Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceSmall Business · 1 decade ago

Book keeping help please?

I am considering starting my own business as a book keeper. Already spoken to the Inland Revenue regarding self assessment etc and I'm a member of the ICB, but what I can't seem to readily find out is when I do people's books for them, am I better off doing it up to the Profit and Loss stage then reccommending they go to an accountant to get it checked before they submit their tax return.

Reason I ask is one person has asked me to do their books and their tax return and are expecting me to do it all and are not going to use their accountant again, but does this leave me liable if I get it wrong!! Can I tell people that I only do their books but they must go to their accountant? I do my husband business's books and another friends but both go to the accountant who signs off the accounts before I do the tax return.

Advice please from anyone who works in this area!!


Sue J - you obviously misunderstand what a book keeper does. I get thrown loads of receipts, bank statements etc and sort them out for clients and keep accurate records of their business's transactions. People usually use book keepers as they don't want the hassle of doing their own financial records themselves. If they give them to me to do I will charge £12 an hour - If they take them to an Accountant, a junior's charge out rate would be around £25 an hour. Which would you choose??

Update 2:

Yes thank you babe - I have the relevant qualifications - A Level Accountancy, I completed my AAT, 2 years ago and also OCR Certificates in Sage Accounts and Payroll and Book keeping.

10 Answers

  • Sue J
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Best answer

    sorry, but if I still had to take my books to my accountant, why would I get you to look at them for another bill?

  • !
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    As you so rightly point out, there most certainly is a difference between book-keeping and accountancy, not least in the sort of professional indemnity insurance accountants have! It depends what you are comfortable doing/want to do.

    Might I suggest you have a simple contract with your clients, setting out exactly what you are prepared to do and, just to make doubly sure there is no misunderstanding, spell out that you do not accept responsibility for whatever it is you don't want to do.

    By the way, if you advertise, promote what you will do - it looks very negative if, at that early point, you start setting out the list of what you don't do!

  • 1 decade ago

    Bearing in mind that every person running a business has to submit a self-assesment, the inland revenue has made this form so easy that every person should be able to complete it themselves.

    all you need to do is prepare accounts to profit & loss plus balance sheet - depending on type of business/ turnover.

    Then transfer the figures over. Provided you make clear to the other person that they are responsible for ensuring they are happy with the return, there is no comeback on yourself. remember they are the one signing the form not you.

    all you are doing is saving them time and a headache.

  • 1 decade ago

    Firstly, did you do an accounting course at college?

    If not please do one as you'll need to be registered with the AAT and you'll need to know how to set up a book-keeping system, where to log the transactions, do a trial balance and close off the books for the next accounting cycle.

    I am currently studying this subject at UNI so I know what I'm talking about.

    I really hope that this helps you out.

    Otherwise you could go to the library and get some books on the subject.

    Good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I do book-keeping, I do book-keeping, VAT Returns, Analysis work up to preparation of accounts and any other paper work that requires doing with regard to Tax Returns I leave them for accountant to do. As you will be self-employed you can decide what you want to do and what you don't want to do - I do it this way cause if there is some major mistake then accountant should pick up on it - Good Luck

  • 4 years ago

    Lincolnshire Literary Vault Lincolnshire Book Bank The Book Link of Lincolnshire

  • 1 decade ago

    That is true. You should refer them to an accountanat or tax preparer to sign off their taxes.

    So why don't they have their accountant do their bookeeping to keep everything in one place?

    The reason is the cost. It costs more to have your accountant do your bookkeeping rather than a bookkeeper would.

    On a monthly basis, both the bookkeeper and accountant would enter the same information provided by the business owner. Assuming all information was entered correctly, there really is no difference, except for the cost.

    Some small businesses have a bookkeeper on staff, and an accountant who reviews the information in a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.

  • 1 decade ago

    All accountants do this for you anyway (well, the ones I have come across anyway) Most people who run a business SHOULD do their own book keeping anyway in some even simple form.

    Running a business on my own, I do VERY simple book keeping to monitor my sales/spending and them lump everything to my accountant every 3 months.

  • Well I'd recommend P.I. insurance, unless you're very wealthy!

    Very soon you'll have to register with HMRC if you want to act as an accountant and you're not a member of a RQB.

    AAT, despite the wishes of the Association, is not a recognised accountancy qualification, but it is recognised (full membership) as a supervisory body.

  • Duffer
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The ICB recommend professional indemnity insurance. That would cover you for claims made against you by your clients, should you get their tax returns wrong, and also give some comfort to existing and prospective clients. Try their website for details.

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