Tips For Making Your Bookkeeping Easier

    Bookkeeping can be a tough task to manage as a new or small business, however, there are ways you can make it less stressful. The easiest way is to brin g in the services of a bookkeeping company. It may seem like an additional cost for your business but for the time it will save you, in the long term, will benefit you and your company, plus you’ll know with a professional bookkeeper that you’re getting the job done properly.

    If you do decide to start your business running the bookkeeping yourself here are some top tips for making it a lot easier and less stressful.

    • You need to allocate time each week that is devoted solely to managing your books, these regular reviews will show you how your business is doing and it will allow you to ensure you have complete control over your cash flow. It’s really important you keep on top of your bookkeeping.
    • It is recommended that you open a bank account just for business earnings and expenses, keeping your business transactions separate from private transactions will be the best way to control your business cash flow easily. This is a legal requirement if you are a Ltd company.
    • There are lots of accounting software systems available on the market, speak to a bookkeeper to see which accounting software they recommend if you are unsure of the best programs and systems for you. Make sure you back up these files regularly.
    • Make sure you get all tax and compliance obligations right, if you employ staff make sure you register for this and pay staff , PAYE and National Insurance on their behalf. There are lots of documents and obligations you need to be compliant with so keep on top of these to save you from last minute panics.
    • Keep your receipts. Anything you buy on behalf of your business you need to keep the invoices and receipts for, you need to keep financial statements showing profit and loss and you need to keep statements of bank accounts and credit cards. Updating these reports regularly will save you dredging through piles of receipts at the end of the year.

    Have you got any top tips to share with other small or start up businesses in Peterborough that want to manage their bookkeeping themselves?


    When Should You Hire A Bookkeeper?

    Here at Chromium Bookkeeping in Peterborough, we want to meet new business and get involved in the community. We are keen to meet like minded people and offer support to those starting out in the world of small and start-up businesses.

    Lots of small business owners will try and save money by managing their bookkeeping themselves to start with, this takes up really important time that can be used for better areas of the business. Generally speaking the sooner you use the services of a bookkeeper the better as the longer you leave it the bumpier the transition will be when handing your accounts over to your bookkeeper.

    It’s a really good idea to bring a bookkeeper into your business at the beginning so everything is set up properly and then meet up with the bookkeeper every quarter as a minimum to touch base and ensure the books are looking as you expect. You can use your bookkeeper as a business consultant; they should be as much of a part of your business as possible.

    Having a bookkeeper look at your books throughout the year can be really beneficial, it means that large errors that may have been found at the end of year can be found as smaller problems along the way that are quick and easy to fix.

    A bookkeeper can set up your books correctly from the start and this can make a massive impact on your measurement of business and growth of business. Your books are often referred to as the pulse of your business and a bookkeeping service can expand beyond the basic cash management – if you let it.

    Here at Chromium Bookkeeping in Peterborough we care about our clients, we love seeing a small or start-up business grow as we know that they could be our biggest client in the future if we support them in the right way.

    When should you hire a bookkeeper for your small business? As soon as you can!


    Accounting Mistakes That Will Put Your Small Business At Risk

    Small businesses can be put on shaky ground from accounting mistakes, sadly they are all too common for new or start up businesses so in this article we have put together some of the most common accounting mistakes to help other small businesses avoid them.

    Not Staying On Top Of Invoicing

    Whether it’s sending invoices late or not chasing up the payments from clients, many small businesses fall into the trap of not staying on top of the money coming into the business. This means that clients may not pay at all, they may pay late or you may forget to send their invoice. Put a plan in place to make sure invoices are sent on time and have a backup plan for when clients do not pay within the agreed time frame.

    Not Keeping Expense Receipts

    It’s so important to keep the receipts of your business expenses, looking at your bank account statements and seeing you have spent £10 here and £21.54 there will not mean anything at the end of the tax year so make sure you keep a track of everything to make sure you claim the right amount of tax expenses. A top tip is to keep a large envelope or a bag in your car and every time you get in the car you put the receipts in that bag or envelope. Alternatively there are some fantastic apps and programs to scan expense receipts into your files.

    Not Recording Cash Expenses

    Spending a few pounds here on pens and a couple of quid there on envelopes may not seem like much but when you add it all up this is money you have put into your business, therefore this is money you can claim for so make sure you keep track of your cash expenses, don’t lose those receipts.

