Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions, and is part of the process of accounting in business.


What is bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions, and is part of the process of accounting in business.

What is bookkeeping

Transactions include purchases, sales, receipts, and payments by an individual person or an organization/corporation. There are several standard methods of bookkeeping, such as the single-entry bookkeeping system and the double-entry bookkeeping system, but, while they may be thought of as “real” bookkeeping, any process that involves the recording of financial transactions is a bookkeeping process.

Bookkeeping is usually performed by a bookkeeper. A bookkeeper (or book-keeper) is a person who records the day-to-day financial transactions of a business. He or she is usually responsible for writing the daybooks, which contain records of purchases, sales, receipts, and payments. The bookkeeper is responsible for ensuring that all transactions are recorded in the correct daybook, supplier’s ledger, customer ledger, and general ledger; an accountant can then create reports from the information concerning the financial transactions recorded by the bookkeeper.

The bookkeeper brings the books to the trial balance stage: an accountant may prepare the income statement and balance sheet using the trial balance and ledgers prepared by the bookkeeper.

History
The term “waste book” was a term used in colonial America referring to bookkeeping. The purpose was to document daily transactions including receipts and expenditures. This was recorded in chronological order, and the purpose was for temporary use only. The daily transactions would then be recorded in a daybook or account ledger in order to balance an accounts. The name “waste book” comes from the fact that once the waste book’s data were transferred to the actual journal, the waste book could be discarded.

Process
The bookkeeping process primarily records the financial effects of transactions. The difference between a manual and any electronic accounting system results from the former’s latency between the recording of a financial transaction and its posting in the relevant account. This delay—absent in electronic accounting systems due to nearly instantaneous posting into relevant accounts—is a basic characteristic of manual systems, thus giving rise to primary books of accounts such as Cash Book, Bank Book, Purchase Book, and Sales Book for recording the immediate effect of a financial transaction.

In the normal course of business, a document is produced each time a transaction occurs. Sales and purchases usually have invoices or receipts. Deposit slips are produced when lodgements (deposits) are made to a bank account. Checks (spelled “cheques” in the UK and several other countries) are written to pay money out of the account. Bookkeeping first involves recording the details of all of these source documents into multi-column journals (also known as books of first entry or daybooks). For example, all credit sales are recorded in the sales journal; all cash payments are recorded in the cash payments journal. Each column in a journal normally corresponds to an account. In the single entry system, each transaction is recorded only once. Most individuals who balance their check-book each month are using such a system, and most personal-finance software follows this approach.

After a certain period, typically a month, each column in each journal is totalled to give a summary for that period. Using the rules of double-entry, these journal summaries are then transferred to their respective accounts in the ledger, or account book. For example, the entries in the Sales Journal are taken and a debit entry is made in each customer’s account (showing that the customer now owes us money), and a credit entry might be made in the account for “Sale of class 2 widgets” (showing that this activity has generated revenue for us). This process of transferring summaries or individual transactions to the ledger is called posting. Once the posting process is complete, accounts kept using the “T” format undergo balancing, which is simply a process to arrive at the balance of the account.

As a partial check that the posting process was done correctly, a working document called an unadjusted trial balance is created. In its simplest form, this is a three-column list. Column One contains the names of those accounts in the ledger which have a non-zero balance. If an account has a debit balance, the balance amount is copied into Column Two (the debit column); if an account has a credit balance, the amount is copied into Column Three (the credit column). The debit column is then totalled, and then the credit column is totalled. The two totals must agree—which is not by chance—because under the double-entry rules, whenever there is a posting, the debits of the posting equal the credits of the posting. If the two totals do not agree, an error has been made, either in the journals or during the posting process. The error must be located and rectified, and the totals of the debit column and the credit column recalculated to check for agreement before any further processing can take place.

