Managing Your Accounts

Accounting will be a vital element in the successful maintenance of your business. It is also a huge area which, for the inexperienced, can be extremely daunting.

If you’re starting out and can’t afford the services of an accountant to help you with this area, you may like to visit the sites listed below which offer helpful information on all aspects of business accounting.

Business Link – practical advice on all areas of financial planning.

Bizhelp 24 - hugely informative website on all things financial.

Learn Direct – offers courses in finance for beginners and budgeting.

Bizwise – FAQs and ask-the-expert services on all areas of finance.

However, it is sensible to have a meeting with an accountant before you start your business. They can talk you through setting up your accounts and advise you about reclaiming expenses from taxable income.

You might be able to gain free access to an accountant through your local Enterprise Agency.  

Make sure you hire an accountant who is a specialist in the arts or cultural industries and that they have passed some exams. Seeing a good accountant saves you time and money in the long run. Seeing a 'mate' who once did a book-keeping course is not the same.

Accountants will often offer an initial consultation for free. When selecting an accountant, research carefully into their rates and find one to suit your budget.

It is also sensible to learn about book-keeping and the basics of how the tax system works. There are courses provided by Professional Bodies, Enterprise Agencies and local Adult Education Colleges. There are useful mini 'teach-yourself' accounting guides available from any bookshop or library.

There are a variety of accounting packages on the market which, if you will be handling your own accounts, offer an efficient and easy-to-use way to maintain your records. Below is a list of some widely used packages.

Sage Line 50/100, SunAccount, QuickBooks, Microsoft Great Plains