Book-keeping Spreadsheets

Most people are familiar with Microsoft Excel these days, and the simplest way for a small business to keep records is using an Excel spreadsheet. This does not compare with the sophistication of true accounting software, but it is a lot simpler.

We have a range of book-keeping spreadsheets, which we provide to clients Free of Charge, all of which are programmed by us, and all of which are controlled so that the user is guided, and stopped from making as many mistakes as possible.

All the spreadsheets can handle or not handle VAT, so there are versions to suit both VAT registered and not VAT registered businesses. All the spreadsheets work equally well for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. They are designed to record basic transactions which are similar in all these cases. They can easily handle small businesses with up to 1000 transactions per month, and potentially bigger businesses, however above that transaction level we would start to suggest a more formal approach to recording transactions (i.e. a proper accounting system).

Every spreadsheet works on the same principle which is that there are various pages for different types of transactions and on every page there is a date, whether documentary evidence exists, and an analysis of each transaction by type, with VAT if appropriate. The spreadsheets are programmed to disallow VAT if there is no voucher, to calculate the VAT automatically, and to make sure that every transaction is analysed into some predefined category, even if the category is "I don't know what to do with it".

The spreadsheets are of two major types, for controlled and uncontrolled environments; we prefer the former and only provide the latter to clients who can prove that they are meticulous book-keepers.

Controlled Environment

These spreadsheets are completed by the client on either a monthly or quarterly basis and are then sent to us by email. Each month the client starts a new spreadsheet. We then feed them automatically into summary spreadsheets which prove that the basic records add up. These spreadsheets know about debtors (who owes us money) and creditors (who do we owe money to), and do various checks, for example whether sales invoices tie up with cash received, and whether the bank payments and receipts tie up with the bank balance. The control is exercised by us, the work is done by the client. When it comes to the end of the VAT period, if applicable, we will do basic checking to ensure that the VAT rules have been correctly applied. At the year end our summary control spreadsheets will have a full set of figures to produce the annual accounts. Our fees are minimal during the year because the client does all the basic transaction recording work, and at the year end we can keep our fees low because the basic book-keeping records are already complete, controlled and checked. Perfect! Go here to see some specific examples of these spreadsheets and to download something to try.

Uncontrolled Environment

These spreadsheets tend to be completed every month by clients (but do not have to be) but in a spreadsheet designed on an annual basis, i.e. they work in the same spreadsheet all year. The client must have good control of their business already, and they must be good reliable record keepers who do not want us to check their transaction recording. They must also have a good knowledge of the VAT rules, which is increasingly difficult! We will not provide this environment except in the case where the client can demonstrate to us that they are competent at the required level. The benefit to the client is that there are no fees during the year, because we do no work, and at the end of the year they also have a perfect set of records enabling us to keep our fees for preparing the annual accounts as low as possible. Go here to have a further look at this type of spreadsheet and download an example.

All our spreadsheets can be configured and customised by us to suit specific special circumstances. For an example of how we can customise the spreadsheets go here.