Once the accounts balance, the accountant makes a number of adjustments and changes the balance amounts of some of the accounts. These adjustments must still obey the double-entry rule: for example, the inventory account and asset account might be changed to bring them into line with the actual numbers counted during a stocktake. At the same time, the expense account associated with usage of inventory is adjusted by an equal and opposite amount. Other adjustments such as posting depreciation and prepayments are also done at this time. This results in a listing called the adjusted trial balance. It is the accounts in this list, and their corresponding debit or credit balances, that are used to prepare the financial statements.

Finally financial statements are drawn from the trial balance, which may include:

  • the income statement, also known as the statement of financial results, profit and loss account, or P&L
  • the balance sheet, also known as the statement of financial position
  • the cash flow statement
  • the statement of retained earnings, also known as the statement of total recognised gains and losses or statement of changes in equity
  • Entry systems
  • Two common bookkeeping systems used by businesses and other organizations are the single-entry bookkeeping system and the double-entry bookkeeping system. Single-entry bookkeeping uses only income and expense accounts, recorded primarily in a revenue and expense journal. Single-entry bookkeeping is adequate for many small businesses. Double-entry bookkeeping requires posting (recording) each transaction twice, using debits and credits.

Single-entry system
The primary bookkeeping record in single-entry bookkeeping is the cash book, which is similar to a checking account (UK: cheque account, current account) register, but allocates the income and expenses to various income and expense accounts. Separate account records are maintained for petty cash, accounts payable and receivable, and other relevant transactions such as inventory and travel expenses. These days, single-entry bookkeeping can be done with DIY bookkeeping software to speed up manual calculations.

Double-entry system
A double-entry bookkeeping system is a set of rules for recording financial information in a financial accounting system in which every transaction or event changes at least two different nominal ledger accounts.

Daybooks
A daybook is a descriptive and chronological (diary-like) record of day-to-day financial transactions also called a book of original entry. The daybook’s details must be entered formally into journals to enable posting to ledgers.

Daybooks include:

  • Sales daybook, for recording all the sales invoices.
  • Sales credits daybook, for recording all the sales credit notes.
  • Purchases daybook, for recording all the purchase invoices.
  • Purchases Debits daybook, for recording all the purchase Debit notes.
  • Cash daybook, usually known as the cash book, for recording all money received as well as money paid out. It may be split into two daybooks: receipts daybook for money received in, and payments daybook for money paid out.
  • General Journal daybook, for recording journals.

Petty cash book

A petty cash book is a record of small-value purchases before they are later transferred to the ledger and final accounts; it is maintained by a petty or junior cashier. This type of cash book usually uses the imprest system: a certain amount of money is provided to the petty cashier by the senior cashier. This money is to cater for minor expenditures (hospitality, minor stationery, casual postage, and so on) and is reimbursed periodically on satisfactory explanation of how it was spent.

Journals
Journals are recorded in the general journal daybook. A journal is a formal and chronological record of financial transactions before their values are accounted for in the general ledger as debits and credits. A company can maintain one journal for all transactions, or keep several journals based on similar activity (e.g., sales, cash receipts, revenue, etc.), making transactions easier to summarize and reference later. For every debit journal entry recorded, there must be an equivalent credit journal entry to maintain a balanced accounting equation.

Ledgers
A ledger is a record of accounts. These accounts are recorded separately, showing their beginning/ending balance. A journal lists financial transactions in chronological order, without showing their balance but showing how much is going to be charged in each account. A ledger takes each financial transaction from the journal and records it into the corresponding account for every transaction listed. The ledger also sums up the total of every account, which is transferred into the balance sheet and the income statement.

There are three different kinds of ledgers that deal with book-keeping:

  • Sales ledger, which deals mostly with the accounts receivable account. This ledger consists of the records of the financial transactions made by customers to the business.
  • Purchase ledger is the record of the purchasing transactions a company does; it goes hand in hand with the Accounts Payable account.
  • General ledger, representing the original five, main accounts: assets, liabilities, equity, income, and expenses.

