Imagine … it’s January.

It’s dull, we’re all broke, we’re all on diets or detox plans, and the party season is well and truly over. The weather is probably miserable and summer holidays are too far away to think about. And, the icing on this rather depressing cake is the tax return deadline, which looms large on the 31st of January.

We get it. For many for you, dealing with accounts and taxes is absolutely the most dreaded part of running your business. It is no wonder you ignore it all until the last minute, desperately updating spreadsheets or hunting around your office for receipts to shove into a shoebox.

We promise you, it does not have to be this mad rush –– a few tiny tweaks are all you need to help you avoid the January chaos.


Keep on top of your expenses.

If you want to stay on top of things, it is so important to track your expenses.

This will help your accountant come tax return time and you won’t have to spend hours poring over bank statements or scrabbling around for receipts. If you’re not already using digital accounting software to track your expenses, now is an excellent time to start, since using software such as Clear Books™ can be a real time saver.

The software allows you to convert purchase orders into bills and set up recurring bills for those regular payments. You can easily take care of recharge costs and, at the touch of a button, you can replicate previously approved expense claims, without having to input data from scratch. If you or your employees have to travel for business, you can also benefit from the software’s mileage tool to help you reclaim expenditure for travel costs.


Track your income.

If you have multiple income streams, you’re receiving income in multiple currencies, or some of your invoices are still settled in cash, keeping track of it all can be a nightmare, particularly if you are still using manual processes to complete your accounts.

Again, implementing digital software is one easy way forward. Our software’s invoicing feature lets you create automated, branded invoices. You can see, at a glance, which invoices have been paid and which are still outstanding. The system will also send automatic reminders and prompts to late-paying clients. Clients will be able to pay your invoices with one click of a button, using your preferred payment method.

Not only will the software save you and your accountant time on your tax return but these features go a long way to helping reduce instances of late or unpaid invoices. It’s a double win!


Keep on top of your bank accounts.

Make business simple by keeping on top of your bank accounts throughout the year. Ideally, use software that can import bank and credit card statements, removing the need to enter transactions manually. You can use the system to explain transactions by matching them to invoices and bills and you can easily compare data to help you reconcile any discrepancies in your accounts. You can also simplify payment procedures for your customers by using the direct debit facility to process pre-approved sums. No more panic when January hits and you cannot figure out why the figures in your accounts don’t match up.


Call the professionals.

If you don’t already work with an accountant, it is worth considering bringing one on board. Even having someone look over your accounts on a quarterly basis can save you a ton of time and stress. They can pick up on any problems before they become catastrophes and can reassure you that everything is looking healthy. They can give you an idea of what you might have to shell out in your tax bill and can provide valuable business advice too.


Still on the fence about digital software?

We really do appreciate that not all business owners are comfortable with the idea of change. Maybe you feel quite happy with your ‘shoebox’ method of accountancy or you are more comfortable recording information manually and don’t mind cramming it all in at the last minute. We understand that many people are wary of new technology, perhaps assuming that it is going to be expensive or difficult to use.

However, times are changing and, with the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD), all business owners are going to have to embrace the use of technology in their accounting.

Leaving everything until the last minute is not going to be an option any more either as, with the introduction of MTD, all businesses will have to submit accounting data on a quarterly basis.


Get ahead of the game.

With that in mind, why not go ahead and embrace the change now?

Get to grips with accounting software (we promise it’s easier to use than you might imagine) and get used to tracking your accounts on a regular basis. No more trying to figure out where those random couple hundred pounds came from. No more overflowing shoeboxes. No more trying to figure out why the figures on your bank statements don’t match the figures in your ledger…

To see if Clear Books™ is the right digital accounting software for you, click here to sign up for a free trial!

And for more information about Making Tax Digital, click here.

Posted by Darren Taylor

Darren is a Marketing Manager specialising in Digital Marketing