By Barclay Spears on September 29 2018 13:09:02
A further small complication might be if at the discretion of the small business owner additional information was required from the bookkeeping records to indicate the totals of the different types of products and services then additional columns could be incorporated to enter the net sales figures in these columns. There it is then, a simple list of sales invoices to satisfy the sales accounting requirements for a small business where a balance sheet is not required. On the expenditure side of the business the bookkeeping can also be a simple list of the purchase invoices and receipts showing the amount spent. The list should also produce an audit trail by showing the date of the purchase invoice, name of the supplier, purchase invoice for identification purposes and the total amount spent.
An accountant needs to not only ensure the financial records are accurate but also retrieve any part of the accounting records to answer accounting questions on the accounts, provide a legal basis for the transactions and report the financial statements at regular periodic intervals. The small business has different accounting needs which are better described as bookkeeping than accounting. For non limited companies that do not need to produce a balance sheet then a simple income and expenditure account can be produced much simpler using single entry bookkeeping principles.
Less financial control is often required from small business accounting software as the bookkeeper is often the owner manager who already has an intimate knowledge of each transaction. Books are still required for tax purposes and a solid requirement of preparing a set of financial books for tax purposes is that each entry is supported by third party evidence. Examples of third party evidence would be sales invoices, purchases invoices and bank statements. Financial transactions where no receipt exists can still be entered in the business books although all transactions not carrying third party evidence could subsequently be disallowed for tax purposes and certainly would be if the amounts entered indicated unusual income or expenditure.
Usually tax returns are the main purpose of producing small business accounts and invariably some analysis is required to show what the expenses have been spent on. That is not difficult to achieve and as with the sales accounting the owner manager can add additional standard columns to the bookkeeping spreadsheet. The expenditure analysis columns do not need to be a different column for each type of expenditure. It is better to set up and group the analysis columns in general headings which can accommodate all the expenses. Such columns may include stock, other direct costs, premises costs, general administrative costs, transport and delivery costs, repairs and maintenance, travelling and hotel costs, motor costs, bank and legal costs and other expenses. It is better not to enter too many items under a general heading of other expenses as this is more likely to be investigated as the type of expense has not been precisely identified.