Abbreviations used in bookkeeping
A/C – Account
Acc – Account
A/R – Accounts receivable
A/P – Accounts payable
B/S – Balance sheet
c/d – Carried down
b/d – Brought down
c/f – Carried forward
b/f – Brought forward
Dr – Debit
Cr – Credit
G/L – General ledger; (or N/L – nominal ledger)
P&L – Profit and loss; (or I/S – income statement)
P/R – Payroll
PP&E – Property, plant and equipment
TB – Trial Balance
GST – Goods and services tax
VAT – Value added tax
CST – Central sale tax
TDS – Tax deducted at source
AMT – Alternate minimum tax
EBITDA – Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation
EBDTA – Earnings before depreciation, taxes and amortisation
EBT – Earnings before tax
EAT – Earnings after tax
PAT – Profit after tax
PBT – Profit before tax
Depr – Depreciation
Dep – Depreciation
CPO – Cash paid out
CP – Cash Payment

Chart of accounts
A chart of accounts is a list of the accounts codes that can be identified with numeric, alphabetical, or alphanumeric codes allowing the account to be located in the general ledger. The equity section of the chart of accounts is based on the fact that the legal structure of the entity is of a particular legal type. Possibilities include sole trader, partnership, trust, and company.

Computerized bookkeeping
Computerized bookkeeping removes many of the paper “books” that are used to record the financial transactions of an entity—instead, relational databases take their place, but they still typically enforce the double-entry bookkeeping system and methodology.


How a professional bookkeeping service can save you time and money.

Bookkeeping services has become an increasing need for any and every business no matter how big or small. Lets see how a professional bookkeeping service can save you time and money.

Bookkeeping headaches?

There is a reason why many firms spend lots of money on a formidable army of bookkeepers every year. A bookkeeper is one of the few people who can actually make your business run easier. It is no secret that any business faces a number of bookkeeping related problems almost daily and dealing with these problems is both a mental and an emotional challenge. But still, a large number of people choose to deal with their books themselves and end up getting in worse messes every year until they finally realize that there is nothing left to salvage. However, even the worst scenario can be prevented by investing in a professional bookkeeping service.

There are a number of benefits a professional bookkeeping service can provide you. But notice how we always use the word professional. People will do anything to save a bit of money. This is especially true in business. Due to a lack of knowledge about the benefits of a good bookkeeper, people try to save money by hiring people of low repute or ‘freelancers’. These people are only available to you for an unbelievably low price due to the fact that they have no experience or are not talented at all. A professional bookkeeping service can help you maintain your records correctly and help you save money that you might lose in the long run.

Here is what you need to know about why and how to choose a professional bookkeeping service:

