Author Archives: Andrew

About Andrew

Andrew has been an accountant specialising in helping small businesses since completing a Business and Financial Management degree in 1994. He started his professional career working in a small office team in Bracknell, UK, and later moving on to work independently as a consultant with support from his local Chamber of Commerce and several small business networking groups. He has written several pieces in media print, along with a number of contributions towards published texts for authors he has worked with over the years. He now enjoys working part time while looking after his young family, alongside editing this website. You can contact Andrew at via email.

Funding A New Business: Beating The Competition!

I’ll come clean – I spend too much time in the mornings in front of the TV. Earlier this week, I was meandering through my usual morning routine when my attention was grabbed by ITV’s ‘reporting’ on one of their growing catalogue of competition winners.

If my memory serves me correctly, the young lady was talking about winning a very significant sum of money on Lorraine’s prize draw, and had used it to open her dream business, a florist shop.

It got me thinking about how some people appear to be born lucky, while others spend years trying to get a break, ditch the grind of a nine-to-five and a boss and set out to make their fortune under their own steam.

Undoubtedly, the lady in question has been chosen by lady luck, but for most people, a little more effort is needed to get their break. For the majority it’s actually a huge effort to get others to buy in to their business ideas, whether that’s friends and family, or more formal borrowing such as banks and investors.

Raising capital for a startup small business can be a challenging yet crucial step towards achieving growth and success.

Here are several effective strategies to secure the necessary funds:

  1. Bootstrapping
    This involves using personal savings or revenue from the business to fund operations. While it allows complete control over the company, it requires significant personal financial risk.
  2. Friends and Family
    Seeking investments from friends and family can be a quick way to raise capital. Ensure all agreements are formalised to prevent potential conflicts.
  3. Angel Investors
    Angel investors are affluent individuals who provide capital in exchange for ownership equity or convertible debt. They often offer valuable guidance as mentors and networking opportunities alongside funding.
  4. Venture Capital
    Venture capital firms invest in start-ups with high growth potential in exchange for equity. This option is more suitable for businesses with scalable models and a clear path to significant revenues.
  5. Crowd-funding
    Platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Crowdcube allow businesses to raise small amounts of money from a large number of people. This not only provides funding but also helps validate the business idea.
  6. Small Business Loans
    Banks and credit unions offer loans specifically designed for small businesses. Government-backed schemes, such as the UK’s Start Up Loans, provide favourable terms and support.
  7. Grants and Competitions
    Various organisations offer grants and hold competitions for start-ups. These funds do not require repayment and can provide a substantial boost.
  8. Incubators and Accelerators
    These programs offer funding, access to mentors, and resources in exchange for equity. They are particularly beneficial for tech-based start-ups and innovative business models.
  9. Trade Credit
    Suppliers may extend credit terms, allowing businesses to pay for goods and services at a later date. This helps manage cash flow and reduce upfront costs.
  10. Strategic Partnerships
    Partnering with another company can provide access to funding and resources. Such collaborations can lead to mutual benefits and shared growth.

Practical Tips for Success

When developing business ideas and plans, entrepreneurs often make the error of assuming other people will immediately share the enthusiasm for their ideas.

While that may be the case, raising significant funding to get off the ground will generally involve a lot more than enthusiasm. Some great steps to take to prepare for seeking funding include:

  1. Develop a Solid Business Plan
    Clearly outline your business model, market analysis, financial projections, and funding requirements.
  2. Prepare a Compelling Pitch
    Be ready to present your business idea effectively to potential investors, highlighting the value proposition and growth potential.
  3. Build a Strong Network
    Attend industry events, join business associations, and leverage social media to connect with potential investors and advisors.
  4. Show Traction
    Demonstrating initial success through sales, customer acquisition, or strategic partnerships can significantly enhance credibility.
  5. Understand Your Numbers
    Be well-versed in your financials to answer detailed questions from investors confidently.

In Summary

Raising capital for a start-up small business requires a strategic approach and thorough preparation. By exploring various funding options and building a strong foundation, entrepreneurs can secure the necessary resources to turn their business ideas into successful ventures.

Relying on winning a TV competition you’ve entered though, isn’t such a tried and tested method of funding a fledgling business!

