Raising and Managing Finance

  • Bookkeeping

    • Keeping Sales and Purchase Ledgers

      This factsheet explains what sales and purchase ledgers are and describes how transactions should be recorded in the ledgers...

    • How to Keep a Manual Cash Book

      This factsheet explains what a cash book is and what you use it for. It demonstrates how your business' income and expenditure should be entered into the cash book so that all your transactions are recorded...

    • Choosing and Using an Accountant

      This factsheet explains the services offered by accountants, what to look for when choosing an accountant and how to find and appoint one. It provides information on monitoring and assessing the service received and gives an indication of likely costs...

  • Cash flow and Forecasting

    • A Guide to Understanding Balance Sheets

      This factsheet explains the main features of a balance sheet, what kind of information it should contain and provides definitions of the key terms that are used on a balance sheet...

    • A Guide to Understanding Profit and Loss Accounts

      This factsheet outlines what information is typically covered in a profit and loss (P&L) account and explains the commonly used terms. It looks at how the P&L account can be used to help manage a business and reviews some of the limitations of P&L accounts...

    • An Introduction to Factoring and Invoice Discounting

      This factsheet explains how factoring and invoice discounting work and looks at the difference between the two. It describes the situations in which these services could be useful to a business and provides guidelines for deciding whether these services are a cost-effective method of maintaining cash flow...

    • Understanding and Calculating Depreciation

      This factsheet explains what depreciation is and how it is accounted for. It outlines the types of assets that depreciation charges apply to and discusses different methods of calculating the depreciation charge of an asset. It also introduces capital allowances and capital replacement budgeting...

    • A Guide to Opening a Business Bank Account

      This factsheet describes the different types of business bank accounts that are available and the associated costs. It also provides information to help compare different accounts and go through the application process...

    • How to Forecast Cash Flow

      This factsheet explains the importance of a cash flow forecast and describes its structure and content. It explains how to prepare a forecast and how to use it to monitor your cash flow. It also introduces key accounting concepts including fixed, variable and capital costs, working capital and cash cycle...

    • A Guide to Establishing a Trade Credit Policy

      This factsheet explains what a trade credit policy is and what it should include. It defines some frequently used payment terms and provides information on evaluating the creditworthiness of your business customers. It also covers using credit reference agencies, credit insurance and factoring services...

    • A Guide to Preparing and Submitting Company Accounts to Companies House

      This factsheet explains when accounts must be submitted to Companies House, what information most companies are required to submit and the exemptions that allow a company to submit less detailed information. It also explains the penalties involved for late filing of accounts...

    • Leasing Business Equipment

      This factsheet explains what leasing is and details the different types of leasing arrangements available. It contains hints and tips and sources of further information...

    • How to Forecast Sales

      This factsheet explains the importance of sales forecasting and why you need to carry it out. It describes various methods of forecasting sales and shows how to interpret and use the results. It also provides a checklist on how to avoid pitfalls when forecasting and contains hints and tips and sources of further information...

    • An Introduction to Preparing a Budget

      This factsheet explains what a budget is and describes the benefits to your business of having a budget. It explains how to prepare a sales and expenditure budget and how to use it to keep control of your business finances. It provides hints and tips and sources of further information...

    • A Guide to Invoices and Receipts

      This factsheet describes the difference between invoices and receipts and explains the different types of invoices a business can generate. It details the information that should be included on invoices and receipts and outlines some useful processes for managing invoices in a business...

    • A Guide to Avoiding Cash Flow Problems

      This factsheet looks at the situations that can lead to cash flow problems and how you can avoid running into trouble. It outlines the practical steps you can take to build and maintain your cash flow, and provides hints and tips and sources of further information...

  • Exit Planning

    • A Guide to Understanding Bankruptcy

      This factsheet explains what bankruptcy means and the implications it has for individual business owners. It explains the bankruptcy procedures in England and Wales and outlines the variations in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It also lists alternatives to bankruptcy in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland...

    • An Introduction to Company Insolvency and Liquidation

      This factsheet defines what insolvency is and explains why companies become insolvent. It describes the various liquidation procedures that apply to private limited companies. It also outlines the responsibilities of the directors of companies in severe financial difficulties and lists alternatives to liquidation, such as informal creditors' agreements, company voluntary arrangements and administration...

    • An Introduction to Administration and Company Voluntary Arrangements

      This factsheet provides an introduction to administration and CVA. It explains when each procedure can be used and describes some of the main processes involved. It contains useful hints and tips, as well as sources of further information...

  • Financial Analysis

    • An Introduction to Understanding Financial Ratios

      This factsheet introduces the key financial ratios, explains how to calculate them and suggests typical values for a healthy business. It also includes hints and tips and sources of further information...

    • A Guide to Controlling Costs

      This factsheet explains how to budget for business costs and suggests ways to control expenditure. It outlines a number of areas where costs can be controlled by changing habits and adopting some simple measures to reduce outgoings. It also provides hints and tips and sources of further information...

