This Content Was Last Updated on April 5, 2023 by Jessica Garbett
Whilst the other pages on this help and guidance section are more general, this is a more specific page for those who wish to instruct as their accountants, or already have done and now want to get information over to us.
First, take a look at our Fees and Services
We will need Identification from you as well – this can be scanned and sent to us electronically.
Keeping Books and Records
We suggest having a look at our Bookkeeping Templates – but of course we will work with your own variations and most common accounting packages – we can discuss detail. If you are interested in Software or an App for keeping your books, we suggest FreeAgent – but we are “open platform” so will endeavour to work with your choice
If you use your own spreadsheet its a good idea to let us have a look over it at an early stage to identify any potential issues.
If you are unsure about this aspect, or your records are not up together, then see the “Help – I don’t Know Where to Start” section below.
Sending Tax and Accounting Information to Us
First off we need a Self Assessment Questionnaire from you each year. We try and keep this as simple as possible, and you are welcome to email the detail rather than completing the online form.
In terms of getting your actual accounts – the income and expenses – over to us, we need:
- Your records of income and expenses, normally in a spreadsheet which you can email, or if you use a cloud package either a data export or a login & password
- A list, if relevant, with amounts, of any thing you owe or which is owed to you at the year end (including deposits for trainings and retreats not yet delivered)
- A valuation on any stock in hand
- If you have a business bank account, statements (PDF is fine)
- In most cases we don’t need invoices, receipts and vouchers. We will let you know if we do.
Our parent, Whitefield Tax, has a more comprehensive Year End Procedures Guide here including check-lists for submission online or downloading
Before you send accounts over to us, its worth using our Guide to Expenses as a check list to make sure you are including everything.
Once we have your tax and accounting papers we work through them and draw things together, raising any queries with you as we ago.
Once complete we let you have accounts and returns for approval before submission. At this stage our fee is normally due and payable (monthly spreading available).
Our work doesn’t finish there – we are on hand for queries and advice over the year.
We ask for your accounting and tax papers by 30 September. Of course if this creates a problem, do let us know; we are a small team, and we can normally accommodate you, especially if you are joining us as a new client.
Whilst the deadline for filing personal taxes is 31 January, we need this earlier deadline to ensure our workload is spread evenly and to give each client the attention they deserve. The alternative would probably see a third of annual workload compressed into December and January, which is neither good for our staff’s well-being, nor good for the service levels we strive to offer clients.
We reserve the right to charge a premium fee of £100+vat for records arriving after 30 September (20% of the contracted fee, if it’s over £500 plus vat). Generally this does not apply to small sole traders / tax return only clients, but may be applicable to those with larger businesses or more complex affairs, and generally it doesn’t apply in the first year of your joining us.
Outside of the 30 September deadline, we’ll do our best for you, especially if it’s your first year with us – and don’t be put off if its January, we will help if we can.
Help – I Don’t Know Where to Start?
We appreciate that bookkeeping and records aren’t everyone’s strength. What if you have a muddle of receipts, statements and scraps of paper?
Here are the five steps to getting things in order
- Get your bookkeeping in order
- Prepare a summary
- Validate your data
- Send your accounts to us
- Complete a Self Assessment Questionnaire for us
1 – Get your bookkeeping in order
Like anything in life the foundations matter, and the tax return process is more stressful if your bookkeeping isn’t in order – a shoebox full of receipts and some half filled in class logs are difficult to convert to a tax return.
There are a number of ways you can approach bookkeeping, but if you are struggling then our excel based Bookkeeping Templates are a good place to start, but they are suggestive not definitive.
2 – Prepare a summary
However you’ve done your bookkeeping, you need a summary of income and expenses. If you use a software package then it will probably do this for you, and our excel based Bookkeeping Templates do as well.
Heres an example of a summary:
3. Validate your data
You need to check your bookkeeping has given you accurate information for tax. Here is a check-list:
- Is the income complete? This is where many Yoga Teachers fall foul
- Are your expenses correct? Any missing? Anything included you can’t claim? See our Expenses Guide
4, & 5 And breathe – send the accounts to us, complete the Self Assessment Questionnaire and you are good to go.