As promised, ways to save money on book-keeping, and payroll. There is no such thing as a free ride but there are a number of free resources available to help ease the workload.
Business tools on Buisness Link Website
‘My New Business’ is a new area of the Business Link website that provides an online suite of education, guidance and support tools on tax - as well as wider businessrelated topics. It’s aimed at helping those looking to start a business as well as existing businesses who are looking to expand.
Book-keeping and accounts
The basic way of book-keeping, apart from a manual cash book, is to use spreadsheets to record your income and expenditure. You can design your own or e-mail us and we will be happy to send you a copy of our basic cashbook spreadsheets for Excel.
There are various free cashbooks available, some of these are also based on excel but the data entry is easier and quicker.
Our favourite is VT Cash and we recommend this to our clients.
Other more complex accountancy packages are available, one we have looked at is Express Accounts, a free version of a commercial package avalable here.
Look for the link to download the free version.
Another is Turbocash.
This is a shareware program. We have no extensive knowledge of these but would be happy to evaluate them for clients. There are many others available, search for free book-keeping and accountancy packages on the internet.
There are several free solutions for payroll preparation.
The option to prepare manual payroll is no longer viable as all payroll payments have to be submitted to HMRC in "real time", on or before they are made.
HMRC provide a free programme that calculates tax and NI, it has an employee data base and can be used for several employers. It allows for submission of end of year returns on line and also submission of in year forms. There is no facility to print payslips. This works fine but is a bit cumbersome and is only avaialble for schemes with 9 or fewer employees. Updates are provided by HMRC. It is available Here.
Iris supply a free package for employers with up to 10 employees. Iris Payroll Basics.
This is a baby commercial package, support is available via frequently asked questions and telephone support at 80p per minute. If you ring them they will try to sell you the full version.
12pay also provide a free version of their software for up to 10 employees. More information here
There is a free CIS package which is wholly web based. This is called Payroo CIS and is free to operate. On-line verification of subcontractors and monthly returns are prepared free of charge. There is a charge for filing on-line.
The alternative is to re-key the information on the HMRC secure pages. There is also a payroll service which is free to use but charges for submitting an end of year return, P35 and P14’s. This package displays advertising whilst you are using it, this is one way they keep it a free package.
HMRC provide a wealth of information on their website. Here are links to their range of factsheets. Remember, this is HMRC’s interpretation. We are happy to give further advice to clients.
- Keeping records for business (PDF 33K)
- Self Assessment – the three line account (PDF 74K)
- A General guide to keeping records for your tax return.
- Employing someone for the first time (PDF 183K)
- Paying your tax – what you need to know (PDF 98K)
- Problems paying your tax – what you need to know (PDF 78K)
- Working for yourself – what you need to know (PDF 94K)
- Paying tax if you buy and sell things from home - what you need to know
- Expenses and allowances for the self-employed - what you need to know
- VAT - what you need to know
Help for members
E-mail us with your question. We don’t guarantee to provide the answer but we hope to point you in the right direction.