Remember your Accountant is on your side and trying to save you tax money; work with them, not against them. We may seem maddening with attention to detail but it’s because we have to get it right – mainly for your sake.
Collate your information
For starters try and get the information in some sort of semblance as mentioned in my previous blog – Are Your Accounts An Alien to You?
- Separate your Sales and Purchase Invoices
- Keep Statements and Remittance Advices filed separately
- File your Bank Statements in order and any other information needed like Paypal reports, credit card payments and receipts. This immediately helps speed up the process so your Accountant doesn’t have to sort it all when it’s received.
Don’t make your accounts a jigsaw
Write clearly on cheque stubs / paying-in books / and anything else that involves your handwriting.
Remember it’s not you that will be deciphering it at a later date so make sure it’s readable by more than just yourself. Blank or missing stubs are a nightmare for an Accountant; it becomes a jigsaw piece that has to be fitted into the jigsaw after the rest is in place and you can imagine how difficult that is when there are lots of pieces missing. This takes up more time and therefore more cost to you.
Save some vat
Make sure you have all the Purchase and Sales Invoices.
Remember that if you are Vat registered you need to have hard copy Purchase Invoices (or printed from email) with Vat details on it – this is important. Not a statement, proforma invoice, delivery note or credit card receipt – a full and correct invoice as previously discussed in my blog post – Help Prevent Vat Fraud – Get Your Invoices Right.
Look at these Purchase Invoices as money. The Vat on them can be claimed back and the net amount used as expenses saving you tax. May just be a few quid here and there but if it’s due to you it would be silly not to claim it.
Sort your statements
Simply check the bank statements you are sending on; they are numbered so it’s easy to check you have them all.
Same goes for credit card statements if you have them. If you use another account for some of your business transactions then include those too.
Ensure you send on all the information you have and it covers the whole accounting period. It is better for us to get more rather than less.
Answer questions promptly
If you are against time to get the information filed then ensure you answer questions from your Accountant as soon as you can. More often than not your answer cannot just be slotted in and the accounts are ready – it takes more work and time than that. So if you’re putting off finding the answer because it’s a couple of weeks until filing and you think it’s not urgent well think again because it is urgent and you should answer straight away.
Remember that this is probably your Accountant’s busiest time of the year so the earlier accounts are received the better. Don’t forget if the accounts are filed late there may be penalty charges or future requirements that will cost you a lot, for example, compulsory audits which can be expensive.
So if you’ve been delaying getting your accounts together then think about the tips above and how they may save you money. That’s a good incentive to get it sorted isn’t it?