The world is awash with online book-keeping software and it does give more choice.  There are a number of options for you to consider for your book-keeping and accounting needs:

  1. Do everything yourself. If you are a sole trader then you could prepare your books and submit your tax return without any help at all.


  1. Package everything up and hand it over to a traditional accountant at the end of the year.


  1. Use book-keeping software to record your transactions and then pass it to your accountant at the end of the year.


  1. Use a service like our dot-to-dot inclusive package. We carry out your book-keeping throughout the year, provide you with monthly management reports and transform your data at the end of the year into financial statements and tax returns.  We actually do use online cloud software to do this.


The accounting world is changing rapidly.  Just 5 years ago, most of us hadn’t heard of cloud software and were left with either doing the books on paper, spreadsheet or stand-alone desktop software.

It’s not only the software part of accounting that is changing.  Tax legislation changes on a constant basis, so you could do your own book-keeping and legitimately claim for expenses that a month later are no longer claimable and you may not even realise that you’re claiming for something that you shouldn’t be.  One example of this is the reclassification of vehicles such as the Nissan Navarra – not that long ago would have been classed as a commercial vehicle because it has a flatbed truck at the back, has been re-classified as a car because it has back seats and back windows.  The rules on what you can claim for commercial vehicles is very different to what you can claim for cars. 

We’re not going to claim to be perfect at keeping up to date with changing legislation, but we’re pretty good at it.  If you’re also trying to run a business doing something other than accounting, you’re going to find it almost impossible to keep up with these small, but often significant, changes. 

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is shortly going to be here (2019/20 dependent on the size of your business).  This means that record keeping on paper or annually is just not going to be allowable in the future.  You will either have to invest in some kind of software or pass your information to a book-keeper/accountant on a monthly basis in order for them to turn your paper records into digital data.  This means that options 1 and 2 will no longer be available to even the smallest of businesses.

There are a number of reasons why we feel you should opt for option 4 (using a service like our dot-to-dot inclusive accountancy package): -

  1. We know what expenses to claim for and when. This means that there is less chance of claiming for something you shouldn’t be and more chance of saving tax by claiming for something you didn’t know you could claim for.


  1. We can save you massive amounts of time that you could be spending on another aspect of your business. Because we do this all of the time, we’re generally quicker than a business owner at book-keeping so it might not cost as much as you think.


  1. You’d be ready for Making Tax Digital for when it comes into effect.


  1. We keep up to date with changing tax legislation.


  1. We provide you with read only access to Xero software so that you can see what we’re doing with your transactions / data.


  1. We provide you with monthly management reports which show your profit and loss which should help you with any decision making.


  1. It’s an easy transition to complete your accounts and tax returns and they tend to get submitted much more quickly.


If you want to find out more about our dot-to-dot inclusive accountancy package then please visit our “What’s included” page or give us a call on 0333 305 8772.


Helen Fielding

18 May 2018