Bookkeeping and Accounting – Know the Differences

Bookkeeping and Accounting – Know the Differences

Often, small business owners interchange the important term ‘bookkeeping’ with ‘accounting’ or ‘accounting’ with ‘bookkeeping.’ They should not do that as both these accountancy terms are different.

Bookkeeping and accounting have separate financial functions, and both of them are integral parts of small businesses. It is important to understand these terms because streamlined financial records and organized finances are key to the success of a small business. Understanding these terms also helps when it comes to engaging the right services, i.e., bookkeeping services for small business and accountancy services for small business.

What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is an accounting process of recording all daily financial transactions, both cash and credit, of the business. The one who carries out bookkeeping is called a bookkeeper.

Bookkeepers need to record all the sales, receipts, purchases, and payments transactions of the business in the correct daybook, customer (sales) ledger, supplier (purchase) ledger, or general ledger. You need to keep in mind that a ledger is a principal book. It is the key to the finances of your business; hence, it needs to be accurate.

Bookkeeping can be simple initially, but as the size of your business and the number of transactions increase it can quickly become difficult to manage. In such a case, engaging quality bookkeeping services for small business in the UK from a reputable firm like Affinity Associates can be helpful.

Methods of bookkeeping

The two prevalent bookkeeping methods are single-entry bookkeeping and double-entry bookkeeping. Of these two methods, most businesses use the double-entry system. In this system, “every entry to an account needs a corresponding and opposite entry to a different account.” For example, recording an expense of £20 would need two entries:

  1. A debit entry of £10 to an “Expense” account
  2. A credit entry of £10 to a “Cash” or “Credit” account

Bookkeeping can be carried out on a piece of paper or a spreadsheet, like Microsoft Excel. Today, however, much of the bookkeeping is done using specialised accountancy software applications.

Whether carrying out bookkeeping on a paper, spreadsheet, or an accountancy software, it is a time-consuming task. Furthermore, whether being an expert or not, an in-house bookkeeper (or you if you are doing the bookkeeping yourself), can make errors. For that reason, it is beneficial to engage bookkeeping services for small business, where professional bookkeepers will quickly complete the task, under the direction of an experienced accountant, which by the way, minimises the errors.

What is accounting?

Accounting or accountancy is a broad terminology. It deals with summarising, analysing, and reporting financial information of the business. Accountancy or accounting provides information on the current resources available to the business, how those resources are financed, and the results the business achieves through the use of those resources.

The function of accountancy is to prepare statements of the financial affairs of the business. It also includes the analysis of the figures recorded by the bookkeeper in order to ascertain the financial health of the business. Furthermore, the function of accountancy also extends to the preparation of various business taxes and other financial materials.

The one who carries out the accounting or accountancy is called an accountant. Employing full-time, in-house accountants can be very expensive. Therefore, whenever the need arises, engaging certified accountants for small business in London from a firm like Affinity Associates, can be beneficial.

Who qualifies as an accountant?

In the UK, there are no license requirements for anyone to call themselves an accountant. Nevertheless, it is wise to deal only with trained and qualified accountants. Such a qualified accountant is referred to as a CA (Chartered Accountant) or ACCA (Chartered Certified Accountant). In order to achieve a qualification, an individual needs to pass a series of examinations and undergo a period of appropriate work experience.

Accounting can be difficult, depending on the size and nature of the business. Therefore, as mentioned before, engaging accountants for small business can prove to be sensible for a business owner.

So now you know what bookkeeping and accounting are. You can, of course, carry out both bookkeeping and accounting in-house, but they often prove to be uneconomical, especially for small businesses. Therefore, it will be in your best interest to engage both bookkeepers and accountants for small business.

At Affinity Associates, we offer both bookkeeping services for small business and accountancy services for small business in London and across the UK. Contact us today to discover how we can help you keep your books accurate and up-to-date and how we can help you manage the finances of your business. Get in touch with us through the following link http://www.affinityassociates.com/contact-us/.

What is an Income Statement & Why it is so Important

What is an Income Statement & Why it is so Important

An income statement, otherwise known as a profit and loss (P&L) statement and profit and loss (P&L) account, is a record that measures and shows all the expenses and revenues a company incurred during a specific period of time. The income statement helps determine a company’s financial health and the financial progress it made during a particular period.

The income statement contains sections for revenue and expenses, which include net sales, gross profit, cost of goods sold, selling expenses, general and administrative expenses, and net profit.

Small businesses can easily prepare an income statement using popular accounting software, such as XERO or QuickBooks. Businesses should consistently prepare a profit and loss statement in order to determine whether they are making profit or loss and why.

In order to have an accurate income statement, accurate bookkeeping is necessary.

Why Small Businesses Need to Prepare an Income Statement

There are many reasons why small businesses should be preparing income statements – and other financial statements. Here are three good reasons:

Helps Make Better Decisions

With a profit and loss statement on hand, a business owner is able to look at the past financial performance of their company. With essential data at hand, from sales to profits and operating and non-operating aspects, a business owner will be able to make better financial decisions. By having accurate figures, a business owner is able to make swift decisions, which would otherwise require unreliable guesswork.

Acts as a Proof of Business Success

Having income statements on paper means that a business owner is able to show a chronological record of how their business has been performing over the course of its existence. This ultimately allows a business owner to play the cards right around the stakeholders, or with the buyers if the owner has the intent of selling the business. A P&L account also becomes useful when new clients who wish to do business want a solid proof of a business’ success.

Helps Prepare a Business to File Taxes

A small business and its owner are subject to various forms of business taxes. Paying these taxes is obligatory by law. In order to ensure what tax liabilities a business has, income statements and other financial statements help a lot. Accurate and up-to-date income statements (along with other financial statements) give a business owner all the necessary information they need to calculate various taxes.

An income statement is one of the very important records that every business must prepare. Preparing an accurate income statement and other financial statements can be challenging for a business owner; however, professional help is available! Get in touch with Affinity Associates and engage their skilled accountants for small business in London.

Affinity Associates is a reputable provider of professional accountancy services for small business in the UK. They have some of the most skilled and experienced accountants and tax accountants for small business in London, who can help business owners prepare all the essential financial statements, from journals and ledgers to income statements and balance sheets. These accountants for small business in London can also assist businesses to prepare and file various taxes.

Contact us at Affinity Associates to learn how our accountants for small business in London can help you http://www.affinityassociates.com/contact-us/.