Philip M Collis, FFA

Incorporated Financial Accountant

01255 242311

Qualified and Registered Freelance Bookkeeper and Accountant offering bookkeeping and accounting services in East London, Essex and South Suffolk, including Colchester, Ipswich, Manningtree, Harwich, Dovercourt, Clacton, Felixstowe and surrounding areas.
Company Accounts and Corporation Tax Returns. Sole Traders and Partnership accounts and Tax Returns. Individual Tax Returns including property rental.


Books and Software

Keeping records for business, what you need to know

We all need to keep financial records for various reasons. If you fill in a tax return, VAT return or claim benefits or tax credits, there are some special rules.
Click here to load the HM Revenue and Customs guide to record keeping.

Compulsory Online VAT Return Submission
Since April 2010 most VAT-registered businesses have been required to submit their VAT Returns online and pay any VAT due electronically. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has, from 1 April 2012, extended this requirement to virtually all VAT-registered businesses, apart from a very small number who are exempt from submitting their VAT Returns online.

There are various ways to pay including by Direct Debit, internet/telephone banking, Faster Payments or debit and credit cards over the internet. You can also pay by cheque at a bank or building society using a Bank Giro paying-in slip which should be obtained from HMRC (these are pre-printed with your unique details). Since some of these methods can take a little time to set up, you should choose which method you want to use, and set it up, well in advance of the filing and payment deadline.

Manual Books

We can keep a full set of manual books if required, although it would be far more cost effective to keep records on a computer with appropriate accounting software.

Manual books may include books of Prime Entry such as Purchases Book, Sales Book, Cash Book, Wages Book, Petty Cash Book and Journal.

In addition it would be necessary to post periodic totals from these books to the ledgers, which include Sales Ledger, Purchase Ledger and Nominal Ledger.

Computerised Books

We can use your existing software or suggest appropriate accounting packages to purchase. We would be able to install and set up any new software on your system.
The market leader for accounting software is Sage Accounts.
VT Cash Book is an excellent free bookkeeping program and VT Transaction + is a viable alternative to Sage at a similar price(see below)

If you do not have a computer, then we can visit with a laptop and printer and enter your transactions into our system. We use VT Transaction+
We then print out your records and file them for you on site.

Now that most people have to submit their VAT returns electronically, we can submit your return for you on your premises using our mobile broadband facility.


If you want to keep your own cash book but would still like me to prepare your accounts and submit your tax return then you can use FREE software from VT Software, called VT Cash Book. You would then send me your backup copy and I would prepare accounts from your data.

It is very easy to use and similar to using a spreadsheet. You can download the free software by clicking their logo on the left.
When you open the download page, click the line "Click here to download the set up program" and follow the instructions.

You do NOT need to activate the VT Transaction+ module, as this is extra and chargeable. The VT Cash Book is enough to record your transactions and calculate your VAT Returns.
WARNING - VT Cash Book is not a full bookkeeping system, so cannot be used alone for limited companies. Further schedules would need to be maintained in order to comply with UK GAAP.

Also, using VT Cashbook alone means you would be on the VAT cash accounting scheme (see VAT Cash Accounting)
If you wanted Standard VAT Accounting then you would need to use the full VT Transaction software.

VT Cash Book is not compatible with Apple Mac.