Monday, May 5, 2008

Book-Keeping for very small business

This information is for business people, actual and prospective, who want to think about accounting and book-keeping.

The following pages do not tell you how to do your book-keeping or accounting. Instead they tell you what kind of accounting records you may need to maintain. Another way of putting this is: how much detail to record. If you want to know how to drive, it's sensible first to understand that there are different types of vehicle. There are manual cars, automatics, and motorbikes. If you learn to drive an automatic and then decide that the car you really want to drive is a manual... you see what I mean.

In basic book-keeping terms, there are four ways to go. These are detailed in the next four pages. The four choices are cumulative by nature. You can do level 1, levels 1 and 2, levels 1,2 and 3, or levels 1, 2, 3 and 4. But you can't normally do level 4, for example, without doing levels 2 and 3. The first level hardly counts as book-keeping, but it's widely used and is where many people start – so it's included here.

The next two pages discuss slightly different types of issues regarding book-keeping. If you have to deal with VAT and/or PAYE, you don't have much choice about it. By contrast, the first four book-keeping levels reflect choices you have.

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