  • Getting Paid

    • An Introduction to Making a Small Claim to Recover an Unpaid Debt

      This factsheet provides information about how to recover debts through the small claims procedure, which involves taking court proceedings to recover the money due, and it also includes examples of typical reasons for making a small claim...

    • A Guide to Recovering an Unpaid Debt

      This factsheet explains the issues to consider before taking debt recovery action, the basics of late payment legislation and the various options for securing recovery of the debt...

    • An Introduction to Credit Control

      This factsheet explains how to set up a credit control system. It also briefly covers how to recover debt, the option of factoring as a method for improving cash flow, and considerations for credit control when exporting goods and services...

  • Sources of Funding and Support

  • Tax and VAT

    • An Introduction to Tax, National Insurance and VAT

      There are three main types of tax that are relevant to most organisations: income tax; National Insurance (NI); and Value Added Tax (VAT). Limited companies are also liable to pay corporation tax. This factsheet outlines these taxes, explains how they affect different organisations and individuals, and outlines any obligations under the law...

    • An Introduction to Charging and Accounting for VAT

      This factsheet briefly explains the VAT process, and also covers starting to charge VAT, calculating the VAT to charge, what must be shown on VAT invoices, and record keeping for VAT accounting. It explains what a VAT return is, VAT accounting schemes, how to account for VAT through a VAT return, paying VAT, what happens if a VAT return is not submitted, and the penalties for inaccuracy or late payment of VAT...

    • An Introduction to VAT (Value Added Tax)

      This factsheet introduces the basic principles of VAT (Value Added Tax). It explains what VAT is, the principles of VAT for traders, what the VAT registration thresholds are, and when registration is required. It also summarises the different rates of VAT and the situations in which sales are exempt from VAT...

    • An Introduction to Tax Allowances for Capital Expenditure

      This factsheet provides an introduction to the tax relief available when buying assets, and how it is calculated...

    • An Introduction to Tax Allowable Business Expenditure

      This factsheet explains what business expenditure is allowable for tax purposes and gives guidance about how to claim allowances for business and employee expenses. It also includes hints and tips and sources of further information...

    • An Introduction to Corporation Tax

      This factsheet provides an introduction to corporation tax for private limited companies. It covers what corporation tax is, how to set up the corporation tax process with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), and company responsibilities under corporation tax self-assessment...

    • An Introduction to Tax Self-Assessment

      This factsheet describes the tax self-assessment process, who it applies to, and how to register for self-assessment. It also briefly explains the process for paying tax and how this relates to the 'tax year'...

    • A Guide to Entertaining Clients and Staff

      This factsheet outlines what is meant by the term 'business entertainment' and identifies some of the key issues that business owners should be aware of in order to understand the tax implications. It explains the types of entertainment that may provide a 'benefit in kind' tax liability for employees, the kind of staff entertainment that is allowable for tax purposes and the way business gifts are treated for tax...

    • Setting up and Registering as a Charity

      This factsheet explains how to register and manage a charity. It outlines how a charity should define its purpose and legal structure, and sets out the requirements for governance documents and the appointment of trustees...

    • A Guide to the Equality Act 2010

      This factsheet explains what the Equality Act 2010 covers, who it applies to and what business owners and managers must do to comply with the Act...

    • An Introduction to the Cash-Basis and Simplified-Expenses Accounting Schemes

      This factsheet outlines who is eligible for the cash-basis and simplified-expenses income tax accounting schemes, how they work, how they relate to tax self-assessment, the process on joining and leaving the schemes, and some of the advantages and limitations...

    • A Guide to Registering with HMRC as a New Employer

      This factsheet explains who needs to register as an employer, when they need to register, and how to register, including the information that must be supplied to HMRC...

    • An Introduction to VAT Margin Schemes

      This factsheet explains what the VAT margin schemes are, how they can be used, and how they apply to specific business sectors...

    • An Introduction to VAT Retail Schemes

      This factsheet explains what the VAT retail schemes are, what they cover, and how they operate...

    • Registering with and using VAT MOSS

      This factsheet explains what has changed and outlines the practical impact of the new rules on small firms supplying digital services to consumers in other EU member states. It explains their VAT registration options and outlines how to register with VAT MOSS and submit returns and payments...

    • An Introduction to Record Keeping and Completing a Self-Assessment Tax Return

      This factsheet explains the business records that must be kept by self-employed people in order to complete a tax return, and covers how to complete and submit the return. The deadlines for submitting returns and paying tax, the penalties for missing deadlines, and how to correct a tax return and appeal against a tax decision are also explained...

    • A Guide to Calculating and Paying Corporation Tax

      This factsheet provides a guide to calculating and paying corporation tax for private limited companies. It covers some of the tax reliefs and allowances that may apply, and the records that must be kept. It also provides information about the payment of corporation tax, filing of tax returns and the penalties that apply for filing inaccurate or late returns...

    • An Introduction to Registering for VAT

      This factsheet explains the VAT process and requirements for registration, how to calculate taxable turnover, the important issues to be aware of in relation to registering for VAT, and when and how to register. It also explains the process for de-registering for VAT and VAT inspections...