Accounting can be time consuming – let’s face facts.  With the New Year finally upon us, we’ve taken the opportunity to make a list of small(!) changes we can all make, to help take the strain out of doing business accounts.

Designed for freelancers and SME’s, the Robinson’s North London team are on hand to help, all year round, because we are specialist SME Accountants.

 

#1 Claiming Expenses

Knowing exactly what you can and can’t claim as expenses, when you’re a freelancer or small business owner helps keep your business running and maintaining its cashflow.

By knowing your allowable business expenses, you can lower your reported profit. This will, in turn, reduce the amount of tax you pay and increase the amount of money that stays in your business. Claiming every single expense you’re entitled to – whether it’s office pens or a new computer – will leave you better off than just paying for them out of your own pocket.

You can claim a wide range of business expenses, including:

  • Stamps
  • Computers
  • Software
  • Stationary
  • Office equipment
  • Work uniform (as long as it carries the company logo – clothing for personal use cannot be claimed, and general business attire cannot be claimed as a uniform expense.)
  • Protective work clothing (e.g. eye goggles, if it’s a business necessity) including PPE for covid.
  • Some forms of travel (e.g. journeys that are made for work purposes outside of your normal commute)

If you’re unsure whether something counts as a business expense, check with your accountant.

#2 Get more organised

We know, no one really enjoys even thinking about tax, let alone completing Self Assessments and other tax returns. Going through a year’s worth of accounts, bookkeeping, and receipts, can be draining.
However, with a little bit of organisation, thinking about the forthcoming tax year may not seem as daunting.

Maybe you’d find it easier to keep on top of things with great online accounting software.

 

#3 Dates for the Diary

Keep forgetting when the Self Assessment deadline is?

31st October for paper filing,

31st January for online filing.

Not sure when you need to file your P11D?

6th July

Get those important financial dates in your diary.

Being fully aware of when these important tax deadlines occur will make the whole process seem less stressful.

In fact, if you run a limited company we’ve got a handy article with all of the deadlines and other director’s responsibilities you need to know about.

 

#4 Digitise Paperwork

Do you really need to print everything out?  Unless what you’re holding is a receipt or something to do with tax or payroll, chances are you can pop it straight in the bin or keep it digital.

Keep paperwork stored digitally and create backups if you can. Even photograph documents then store them for easy access and safe-keeping.

Get a head start on the financial year and ensure your business starts smoothly.

 

#5 Get out of the office more

When you’re running your own business, it’s all too easy to end up chained to your desk. Try to schedule in time away from your desk.
Regularly attend networking events and industry meet ups (this is a welcome change of scenery, but also the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals) Go local and promote your business and, hopefully, pull in some new clients.

 

#6 Get an accountant to take some of the strain!

Well, of course we’d say this – but that’s because that’s what we do! Getting an accountant is a great way to keep on top of your finances. They’ll remind you of tax deadlines and payments due, show you ways of keeping your accounts in excellent shape, and advise you on allowable expenses and how to report them so you’re as tax efficient as possible.

They can help you with things like estimating how much tax and National Insurance you’ll need to pay every six months or quarterly for VAT. They’ll also help to ensure you’re not forgetting any payments on account, which catches many people out every year.

 

The Robinson’s North London team are on hand to help, all year round.

We are specialist SME Accountants.

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