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VAT & Book keeping

VAT and Book-keeping

We always review a customer’s circumstances from a VAT compliance view point when we take them on, and regularly thereafter to check if they need to register, continue to be registered or not as the case may be. Most of Riverside’s customers have limited companies which have to be VAT registered and we usually do quarterly accounting and submit the returns electronically on their behalf, advising them of how to and how much to pay. We also send our VAT registered clients at no extra charge quarterly management accounts which consist of profit and loss, balance sheet and transaction listing.

Even though doing quarterly accounts and VAT may be seen as an additional cost for the business and an onerous compliance obligation, the negative aspects can be reduced or even turned to financial advantage where it is possible to use one of the special schemes available such as the ‘Flat Rate Scheme’ or ‘Cash Accounting’. Many of our customers’ businesses actually save money from the use of such schemes when they are VAT registered.
However, quarterly accounting is not just about costs. The benefits of keeping the accounts up to date usually outweigh the disadvantages as they provide the information needed to run the business properly:

  • Doing the accounts quarterly spreads the cost of book-keeping over the year and reduces the cost of the year end accounts
  • Tax and financial planning needs up to date information. The easiest way to achieve this is to prepare management accounts. Even if the business does not need to be VAT registered, quarterly accounts are still very useful.
  • Up to date management accounts are essential to giving good tax and commercial advise. For example, it is frequently the case that clients want to use their results to raise funds either personally or for use within the business. As this information will already be on hand it can be provided quickly with very little effort.
  • The management accounts information avoids duplication of effort in other compliance work such as P11d’s which affect most Limited Companies.

If you would like some advice on VAT please contact us for an initial discussion.