Aben Bookkeeping recently attended the Let's do Business shows in Brighton and Hastings and as we talked to people visiting our stand, one of our most frequently asked questions was 'What does a bookkeeper do ?' It's a great question as we understand that many small businesses start off doing their own bookkeeping and are not really sure when they should make the transition to either outsourcing or employing a bookkeeper.
Put simply an Aben bookkeeper will:
Maintain and update your balance sheets.
A balance sheet shows your financial position to a specified date. It summarises what a business owns (its assets) and what a business owes (its liabilities). The balance sheet can give your or perhaps potential investors a view on the value of the business. It is a snapshot of your financial position at a specific time.
Produce cash flow summaries
A cash flow statement shows how much you have spent and earned during a given time period or what you expect to spend and earn. The information in a cash flow summary will help inform how cash flows in and out of a company and the effect this may have on available funds at any given time.
Produce concise information for your accountant
A bookkeeper will spend time making sure that the information delivered to your accountant is correct and presented in a format that minimises the time (and therefore costs) spent developing annual audited accounts and tax returns.
Create bespoke spread sheets
A bookkeeper will use their knowledge about your business to create spread sheets that are wholly apposite to your business model and needs. They will ensure that every cost and income is reported in a way that helps you manage your business.
Produce ECSL reports
If your business operates within the EU (not including your UK based transactions) you need to comply to the complex statutory demands of the HMRC. The European Community Sales List (ECSL) Reports need to be completed in line with your VAT return every quarter. An Aben bookkeeper will be able to make this 'onerous task, simple straight forward and easy to fulfil'.
Compile ONS reports
Occasionally the Office of National statistics may call upon you or your company to complete a survey based on a variety of subjects. To find out more about the ONS and how the reports are used visit http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/about-ons/who-ons-are/index.html
Have experience in operating a variety of accounts software
There are a number of accounts softwares available and most bookkeepers should be able to use and advise about which is the most suitable for your company. Aben Bookkeepers are familiar with MYOB, Quick Books, Sage, Crunch, Kashflow and Xero as well as software's developed specifically for larger organisations
Produce integrated reports.
An integrated report is one that puts together your financial and sustainability information to create a report that shows your companies 'Value' beyond the purely financial assets you may have. Integrated reports allow you to plan for the long term by understanding the importance your intangible assets such as building loyal customers and developing your intellectual capital.
Produce management accounts
Management accounts provide easy to access information about your company to help you plan for the short term. The accounts detail expenditure, income, balance sheets and cashflow.
Provide payroll information and process payments
Many bookkeepers will provide you with real time payroll information, known as RTI. RTI information is submitted electronically to HMRC before you pay your employees either weekly or monthly. RTI increases the accuracy of PAYE information and minimises under or overpayment of tax. Aben Bookkeepers can submit your RTI information and supply you with the payslips etc for your staff.
Producing documentation for bank and finance agreements
If your business is looking to move to a new premises, for a loan or grant, or to submit information for a Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) or tender, your bookkeeper should be able to help compile the information you need. Saving you time and ensuring that you are providing the information in the format required.
Profit and loss reports
Profit and loss reports can be issued weekly, monthly or quarterly to show revenue and costs of sales and give an overview of how the business is actually performing (often against budgets). Most profit and loss reports are for internal use only. At Aben Bookkeeping we are happy to work with you to produce useful and effective p & l report structures and on-going reports.
VAT return preparation
All VAT registered businesses must complete VAT returns and pay VAT due to HMRC Most bookkeepers will provide a VAT return preparation service and at Aben Bookkeeping we are no exception. We can collate all the relevant information as well as submit the return. Most VAT periods are quarterly though some businesses may apply for a non-standard VAT period to, for example, match their financial year. VAT can be subject to 'special tax point rules' depending on your industry and which VAT accounting scheme you use.
If you would like to find out more about 'What Bookkeepers Do' or more specifically about what Aben Bookkeepers do then please contact Karen@abenbookkeeping.co.uk