Setting Up Self-Employed

Marcella13Marcella13 Registered Posts: 16
Hello fellow AAT'ers,

I am looking to set up from home a small bookkeeping business to work alongside my permanent employment.

I am able to provide these services outside of work as my job isn't bookkeeping related and it does not state otherwise in my contract.

I currently have 3 family members that would like me to prepare books and tax returns. But have been approached by mutual friends who have small local businesses to do to the same.

My question here is: Aside from all the dead cert things i need like insurance, my license and AMLS - what would be a good accounting software for me to purchase?

I just have my Synoptic Exam to sit then i will be level 4 qualified and am hoping i can upgrade my license to the accounting one to offer more services. So i don't mind paying a bit more to get the right software which can provide me with enough software for both levels at bookkeeping & accountancy with Payroll in there too. Just so i haven't got to change midway using a software!

Many thanks in advance!

Comments

  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,038
    What software do you use at work?
  • KoopaCooperKoopaCooper London, UKMAAT, AATQB Posts: 186
    @Marcella13 - From the fact that your full-time job isn't remotely bookkeeping related, I'd imagine you have no experience with any bookkeeping software, right?

    I would recommend QuickBooks or Kashflow - they're both quite similar in operation from my own experience, and are both quite reasonably priced online accounts packages, with a monthly subscription.

    Alternatively if you'd like software with a one-off purchase, and/or want something you can use without relying on an internet connection, you might like to take a look at VT Transaction+, with a one-off fee of £125 to purchase (incl. software support for one year) and £100/yr for continued support. (slightly less than the £10/mo I believe QuickBooks usually is).

    Best of luck! ^^
    Accounts Executive, ғɪᴀʙ ᴍᴀᴀᴛ
    QBO & Xero certified advisor

    AAT
    Level 2 Certificate in Accounting - 17 Jun 2015
    Level 3 Diploma in Accounting - 22 Jan 2016
    Level 4 Diploma in Accounting - 19 Dec 2017
    MAAT - 27 Mar 2018

    ACCA
    Level 4 Diploma in Accounting and Business - exempt
    Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business...
    F4 Corporate and Business Law - 4 Jun 2019
    F5 Performance Management - 15 July 2019
    F6 Taxation - studying, exam on 3 Dec 2019
    F8 Audit and Assurance - studying, exam on 2 Dec 2019
  • Marcella13Marcella13 Registered Posts: 16
    @reader I use Just Accounts currently at work, which is mainly to offer Umbrella PAYE services but also has an accounting side to it to manage limited companies - but i don't feel it is very good!

    @KoopaCooper I have used Sage before we changed to Just Accounts so am aware of Sage and what it offers!

    But brilliant thank you for those software names i will take a look and do a bit of research!

    Would i be able to process payroll on them?

    Thank you
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,038
    In very general terms I would suggest:

    1) Sole traders: Use microsoft excel and HMRC website

    2) Micro limited companies (e.g. turnover less than £632k): Free Agent

    3) Small limited companies (e.g. turnover more than £632k): Xero

    Free Agent and Xero do payroll and VAT.

    Free Agent is great for contractors and freelancers. I think Xero is better for larger businesses that have more complex requirements as it has more apps, reports, etc.

    For Accounts and CT you can use something like taxfiler
    Neillaw
  • KoopaCooperKoopaCooper London, UKMAAT, AATQB Posts: 186

    @reader I use Just Accounts currently at work, which is mainly to offer Umbrella PAYE services but also has an accounting side to it to manage limited companies - but i don't feel it is very good!

    @KoopaCooper I have used Sage before we changed to Just Accounts so am aware of Sage and what it offers!

    But brilliant thank you for those software names i will take a look and do a bit of research!

    Would i be able to process payroll on them?

    Thank you

    QuickBooks Online has a separate add-on payroll system (£1/mo per employee iirc); I don't believe Kashflow does payroll.

    VT Transaction+ is for bookkeeping/drafting accounts only.

    If you want to look at dedicated payroll software separate from accounts software, our payroll manager uses Moneysoft. She picked it up with little to no prior experience, almost entirely self-taught.

    Freeagent and Xero are also excellent online accounts solutions, I forgot to mention them (only a small handful of our clients happen to use them).
    Accounts Executive, ғɪᴀʙ ᴍᴀᴀᴛ
    QBO & Xero certified advisor

    AAT
    Level 2 Certificate in Accounting - 17 Jun 2015
    Level 3 Diploma in Accounting - 22 Jan 2016
    Level 4 Diploma in Accounting - 19 Dec 2017
    MAAT - 27 Mar 2018

    ACCA
    Level 4 Diploma in Accounting and Business - exempt
    Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business...
    F4 Corporate and Business Law - 4 Jun 2019
    F5 Performance Management - 15 July 2019
    F6 Taxation - studying, exam on 3 Dec 2019
    F8 Audit and Assurance - studying, exam on 2 Dec 2019
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,038

    @reader I use Just Accounts currently at work, which is mainly to offer Umbrella PAYE services but also has an accounting side to it to manage limited companies - but i don't feel it is very good!