Sample Job Description for a Bookkeeper

Hiring a bookkeeper can feel daunting to a new or small business that has little-to-no experience in recruitment.

We thought it would be helpful to provide a sample job specification (commonly referred to as a job spec or job description) for a vacancy in bookkeeping.

The below draft is intended as a starting point, you’ll likely need to edit it for your needs, but will hopefully give you a solid place to begin from to attract applications from solid candidates.

Job Title: Bookkeeper

Location: [Specify Location e.g. Town/city]

Job Type: [e.g. Full-Time/Part-Time; Temporary/Permanent]

Introduction: We are seeking a diligent and detail-oriented Bookkeeper to join our finance team. The successful candidate will play a crucial role in managing our day-to-day accounting requirements, ensuring accuracy in financial reporting, and supporting the financial health of our organisation.


  • Maintain financial records by recording all transactions accurately.
  • Prepare financial statements, including monthly and annual accounts.
  • Ensure timely payment of invoices and maintain a system for managing accounts payable and receivable.
  • Reconcile bank statements and resolve discrepancies.
  • Assist with budget preparation and budget reports.
  • Manage payroll functions to ensure that employees are paid in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Maintain an organised and streamlined accounting system.
  • Handle monthly, quarterly, and annual closings.
  • Prepare tax returns and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time.
  • Report any irregularities in data to management.


  • Proven experience as a bookkeeper or in a similar role.
  • Familiarity with finance regulations and accounting principles.
  • Excellent knowledge of MS Office and familiarity with relevant computer software (e.g. QuickBooks).
  • Qualifications (ACA, ACCA or CIMA) are a plus but not necessary.
  • Excellent organising abilities.
  • Great attention to detail.
  • Good with numbers and figures.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.


  • High level of accuracy and efficiency.
  • Exceptional attention to detail with the ability to spot numerical errors.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously in a deadline-driven environment.
  • Strong ethics, with an ability to manage confidential data.


  • Competitive salary package.
  • Opportunities for professional development.
  • Pension scheme.
  • Friendly and inclusive work environment.

How to Apply: Interested candidates should submit a CV and cover letter through our website or to the provided email address. Please ensure that your application highlights your experience relevant to the skills and requirements listed in this job description.

About the Company: [Include a brief description of the company, including its values, mission, and the type of work environment it offers. This will help candidates determine if they are a good fit for your organisation.]

This job description provides a clear guide for potential candidates, ensuring only those with suitable skills and experience are likely to apply, which enhances the efficiency of the recruitment process. By carefully outlining both responsibilities and expectations, organisations can streamline their search and focus on candidates who are most likely to succeed in the role.

Bookkeeper Roles and Responsibilities

A bookkeeper plays a crucial role in the financial management of a business by maintaining accurate books on payroll, daily expenses, and other financial entries.

Their primary responsibility is to record financial transactions, update statements, and ensure all financial records are precise.

Let’s explore the key roles and responsibilities of a bookkeeper, shedding a broad light on the importance of this position within a company.

Financial Transactions

At the core of a bookkeeper’s duties is the management of financial transactions, which includes posting debits and credits, producing invoices, managing payroll, and maintaining and balancing subsidiaries, general ledgers, and historical accounts.

The meticulous recording of these transactions is fundamental for the correct interpretation of a company’s financial health and for fulfilling legal obligations.

Financial Reports

Bookkeepers are also tasked with preparing financial reports by collecting, analysing, and summarizing account information.

These reports might include income statements, balance sheets, and total ledgers which provide an insightful look into the financial status of the business.


Ensuring compliance with legal requirements is another significant aspect of the bookkeeper’s responsibilities.

They must stay updated on legislative changes and manage company finances in compliance with the law. This includes calculating taxes owed, preparing tax returns accurately, and ensuring that these are filed on time to avoid penalties.

The Association of Certified Bookkeepers often highlights the role of bookkeepers in navigating the complexities of tax regulations and providing advice on tax matters.

Bank Reconciliation

Reconciling bank statements to internal accounts and resolving any discrepancies is a critical task for bookkeepers.

This process helps to ensure that records are accurate and up-to-date, reflecting the true financial position of the business.

