Nothing is set-in-stone so you can keep your business records in the way that suits you best. If you want to use an accounts book and hand write your accounts that is just fine.
Spreadsheets and accounting systems make life easier and do some of the maths for you.
So what accounting or bookkeeping systems are available for free?
Excel works vey well for most single person businesses, whether you run your business as self-employed or through a limited company. You will need three or four Excel sheets:
- Income with your invoice number, the date the invoice was issued, who it was issued to and the date you received payment;
- Expenses with the date the expense was incurred, a description of the expense and the date it was paid. It will also help you (or your accountant) complete your tax return if you set up a series of analysis columns;
- A summary profit and loss account so you can estimate your profits for the year and put aside some money for taxes; and
- If you use a separate business bank account you can track the movements in your bank balance against your income and expenses – just to check everything is included properly.
We have a free accounts spreadsheet available for download via our free Accounting Essentials E-book.
Free software options…
There are vaious free software packages available.
If you want to produce invoices then the system provided by Bright Book seems to work well.
You can also download a free cashbook system from VT Accounts. If you use this software you will need to keep your unpaid customer invoices and unpaid purchase invoices in separate wallet until you pay or you receive the money.
At Clearways Accountants we use a more sophisticated version of VT Accounts to prepare your accounts, income tax return or company accounts so using the VT accounts system will allow us to directly upload your bookkeeping data.
Still not convinced?
If bookkeeping still seems a chore then Clearways Accountants offer a bookkeeping service for all their tax and accounting clients so drop us an email to see how we can help.