What To Do When Your Contractor Bookkeeping Is A Mess

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May 18, 2016

As a contractor, keeping your accounts in order can be a headache, and one that only gets worse the more you ignore it. Organisation is a key ingredient to success in self-employment, so it pays to have a firm hand on your bookkeeping.

If things have gotten a bit chaotic, however, don’t despair. We have some bookkeeping tips that will help you whip the messiest of accounts into shape, to add method to the madness and bring your business accounts back to the standard they need to be.

Get it together

Your first port of call should be collecting the paperwork that’s eluded you so far. Whether you’ve stashed something away, lost an initial copy, or just have trouble with filing and cataloguing invoices, you must go back to the admin drawing board.

Gather all of it up and lay it in distinct piles on a single table. Then delineate folders and plastic wallets where required, clearly labelled and stored in order of the date you created them. If most of your paperwork is digital, the same applies for documents and spreadsheets; don’t let ancient files clog a set-up that should be focused on current accounts.

Consult = result

Specialist contractor accountants exist for a reason. Our team can apply years of experience to your business model, to deliver a tailored solution with your best interests in mind. Hiring an accountant takes the pressure off you, whilst ensuring you stay compliant and tax efficient.

Getting your head around IR35, for instance, can lead to plenty of head-scratching without expert support to keep you on the right side of this complex legislation. Running your expenses past a qualified accountant can give you peace of mind that your bookkeeping is on track.

Software gives you the edge

Managing a payroll, sending invoices, responding to purchase orders… if any or all of these demands make you shiver with fear, it’s probably because you aren’t taking full advantage of the tools that have been created especially for you.

There are many variants of bookkeeping software available for contractors looking to save time and hassle with their accounts. In our humble opinion, the best option for independent professionals is FreeAgent – a cloud-based platform for intelligent bookkeeping solutions.

FreeAgent filters your ingoings and outgoings through a visual series of graphs, updating you in real-time about any and all money matters. It can generate invoices in a flash, and aid reporting to HMRC, to help you get and stay organised with your accounts.

These are just a few pointers on how to rescue yourself from turbulent admin work when it comes to bookkeeping. Contracting and freelancing is a rewarding way of life, but you need to stay on top of the paperwork behind the scenes if you want to avoid a run-in with the tax man.

That’s where we come in. Call us on 0161 669 4221 or email Info@biaccountancy.com to get the ball rolling with your bookkeeping.



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