With MTD being an eventuality, sole traders should get accustomed to some accounting software for the benefit of themselves and their accountants.
The first one we recommend is Quickbooks. As Platinum ProAdvisors, Gledhill Accountancy is experienced with this software and can provide you with answers to any queries you have about it. There are lots of benefits to Quickbooks. For instance, they have a wide range of plans with the cheapest one granting the basic accounting needs like managing expenses, accounts, invoices and more. The pricier plans provide more advanced tools which can be useful for those who are more comfortable and experienced with accounting. For some, these advanced features will be required, such as multi-currency and payroll. You can also track your mileage to get the most out of travel expenses.
Accounting software may be a bit overwhelming for those who aren't tech savvy or comfortable with accounting. If this is the case for you, we can help by getting you accustomed to, and comfortable with Quickbooks.
This software is great for smaller businesses, especially sole traders. It provides the basics as discussed above.
It does provide the benefit of reminding you of upcoming tax forecasts and deadlines. For example, when your self-assessment is due, and when MTD arrives, when your quarterly submissions will be due.
For those who aren't comfortable with doing their accounting or working with accounting software, Xero is a good place to start as its user interface is easy to get accustomed to and friendly to small sole traders and the self-employed.
However, the basic plan has a limit of only twenty invoices and quotes, and only five bills per month. After this limit has been reached, it's a steep increase from £10 to £24 a month to use more than what's offered in the basic plan. Another drawback to this software is that reviews have shown that customer support can be difficult to deal with, which is less of a problem if you have an accountant who works with it.
Sage has lots of different features for those who are savvy about their accounting, but for most sole traders, it simply provides the basics which you will need.
The downside of Sage, compared to some of the others in this article, is that it doesn't have mileage tracking, meaning you have to manage your travel expenses in the more traditional way, taking up more time.
What software you might want to use depends on your business. If travel expenses is a very important aspect of your business, you may lean towards one with travel expense tracking. If accounting really doesn't interest you, and you want to leave as much of it as possible to your accountants, you may want to choose software that is more user friendly and simple to navigate. Pricing varies too, so choosing software with more variety might cater more to your specific needs.
Gledhill Accountancy can help you find the package that is right for you. We are happy to advise you on this decision.