Let’s be honest keeping your accounting records in order is boring! And trust us, you are not alone if you only get them organised when your accountant asks for them.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of tips to make the mundane task that little bit easier. After all, messy books could leave you with an expensive accounting bill or mean you forget to claim for business expenses that you paid for personally!
Little and Often
We know it’s easy to overlook admin tasks until they become urgent, but setting aside a little time in your diary once a week to collate receipts and list out expenses you paid for in the previous week could help to get the job done.
Ask someone else to do it
If you have an admin assistant or PA you could consider asking them to help you stay on top of accounting admin, depending on whether you can trust them with confidential business information. You can find a routine that works such as: always handing them your receipts, asking them to analyse your credit card statement for your expense claim or have your accountant communicate with them directly what records need to be collated and let them figure out a procedure that works.
Apps have never been more useful and intuitive. ‘Scanner for Me’ is a great example, an app that allows you to take a photograph and email the document to yourself as a PDF – you can photograph a copy of a receipt and send it to yourself, or someone else, so you remember to put it on your expense claim. ‘MileIQ’ is another a great tool to track your mileage on your phone and log your business miles – to include in your accounts at a later date.
Email Straight to Xero
If you use Xero did you know you can email information like payroll reports and purchase invoices directly to Xero? Save the email address in your phone and everytime you receive a document you know your accountant or bookkeeper will need to log in your books you can send it over for them. It may save you trawling back through your emails when VAT or year end time comes.
Google Drive and Dropbox are two ways of storing information online which can then be easily shared with your accountant. Get into the habit of ‘dumping’ copies of bank statements, invoices and expenses in a folder so your accountant can head straight to your shared drive and start work without chasing you for information.
Company Credit Card
If you don’t have a Company credit card you could speak to your bank about whether you can apply for one. Placing all your business expenses in one place will make it easier for your accountant to pick up all relevant costs and will save you the hassle of paying personally and then making a claim. Just remember to keep hold of all the receipts!
Separate E mail Address
As you grow, so too will the amount of administration. You could set up a separate email address for suppliers to send their invoices to and you can assign this email for somebody else to manage. It will save the time of trying to remember which supplier invoices have come in and then digging them out or chasing members of your team to send them on. Having a single point of contact will streamline any process.
If you are struggling with keeping your records in order and are confused, the best place to start is talking to your accountant. A good accountant will be able to talk you through what you need to keep and, if they have taken the time to get to know you and your business, will be able to suggest a system that will allow your record system to be efficient.