It has been a tough year so far for business owners and the self-employed to say the least. Knowing how your business is going to be affected or what to do for the best to keep revenue coming in has meant that many business owners have needed to change their plans or maybe their whole operational structure. Keeping on top of the continuous changes with rules and regulations has made it that much harder, but it isn’t all doom and gloom.

A lot of businesses have actually prospered during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite national and local closures, some have used this opportunity to quickly adjust and adapt their business to trade in the ‘new normal’.

Businesses that have adapted have seen growth and are likely to have built a lasting relationship with the customer base, which will carry on after COVID-19 recedes.

One of the most important things to do when making sure your business is able to adapt is keeping on top of the constant changes throughout the UK.

You should be keeping on top of the regular changes to rules and regulations in your area of operation, if you don’t you could be missing out on vital information or worse, falling foul of regulations, risking fines.

A couple of months ago, we put together an article with useful links to help you to find reliable sources of information, you can find a copy here https://www.rosemarybooks.co.uk/where-to-find-useful-information-about-covid19.

Set aside time on a regular basis to catch up on changes and make sure that you are aware of any regulations that could affect you.

There has also been a lot of help out there for small businesses, we also put together an article with information on help available for small businesses, which you can find here: https://www.rosemarybooks.co.uk/help-for-small-business-through-covid-19 (some of these may have expired or changed since publication so please read them all thoroughly).

See what help is available to you and your business, apply for things in a timely manner, don’t leave it to that last minute, time might run out. Find out about the latest business support here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

You can also sign up for email notifications here https://www.gov.uk/email-signup?topic=/coronavirus-taxon/businesses-and-self-employed-people

If you don’t already, now is even more important to keep on top of your bookkeeping. Keeping on top of your bookkeeping on a regular basis means that you can make informed decisions for your business and will be less likely to have cashflow or financial issues. You can talk to one of the Rosemary bookkeepers and ask for a FREE no obligation bookkeeping health check and find out how Rosemary could help you and your business.

What is bookkeeping and why is it important?

In both our business life and personal life, we all have a system for keeping on top of our bookkeeping and I’m quite sure some are more organised than others.

You might rather like checking your incomings and outgoings every day, week or month, but either way, particularly in business, bookkeeping is essential. Every business should keep track of their income and expenses, if you don’t know what your cashflow really looks like you could run into big problems down the line.

What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is essentially the task of recording all of the business’s financial information, so that it is easy to see what money is coming in, and what is being spent.

As a small business owner, it is easy to get caught up in the day to day business activities but in order for your business thrive, you should be balancing your books every single month. If you don’t, how do you know if you will have enough to cover your next lot of expenses?

Many small business owners will take on the bookkeeping themselves when they first start their business, if this is your choice, get in to the habit of doing your bookkeeping every month at least or you risk getting in to bad habits and falling behind.

Outsourcing to a professional bookkeeper frees up your time to focus on your business, and if your business isn’t a bookkeeping business then you are probably better at doing something else, if you are fantastic at bookkeeping, maybe you want to join the Rosemary Team?

But why is bookkeeping important?

In short, if you don’t have a good working knowledge of the finances of your business, there is a very good chance that you won’t be running your business very long. According to ‘Investopedia’, the top reason for small businesses failing is financial hurdles.

Whatever your business there are ongoing costs throughout the year, for example for VAT registered companies VAT Returns must be submitted 4 times a year digitally – MTD. Good bookkeeping means you will be able to correctly calculate how much is due and make sure the return is submitted on time.

If you are self-employed you must file a Self-Assessment tax return every year. Keeping on top of your bookkeeping will help you submit your return in good time, saving a last minute panic and rush to gather information or worse yet missing some and facing a fine.

But it’s all fine, you have an accountant so you can just send them everything before your end of year right? Even if you have an accountant, you will still need you to keep on top of your bookkeeping so that they can create your accounts on a good set of books. If you have records missing or unordered, they may not be able to do their job.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping we can take care of your day to day bookkeeping and provide the reports you need, so you can take care of your business. We can also liaise directly with your accountant, to free up more of your valuable time.

