Self-employed workers may be extremely focused and have an entrepreneurial spirit that will lead to business success but they are also notorious for being disorganized when it comes to paperwork. It really is not possible to be an excellent businessperson and an office administrator. Unfortunately, administration is the backbone of every business and it absolutely must be carried out on time and accurately for a business to maximize its profits.
Many self-employed workers or contractors actually find the financial side of their business intimidating and confusing. There are so many ways to set up a company and manage its finances, and many rules concerning the filing of company accounts and record-keeping.
A small business whose financial side is not managed correctly may find that it loses money and this can hit profit margins hard. Sometimes money is lost simply because a business forgets to invoice for work carried out, or because it undercharges. Suppliers and subcontractors will rarely chase up a late invoice.
Ask any accountant and they will tell stories about entrepreneurs who have months of receipts and invoices piled on their desk, check payments with no details of what the payment was for and receipts of funds into their bank accounts with no note of why they were paid. Couple this with the need to file tax returns correctly and on time and the result is an extremely chaotic office that acts as an anchor weighing down the whole business.
Taxation is one of the most complex areas for any size of business and keeping accurate records of all set-up and ongoing costs is vital to allow you to submit an accurate tax return after your first year of trading. Poorly-managed accounts often result in paying more tax than you should – you cannot claim expenses if you lose your paperwork.
Many employee benefits are tax-deductible such as life insurance and pensions. In fact, all HSA contributions are tax-deductible. Self-employed workers can also deduct from their tax bill the cost of disability and dental insurance premiums along with legal and liability cover. Few self-employed workers manage to claim all these expenses correctly.
Efficient business finance management requires both time and excellent organizational skills. There are several areas of financial administration where self-employed workers repeatedly fail, such as chasing invoices, pricing services and keeping up with tax matters.
Fortunately, there are many accountants that offer specific tax advice for contractors and some provide business administration as well as accountancy services. These are called umbrella companies and they provide a way for contractors and self-employed workers to receive help from qualified accountants with the financial and tax aspects of running their business.
An umbrella company essentially acts as an operating company for an entrepreneur, contractor or small business. The umbrella company manages all business finances from daily accounting and administration tasks through to the filing of annual accounts and management reports. The umbrella company manages all the accounts and pays you a salary so that you can focus on what you do best – running a great business.Tags: Cash Flow, economy, Freelancing, money, personal finance, tax