Should I get accounting and payroll software?
As a one person business I am keen not to spend all my time doing admin - should I invest in some accounting software and a payroll programme or just use a spreadsheet and the HMRC free tools?
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Tony, with several good accounting software in the market today, there is no need to keep transactions in Excel. Some of them are free with limits on number of transactions. If you go through an accountant you can get significant discount offered by providers. Outsourcing payroll function is advised because of requirements for related taxes and other withholdings.
I can't recommend strongly enough using FreeAgent.
I get this via an excellent value package from Maslins Accounting in Tunbridge Wells. They do it all remotely. I spend the bare minimum of time doing what I have in any case to do and the software and Maslins sort out the rest.
Excellent value and no problems at all.
It may be worth your while finding out what it would cost to outsource those functions. A competent small firm of accountants (or even a one man band) may be able to provide you with all you need at an acceptable cost, saving you the time and need to work with software and functions which are not part of your core skills. There are excellent firms outside of London who do not charge London rates, and you do not need to spend a lot of time face to face with them.
Do you intend to grow your business from a sole trader? If you do - take advice from your accountant - I assume you have one. If you intend to remain a sole trader take a look at (free) solutions such as quickfile.co.uk - online solution that is simple, takes little time and provides the features a sole trader needs. (I've looked at many paid and unpaid solutions, over the years - this one, meets most requirements). I would suggest that you only need look at payroll, if you intend to, surprise surprise, employ people! The other thing to consider is what software platform you use (Microsoft or Mac) - this will open up the different solutions (other than online) that are available to you. Hope that helps.
Richard Stern-Suggest you check with your Accountant so see which version of Quick Books to get.
The Accountant will help with the set up.
First, I'd suggest talking with your accountant, he may have a suggestion that he works with and will make tax season easier.
Since its just you for now, I'd keep it simple. QuickBooks Pro would be my recommendation. I've been using it for over 15 years. The software provides all that you need from estimating to invoicing, tracking bills to tracking invoices and everything in-between.
A poster below recommended Xero and I have to agree with him. It is an economic way to have your books up to date and take care of that important aspect of business that most of us don't deal with correctly. I hired a friend who is an accountant and pay him by the hour. I pay him his regular wage, this way he knows this is not a favor, it's a job and I know that the more efficient I make my business and the less clutter and paperwork, the less hours he will spend there.
Don't take the shortcut, it will cost you more on the long run, spend now, but spend wisely and the advantage of this software is that there are no licenses, there are unlimited users and you can access anywhere, it is fairly simple to use. Hope this helps
You didn"t mention you business size - No of your workers , I assume to go for it only in case you are going to expand your business in near future , or you worker no will gradually will increase , as a matter of fact payroll software is nessarry to maintain your records more accurate & easier , wiss you all the best .
Hi TOny, if you are too busy for accounts, tka e alook at Xero.com - either use it yourself without purchasing costly software or talk to an accountant that uses it., much cheaper. I love it.
Or try www.carpenterbox.com