If you are using the paper system, then please hand it in each quarter. We will type it on to the matching spreadsheet using quick data entry. We then proceed as if you had handed in a spreadsheet.
If you are using the spreadsheet, then at the end of the quarter, just e-mail it to us or hand it in on a memory stick. We will read it into our main processing system and use it to generate a VAT return. You will be sent an approval copy of the return, with lists of outputs and inputs, before submission. A check will be made to see if it is more beneficial for you to use the Flat Rate Scheme if this is possible based on your turnover.
We will also store everything in readiness for the annual accounts. Just to give you an idea of what will happen, let’s say you have a number of payments to a well-known hardware shop which we will call A&P. These could be for repairs for most types of business, but for some businesses they will be classified as purchases and for other businesses they will be sundry expenses or small tools or something else. We will make up a table for each client showing how payments to A&P should be classified for you in particular, and this table is re-used in future years so accounts can be produced automatically at high speed. Actually accounts would be produced quickly anyway even if the table were not re-used.
This gives a considerable saving in accounts preparation time and the benefit of this is shared between everybody in the form of a lower fee for you, but greater earnings power for us nevertheless. Everybody wins. Note that in terms of fees, we aim to be the cheapest, but in terms of earnings per hour, we aim to be the most expensive of accountants. This may surprise you, but it can be done with new technology.
After bank, cash and VAT transactions have been processed, other work to be done involves an analysis of fixed assets, accruals and prepayments, any hire purchase accounts or bank loans, any sales ledger control account, any wages reconciliation, any VAT “Box 6″ reconciliation or other extra items. We prepare the accounts themselves. Company accounts may have an extensive range of notes and may require additional analysis of the director’s current account(s). We do the tax calculation. We will then assist you to interpret the accounts and will discuss any trends or problems with you.
We recommend that you use the spreadsheet with macros enabled. If you use it with macros turned off, then it becomes more like the paper system with some things that you will need to do without assistance. When you send it in, we will just start it up with macros enabled and it will automatically tidy itself up ready for the next stage of processing.
On our premises we have a range of new technology including software to process bank downloads (QIF, OFX or CSV in any format). We own an optical character recognition (OCR) pen, an OCR mouse scanner, a flatbed scanner and OCR software such as Nuance Omnipage and Able2Extract.
We will use OCR straight away with the flat bed scanner if you just hand in bank statements and cheque book stubs without doing any bookkeeping. Generally however, we have done a few speed trials and we feel that our quick data entry system is as fast as any current OCR device in the hands of our clients, particularly if a separate numeric keypad is used. The processing of bank downloads raises synchronisation issues, and there is a lack of standardisation on the part of the banks. We will constantly look out for future improvements in OCR or bank downloads.