It gets towards the end of the month and your bookkeeper is asking you for all that information that takes you time to find, but why? The month end bookkeeping process needs to be done on time so all the reports you need to make business decisions are available.
Read on to get that gold star from your bookkeeper!
So what exactly IS this elusive month end process? It will vary from business to business, but there will be key elements that remain the same across all businesses and so these are what I’ll focus on here.
Every business expense needs to have a receipt. Whether that is a paper receipt, an email receipt or an invoice for payment – there will be something. Cash, card or credit expenditure all need to follow the same reporting process.
I don’t know a bookkeeper that doesn’t need to chase business owners for these every month. But why do we need them?
Your receipt not only acts as evidence of your business purchase should you ever be audited, but it also enables your bookkeeper to correctly allocate the expense in your P&L, claim back any VAT and ensure the transaction has been handled fully in your financial books.
So, how can you help your bookkeeper? There are many options for receipts now; find one that suits you. A digital receipt simply needs to be forwarded by email. Doing this daily means you can file that email away as ‘dealt with’. A paper receipt can be photographed and emailed to your bookkeeper or uploaded to a shared folder. Doing this as soon as you receive a paper receipt means you don’t have to ‘keep it safe’.
Many accounts softwares have an area to upload receipts directly. Take a look at Xero’s option, Hubdoc.
£1 or £100,000, business expenses NEED a receipt! Your bookkeeper will love you if they don’t have to chase them up.
Income is in the bank so this is dealt with, right? Wrong. Your bookkeeper needs more information than this.
You need to provide a detailed sales report each month including both cash and credit sales. Income in the bank does not include those sales using credit facilities and so is not sufficient.
Dependent on your businesses services /products on offer, your bookkeeper will need a breakdown of the sales made; cash / credit facility, product / service sold, department / location sold from, VAT rate.
Help your bookkeeper! This information is easily available from your CRM system, your e-commerce site or from your daily sales books. However you track sales, your bookkeeper needs this information each month. Give them reporting access in your CRM and they’ll retrieve that information themselves.
Automate your sales reports, give your bookkeeper access to them as early as possible.
Bookkeepers need information each month whether they handle payroll on your behalf, or you complete this yourself.
All details of employee’s worked hours, hourly rates and holidays is necessary if your bookkeeper is completing your payroll on your behalf. Be sure to confirm the deadline each month for this information so you can pay your employees on time.
For those business owners completing their own payroll, only the journal needs to be sent to your bookkeeper to be entered into the monthly accounts. This breaks down salary, HMRC payments and pension contributions.
Your bookkeeper will need monthly bank and credit card statements. The balances in the financial accounts have to be reconciled to the actual balances every month.
Giving your bookkeeper read-only access to these accounts allows them to work much smarter without delays. The more information we have access to, the quicker and easier the month end process becomes.
Get A Gold Star From Your Bookkeeper For Your Month End Processes
Follow these few simple steps and you’ll soon be the favourite client!
- Organise expenses receipts and send them regularly. Don’t wait to be asked for them.
- Give your bookkeeper access to as many reporting options as you can so they don’t have to wait for information.
- Clear the diary once a month for an afternoon to collate all the required information and to be available to your bookkeeper for questions.
- Don’t forget the biscuits! (Maybe not the most important, but it helps).
Want some help with your month end process? Drop me a message and see how I can help.
Found this helpful? Check out my other blogs too!