Personal Finance Record-Keeping Made Easy

It used to be the case that keeping finance records was something that only business people and accountants had to do.  However, making sure you have your own finance records in good order is an important point for almost all of us to acknowledge today.

There are lots of different reasons for this, not least the record number of self employed individuals who operate in the UK today. However, tax self assessment forms for child benefit, various credit or loan applications and many other aspects of our day-to-day dealings now require us to have thorough and comprehensive finance records.

Details

Certain people love working with figures and numbers but for many others the task can be quite daunting. Thankfully things are quite straightforward for most personal finance records. If there really is any level of complexity involved you will most likely be using the services of an accountancy professional already.

However, it does come down to managing all the details and separate aspects of your money in terms of both income and expenses, so being organised is the essential first step.

Statements

Keeping bank statements, payment details and official correspondence from HMRC is the basis of any successful attempt to maintain personal finance records. Being organised is pivotal to this, so if you are someone who likes printed details then make sure you have a good filing system that is easy to understand and interpret.

If you have digitised statements and bills, it is always important to ensure that there are backup copies kept securely. Preferably these will not all be on the same computer or device.

Software

Using software to look after your day-to-day financial details means that you build up your finance records as you go along. It also avoids the idea of ‘shoebox accounting’ that most people find themselves dealing with when they are faced with a chaotic collection of receipts and other documents.

Spreadsheet applications and bookkeeping systems for use on home computer systems are commonplace and offer most of the functionality of high-end accountancy suites.

You can even use online editions to manage your finance records. By using ‘cloud’ services you can have access to your financial affairs remotely from any location and at any time of day using any internet-enabled device such as a laptop, tablet or Smartphone.

Expense

By taking control of your own financial bookkeeping you not only cut down on accountancy expenses but can also find it easier to make other savings. By having a ‘hands-on’ approach you will have a much better idea of your income and outgoings, allowing you to spot where you can make changes and become more cost-conscious.

Of course, there may be circumstances where you still need to seek professional advice, but the fact that your finance records are in good order and up to date can save you costs for work that an accountant might otherwise have to do.

If you use the right software you can save even more time by making it easy for a professional to work on the data you supply them with.

Author

Bio

Barry Harmsworth has been a Certified Accountant for 20 years and has a popular practice in Leeds. He offers free advice online by writing for Vita Buy Student Property.

 

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