Record Keeping: Where Do I Start?

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When you first start in business knowing what records you need to keep and how to keep them can seem daunting, or let’s face it, downright scary. This blog post talks you through the basics to get you on track.

  • Keep ALL your receipts, yes, ALL your receipts - you should be able to support the figures within your accounts and if you are VAT registered then you can only reclaim the VAT with a valid VAT receipt. Whether you keep hard copies or scan and store electronically is up to you, but if you ae keeping them electronically make sure you back them up.

  • You don't need to pay for software, depending on what your business is, a spreadsheet may be appropriate. But if you will want to track stock, be vat registered or will have large volumes of transactions then using appropriate accounting software will be a time saver. The impending making tax digital regime will mean you may need to use software or consider other ways to be compliant.

  • Have a system i.e.
    - every Friday afternoon you record your records for the week and check your bank statement
    - you have a file to keep all your receipts in and they are in date order
    - you might store it all electronically and scan and save all receipts and you do this on a weekly basis, etc.

  • Back up, back up, back up important I have said it 3 times! If you are using cloud accounting then you will be backed up. If you are using a spreadsheet then make sure you are backing it up. Think of all the blood, sweat and tears that went into keeping it up to date, you wouldn't want to have to redo it all would you?

  • Know your limitations, if admin isn't your thing then get someone to help you!

We recently wrote a blog on expenses you might be forgetting to put through the business, so if you have found this helpful have a read of this too.