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Improving my accounts

 
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sally_in_wales
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 13 2:20 pm    Post subject: Improving my accounts  Reply with quote    

So far, we've always done our accounts through a fairly basic excel spreadsheet to record stuff going in and out, part of which can be cross referenced if needs be against the sales reports generated by the online shop, and a file of paperwork/post office receipts etc.

It sort of works, but I live in dread of the chaos that would ensue if we were audited as it only really makes sense to me, its all there, but a bit illogical and I fret that I've accidentally missed off small things every year when doing the tax returns or worry that I've set up a calculation incorrectly, leading to a lot of wasted time as I cross reference everything endlessly.

I've recently started using a free online bit of software for generating and tracking invoices, which is proving very useful as I can see at a glance who owes us money, and I think it might be time to think about graduating all the accounting to a slightly more professional system that will track things sensibly and make it all simple at tax return time.

I don't need anything terribly complicated though, we have income from the online shop, from shows, from clients like museums and from online pattern sales on sites like Ravelry to track. Outgoings are either plain old 'money on supplies' or are expenses for shows/petrol and post. I'm pretty sure thats about it.

I've tried having a look online, but I'm utterly flummoxed as to what exactly I should be looking for. I don't mind paying a little bit, especially if its integrated with the tax return system, but not too much at this stage.

Any suggestions or recommendations?

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35907
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 13 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I used to use a basic version of SAGE. It was very straightforward once I'd got the hang of it.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7095
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 13 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How about trying http://www.intuit.co.uk/index.jsp - the guys who have just given 1k to Rob - you can do it all online and trial it for free, so no worrying about backing up in the event you loose your pc etc

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 13 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

joanne wrote:
How about trying http://www.intuit.co.uk/index.jsp - the guys who have just given 1k to Rob - you can do it all online and trial it for free, so no worrying about backing up in the event you loose your pc etc


they look good, but 9 a month forever is quite a lot of money at this stage even with a one month free trial. I think I was hoping for something that there was maybe a small one off payment. Perhaps thats unrealistic of me though?

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35907
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 13 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think so, sadly. I did quite a lot of looking for a cheaper alternative at one point and didn't have much success with anything that made any sense to me.

The SAGE online thing is a fiver plus vat., though - bit cheaper than Intuit. No idea what it's like, though.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 13 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Are you VAT registered Sally?

stumbling goat



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 1989

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 13 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

FWIW I think that you may be over fretting. I use an excel spreadsheet, and if you make a genuine error you will not likely be put into the Tower.

And if only you can understand the books, you can the explain anything away.

No point spending anything unless you absolutely have to IMHO.

sg

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 13 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

joanne wrote:
How about trying http://www.intuit.co.uk/index.jsp - the guys who have just given 1k to Rob - you can do it all online and trial it for free, so no worrying about backing up in the event you loose your pc etc


I (and BA) am happy to recommend Quickbooks, although others will pour scorn on it, but it works for me. I find it easier to manage the many small transactions you get with online sales, but if I had fewer outgoings/incomes, I would stick with the spreadsheet. QB takes a bit of getting used to, but the help button is easy to use with step-by-step instructions. I think it was a one-off 100.

powerjen



Joined: 23 Jan 2013
Posts: 44
Location: Argyll & Bute
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 13 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Try Quickfile.co.uk, it's cloud based so you can access it securely over the internet from anywhere and it's completely free and very good. You can import bank statements and paypal accounts and print and create invoices etc.

Jen

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11135

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 13 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We started with QuickBooks, but we have gone over to Sage now. Not sure I have really got the hang of it even now, but you can use it at so many different levels, so it is good for long term use.

We don't have too many large or difficult transactions, but being a small company, we have to get our books inspected but not audited by an accountant, and a lot of them use Sage.

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 13 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Penny Outskirts wrote:
Are you VAT registered Sally?


no, got about a million miles to go before we're anywhere near the threshold, but I'd like to get the accounts in some sort of logical shape before its something we have to start worrying about

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 13 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

powerjen wrote:
Try Quickfile.co.uk, it's cloud based so you can access it securely over the internet from anywhere and it's completely free and very good. You can import bank statements and paypal accounts and print and create invoices etc.

Jen


I use them to generate and keep track of the invoices at the moment, and agree its been very good for that.

I haven't been able to work out how to use it to record sales that aren't invoice based though. I think, given that the online shop keeps detailed records of transactions through there, that in principle I could transfer over a 'shop total for month' as one single sum into a recurring monthly invoice set up with 'the shop' as the supplier? Would that make sense?

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 13 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sally_in_wales wrote:
Penny Outskirts wrote:
Are you VAT registered Sally?


no, got about a million miles to go before we're anywhere near the threshold, but I'd like to get the accounts in some sort of logical shape before its something we have to start worrying about


All you need to keep is a record of how much you've taken, and how much you've spent, anything you've spent as a business expense needs a receipt to back it up. Your sales records can be as simple as a hand written book, don't spend any money on systems or software, you just don't need it.

Somewhere-by-the-river



Joined: 16 Sep 2013
Posts: 56
Location: West Wales
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 13 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A friend was recommended 'Cashbook' (by an accountant) - apparently you can get a free version... (The friend has a Mac so uses 'Abacus'.)

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 13 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'll be a bit braver about seeing what else I can do with the Quickfile thing, I've certainly found it helpful with the invoices, if I can work out how to make it do the other things I need, and run it parelell to my current excel spreadsheet method this financial year, I might have it working properly for next year.

I know I 'could' just use paper, or the spreadsheet, but I'd like to feel I had a logical system so that as we get bigger and hopefully a bit more solvent, we have a method in place that can grow in a way that some future accountant won't have heart faliure over

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