Could do with some basic help on this, too. Seems to me that I pay my accountant a lot of money every year even though my (own invented system of) bookkeeping gets more elaborate. I think if I could do better, it'd mean less work for him..... and maybe less fees for me. I had a look at some school taxtbooks - I mean textbooks - to see if they'd give some basic advice but WAAAAY too complicated. Is there such a thing as Bookkeeping & Accounts for Eejits?
Buying an accounting software package is likely to be a waste of money unless you know precisely what you are looking for and why you want it. Simple excel spreadsheets are adequate for many small businesses and can be easily adapted if necessary. Bridget you should discuss your recordkeeping with your accountant. They may well be able to suggest improvements that will reduce the time they have to spend on your case and, ultimately, your fees.
I think there is a need for this kind of basic information. Most important things to remember are the following.
1. Keep all invoices and receipts, break them down by week or month depending on volume, further breakdown by general area.
2. Write out purchases daily in a purchases book.
3. Write out sales daily in a sales book, with back up receipts for proof of sales.
4. If you do this bread and butter work it will save your accountant lots of time intensive work and save you money.
5. Send your accountant just the written out sales and purchases book to fill in taxes and vat returns.
6. Go on a bookkeeping course in a VEC next September.