Paperwork is so last century…
I was behind a smart looking green van last week with a carpenter’s name, logo and number on the side. Underneath the signage it said, “crafting quality bespoke furniture since the turn of the century”. My first impression was this must be a father to son business, handed down through the generations, before remembering that it was referring to an event less than twenty years ago.
When you think about it, so much has happened in the small business arena during the last twenty years. Now, pretty much every business has a website, a Facebook page and uses Instagram or other social media. A lot of business is done through smartphones; and trading online all over the world is as easy as going to the local store. Yet, there are still some areas of life where people seem unable to make the psychological switch to new technologies or modern methodologies. One that always makes me smile is those people who are nervous about self-service cashiering at supermarkets. Another one, which is far more relevant to my business, is the insistence on using paper copies and manual administration.
Seriously, there really is no need for this time-wasting, mistake-generating, stress-building approach to managing your accounts. Spoiler alert! We live in the twenty-first century.
Get your head out of the sand and into the cloud…
When it comes to your accounts it is perfectly acceptable to do everything digitally. You can scan receipts, invoices, or any other relevant paperwork and keep verifiable electronic copies. HMRC will accept scanned copies of everything and online reporting and posting of accounts are perfectly acceptable to the authorities. There is no reason whatsoever for you, as a busy contractor with more important things to do, to have to worry about paperwork.
If you haven’t started using a cloud accounting system (like FreeAgent – who we highly recommend for all contractors), then it is time to get your head out of the sand and into the cloud. It is super simple to learn and use, keeps you up to date, on the go, all of the time; and you can scan and send any receipts or paperwork directly to FreeAgent or your accountant by email.
Coming off the flat rate scheme for VAT…
One of this century’s latest changes, especially as far as accounting for contractors is concerned, is the change to the flat rate scheme. In essence, it means that 99 out of 100 contractors will be better off coming off of the VAT flat rate scheme. That, of course, will result in more administration and all the hassle that goes with managing that. But with FreeAgent, you can easily get on top of all your ‘paperwork’ and save yourself a lot of time and money.
Hopefully the message of this post is scanning with you clearly. But if not, I’ll spell it out for you once more: Twenty-first-century accounting is the best possible solution for today’s contractors, freelancers and the self-employed.
Do you want to take control of your administration and work with an accountant who will actively support you? Get in touch now.