Keeping track of your bookkeeping

April 12, 2017 by Christine Frith
Keeping track of your bookkeeping

With a new tax year already here, now is the time to make sure your books are in order. Let’s face it, many people find bookkeeping to be an extremely arduous task. Now is the perfect time to get your business accounts organised!

However, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to your business bookkeeping. Perhaps you are drowning in a mountain of receipts? Or simply don’t have time to keep on top of your paperwork?  Is cashflow starting to become a problem as you not invoicing clients when you should? If any of this sounds familiar then now is the time to start getting on top of your bookkeeping. Here are Hour Hands hints and tips for getting through your bookkeeping.

Keep proper financial records

The first thing you need to do is to keep good records. This is the key to keeping on top of your accounts, as well as managing your cash flow.  Your accountant will be able to tell you the exact system you need for your business but as a general rule you will need to keep track of all the payments coming in and out of your business account. Not only will this mean that you know exactly what you are spending and on what but can also use it to forecast future cash flow.

You should also keep track of all your invoices so you know who owes you money and what they owe you, as well as when the invoice is due. You should have each invoice stored in chronological order.  Make sure you note on the invoice when it has been paid.

Keep all your receipts

You also need to make sure that you get an invoice or receipt for everything you buy for your business and file them using a logical system so if you are audited for either tax or VAT you can find everything you need easily and quickly.

Remember it’s not personal

It’s also vital to keep your personal and business finances separate so that your accounts are clean. If you run a limited company the business’s money is not your own – even if you own it completely. By law you cannot use the money in your business for personal expenses. Even though when self-employed you can draw from the business,  its still best to keep your accounts separate so you know what’s what at all times.

Take time for your accounts

When you are first setting up a business the temptation is to put bookkeeping to one side, not treat it as a priority and spend the time building up your business instead. However, if you don’t put time aside to keep everything up to date you could soon find that your paperwork and accounts are getting on top of you and your cash flow may even suffer as you have no idea what’s coming in and out of your account.

Use of software

For a small business starting up the use of a spreadsheet is often enough to keep track of your records. You can download all transactions that have gone through your business bank account into a spreadsheet. As your businesses grows you might find it’s not enough – especially once you become VAT registered. That’s when it’s time to switch to a accounting software. Thankfully there are some very affordable and very user-friendly options out there. It’s worth asking your accountant for their opinion.

Here are some bookkeeping packages we work with most frequently:


  • free trial available
  • from £6/month (worth calling them to find out if there are currently running any offers)
  • very user-friendly and easy to expand as you grow, hire employees etc.


  • free trial available
  • from £10/month (worth calling them to find out if there are currently running any offers)
  • very user-friendly and easy to expand as you grow, hire employees etc.


  • free trial available
  • from £7/month
  • come with limited functionality compared to Xero and Quickbooks

Get help

There is no denying that bookkeeping takes a lot of time, so you might want to think about getting some outside help. A good accountant can often save you more money than they cost so it’s well worth getting a good accountant to help you with your finances. However, you will need to prepare the paperwork and make sure it is all in order before you can pass your records to the accountant.

If things are getting out of hand and you can’t keep on top of your bookkeeping at Hour Hands we can do the hard work for you. We can take care of the bookkeeping so your time can be better spent doing what you do best – growing your business. Find out more contact us today.