Getting Organised When Keeping VAT Records

30 January 2018, 03:27

How do you keep your business records? Do you have an online system you use, or an accounting software package? Are you one of the ever-dwindling number of people who still keep paper records?
Being organised is a key part of owning a business. It’s necessary to keep accurate records for tax purposes, and this becomes even more important when you are registering for VAT. In fact, if you haven’t yet switched to a computer accounting package, this would be the best time to do it. It also means you can give your accountant access to it when they are doing your tax return, which makes life easier for both parties.
Is there a set way you should keep VAT records?
No, but you must make sure you have all the information you need in case you ever need to access it (or are asked for the information by HMRC). Hence why many people opt for an accounting package. The best ones are easy for use for your general records and for the VAT aspect as well. The other big benefit is they will do all the necessary calculations for you, so you won’t wear out the buttons on your calculator. It will save you countless hours of time too.
What about actual paperwork?
Some people keep physical paperwork, but you can transfer that paperwork to electronic copies if you prefer. Sometimes, that’s all you’ll have, but it is good to transfer proper copies into electronic format as they are easy to access. Be sure to save two copies so you have access to another set just in case something should go wrong.
Can you outsource your VAT paperwork and record keeping?
You can. An accountant can handle this aspect for you, although you will still need to have the proper forms and processes in place, so you capture all the required information whenever you make sales or purchase things for your business. If you know you are going to register for VAT soon, make sure you speak with your accountant first. They will be able to guide you through the maze of VAT so you can begin as you mean to go on.
Yes, you will pay an accountant for their services, but these are usually well worth the money. If you would spend hours trying to sort out your own accounts, think of the time you’ll save by giving that task to your accountant. Furthermore, you won’t have the stress of figuring out what you need to do and when. You can get on with running your business, which is the most important thing of all when you want to earn money.