Massey Accounting Company

making your business less taxing

Help with… Bookkeeping

Of course Massey Accounting Company can keep your books for you and then prepare your year-end accounts and tax return. However we highly recommend keeping your own books as this is the best way to keep an eye on that all-important financial side of your business.

Below are several recommendations on how to do this, including some very decent free solutions:


First and foremost we’d recommend keeping your books using a cloud bookkeeping app. Having tried out several systems we recommend two here: Help With… Bookkeeping in the Cloud

For a more traditional computer user then try this very neat FREE cash-book solution, suitable for the small sole-trader, partnership or even limited company – VT Cash Book.


Some may prefer a manual / hand-written cash book. This is a perfectly good solution and may help keep things simple. For some tips regarding this sort of system, read on…

A cash book should be a reflection of the bank statements with receipts (income) written up on the left-hand page and payments (expenses) on the right. Expenses should be cross-analysed in to columns.

Cash Books can be bought from stationery suppliers.

We suggest the following classifications for a standard set of books (feel free to exclude items not applicable):

  • Total (amount per bank statement)
  • Input VAT (VAT reclaimable if you’re not using the flat rate VAT scheme)
  • Cost of goods for resale
  • Sub-contractors
  • Wages, salaries & other staff costs (including payments to HMRC for PAYE)
  • Car, van expenses (including fuel, road tax, insurance, repairs etc)
  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence (see notes on allowable subsistence)
  • Entertaining (Clients and staff – please specify)
  • Premises expenses (Rent, rates, light, heat and insurance)
  • Repairs & renewals (of property and equipment)
  • Telephone (inc fax, mobile and internet)
  • Stationery, printing, postage
  • Advertising
  • Bank charges and interest
  • Legal & professional
  • Fixed assets (any new capital equipment)
  • Drawings (any personal payments, including personal taxes and NI)
  • Transfers to petty cash or other business bank accounts (including loan repayments)
  • Other (all others inc, subscriptions, protective clothing, and business taxes eg. VAT)

Other columns which you might consider including if applicable:

  • Equipment Hire
  • Vehicle leasing

Add columns as appropriate to your business. But rather than maintaining too many columns for irregular expenses consider including these in “Other”.

A separate book, or at least separate pages should be used for each account, eg. Petty Cash Book, but basically the same approach applies.

Some specific notes on vehicle and travel expenses

For specific guidance on claiming your motoring expenses please see the heading What are the rules for claiming motoring expenses? on the page Help With… FAQ’s by the self-employed.


Feel free to visit our google drive and download any of the following templates:
– Business mileage log
– Sales invoice

Other content you may find useful: Help with… Payroll

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.