Regular bank reconciliation also aids in detecting and preventing potential fraud or discrepancies due to accounting errors or financial mismanagement.

Payroll Management

Managing payroll is another important responsibility. This includes issuing payments, making deductions, and ensuring accurate payroll records

Payroll must be managed effectively to maintain employee satisfaction and comply with employment laws, which govern how employees are paid.


Effective communication is essential in a bookkeeper’s role. They must be able to convey financial information clearly and concisely to stakeholders, which may include the business owner, department heads, and external auditors.

Understanding the difference between book keeping and accountancy (and in job terms bookkeepers and accountants) is important. This helps to comprehend how they collectively act as a bridge between the financial health of the company and the management, providing crucial data that influences strategic business decisions.

Skills and Qualifications

Professional bookkeepers generally hold qualifications in accounting or related fields and are proficient in accounting software.

Organizational skills, attention to detail, and a strong understanding of business financial operations are critical to effectively perform their duties.

In Summary

The role of a bookkeeper is indispensable in ensuring the financial accuracy and compliance of a business.

By managing day-to-day accounts and preparing financial reports, they not only help safeguard the financial integrity of a company but also support strategic planning and compliance with legal standards.

Whether in a small business or a large corporation, bookkeepers play a central role in financial management, making them key contributors to the overall success of the business.

What is Double Entry Bookkeeping?

Double entry bookkeeping is a foundational system used in accounting that ensures the accuracy of financial records by maintaining a balance between two corresponding accounts for every financial transaction. This system is pivotal in creating a reliable and transparent financial environment for businesses of all sizes, from small enterprises to multinational corporations.

Origins and Evolution

The double entry bookkeeping system dates back to the Renaissance period and was first documented by Luca Pacioli in 1494. Pacioli, often referred to as the Father of Accounting described this method in his book Summa de Arithmetica, which laid the groundwork for modern accounting practices.

Principles of Double Entry Bookkeeping

At the core of double entry bookkeeping is the idea that every financial transaction affects at least two ledger accounts. This involves two entries: a debit in one account and a corresponding credit in another, ensuring the accounting equation (Assets = Liabilities + Equity) is always balanced.

This dual recording provides a comprehensive view of all financial activities, making it easier to detect errors and prevent fraud.

For instance, when a business purchases inventory on credit, the inventory account (an asset) is debited because it increases in value, while the accounts payable account (a liability) is credited, indicating an obligation to pay.

Advantages of Double Entry Bookkeeping

  • Accuracy and Error Detection
    Double entry bookkeeping enhances the accuracy of financial statements. Since every transaction is entered twice, discrepancies can be quickly identified and corrected, reducing the likelihood of financial misstatements.
  • Financial Clarity and Decision Making
    This system provides a clear and complete picture of a business’s financial health, aiding stakeholders in making informed decisions. By understanding liabilities, assets, and equity positions, managers and investors can better plan for future growth.
  • Compliance and Accountability
    Double entry bookkeeping helps ensure compliance with accounting standards and regulations. It supports the preparation of standard financial statements, such as the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement, which are crucial for audits and regulatory reviews.

How It Works: An Example

Consider a scenario where a business takes out a loan of £10,000 from a bank. In double entry bookkeeping, the cash account (asset) would be debited by £10,000, reflecting an increase in cash.

Simultaneously, a loan payable account (liability) would be credited by the same amount, indicating the creation of a debt. This transaction affects both sides of the balance equation equally, thereby keeping the books balanced.

Challenges and Considerations

While double entry bookkeeping provides numerous benefits, it requires meticulous record-keeping and a fundamental understanding of accounting principles.

Small business owners might find it complex and resource-intensive to maintain. However, with the advent of modern accounting software, many of the challenges associated with manual double-entry can be mitigated, allowing more businesses to benefit from the accuracy and accountability it provides.

In Summary

Double entry bookkeeping is more than just an accounting technique; it’s a critical tool for financial management and governance.

By ensuring every transaction is recorded from two perspectives, it provides a balanced and realistic view of a company’s financial status.

Whether you’re a small business owner or the CFO of a large corporation, embracing double entry bookkeeping can significantly enhance financial transparency and operational efficiency.