Sole trader bookkeeping

Stay on top of your bookkeeping and take greater control over your business.

A bookkeeping service to meet the needs of sole traders

There are over 3 million sole traders in the UK doing everything from wedding planning to oil & gas engineering consulting to private tuition.

We understand the enthusiasm you have for business – after all, we’re in business ourselves. We know though that what many sole traders are not prepared for when they launch out on their own for the first time is the fact that they are legally responsible to keep accurate and up-to-date financial records.

And for many sole traders, bookkeeping is something they never truly feel comfortable with because no-one’s ever trained them on how to do it. Online bookkeeping packages are great but the truth is that, no matter how simple they make them, it still needs a bookkeeper to use them to get the best results.

Time is also a big factor – as a sole trader, you’re responsible for everything and, in the first few years of self-employment, you’ll never have worked so many hours or this hard in your entire life. This is where the Business Bookkeeper comes in.

We love bookkeeping – it’s our profession. In the ten years we’ve been working with sole traders, the services we provide have freed up our clients’ time and reduced their levels of stress. Working with us, they now have the time they need to spend building up their businesses to their true potential.

As our client, the up-to-date financial information you’ll have access to will mean that you now understand how well your business is doing better than ever and, with us, we’ll help you identify how you can save money and increase your profitability.

Please get in touch. Let us know about you, your business, and what you do. Tell us where you are with your bookkeeping now – if you need help to get your books up to date, we can do that. message.

Sole trader business woman on the phone with her bookkeeper

Providing the support that sole traders need

Spend more time growing your business and less time worrying about paperwork

Sole traders take more financial risk than anyone else in Britain. Unlike employees, they don’t get sick pay and redundancy. Limited company directors are not personally liable for their company’s debts. And limited companies and their directors pay less tax.

As a sole trader, everything rests on you and your ability to sell your products and services and keep your clients and staff happy. You’ll already be doing your best to stay on top of your books but there never seems enough time. You think you’re doing everything your accounting software is asking you to do right but you’re not sure and you’re worrying about the consequences of making a mistake. Perhaps bookkeeping, accounts, and tax is alien to you and you really would rather someone else look after it.

If you’ve been a sole trader for a few years and you now want to invest in your business’s growth (and perhaps even take it limited), you might be seeking guidance and support in making the right choices so, down the line, you save more of the money you’ve worked hard to earn.

In our experience, most sole traders just want someone with experience to confidently take charge of their financial record keeping, to liaise with their accountant, and to handle questions from HMRC. They also want someone to tell them in plain English what they should keep doing, what they should start doing, and what they should stop doing so that they can make the most out of being in business.

Your Complete Bookkeeping Solution includes

Core Accounting

  • Xero accounting software
  • Paperless expense and receipt app
  • Recording all business bank and credit card transactions
  • Recording purchase invoices, expenses and cash transactions
  • Supplier Statement Reconciliation
  • Completing the bank reconciliation
  • Completion of VAT returns

Management Insights

  • Financial dashboard
  • Management reporting
  • Cash flow forecasting
  • Quarterly business review meeting
  • Budgeting

Support

  • Year End Pack for Accountant
  • Email and telephone support

Optional extras

  • Sales Invoicing
  • Supplier & staff payments
  • Xero accounting software set-up
  • Xero migration service
  • Payroll and auto enrolment
  • Self-Assessment Tax returns
  • CIS service

Optional extras

  • Cash flow forecasting (12 months)
  • Enhanced credit control
  • Scenario planning
  • Xero training
  • Accounts inbox management
  • Annual accounts and corporation tax return
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Interested in our complete bookeeping solution?

If you would like to find out more about how we can help your business then please book a discovery call with our team.

Why work with the Business Bookkeeper?

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Why is our service better?

There are thousands of bookkeepers you can choose from online so why choose the Business Bookkeeper?

As business people ourselves, we want other small business owners to survive and thrive. Bookkeeping and tax is complicated and you’re not trained to do it. We want to take that responsibility from you for a competitive, fixed fee every month so that your business can achieve everything that it is capable of achieving. With us, you’ll be ready for Making Tax Digital and you’ll never miss a deadline with HMRC.

