Insight Associates provide outsourced accounting and Finance Director services to ambitious and growing businesses. We work as your only resource or with existing staff to give you complete financial support including monthly management accounts, high level financial advice, robust controls and financial systems, funding and business planning, payroll & compliance, VAT returns and statutory compliance.

Successful business leaders have all the information they need to make good decisions…Do You?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Common Accounting Mistakes Smaller Businesses Make - 2


When it comes to profound words of wisdom, 'ensure you keep all your paperwork', probably isn't going to make it to any Top 10 Literary List, but all the same, that shouldn't detract from its' importance to small businesses.

Not ensuring you keep all the paperwork is a common accounting mistake that many small businesses make, as outlined in Garry's recent radio interview.

Getting and keeping receipts and proper paperwork for all business transactions is key. It’s an absolute must if you are VAT registered, and still essential if you’re not.

It’s incredible how often we see business owner managers lose significant sums of money on legitimate businesses expenses they can’t prove!

Consider every spend in your business and ask 'can this be legitimately claimed as a business expense?' then ensure you get a suitable receipt to prove it.

Simple things like buying coffee for a business meeting, small items of stationery, travel and subsistence, the list goes on. It’s important you only claim for things that are wholly, necessarily and properly business expenses… so if you can claim, why wouldn’t you?  If you’re VAT registered you get tax relief on them and the VAT back as well! Just think, if you don't claim, you're paying these sums out of your own taxed income!

So good record keeping is critical … down to every last little bit of paper.

If you’re not well organised there are some good phone apps around that can help you by scanning items, or you can give all your receipts to an assistant or your accounts person, as quickly as you can before you lose them!

Whatever you do don’t miss the opportunity!"

On a lighter note... When visiting a remote village in the Gambia my husband and I were introduced to a tribal elder to pay our respects and receive words of wisdom - after surveying us for some time she held out a container and beckoned  us forward. The words of wisdom we received were...  'put money in bucket'... a clear and simple sales message!... I didn't ask for a receipt!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Common Accounting Mistakes Smaller Businesses Make - 1


Small businesses without access to an accounts department are guilty of some common mistakes and misconceptions when it comes to their financial management...

The first mistake is 'not keeping accurate records and not keeping them up to date'.

How often do you hear people say they're frantically pulling together a years' worth of receipts for their accountant/book keeper.  I'm sure you've encountered this 'supermarket carrier bag' mentality - the bundles of receipts shoved into a shoe box for someone to make sense of at the eleventh hour.

Most people venture into business to make money. Financial fear; through lack of understanding; makes them ignore it. So my advice to you is get help!  A 'once a year financial position' is asking for trouble.

If you aim to maximise financial returns for your business you need up to date, accurate information to understand how you're doing (good or bad) so you can take appropriate action.Those that are making an attempt to keep and maintain records tend to fall into the group that sees 'doing the books' as a 'chore'. Quite simply, they're not a chore! They can be the difference between failure and success and whilst I may argue that the owners time may be better spent driving the business forward this is an essential business discipline that must be carried out regularly and well.

we'll be posting more 'common accounting mistakes' soon... meanwhile you're welcome to share your thoughts on the subject with us.


Insight Associates, Insight House, Riverside Business Park, Stoney Common Road, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, CM24 8PL, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1279 647447 Fax: +44 (0)1279 814512
Insight Associates is a trading name of Financial Catalysts Limited. Registered in England and Wales Number: 5670047. Registered Office as above. Disclaimer | Cookies