    @KoopaCooper I have used Sage before we changed to Just Accounts so am aware of Sage and what it offers!

    But brilliant thank you for those software names i will take a look and do a bit of research!

    Would i be able to process payroll on them?

    Thank you

    QuickBooks Online has a separate add-on payroll system (£1/mo per employee iirc); I don't believe Kashflow does payroll.

    VT Transaction+ is for bookkeeping/drafting accounts only.

    If you want to look at dedicated payroll software separate from accounts software, our payroll manager uses Moneysoft. She picked it up with little to no prior experience, almost entirely self-taught.

    Freeagent and Xero are also excellent online accounts solutions, I forgot to mention them (only a small handful of our clients happen to use them).
    What would you suggest for Companies House/HMRC accounts, and corporation tax?
  • KoopaCooperKoopaCooper London, UKMAAT, AATQB Posts: 186
    reader said:

    @reader I use Just Accounts currently at work, which is mainly to offer Umbrella PAYE services but also has an accounting side to it to manage limited companies - but i don't feel it is very good!

    @KoopaCooper I have used Sage before we changed to Just Accounts so am aware of Sage and what it offers!

    But brilliant thank you for those software names i will take a look and do a bit of research!

    Would i be able to process payroll on them?

    Thank you

    QuickBooks Online has a separate add-on payroll system (£1/mo per employee iirc); I don't believe Kashflow does payroll.

    VT Transaction+ is for bookkeeping/drafting accounts only.

    If you want to look at dedicated payroll software separate from accounts software, our payroll manager uses Moneysoft. She picked it up with little to no prior experience, almost entirely self-taught.

    Freeagent and Xero are also excellent online accounts solutions, I forgot to mention them (only a small handful of our clients happen to use them).
    What would you suggest for Companies House/HMRC accounts, and corporation tax?
    Well, I don't actually draw up the final accounts or Corp Tax returns, but my manager uses the CCH integrated suite of software to do those. I couldn't even begin to comment on how much that would cost though.

    The problem is, properly professional-looking accounts cost a professional amount of money to produce...
    Accounts Executive, ғɪᴀʙ ᴍᴀᴀᴛ
    QBO & Xero certified advisor

    AAT
    Level 2 Certificate in Accounting - 17 Jun 2015
    Level 3 Diploma in Accounting - 22 Jan 2016
    Level 4 Diploma in Accounting - 19 Dec 2017
    MAAT - 27 Mar 2018

    ACCA
    Level 4 Diploma in Accounting and Business - exempt
    Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business...
    F4 Corporate and Business Law - 4 Jun 2019
    F5 Performance Management - 15 July 2019
    F6 Taxation - studying, exam on 3 Dec 2019
    F8 Audit and Assurance - studying, exam on 2 Dec 2019
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,440
    My two pennies...

    Bookkeeping - I'm a big fan of Xero. We have a few using Quickbooks Online which is ok for the smaller client but not our target market so not as interested. Freeagent good for contractors.

    Accounts Prep - Capium works really well - not sure on their bookkeeping, practice management or payroll software though.

    Tax - Capium again. Taxfiler meant to be good although just been bought by Iris so it may get withdrawn.

    Payroll - Moneysoft for us but I also like Brightpay

    Practice Management - Glide - takes some setting up, like most, but works really well.

    We also use Slack, Trello, Iris Openspace, Adobesign, Onepage CRM, Freshdesk, Mailchimp, Zapier and Acuity to create a seemless onboarding system, support and guidance system, document sharing and online approval.
    Regards,

    Burg
    UpwardBookkeeping
  • Beki100Beki100 AAT Student, AATQB, AAT Licensed Bookkeeper Posts: 8
    Wave is another great one and it's free
  • NeillawNeillaw New Member RossendaleMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 241
    I use Capium payroll but only for a small number of clients which are directors only any myself, easy to use and the payslip can be emailed to the individual.

    I was under the impression that VT wasn't going to deal with MTD.

    Accounts prep - Taxfiler (as per Berg this has been bought out by IRIS but nothing has been mentioned about what they are going to do with it but the website has just had a re-brand. I suspect they have bought this as entry into the lower end of the market with ltd requirements.)

    Sorry for the delay.

    MarieNoelle
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