We want to show you where and how you can save money so that you can earn more from the work that you do. With our service, sole traders know more about their businesses than ever before. We want to show you how to use that information to build a better, stronger, more resilient, and more profitable business.

We’re not remote and aloof. We want to understand you and to collaborate and connect with you to find solutions that really work and deliver positive results to the challenges and opportunities your business faces.

For your convenience, we work remotely – you won’t have to find us a desk in your office. However, even though we’re not there physically, we can assure you of our attention and support whenever you need us. Ours is a professional service delivered personally and bespoke to each client.

Please call us on 020 3137 6565 or send us a message about working together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sole traders

You need to keep accurate and full records of the money comes into and out of your business when you’re a sole trader so that you know how much tax and National Insurance you have to pay for self-assessment purposes.

Remember that, if you’re a new sole trader, your tax and National Insurance is not deducted automatically when you pay yourself like it is for employees. You need to be able to keep track of how much tax and National Insurance you’re accumulating during the year as a sole trader so that you have the funds to pay HMRC on 31st January and 31st July.

It’s more than just keeping the taxman happy though. By knowing how money moves in your business, you’ll better understand your performance and you can look for ways to increase your level of profit – could you put up prices or are there cheaper suppliers out there?

Through it all, the Business Bookkeeper is here to help and advise you.

Sole traders pay up to three types of tax – income tax, National Insurance, and VAT. When you first become self-employed, you need to register as a sole trader.

Your income tax and Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance contributions must be made to HMRC on the 31st January and 31st July of each year.

If you turn over more than £85,000 a year, you need to register for VAT and, in most cases, make VAT payments to HMRC.

As a Business Bookkeeper client, we monitor your sole trader finances carefully so that you know well in advance how much you need to pay HMRC.

Expenses are important because they reflect the costs you have to incur to provide your goods and services to your clients. Your expenses affect the level of your profit and remember that the tax and National Insurance you pay is based upon how much profit your books show at the end of every tax year.

The Business Bookkeeper makes sure that all of your allowable expenses are claimed for meaning that the amount you pay in tax and National Insurance is minimised.

Sole trader expenses examples include:

  • Clothing – protective clothing and uniforms

  • Marketing and subscriptions – trade-related publications, trade body membership, advertising, website costs, and more

  • Office, property and equipment – computer software, stationary, insurance, rent, and more

  • Premises – rent, utility bills, building- and contents-related insurance, and more

  • Professional services – business-related legal, accounting, bookkeeping, and surveyor costs

  • Staff-related expenses – wages, Employers’ NI contributions, workplace pensions, training, benefits, invoices from sub-contractors

  • Stock – what you buy from your suppliers to service your customers

  • Training courses – related to your current trade

  • Travel – general business-related transport costs, vehicle insurance, parking, fuel, train tickets, and so on.


And it’s for recording these expenses, even if you keep the receipts, that you should have your own separate sole trader bank account.

We would strongly recommend that you open a separate sole trader business bank account. The most popular sole trader bank accounts among our clients currently are the NatWest sole trader account, the Monzo sole trader account, the Metro bank sole trader account, the Tide sole trader account, and the TSB sole trader account.

Good financial record keeping is about allocating payments into and out of your account correctly. If your personal expenditure is mixed in with your business spending, the onus is on you to prove that what you claim are business transactions were actually business transactions. By not having two separate bank accounts, the likelihood is that you’ll pay more in income tax and National Insurance than you need to.

As our client, we’re happy to show you the sole trader bank accounts available on the market to help you decide which is best for you.

Popular sole trader cloud accounting packages on the market include Xero, FreeAgent, QuickBooks sole trader software, and Sage self-employed software.

We recommend that you use sole trader bookkeeping software even though, as our client, it will mainly be us who are keeping it up to date for you. The reason for this is that you’ll be able to log into your account at any time of the day or night and check how your business is doing.