Get Ready for HMRC Without the Pain


Get Ready for HMRC Without the Pain

Preparing for the end of the financial year is always an alarming prospect. When you’re busy with the daily nitty-gritty, it’s tempting to leave the tedious accounting stuff for another day. Then, before you know it, January happens…

Fortunately, with a little thought and planning (and a certain degree of discipline!) it is possible to keep your accounts up to date as you go along.

This may seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re a small business or sole trader and you do everything yourself. Fear not, here is our handy guide to ease the pain and stop you from running around screaming every January.

HMRC Guide

What Information Do You Need Exactly?

Your yearly tax return to HMRC is a comprehensive report on the financial position of your business. It must include all monies in and out – profit and loss from your product or service, staff costs (wages and insurance), and overheads like electricity, phone, broadband and rent.

All assets such as stock and machinery must also be included, and any money owing – for example, company loans or outstanding payments from customers.

HMRC have all sorts of guides to help you, so check out the website.

Start with a Plan

Gathering all this together at the last minute and doing it accurately is a stressful nightmare, and it distracts you from the important business of running and growing your company. To avoid this, make a plan at the start of the new financial year and stick to it. This will help you to keep an eye on all expenditures as you go along.

Set aside some time to double-check your accounts are up to date. Do this at regular intervals throughout the year. In fact, put this in your diary. Yes, it sounds tedious and time-consuming but if it’s done frequently it may well be quicker than you think.

Involve Your Staff

If you have staff they should be fully involved in year-end planning – even if you don’t have many of them. It isn’t just a task for your accountant, bookkeeper or yourself. Encourage staff to chase suppliers for payments, log their expenses regularly, be mindful of expenditure and complete orders on time.

If everyone in the business is regularly involved in year-end preparations, you’ll avoid a great deal of the stress that comes with the last minute January panic. Even if you’re a sole trader it’s worth making time to check everything is up to date. Just remind yourself that leaving it until the last minute always turns out to be a false economy.

Ongoing Housekeeping

Receipts, expense claims, orders, invoices and statements should all be stored in the right files as soon as they’re created. This applies to hard copies and online documents. Even if you’re a sole trader, the days of dumping paper receipts in a shoebox should be long gone. This enables you to keep everything on track, and if HMRC has any queries you’ll know where to find the answers at once.

Barcodes Keep Everything in Order

Barcodes aren’t just a way of managing the product stock in your warehouse. Barcodes on invoices can be customer-specific. This allows you to track payments and ensure they go to the correct account. By running a quick report (with the right software) you’ll instantly see where the money is, or where it’s still owing.

Tanto Labels Are Here to Help

Look no further for plain or barcode labels or label printing software. The friendly folk at Tanto Labels will help you find the best solution for your business. Contact us today.

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