Bookkeeping can be a time consuming process, especially where it isn't set up properly at the beginning. When it's not something you enjoy doing, it's likely to be left to the last minute and then becomes an unnecessary headache.
Getting someone else to do your books can seem like an unwanted expense but the costs of getting it wrong, or late submission, can far exceed what bookkeepers charge.
Keep your bank accounts separate from day 1 - in the beginning it might not seem worth the hassle when there is only a trickle of business coming through but as you get busier, it will take you, or a bookkeeper, longer to reconcile the account and as a result cost more in time and money. Many online business bank accounts are free.
Set up your admin process - it's really easy for small receipts to be screwed up in a pocket and lost, HMRC can ask for evidence for up to 6 years, and you could need proof of purchases later....set up a folder for each business year and store all paper-based items in a lockable cabinet.
Cash flow - plan ahead for your business needs, make sure you know what your current financial position is at all times and consider depreciation of capital items, TAX and VAT requirements, so it doesn't impact cash flow, when you find yourself with a bill to pay.
Business expenses -
make sure you document all expenditure relating to the business such as travel expenses and postage.
If you work from home you can claim a percentage of the bills but beware of capital gains tax if you should sell your home in the future - take advice from a good bookkeeper or accountant.
Motor vehicles - if you use your vehicle for personal and business use, track your business mileage.
Subsistence - if you have to work away from your substantive workplace you may be eligible to claim subsistence allowance for travel and meals.
Final Accounts Preparation Bank Reconciliation Balance Sheets Monthly Bookkeeping Updates
Payroll Pension enrolment Dividends P45 & P60 RTI
Self Assessment Corporation Tax
Submit VAT Quarterly
Invoices Recording Purchases & Sales