  • Your bookkeeper does a lot more than just file your receipts and keep your bills paid. But that is important too. Imagine neglecting to pay a bill one month or two and having to pay astronomical fees. That may not seem like a great benefit now, but if you wish to keep your business reputable and to maintain its goodwill, get someone who takes the load off of your temples.
  • Your bookkeeper will help you in negotiating and dealing with vendors and other people you have to deal with. A good bookkeeper can help you deal with vendors and get you discounts and make good business deals.
  • Your bookkeeping service will help you deal with most of your finance and accounting related matters so you can be worry-free that you will make any mistake.
  • A good bookkeeping service will help you prepare your financial statement so you pay your taxes easily, efficiently and on time. You need to provide information about your profits, losses and assets to the government and many times this information can go wrong if you try to do it yourself. Your bookkeeping service will guarantee you pay only what you have to.
  • Cash flow! Keeping track of your cash flow is extremely important. A bookkeeper keeps track of and keeps you updated on your cash flow making sure you are never lower than the minimum account and any excess goes straight to the bank for safe-keeping.
  • Expenses. If you run a small scale business, you will know well how expenses can go out of hand in just one day. A good bookkeeping service is optimal in keeping track of your expenses so you know just how much it is that you are spending and to keep you updated as to how you can cut back these expenses.
  • Profitability and Growth. If you are a sole-trader or a small scale business owner, then you know just how hard it is to know your businesses profitability. Stock has to be accounted for, creditors have to be deducted, debtors included and still there are some items that escape your mind. This results in a wrong report. You can miscalculate your perfectly profitable business to be in severe loss and similarly a losing business might seem profitable. To keep you in check of your reality and to tell you how to cut losses and increase profit, you need to utilize a good bookkeeping service who keeps your accounts in check all year round so you know what is happening all day every day.
  • Help. Again that tiresome tax! Did you know that there are a lot of taxes that can be refunded? You may be losing a lot of money to these refundable taxes. Similarly, people can deceive you in the name of taxes. A good bookkeeping service is important in getting you back your hard-earned money and keeping you free from swindlers and deceivers.
  • Your bookkeeper gives you more time. Imagine working all day for your business and trying to work as a bookkeeper at night. It is a nightmare. Not only will you be tired, you will suffer a loss of more than money. Your health will deteriorate and you still won’t get anywhere. A good bookkeeper keeps your schedule free to focus on the business matters while taking care of your financial matters.
  • A good bookkeeping service keeps you out of jail. Every business gets an audit and you can be questioned in every little transaction. A bit of too much neglect can have you declared as a tax thief and you can have legal action taken against you. This results in heavy fines and even jails. So keep yourself out of jail and at ease by investing in a good bookkeeping service.
  • Outsourcing is necessary. Any person who works for you as an internal employee can commit a fraud, ‘cook your books’ and rob you of hard earned money. Also, if that person is not experienced or skilled, you can also lose money both ways. Go for a professional bookkeeping service with a good repute so that you don’t lose money by getting swindled or by employing an un-skilled person who is sure to cause you more harm than good by being inexperienced and not trustworthy.
  • Accountability. Your bookkeeping service will act responsibly because they know you can ask them about your books any time at all and therefore can terminate the contract at the slightest mistake.

All these benefits are worth the bucks you will be investing, which otherwise would go to waste with the other heaps of cash due to the lack of good bookkeeping.


In need of a bookkeeper?

Bookkeeping is the most significant trouble for all businesses regardless of the dimension as well as nature of the business. Let’s see whether you are in need of a bookkeeper?

When a person starts a brand-new company he is determined to reduce all feasible expenditures which includes bookkeeping. Quickly he understands that bookkeeping consumes a lot of time that he could possibly have spent better or else utilized for marketing and expanding his company. It not just is time consuming, yet a huge problem for business people who are new to bookkeeping. That is the reason why a growing number of companies are obtaining the services of a bookkeeper or accountant to look after their accounting.

Are you in need of a bookkeeper?

Business is getting tough, and the competition even more so. It is not a cakewalk to endure against the competition as well as to earn revenues. To gain higher earnings, every business person must cut all unnecessary costs. Is the solution of a bookkeeper required? Can this expenditure be saved? To get the best answer to the above question, the benefits of employing a bookkeeper must be recognized.

Just what are the perks of working with a bookkeeper?

1. What is the initial objective of a company? To earn revenues is the main aim of every company. How can you recognize if you are gaining profits or not? Bookkeeping is the ideal tool to determine the amount profit earned. The numbers ought to be entered properly to recognize the real financial stance of a firm. Wrong entry of numbers or non-inclusion of a transaction will not reveal the real revenue or loss. Minor mistakes made in bookkeeping can become really costly blunders. Through the services of a bookkeeper, you know you can stay away from costly blunders.

2. Some business folks really feel that it is better to educate one of their own employees in accounting instead of hiring a professional bookkeeper. They feel that this is expense saving. Are you one amongst them? If so, you are absolutely wrong. Educating a member of your personnel can be much more pricey and also additionally time consuming.