    Not Hiring A Professional

    Small businesses often think it’s cheaper to do it themselves, but in the long run you could miss out on saving a lot of money. Bookkeepers and Accountants spend years learning and researching, they are experts in their field and they ensure that you claim all the deductions you qualify for. This could result in saving money in ways you never knew.

    Hiring A Bookkeeper That Doesn’t Speak Your Language

    So you’ve decided to do the sensible thing and use a professional bookkeeper, but do they actually speak the same language as you? You’re sittinh at the table and they’re telling you your bottom line is positive, your balance sheet is x and your retained earnings are y’ – you switch off as you have no idea what your bookkeeper is saying. Make sure you choose a bookkeeper that is on the same wavelength so you can understand the finances of your business.

    If you would like to know more about what we can do for you, give us a call! Here at Chromium Bookkeeping in Peterborough we are always happy to offer support, guidance and advice.

    We want to help you make your business a success.


    How Do You Make Sure Customers Pay Your Invoices?

    Here at Chromium Bookkeeping in Peterborough, we speak to business owners all the time and their most common complaint is that they cannot get their clients to pay the invoices on time. If you find that you are sending out invoice after invoice but they are just not getting paid then continue reading for some advice on how you can get your clients to pay your invoices.

    Add ‘Overdue’ Fees

    Plan out payment terms and make sure these are clearly stated on the invoice, decide how long you will give your customers to pay your invoices before the additional fees are added on. It can be tricky to add this on to invoices for existing clients but if the client doesn’t pay on time and you do charge the ‘overdue’ fee it is unlikely they will pay late again!

    Speak With Clients

    If you are dealing with a larger company you will find they have an accounts department, the accounts department may not know you and your little ‘reminder emails’ may not even be acknowledged. Pick up the phone, speak to someone in the Accounts Team and then you become a ‘real person’ and it is much more likely they will get the payments made.

    Keep Payment Terms Short

    If your clients get an amazing service from you and they are happy with the work you do for them, why shouldn’t they pay quickly? 30 days payment terms may be the ‘norm’ but wouldn’t it be better if you were paid the week after you did the work?

    Call Early & Call Often

    As soon as a client is overdue on their payment make contact with them. Even better, as soon as the invoice have been sent, call them the next day to ensure they have received it and there are no issues.

    Send them a reminder by email a few days before the payment is due and then follow that up with a phone call when they are a few days overdue. Don’t let them think they can pay you when they get round to it – you need to make sure they know your payment terms and that they need to stick to them. If you don't have time to do this, give Chromium Bookkeeping a call and we'll be happy to help.

    When it comes to business, sending the invoice is only part of the ‘getting paid’ process, in every business you will always have some clients that pay on time and some clients that will need to be prompted.

    If you have trouble getting your invoices paid, give us a call – we are always happy to help you organise your invoicing procedures or even chase payments from clients on your behalf!


    Top Invoicing Tips For Improving Your Cash Flow

    Here at Chromium Bookkeeping, we like to listen to our clients and help them with their accounting dilemmas. We are often asked how our clients can improve their cash flow so we have put our heads together to create this article giving you top tips for improving your cash flow.

    • Invoice Immediately - don’t wait until the end of the month or weeks later. As soon as the work is done get that invoice out to the client and chances are your client will pay sooner.
    • Send Invoices By Email – the sooner your client gets the invoice the sooner they will pay it. This then speeds up the process by a few days meaning you get paid quicker. It also means you have a copy of what you have sent, in case the client claims they haven’t received it.
    • Write Detailed Descriptions on Invoices – Make sure clients understand the invoices when they get them, leave no room for confusion as this will prolong their payment if they query it. Make sure there is no way they will not understand what you have charged them for.
    • Set Payment Terms – but don’t just set any old payment terms, set payment terms that suit your business and will work for you and your clients.
    • Encourage Bank Payments – write on your invoices how you would like to be paid, give clients all the details they need to pay the money directly into your bank account as this is much quicker than them sending cheques or bringing in cash.
    • Have Someone Else Chase Money – Chasing money is never a nice task and is often a chore that business owners put off so why not outsource this task to someone else and get them to do the nasty bits of business?

    As a small business owner life will be a lot less stressful if your customers and clients pay faster so follow these top tips and see how you get on!

    We want to help you make a success of your business.