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  Category: Articles » Finance » Taxes » Article

Easy bookkeeping, accounts, tax for small businesses

By John Harriyott

As soon as you start in business, tax and accounts rear their head. Bookkeeping and accounts for small businesses has always been a time consuming chore. Fortunately I have at last found a way round it.

I have been running my own micro business for the last 14 years and started doing the accounts with the usual double entry hand written ledger. I laboriously entered all the details and added up the columns then had to check through them all, as the two sums didn't tally, how could accountants of old managed without a calculator?

Always use a pencil!

I quickly learnt to do it all in pencil so that if the accounts were wrong I could easily correct them. Then I got big enough to have to charge vat (value added tax). More accounting work, even worse the vat inspector was not happy with me doing everything in pencil.

Small business solution.

Necessity is the mother of invention, so over the last 10 or so years I have gradually improved a simple spreadsheet accounts package. To start with it was just a means of printing out the final figures to satisfy the vat man, then I used it to put all the expenses in the correct column, and so on.

Now I have got it to the stage where I put in the minimum of data and wow all the accounts sort themselves out. The vat separates itself out from the sales, on purchases the figures appear in the right expenses column. My accounts are now simple, easy and (almost) fun to do.

What's best is that all the figures add up correctly every time. Well except when I do a silly like putting in 990 instead of 9.90, but that is one of life's little hazards. I am still working on getting my fingers to quality accounting standards.

An easy to use accounts package emerges.

After a lot of shilly shalling with the accounts package I realized that it could be used by most small businesses almost anywhere in the world. So after a bit of thought I packaged it together and let a few friends and relatives try it out. That led to a few changes to simplify things and now it is at a stage where all sorts of people have started using it.

Great, it means more of us hard working small businesses can concentrate on making money rather than doing the accounts. If you are interested more details and samples are available on my web site.

There is no known legal way of avoiding tax and the more of the accounts you can sort out easily for yourself the lower the accountants bill will be. So please feel free to have a look at how I do it. All revealed on my business tools web pages.
About the Author
John Harriyott runs Quality Solutions (UK), developing business tools and quality improvements for small businesses. To find out more on easy bookkeeping and other business tools visit

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