With the government offering 100 per cent tax relief on computers, it could be a good time to move your accounts from paper to screen.
It should save you a lot of time slaving over a hot calculator, give you more time to work on building your business and help to avoid errors.
Is it worth investing in fancy financial software, though?
For those in doubt a new company is targeting independent licensees with a programme tailor-made for pubs that aims to bridge the gap between a fully computerised accounts system and paper-based book-keeping.
Called Essential Book-keeping for Publicans it comes on a CD and contains worksheets for:
- cash reconciliations
- mark-up and pricing
- petty cash
- profit and loss account
- VAT account
- year-end summaries.
All the licensee needs to do is enter the figures and the programme does all the necessary calculations.
It was designed by a retired accountant with 30 years in experience more than 80 freetraders and pub tenants as his clients.
"Those publicans had to handwrite their books, add them up weekly, work out the VAT and then transfer the figures to a VAT accounts - all of it time-consuming and open to errors," explained Essential's managing director Dave Pearson.
"What was needed was a programme somewhere between keeping account books and the accountancy packages you usually find on computers. Most publicans are not accountants but do possess good book-keeping skills and this new programme was designed to utilise those skills.
"Unlike most other packages, it is specifically designed for a pub business. As each day's transaction is entered it works out the VAT, transfers it to the VAT account and enters the net figure into the profit and loss account.
"At any stage, VAT due and profit for the year can be displayed."
The programme also records staff wages and calculates tax and national insurance due. The mark-up section enables the publican to work out the percentages and links directly to a price list which can be printed off when there are changes.
"All the formulae are protected so entries can only be made in the correct places," added Pearson who is confident enough in the product to offer it to licensees on a free approval basis.
An update to a more conventional computerised accounting system has also been launched by MYOB. Faster and more flexible, version 10 of MYOB Accounting and the more sophisticated Accounting Plus are designed for small businesses and have tailored templates - including one for the licensed trade.
It covers, among other things:
- quotes, orders and invoices
- sales and payments
- credit card tracking
- stock control
- profit and loss analysis by profit centre
- graphs and reports
- VAT support.
MYOB Accounting software is priced at £230 for the standard edition and £347 for Accounting Plus, which includes advanced stock control, professional time-billing and multi-currency features.
Essential Book-keeping - 01244 881116MYOB - 01344 397222