Ok so you're either thinking about starting your own business or have already got it up and running and have managed for a while to get by managing your own books by yourself and are now finding all too much to keep on top of the paperwork.
It is an all too familiar position; most people have found that they keep telling themselves that they do it tomorrow or later or at the end of the week, and before you know it your deadline is upon you and your all stressed out to get it in on time, It's time to get help!
Affordable Professional Help
Being a small and/or at home business owner are you tired of the lack of affordable professional help available? So you need to find professional help whom are able to offer such things such as:
Â· Free and up to date accounting advice
Â· Realistic solutions to card payments and cash flow issues,
Â· A good supply of Bookkeeping/Accounting forms for the small business readily available
Â· Advice with managing online card merchant accounts.
Â· What sort of Accounting software is suitable to your type of business
Â· Tools & Resources helpful to your Business, those that are current and up to date, to know today, what others will find out tomorrow.
Â· Where you can access free spreadsheet bookkeeping templates
Â· Who run forums where Like Minded people, like you, can discuss online business issues that are not just financial issues?
Â· That have links to other useful sites
Â· Where you can also advertise your own business.
Â· The ability to Use the latest of modern technology to effectively manage your accounts from the other side of the country without massive Technical costs to your or themselves.
Certified And Accredited Bookkeepers:
It is important that you find a bookkeeper that is certified and accredited Accounting technicians. There are many governing bodies but the two most, well known governing bodies are:
1. The AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians)
- The Association of Accounting Technicians, or AAT, is an accountancy organisation with over 108,000 members worldwide. The AAT is a technician level qualification which entitles those who have completed the exams and obtained relevant supervised work experience to call themselves associate accounting technicians. The AAT is based in London but there are branches all over the UK and the rest of the world.
The body is sponsored by four of the UK chartered accountancy bodies. These are:
Â· The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA);
Â· The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW);
Â· The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS); and
Â· The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).
AAT versus CAT (Certified Accounting Technician)
Â· The one UK chartered accountancy body which does not sponsor the AAT is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). This organisation used to be a sponsor of the AAT but broke away in order to form a rival body which offers the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification. The ACCA implemented this policy as it wanted a technician level qualification which followed the same business model which it did, ie. one with a global presence.
Â· Whilst the AAT is recognised as a professional qualification by the Department of Trade and Industry in the UK, the accountancy professions there, the USA and existing and former British Commonwealth countries, CAT is not. CAT is a professional academic qualification within the ACCA examination structure. AAT is both a recognised academic and vocational qualification in its own right.
2. The ICB (Institute of Certified bookkeepers)
The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers ("ICB") is a not for profit organisation that promotes and maintains the standards of bookkeeping as a profession, through the establishment of a series of relevant qualifications and the award of grades of membership that recognise academic attainment, working experience and competence.
Started in the United Kingdom in 1996 the ICB has grown rapidly and now has a world wide presence in over 50 countries.
The Institutes's objectives
Â· to promote bookkeeping as a profession
Â· to enable bookkeeping to gain recognition as an integral part of the financial profession
Â· to promote training in the principles of bookkeeping
Â· to develop personal study skills and improve confidence of those persons who undertake a course in bookkeeping
Â· to enable the achievement of a qualification, which may be used to enhance prospects for progression into higher levels of study
Â· to improve the career prospects of its members
The ICB is the largest bookkeeping body in the world, with over 150,000 members and students. By offering career advice and support to bookkeepers the ICB has helped many throughout the world set up a successful practice.
You cannot buy your way into any of these associations, like most trade governing bodies, but have to take stringent examinations and also to keep memberships you must also keep up your CPD (Continual Professional Development), and also have current professional and Indemnity Insurances.
A professional Bookkeeper should be able to answer most of your day to day financial questions, before you need to start thinking about a Chartered Accountant, which is when the price will jump up dramatically. They should be able to process personal tax returns and give you basic help with corporation tax calculations.
In most cases a Bookkeeper should, if unable to answer your questions, then know exactly where to find the answer or to put you in touch with the right person.
Now be careful here as there are many people out there that can call themselves an accountant, but what you are really looking for is a chartered accountant. There is often some misconception as to the type of accountant needed, or indeed that there are more than one type and below are just two of the main types of Chartered accountants there are:
1. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a British chartered accountancy body with a global presence that offers the Chartered Certified Accountant (Designatory letters ACCA or FCCA) qualification worldwide. Since Chartered Certified Accountant is a legally protected term, individuals who describe themselves as Chartered Certified Accountants must be members of ACCA and, if they carry out public practice engagements, must comply with additional regulations such as holding a practising certificate, being insured against any possible liability claims and submitting to inspections.
Continual Professional Development - Before 2005, Continual Professional Development (CPD) was mandatory only for holders of practising certificates and insolvency licences. From 2005, ACCA is extending mandatory CPD to all members on a phased basis:
2. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a UK based professional body offering training and qualification in management accountancy and related subjects, focused on accounting for business; together with ongoing support for members. CIMA has two grades of full membership:
- Associate - designated by the letters ACMA
- Fellow - designated by the letters FCMA
To be admitted as an associate a candidate must have:
- completed a period of qualifying practice of at least three years, documented and signed by appropriate witnesses
- passed the institute's 15 qualifying examinations
- Been proposed and seconded for membership by two individuals who have direct experience of the candidate's work experience but who do not need to be members of CIMA or even accountants.
To become a Fellow a candidate ACMA must, in addition, have appropriate experience at a senior level.
It is very important when you look at any of these professionals to view their portfolio and testimonials to see what experience they have in what industries. For example a bookkeeper or an Accountant may have worked primarily for manufacturing companies and yours is an online business. Although they will understand the principles, it will take them a lot longer to understand your business and also may not have the contacts and resources easily available to hand that is relevant to your business.
So before you go head long into picking that all important Professional help, take the time to interview & research them just like you would with an employee or a supplier and ask for some testimonials from their current customers that are of a similar industry to yourself. Try to get it right 1st time. But don't worry if you don't, because you can always change!
Website: http://www.davisbusinesspro.co.uk Helping Your Business Grow!