Bookkeeping is an important tool for any business but particularly important for businesses with a large number of transactions. It helps keep track of financial performance, as well as showing who owes what to whom. It also forms the basis of VAT and tax return preparation, which by law must be submitted to HM Revenue & Customs by a specified date. 


Despite its importance, bookkeeping is often overlooked, partly because its importance is under-estimated, and partly because of lack of time and/or resources. Many businesses don’t have staff in-house who can maintain a good quality bookkeeping system, and the costs of training and recruitment can be prohibitively high. 


Even if you already have an accountant, N.S. Bookkeeping could help reduce your accountancy fees by dealing with the bookkeeping to trial balance stage, making it quicker and easier for your accountant to produce your year-end accounts.


We normally use Sage accounting software for bookkeeping, although for smaller businesses MS Excel is often more suitable.


Any business which turns over more than £85,000 per year (as of 2018) must register for VAT, unless it supplies only VAT-exempt products or services. You must then submit a VAT return every three months, with a filing deadline of one month after the quarter-end. Most businesses must now submit their returns online at the HMRC website, and pay any VAT due electronically. 


Since bookkeeping automatically keeps track of all day-to-day financial activity, producing a VAT return for your company every three months is a very simple extension of the bookkeeping process. Our software can calculate the figures for entry on to the VAT return form quickly and easily.


If you need to register we can complete the forms and submit them to Revenue & Customs on your behalf.


Annual Accounts

It is a statutory requirement for companies to submit accounts annually, and late filing of accounts attracts a penalty. Sole traders also need accounts in order to calculate their profits for tax purposes.


Accounts also act as a useful tool for the business owners as they show how profitable the business has been over the last year. They also usually include a balance sheet which provides a snapshot of the financial position of the business at the year end.


Most company accounts are now submitted online and are normally due nine months after the year end and must be in a set format in accordance with the Companies Act 2006.


Tax Returns, Guidance & Advice

If you operate as a sole trader you must file a self-assessment tax return by a set date every year showing your income from all sources during the tax year to 5 April. It is recommended that returns are filed online and any payment made electronically. Your year-end accounts provide the basis of the self-employment section of the return, for which two installments are usually paid – one on January 31 and the other on July 31.


Companies must also submit a corporation tax form which shows profits made by the company during the year for tax purposes. Company directors will usually also have to submit a self-assessment, though in many cases payment of any personal tax can be minimised or avoided in this case with careful tax planning.


Company Formations

Even if you had not planned to trade as a limited company, we can offer advice on the benefits (and drawbacks) of incorporation, particularly where tax savings are concerned. Larger businesses are usually advised to incorporate in order to create a separate legal entity and to save tax.


We can see to all aspects of the company formation procedure from applying to Companies House to dealing with form filling and administration. We can also advise as to any further necessary steps such as setting up of payroll and filing of annual accounts.

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Our payroll software helps to simplify the weekly or monthly payroll procedure by calculating net wages payable and any amounts owing to HM Revenue & Customs.


In addition to this it is necessary to file annual returns with HMRC showing full details of all salaries paid during the year and any deductions for tax and NI, in order to verify that the right amount of tax has been paid over. This must now be done online and by May 19 – or about six weeks after the end of the tax year.


Management Accounting

These provide a useful way of tracking the performance of your business on a regular basis –usually monthly or quarterly. They are not compulsory and nobody but the business owners themselves need necessarily see them. However they are often requested by banks or potential investors as a means of assessing the performance of a business when considering offering financial backing.


They summarise the key financial points about a business such as its turnover, profit, bank balance, monies owed to suppliers and from customers and so on. They can also provide an estimate of the likely tax, if any, that will be owed on the profits to date. 


Management accounts can be prepared easily using data from bookkeeping records and can be presented in any number of formats, such as the standard layout provided by Sage Accounts, or using dedicated accounts preparation software.   N S Bookkeeping can provide such information in your own preferred format.


Even if you do not employ staff, if you are a limited company it may be advantageous to declare a basic director’s salary as a way of minimising your tax liability. In such cases, a monthly payroll can be set up and maintained very easily and at minimal cost.



In addition to he above we provide other financial services:-

Variance analysis – use of management accounting figures to compare budget vs actual figures and hence ensure the business is performing to expected standards.


Financial forecasting – estimating future cash flow and profitability to ensure the business is sustainable, to help with financial planning or to provide evidence of financial stability to banks or investors.


IT Support – though not our area of speciality, our knowledge of IT is regularly called upon by clients, and can include anything from installing software or setting up a printer to getting a computer to communicate over a network.


Business Planning

Businesses are often required to prepare a plan for presentation to a bank, lender or potential business partner. Business plans are also a useful tool to help plan for future growth, and cover all aspects of running a business such as staffing, financial planning, operational issues, target customers, products and so on.


We can assist in the preparation of business plans, including the preparation of financial forecasting reports which can help predict the future profitability and cash flow of your venture.