By Doreen Quinn on October 12 2018 22:33:37
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.
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.
One important column to also include is for asset purchases as fixed assets usually have different tax rules applying to the claim of the expense against tax and should be separated from other expenditure. Having set up two bookkeeping spreadsheets the task is then to produce the income and expenditure account by collecting the totals of each of the analysis columns. The sales total is the sales turnover from which is deducted the totals of each of the expenditure classification totals with the result being the net profit and loss of the business.
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.
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