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If you’re self-employed then managing and updating your accounts isn’t necessarily something you like to do. It is, however, something that you have to do, not only for regulatory compliance but also to ensure that your business is running successfully. ‘How to do accounts’ is probably a common question you ask yourself, especially if you don’t have the luxury of a bookkeeper or accountant.

The first thing that you need to do is to put a system in place for preparing the books. If you follow the system you’ll have your accounts accurate and up to date without missing any transactions. It could be as simple as setting aside the first of every month to enter receipts from customers but at Big Red Cloud we recommend that you implement the following into your ‘how to do accounts’ system.

A sale is never a sale until it has been invoiced. Therefore in order to generate a cash flow and to keep track of revenues a customer should be invoiced as soon as possible. For ease of reference, every invoice should include a number that can be entered and referenced when preparing the books at a later stage. It is vitally important that whenever revenue comes into your company that you know where it is coming from and by extension, who still owes you what. Big Red Cloud’s online accounting package allows for the emailing of raised invoices to customers as well as the automatic generation of reference numbers. This saves you time and ensures that your bank account and books are in good health.

The next step is to ensure that your VAT is being recorded properly and promptly. There are different VAT rates that apply to the sale of goods and services depending on what category they fall into. Big Red Cloud allows for simple and easy setup of multiple VAT rates so that no matter what transaction is taking place, you records will be accurate. Not completing your tax returns can lead to major time loss headaches as well as stiff fines from revenue.

Recording outgoings and expenses is naturally important. To make this process as easy as possible you should always file your receipts, even the small ones, in a place that isn’t your wallet, handbag or coat pocket. Set aside time to scan each receipt so that you have an electronic record of each outgoing. That means that even the small amounts will be present for you when you set aside time to prepare your books and your time won’t be spent trying to figure out where all of that money went to when it left your bank account.

Working to a system with these simple steps should take most of the pain out of doing your accounts. In essence it is really all about being organised, both in how you reference your paperwork and in the use of your time. Big Red Cloud is an accounting software package built to help and enable small businesses and their owners. With anywhere and any time access, you can view and update your books no matter where you are, whether you’re on the road meeting clients or suppliers, or even on holidays, for once. We provide an unlimited subscription so as your business grows and you invoice more and more sales, you don’t have to worry about spending more money to upgrade. With inclusive automatic updates, you won’t have to fork out anymore for the latest software either. So if you want to put your new how to do accounts system to the test, you can try our accounting software completely free for 30 days.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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