3. Hiring a bookkeeper lowers a great deal of stress. You need not stress over data backup, updating accounting software, indemnity insurance, SARS due dates and also conformity with the industry. All these responsibilities are passed on to the accountant.

4. Budgeting as well as sticking to budgets are necessary for the success of a company. A well formulated budget aids to conserve cost and also boost income. When a bookkeeper becomes acquainted with your business, he can give important proficiency assistance in preparing spending plans.

5. An expert bookkeeper would certainly provide help in funding, rates, marketing, IT and financial advice. This results in the overall effectiveness of business.

6. When you work with a professional accountant you will have no more worries about late lodgement with SARS, wrong invoicing, wrong coding of VAT as well as incorrect asserting of VAT.

It is clear that working with a bookkeeper or an accountant is definitely advantageous to a business. You are relieved from the problems of bookkeeping. You can concentrate on production and advertising. You need not worry about the uninteresting figures. Is this not good business sense to all business professionals who dread numbers and accounting?

Make use of the specialized abilities of bookkeepers or accountants for the effective running of business. Make sure you find the most effective accountant that is experienced, efficient, knowledgeable about demands of contemporary accounting and also most of all truthful.


What to look for in a bookkeeping service

For all sorts of businesses, keeping financial data is necessary.Even more crucial is having somebody that can do this job flawlessly. This is the reason businesses constantly watch out for excellent accountant solutions. What to look for in a bookkeeping service:

With the proper accounting solution, businessmen must be carefree. Bookkeepers will take care of the activities relating to all purchases including recording income and expenditure, composing financial institution reconciliation statements, handling statements, and managing pay-roll. All company owners know just how vital it is to have an accountant. Nonetheless, just what most do not understand is how you can really discover a great bookkeeping service.

First, it is necessary to evaluate potential accountants in regards to training and instructional background. Although bookkeepers are not always required to have a level in bookkeeping, all should have had formal training in the area. You will probably find people that have experienced some college coursework or have been licensed by accredited organizations.

Second, a lot of businessmen additionally favour an accountant service provided by a knowledgeable accounting firm. Working with a knowledgeable bookkeeper enables you to ensure experienced administration of your economic documents. In addition, experienced accountants function much more efficiently. Since bookkeeper services are often paid on a per hour basis, people that work much faster will enable you to save more. To verify actual bookkeeping encounters, a lot of accounting companies would not hesitate to provide a list of recommendations.

Third, character is additionally worth observing when evaluating those who supply accountant support services. Clearly, it would certainly be essential for you to obtain along with your accountant but even more importantly, it deserves making the effort to note and watch out for indications of customer responsiveness, organization, and attention to information. Most of the time, people that have these qualities supply a great accountant support service.

4th, although some businesses still participate in conventional accounting service, the majority of have adapted to the technical modifications in company by doing digital bookkeeping work. If your company makes use of certain software program, it would also be important that possible bookkeepers be familiar with that.

Lastly, it is very important to see to it that the accountant you intend to utilize will certainly suit the budget of your company. Ask your prospective accountant how much they ask for. If their prices are not practical for your business, do not think twice to speak to them to view if you can uncover a far better pricing plan.

The perks of hiring an excellent bookkeeper service are obvious. However, the worth of a bookkeeper would depend mainly on credentials and capabilities. Therefore, it is necessary to extensively evaluate every possible prospect and employ simply the bookkeeping firm that gives a bookkeeper service that is most proper to your company’ requirements.


How to work with a bookkeeper

You have actually made the decision to hire an accountant. Congratulations, since now you will have additional information time to concentrate on making even more cash in your business. How to work with a bookkeeper:

So let us see how you can get your money’s worth!

Here are 7 things you need to do when you start working with a bookkeeper:

1. Share Your Vision, Share You

Tell your accountant why you got into business initially. Mention to him/her regarding your services or products. Inform him/her what you really feel separates your business from the remainder of the pack. Share with him/her your 5 year vision such as the amount of money you intend to make in your company and your goal to introduce brand-new products/services.

