For me bookkeeping is all about proof that you have purchased tax deductible expenses. If you don’t have the proof, you don’t get the deduction. There are some simple processes you can put in place to be able to capture all of them.
Open a bank account just for all your business expenses. Set up all your business direct debits and standing orders through this account. If you want some money for yourself, transfer some out to your personal account. This way I don’t get to see how much your new hair cut cost or where you by your food. Waitrose again!
I personally get comfort using my business credit card for sundry business expenses, like parking, teas and coffees, and purchases over the internet. I feel that the credit card gives you some form of protection and limits the damage of fraud. Again keep this for business expenses only.
This is not such an obvious one but is still a great control mechanism. It is a great way of checking that you have got all of your invoices from major suppliers. It also works on invoices that actually do not belong to you and the supplier has put your account number against some other businesses expenses. You should always check off your invoices against the statement to make sure all is in order.
Sales invoices/till z reports.
This is a great tool for recording your sales accurately, including those illusive cash transactions which can so easily disappear. If all your sales are recorded correctly then there will be no issue.
I have touched on cash previously but this can be a real issue to small businesses. Keep the plastic wallet in your car or work bag or inside your favourite jacket. Always ask for a vat receipt when spending cash. Place the receipt into the plastic wallet and empty periodically into your accounts file, or more likely your shoebox/supermarket carrier bag until you are ready to record it in your accounts.
Recording business mileage.
This is really a subject all to itself but we now have good solid technology which will help you record this painlessly. Nearly all business owners now have smart phones. There are a number of apps out there that will help you record this quickly and efficiently. It takes a minute to complete the data and you will then have some back up of your journey and a true cost of what the journey cost your business. Have a look at Trip catcher.
If you keep everything simple then you will not get into a flap when your yearend/vat return etc. comes round.