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If you are a sole trader or small business and used to keeping good records of sales and business expenses then the chances are you don’t need an accountant to file your tax return. The self assessment tax return is relatively simple to fill in your sales and expenditure and using the on-line return will do all the tax and national insurance calculations for you.

As your business expands then an accountant becomes more cost effective, particularly if you are supplying him with clear and accurate records. Times when an accountant can be invaluable include help with applications for business loans, developing business plans and if you become subject to a tax investigation – although if your records are clear and honest, this shouldn’t be an issue.

As a sole trader, and you choose to use an accountant to complete your tax return the costs can be significantly reduced by compiling records of income and expenditure yourself.

The main thing once you have registered and started trading is to keep clear records of income and expenditure. Ideally you will do this on a regular basis, so you don’t loose those important receipts and can keep a constant check on your income and expenses to make sure you are in profit. For just £6 per month you can use Adzuki, cloud based software designed for the self employed and small business, it’s as jargon free as possible and can be accessed using your smart phone, tablet or computer where ever you have a phone data signal or wifi. For example, when you buy some tools, materials, petrol etc or receive a payment you can enter this directly on the Adzuki system wherever you are. As the system is cloud based the data is immediately secure and clear. Once you have entered your income or expense keep a record of your receipts, as required by the HMRC, either by a paper file or scanning / taking a photo with your smart phone and storing on a secure PC or a cloud file.

Using cloud based Adzuki software designed for sole traders with a turnover under the VAT threshold of £83,000 per year will lead you down the path to entering your income and expenditure and reflecting your trading profits at a glance. Simple to use, low monthly cost, secure storage of your numbers and profit / loss reports when you want. It also leads you down the end of year process by creating those vital numbers for your tax return, prompting you to enter your income, expenses, capital expenditure, use of home etc. – you then have the choice to put them in to your tax return yourself or employ a bookkeeper / accountant.

Check out our other blogs aimed at providing information for the sole trader at

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