If you feel like you don’t understand the bookkeeping side of your business, or just don’t have time to do it, you can always contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeping office here.

cloud accounting software

cloud based accounting software

As a business owner, one of the most important things to take care of is your company finances; bookkeeping and accounts. Keeping track of your income and expenditure is not only vital for managing your business successfully but also to ensure that you comply with legal obligations.

The way in which you manage your bookkeeping and accounts ultimately comes down to you and there are a lot of choices out there, from using a simple spreadsheet to a full blown bespoke accounting system.

Here, I discuss the benefits of using one of the cloud based accounting software options, to help you narrow down your choice.

Cloud based computing is becoming ever more popular for businesses large or small; and for good reason.

First of all, for those of you who don’t know – Cloud based computing is the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence – over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale. Typically, you only pay for cloud services you use, helping you lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale as your business needs change.

Accounting software is just part of what is available on the cloud and here are some top reasons why you should be looking at cloud based software:

Work from any device from anywhere

One of the biggest benefits of cloud based accounting software is that it enables you to access and work on your bookkeeping and accounts from almost anywhere.

You can use any device and log on to your account wherever and whenever you like, without being tied to a particular piece of hardware. Should the worst happen and your desktop PC is not functioning, you don’t have to worry about getting access to your files. All data will be safely and securely stored in the cloud.

Direct links for your accountants & bookkeepers

Because the software and data is stored on the cloud, you can enable remote access to authorised users such as your accountant or bookkeeper. This shared access function means that those permitted can carry on vital tasks for your business without the need to transport paperwork in person or email information backwards and forwards.

You will have live access to all your financial information

One major advantage of cloud accounting software is its ability to link directly to your company’s bank feeds.

By linking up with your bank, your transactions can be pulled directly from your bank account and straight into your accounting software. You will be able to see in real time what is coming in and what is going out of your account, giving you a greater level of control.

Access to reports and analytics

All good cloud accounting software providers have a wide range of reporting features available. You are able to set up reports to give you figures and analytics on live data, no more waiting for figures to be emailed over or someone to work it out for you.

Many cloud accounting software providers will also feature a dashboard overview, where you can see a snapshot of your accounts at a glance.

Taking the hassle away

Utilising good cloud based accounting software makes things much easier for any business owner if set up well.

With the benefit of the direct links to your bank, easy access to reports, plus digital document uploads, using cloud based accounting can free up much of a business owners time and takes a lot of the hassle away.

Keeping up to date

Using any kind of cloud computing, companies don’t necessarily have to buy or maintain their own computing infrastructure. For some, this may eliminate the need to buy servers, update applications or operating systems. Decommissioning and disposing of hardware or software when it is out of date may become one less thing to worry about!

Storing data on the cloud is safe

With cloud computing a good provider will ensure you have end to end encryption so your data security is taken care of. How secure you consider cloud computing to be will largely depend on how secure your existing systems are. In-house systems managed by a team with many other things to worry about and physical risks to information – like a computer crashing, being stolen or having coffee spilt over it – are eliminated. Your in-house systems are more likely to be ‘leaky’ than systems monitored by a cloud provider’s engineers, dedicated to protecting that infrastructure.

Something else to consider is that data stored on the cloud does not corrupt like it can in off-line versions of desktop software.

Easy to work with an outsourced bookkeeper

Last but not least, using cloud based accounting software makes it easier for you to work with you chosen outsourced bookkeeper. Your bookkeeper can have full access to update your bookkeeping at a schedule agreed with you, saving you valuable time and leaving the bookkeeping to them. All you have to do is view your reports when you are ready. You also get the added benefit of needing less office space the more you can reduce officeless you need people in the office. Less office space means less office costs.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work with several different types of cloud accounting software. If you don’t have anything in place yet, we can recommend something suitable or if you do, we can work on your chosen software.

If you would like to find out about how Rosemary Bookkeeping can help you choose the right cloud based accounting software and assess your business finances during these difficult times, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.