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DIY Accounting Small Business Accounting Software Questions And Answers

May 26, 2008
A number of questions are asked by clients either before purchasing or after downloading the accounting software. Many of these questions and the answers are the same the most typical of which are produced here.

Why is the monthly profit and loss account not updating from the sales and purchases entered.

Updating the profit and loss account in the financial accounts file is automated. If the financial accounts file is not updating automatically the links from the sales accounting spreadsheet and or the purchase accounting spreadsheet are not working. This may be because the file names have been changed which breaks the links between the files.

The most common reason is the way the files were originally saved when initially downloaded from the website by opening the files first before saving them. When a file is opened first before saving the computer stores that file in a temporary internet folder and changes the links to temporary links within that temporary folder.

When that file is then saved it is those temporary links which are being saved and not the original links. Those temporary links would not be recognised by the other files which form the link structure. The solution is to delete the files and save the files again direct to your accounts folder without opening them first thereby preserving the original links.

Accounting entries on sales and purchases appear on the profit and loss account but do not appear on the list of expenses on the self employed tax return.

The self employed tax return required to be completed in the UK is dependent upon the sales turnover. Small business with total sales income exceeding 64,000 pounds for the financial year ending 5 April 2008 are required to complete the full self employed tax return while businesses with a turnover under 64,000 pounds may complete the short version of the self employed tax return.. Coincidentally the threshold is the same as the vat threshold.

In addition if the sales income is less than 30,000 pounds then it is not necessary to complete all the individual expense classifications. The excel formulae within the financial accounts file automatically fill in the short or full tax return and only fill in the detailed expense classifications if required to do so.

Does the package produce my quarterly vat returns when a vat flat rate scheme is being operated.

The user guide contains notes on how to enter the value added tax flat rate percentage on the sales bookkeeping spreadsheet. The bookkeeping single entry of the flat rate vat percentage on the sales sheet updates throughout the package including the subsequent months on the sales sheet and also each month on the purchases bookkeeping spreadsheet automatically calculating value added tax at the flat rate percentage and expenses value added tax paid on purchases at the zero vat rate producing a quarterly vat return.

Does the self employed accounting software package produce a balance sheet.

Producing a balance sheet is optional for self employed small business and not an essential requirement of completing the self employed tax return. The self employed package is based upon single entry bookkeeping and does not produce a balance sheet which requires double entry bookkeeping while the limited company package does produce a balance sheet as it is a legal requirement for a limited liability company.

As the self employed accounting software includes sales and purchase spreadsheets and also cash and bank spreadsheets it is possible to manually produce a balance sheet if required but the accounting software does not produce it automatically.

Do I purchase a new software package each financial year or can the accounting software be updated for more than one year accounts.

As the accounting software and payroll packages include the current financial year tax rules that enable the financial packages to automate the production of that years tax returns then each year has new tax rules embedded and being on excel rather than an accounting database then it is necessary to purchase a new accounting or payroll package each year.
About the Author
Terry Cartwright, CEO DIY Accounting, a qualified accountant in the UK, designs Accounting Software on excel spreadsheets and Payroll Software for small to medium sized business providing a complete accounting solution and also supplies Company Formation packages for new limited liability companies
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