10 Tips on how to reduce your accountancy bill

  1.  Open a separate Business Bank Account  - If you have personal and business items              mixed it takes a considerable length of time separating them.
  2.  Decide on your type of business before meeting with your new accountant.               i.e:-
  a)  a Sole trader (1 person) business, 
  b)  a Partnership (1 plus others), You need a partnership agreement signed.
  c)  a Private Limited Company, (limit your liability by guarantee or capital), You           have to register with Companies House but first you will need to prepare                   articles of association and aims & objectives.  You can buy kits online but be             careful of quick company setups who become a shareholder/director, 
  d)  non of the above if no business.
  3.  Either buy a software book-keeping system or use Excel/Numbers, if you use a             bank account with purchase invoice images make sure your can permit access             to your accountant "for information only" purposes.  (Do not let anyone have                 access to your bank account with the ability to transfer funds or authorise                   payments.).  This saves the accountant time in preparing your accounts.  You               can also agree with your accountant to do the work for you - book-keeping;                  payroll, VAT returns (if turnover is over the threshold/or you choose to                           voluntarily register for VAT), monthly accounts, or just annual accounts.
  4.  Reconcile your bank to your cashbook. (Make sure the amounts are exactly the             same).  If the figures do not agree then the accountant usually has to find the               difference which takes time.
  5.  Keep a register of large capital items purchased called an Asset Register.                   Things like Buildings, Vehicles, Furniture & Equipment; ask                                         accountant/book-keeper if unsure about items.
  6.  Keep a copy of any HP or loan agreements, and any receipts for large items - take         a photograph of the receipt as some of them fade.  Number the receipts and put           the number in your book-keeping system beside the payment, to enable fast                 retrieval.  File the receipt in number order on your computer with the name of             supplier or in your arch lever file in number order.
  7.  Register with HMRC within 30 days of starting business, for tax, payroll, and             Customs & Excise for VAT.
  8.  Plan ahead  - make appointments with your accountant a month after your                   business year end.
  9.  When you hand over your books for your business year end, remember to                     include any additional income, bank interest etc for the tax year ended 5th April         too if you wish you accountant to also prepare your tax return, as well as your             business accounts.
10.   If you can achieve all of the above - have a coffee you deserve it.  Have a look           at the other pages on our website to see if you can learn from them too.