Most contractors will agree that bookkeeping is their least favourite part of the job. The one bonus of being an employee was that someone else sorted out expenses, tax, National Insurance and everything else but now the onus is firmly on you.
With the 2016/2017 tax year coming to an end it’s a little late to start improving your books this time around, but we’re here to help you be better for 2017/2018, since it’s just around the corner. Read on below for our tips on how to improve your bookkeeping (whatever your budget).
Take a course
If you really do need to do your books yourself, then taking a course can help improve your skills and ensure you’re doing it properly. Local colleges and universities may have bookkeeping and accountancy courses as part of their CPD offering, while sites such as Lynda.com also offer courses around finance.
Courses like these can teach you how to do your books more efficiently, as well as demystifying some of HMRC’s more complex jargon. This means you’ll keep your books in good order throughout the year and you should find your Self-Assessment next year a lot easier to go through.
Use bookkeeping software
If you still want to do your books yourself, but have a slightly higher budget, you could look at subscribing to some bookkeeping software. This still requires you to fill in information regularly, but it can take some of the weight off.
A lot of software is now online, which means it can link to your bank account to automatically fill in incomings and outgoings, as well as sending out and chasing invoices on your behalf. Some even allow clients to pay you online. While this may not be the ideal choice for everyone (for some, the monthly cost may outweigh the benefits, especially if your business is small) it can really help you out if you don’t have a financial mind by automating at least some of the processes.
Get someone else to do it!
This, of course, is the dream for many contractors. You have a couple of choices when it comes to getting some help and guidance. If your budget is flexible, you can hire an accountant who will do your books for you and can even fill in your tax return on your behalf. This is the most comprehensive method of bookkeeping and can be the safest since you’re less likely to make a mistake.
The other option is paying your spouse or partner. Many contractors employ their partner to cover admin tasks so looking after the books for you is an extension of that (although we recommend that you always check if they’re comfortable or if they need training.
One piece of finance-related activity you don’t need to worry about is your contractor insurance. Speak to the friendly team at Kingsbridge on 01242 808740, or take a look at our . You can also find us on , or .