Clear House Accountants are market leading Single Solution Providers, that means we are expert Bookkeepers, Accountants, Tax Planners & Advisers for your Business. As a Company our Vision is Clear and Our Strategy is consistent. Our Growth Advisory service coupled with our IFIT (Identity/ Formulate/ Implement/ Track) methodology generates instant results and adds immense value to the businesses we work with. Everything we do, we do keeping in mind the long-term effectiveness of your systems, the flexibility required for instant change and last but not the least sustainable growth.
Our services are therefore not just services, each service is designed after understanding its requirement for the long term success of a business. Most accounting firms do not value bookkeeping as a service as it is a data-intensive task, however, we believe differently. To us everything adds value to a business, bookkeeping being the most valuable as it sets your business’s foundation. We have explained in detail below what Bookkeeping is and why you should not neglect the process of selecting a competent and visionary Bookkeeper for your Business. If you are looking for Tax Savings, Sustainable Growth and Longevity for you and your business, reading on is a must.
What is Bookkeeping?
Bookkeeping for a business starts with the efficient recording, saving and retrieving of transactional data of a company or an individual. This can be done by means of keeping manual books, using computerised desktop software or the latest cloud accounting software. The recording of data in bookkeeping is done following strict rules and guidelines around tax and accounting, rules such as what’s allowable and what’s not, what creates additional tax requirements and what items are key to measuring business success. The process of setting bookkeeping entails:
- Select an Effective Bookkeeping Methodology, such as old school paperback ledgers, desktop software, Microsoft Excel or state of the art cloud accounting software.
- Setting an effective Chart of Accounts, with all key account items being set up for the industry in which the business will operate.
- Setting up Invoicing and Billing structures for the sales and purchase ledgers.
- Agreeing KPI’s which need to be measured on the data recorded in order to set up a system which can measure and present these KPI’s effectively, using the foundational data being recorded.
Why is Bookkeeping Important for a Business?
Bookkeeping is the foundation upon which your business reporting, taxation and accounting are built. It is therefore very important that the foundation of your business is built with the best material, a long term view and processes which are flexible.
If done properly it will help you avoid or defeat Tax Investigations, answer any HMRC questions and have access to robust financial management and analytics.
How do you find a suitable Bookkeeper?
In order to make sure you find the most suitable bookkeeper for your business, make sure you ask the following questions:
- Do they have any experience of bookkeeping?
- Are they reviewed and rated by other clients?
- Are they just a bookkeeper or can they provide the full Tax and Accounting service? No point explaining the same thing to a Bookkeeper and an Accountant. Avoid duplication of work and resources by finding a complete solution provider.
- Are they experienced at bookkeeping only, or can they guide you on the use of your bookkeeping data beyond compliance?
- Do they have the right qualifications?
- Are they equipped at using all the necessary tools to carry out bookkeeping for you?
What Qualification should my Bookkeeper have?
If you are looking for the best provider, qualifications of your bookkeeper matter, bookkeepers can be qualified with the Institute of Bookkeepers or, if you are looking for a complete solution provider you should think about going with a Chartered Accountant such as a member of ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) or ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales). Chartered Accounting Firms have their own Bookkeeping departments, they add more value than a standard bookkeeper by providing a complete solution instead of a standalone bookkeeping service.
I still want a separate Bookkeeper and Accountant
The decision to select a single solution provider or a separate Bookkeeper and Accountant is yours to make, you understand your business best and therefore are the only person who can make the best decision for it. Do keep in mind the issues that you can come across if you do decide to go with the latter. Here are a few recommendations if you have decided to go with the second option:
- Make sure your bookkeeper is tech-savvy and can communicate effectively with your accountant using all means necessary and vice versa.
- Make sure to agree SLA’s with your bookkeeper, discuss these with your accountants before agreeing on these with your bookkeeper, to avoid missing any deadlines or tax requirements.
- Set your expectations upfront with your Accountant and your Bookkeeper.
- Agree on long-term reporting and financial objectives with your accountant, make sure your bookkeeper knows of these and sets up your system to accommodate these requirements.
What are the Record-Keeping requirements by HMRC that you need to be aware off?
If you are a Company you need to keep the records for the company itself and any financial and transactional records. What accounting records are you required to keep:
- Money received and spent by the company
- Details of any assets that the company owns
- Details on any money that the company owes
- Details of any stock that the company owns at the end of a financial period
- All goods or services bought and sold by the company with details of the buyers and sellers
- Records of any other financial matters and calculations.
Are there any tools that can make Bookkeeping easier or better?
The simple answer is yes, there are a number of innovative bookkeeping software’s which have been introduced over the years to help you make your bookkeeping process more efficient, effective and real-time. These tools have made it easier for you to review your data in real-time, connect apps to automate data entry and make the data more usable for reporting. Read our top accounting software article to learn more about what’s available in the market and the value they bring to your business.
Bookkeeping is the backbone of a business without which you lose support in making accurate financial decisions. At Clear House, we will make sure that your books are set up effectively as the quality of your reporting, tax planning, business snapshots and monthly reports all depend on how effectively your bookkeeping is being done.
How is our bookkeeping service different?
- We help you select the best online accounting software considering the scalability of your business and your business growth demands.
- A strong foundation can be the key difference between the longevity of any business, we will make sure that your cloud software is set up with a strong base. This entails setting up a proper chart of accounts, efficient cost and class structures and complete tracking of key items.
- We will recommend key add-ons for your accounts software which will enhance your business operations and compliment your business strategy.
Bookkeeping is not just about finding software and uploading data to it, it is about having the right structure and making sure that the software works for your business in the short and long-term. Generating Value and making decisions from this data will be the key deciding factor between your success or failure.