The more your bookkeeper shares your vision, the more s/he will seem like a member of your group. That suggests your accountant will certainly go the added mile to assist you and make life easier for you

2. Get in touch with the cash side of you.

Your accountant should see just how you have handled your books in the past. Think of your responses to these inquiries then review your responses with your bookkeeper:.

Have you ever before tracked your business or personal expenditures? Or does the idea of doing that make you really feel nauseous?
If you have tracked your earnings and expenses, how commonly do you track it?
Does managing your money bewilder you? Has it been hard to handle money in the past?
Are you a specifics person? Or would you merely like to know the bottom line?
3. Tell your bookkeeper how you want your economic information explained to you.

Let’s presume it’s now time to examine your earnings loss report for the quarter. Do you wish the report emailed to you? Do you want it in a spread sheet? Do you not wish to check out all of the numbers and do you merely desire the bottom line? Do you want your accountant to visit you at your office and talk to you concerning how your company is doing?

Additionally make a decision about how much info is too much, or too complex, before it becomes frustrating. Simply put, you have to tell your accountant just how much information you really want and how you wish to communicate.

4. Protect your own.

Your accountant will require access to your financial information such as your bank card statements and bank account statements. Will you offer your accountant online access or will you merely mail him/her duplicate declarations?

Below’s the skinny. A lot of bookkeepers would favor online accessibility so they have immediate accessibility to your financials. You’re probably pondering just how safe this is. This is where the trust factor comes in. It’s extremely important to get 2 or 3 recommendations prior to you hire an accountant. I would certainly additionally think about doing an ambient check. Some accountants have workers also, and I would certainly ask your bookkeeper if they do background checks on their own workers and exactly what devices they have in location to shield you.

Lots of bookkeepers likewise prefer to obtain the physical copies of your invoices and invoices paid. So just how will you get them to your accountant? By mail (could acquire shed), by FedEx (tracking number), or by fax? Will you drop them off or will s/he come to your workplace to pick them up?

Bear in mind, just due to the fact that you hire a bookkeeper does not mean you quit taking a look at your credit card statements. Continue to check them to make certain absolutely nothing suspicious is going on.

5. Various other accounting obligations.

Do you want your bookkeeper to pay bills? Sign checks? If you do, I suggest your bookkeeper e-mail you on a weekly basis the costs they pay and the checks they compose so you understand what’s going on. You can likewise have an arrangement that they will not pay costs over a specific amount.

6. Introduce your bookkeeper to your accounting professional so they can better serve you.

The better the connection your accountant has with your bookkeeper, the better life will certainly be for you. It’s an excellent way for you to have a check and balance device on your bookkeeper. Tell your accountant about the support services that the bookkeeper will give and ask your accountant to occasionally review the bookkeeper’s work.

Have a conference call or person to person conference with your accountant and bookkeeper at least two times a year. Do an assessment of your economic statements together. Make sure that your accountant will manage to collaborate with the software application that your bookkeeper uses.

7. Rates.

Some accountants supply per hour rates while others supply regular monthly package deals. Determine the amount you can manage every month, then tell your accountant to alert you when you have reached your monthly limitation. And make sure you are not spending for support services that you truly don’t require.

Have your accountant teach you the best ways to run a few straightforward records. You do not need to be an accounting ninja, however it makes sense not to pay for something that is simple to do. The first record that I suggest you learn how you can do is your profit/loss record. It’s always excellent to recognize exactly how your company is doing from a revenue, expenditure, and earnings viewpoint.

Bookkeepers are in a rather commoditized business. As a result of this, some will enter into the gray area of offering vast economic, legal, tax, and insurance coverage assistance. Although they are attempting to watch out for your best interest, make certain to obtain a second opinion from your tax, law, or economic specialist.

Let Kredcor work out a bookkeeping package that best suits you and your business.