Financial record keeping

How’s your financial record-keeping?

Scott-Moncrieff provides some top tips on how to keep track of your expenses.

Our brains apparently have an inability to recognise our ‘future selves’ as us. Some interesting research from the University of California in Los Angeles suggests that we are more likely to think of our future self as a completely separate person, much in the same way we would a stranger.

It’s said that this goes some way in explaining procrastination when it comes to things we know are important, but decide to do tomorrow, next week, or next month.

When it comes to financial record-keeping, it’s not uncommon to fall into this bracket. It might not be the most exciting of tasks, but keeping a good handle on your financial records (be that expenses or income) right from the start is vital in terms of producing the management information you and your investors will need. Here's our top tips for you to consider:

  • Get on top of it now. 
    • Being organised from the start will keep you right going forward. It will also ease the strain on your future self when it gets to your company’s year-end (or indeed the self-assessment deadline).
  • Accountant’s time and input
    • Keeping a detailed and accurate track of your incomings and outgoings, particularly if using a digital accounting package, should see a reduction in the amount of time your accountant spends examining the minute details. This will also allow them to focus on providing more value-added input and advice.
  • Grant funding
    • Many grant awarding bodies require intermittent claims to be made, often accompanied by an accountants report. Clear record-keeping and expense tracking will smooth this process for your accountant and lead to quicker receipt of funds.
  • Making Tax Digital. 
    • HMRC’s new initiative is set to transform the tax system by 2020. This will effectively require all businesses (incorporated or not) to utilise some form of digital accounting package (this doesn’t include Excel spreadsheets!). Digital accounting is often the best way to keep track of costs, and it would be highly recommended to get a head start in advance of it becoming mandatory.

Help your accountant to help you, and help your future self, by keeping track of your expenses.

If you would like any assistance with your financial record-keeping moving forward, please do not hesitate to contact Scott-Moncrieff’s business advisory assistant manager, Craig Clark, at craig.clark@scott-moncrieff.com, 0131 473 3500 or visit www.scott-moncrieff.com.