How to Choose the Best Online Accounting Software for Your Business

choosing best online accounts package for your business

Small business accounting software has changed massively in recent years. Thankfully, the advent of cloud computing has consigned the days of buying book-keeping software in a box and installing it on your own computer to history.

Nowadays, start-ups and small business can choose from a whole host of online accounts software packages. The technology helps to ease the pain of book-keeping and accounts for small business owners and provides a range of other benefits too. But with so many different web-based accounting solutions out there, how do you choose the right system for you and your business? (more…)

Setting Up Accounts for a Sole Trader – A Beginner’s Guide

setting up self employed accounts

If you decide to work for yourself and begin trading as a sole trader, (self-employed) you will need to set up your accounts to record your income and expenses.

In order to do this you will need to be aware of tax, national insurance and other factors that will affect the records you need to keep as a sole trader.

To help you understand your duties and to get your book-keeping done painlessly, here’s the low-down on setting up your sole trader accounts. (more…)

15 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Accountant for Your Small Business

Hiring an accountant - what to ask

For many small businesses, finding an accountant is both crucial and a bit daunting. It seems, at least from afar, that accountants are pretty much all the same and yet most small business owners know in their heart of hearts that is not the case.

While selecting an accountant can be a vexing process, especially if you are a new business startup, it’s much simpler if you approach it systematically and ask the right questions. So to help you find the ideal accountant for you and your business, here are the 15 questions you should ask before hiring an accountant; (more…)

A Guide to Bookkeeping for New Business Owners

Guide to bookkeeping for new business owners

If you’re in the midst of starting a new business, then the bookkeeping requirements are unlikely to be at the forefront of your mind. At this stage there can be far more pressing things for you to think about.

However, once your business is taking shape, you will need to start thinking about keeping up-to-date and accurate accounting records of your income and expenses. More than just a legal requirement, basic bookkeeping is an essential part of your ability to manage your business effectively.

But what kind of details are you going to need? (more…)

Staying on top of your company accounts – Book-keeping Dos and Don’ts

Accurate bookkeeping is a necessary evil when you run your own business.

There are three reasons you need to be on top of the money coming in and going out. HMRC will need information from you at some point (whether you are a sole trader or run a limited company); you need to know if you have enough cash to get you through the month (cash flow); and finally it’s good to know whether or not you are actually making a profit!
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How switching from spreadsheets to cloud accounting can help small business owners

A staple of business life for decades, the spreadsheet was adopted on a mass scale in the late 1980s and 90s alongside desktop computers. The fact that it is still used today is testament to the fact that it really was one of the killer apps of its time.

Increasingly, however, in the age of cloud-based software and connected devices, the spreadsheet and PC-reliant tools like it are being rapidly overtaken by advances in technology, leaving legacy business users at a competitive disadvantage.

Switching from spreadsheets to cloud accounting software allows small business owners to access more up-to-date figures for sales and cashflow, and view analysis and reports on a broad selection of other essential business performance indicators.

With a wider range, and more current information to-hand, cloud accounting can help business owners to make quicker and better-informed decisions.
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Book-Keeping Basics Every Small Business Owner Must Know

Few people start a new business so they can do paperwork. Spending time adding up receipts or pushing invoices around a desk is nobody’s idea of fun – unless you’re starting up as a book-keeper or accountant!

Unfortunately it’s a necessary evil and something you need to stay on top of in your new business. Being disorganised and putting off paperwork just isn’t an option. HMRC will fine you if you’re late getting essential information to them. And the longer you leave it, the worse the problem gets. So here’s what every small business owner needs to know about book keeping.
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Top 10 tax tips for small businesses

Tax isn’t the most exciting part of running your own business, but it is an issue that you will have to tackle at some point.

To help you to quickly get to grips with the subject, here are some handy tax tips based on our findings of working with small businesses over the past decade, and from our own personal experience at the ByteStart team.
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What is a balance sheet and how do you create one?

If you choose to set up a limited company when you start your business, there’s a lot more paperwork involved.

It’s one the downsides of going limited (the biggest upside of course being that you limit your liability should the business go under).

One of the many pieces of paperwork you will have to generate on at least an annual basis is a balance sheet.
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This Halloween, don’t be scared of your books

Are you tempted to duck under the bedclothes on the night of October 31st and try and shut out the “Ghosties and ghoulies and lang-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night”?

Is your business bookkeeping also something you try and hide away at the back of your mind and forget about?

Emily Coltman, ACA, Chief Accountant at online accounting provider, FreeAgent, gives her five top tips to help you lose your fear of bookkeeping.
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