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5 common accounting errors

5 common accounting errors
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Accounting errors and oversights take money out straight out of your pocket and put it directly into the pocket of the taxman, your customers, or your suppliers. Individually, these errors might not cost you a lot of money but added together over the course of a year – well, let’s not even think about it.


Here are 5 accounting mistakes that we see all too often.


Confusing personal and business finances


How do you separate what you spent on a business and what you spent on yourself if you’re running everything from one business account? The obvious answer would be by keeping receipts – and you’d be right. However, it makes the process of bookkeeping and accounting much more drawn out (and expensive) and could leave you more likely to be challenged over your affairs by HMRC.


By having a separate personal and business account, you can avoid these issues and speed up the process of filing your tax returns and paying no more tax than you need to.


Not chasing unpaid invoices


Chasing invoices is one of the least enjoyable part of running a business. Right now, you may find that there are several unpaid invoices that you are still yet to collect. This is the money that is owed to you. If you don’t chase it up, then it tells tardy payers that you will accept late or no payment for your work.


You should create a strict policy for tracking and chasing late invoices to avoid any getting away from you in the future. A few points that you may want to include are:

  • Make a set time after the invoice is late that you will contact the customer. For example, send an email as soon as the payment is overdue, then call them a week later, and finally write a formal demand 2 weeks after that if you think your customer is taking the Michael.
  • Keep a track of your clients’ payment histories. This will show you who is unreliable – try to take money from them at the point of sale.
  • Make sure that you keep a record of the conversations about an overdue payment and that they clearly show that both parties understand when the payment is due and that it is not in dispute. A record like this will be invaluable if the matter is so serious that it needs to be taken to court.
  • Online bookkeeping software will display when payments are due and who is still yet to pay.

Not properly tracking your expenses


Claiming on all your legitimate expenses brings down the amount of tax you pay. If you use the traditional method of keeping all of your receipts in paper form, you can end up with a large pile of receipts which are difficult to manage and sort.


Try using an online solution to this – update it every day or week to save yourself time later on down the line. Apps such as AndroMoney and Fudget are tools that can help you with this.


Not planning for long term growth


Failure to plan is planning to fail if growth is important to you.


The cash coming into your account and leaving your account will vary month by month. On a spreadsheet, understand what is coming out, when, and for how much. Average out your sales over the last 3 months to give you a prediction of your income and when you’ll actually receive the money.


Project those figures forward by 3 months or even 12 months. You’ll be able to identify whether you have spare cash for expansion or if you need to reign back on spending to meet future commitments.


Not budgeting effectively


One of the fundamental truths involved in running a successful is to not spend beyond your means and spending no more than you need to. Is what you’re spending money on (including staff) producing the returns you require to run the company and compensate yourself adequately? Are the contracts your company has signed up to (rent, broadband, marketing, franking) really the cheapest? If you’re out of contract, look around for cheaper options offering similar levels of reliability and service.


We can help


If any of this sounds familiar, get in touch – you’re not alone. Call the Panthera team on 01235 768 561 or email

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Pete Dungey

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We found Panthera via our search for a Xero expert. We knew the software we wanted to use, and needed a forward-thinking accountancy partner who could get us up and running, and teach us the ropes moving forward. Tory and her team have always been on hand to answer our questions, and help us to grow as a business, particularly during periods of big change, such as becoming VAT registered. They are always on hand to alleviate any concerns and help to keep our records in order, which makes our year-end accounts an absolute breeze! Being based in Bristol, our relationship is entirely email based, alongside one consolidation meeting at year end - this keeps things simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

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An Asset to my Business!

The whole team at Panthera are great! Working with them has been a huge support to my growing business. They help me to understand the numbers I need to know. They give me technology solutions like Xero so that I can process things quickly and have access to my own figures. They are quick to reply, highly knowledgeable, nothing is too much trouble and as well as making sure that everything is compliant and on time, they are enthusiastic, professional and fun to work with.

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Working with Tory and the team at Panthera is an absolute joy - they provide a first class service on every level; from simple Xero issues through to more complicated tax enquiries, they’re always on-hand to help me get it right. I’m certainly not their biggest customer, but I’m always made to feel like their most important one.

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I would like to say that Panthera Accounting have helped me with my business accounts for more than 4 years now. They have consistently offered an excellent competitively priced service that works both professionally and in such a friendly way that I would highly recommend them to everyone considering using their services.

John Castle Ilexanna Limited & Birch Castle Homes Limited
Jonathan Morrison

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I had been with Mr Dunn for 20 years when upon his death Panthera took over the business. They now play a bigger part in the running of my business, they do all the stuff that has to be done but I don't like doing ie book keeping, VAT, wages, and returns. They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues and make sure all Tax deadlines are met. Their costs are fair, service is great and I have and would highly recommend them.

Jonathan Morrison Wallingford Builders
Pippa Scott

Professional, friendly and personal service.

Panthera Accounting have gone above and beyond the call of duty to guide and support our Company. They offer a professional, friendly and personal service that can take the stressful and sometimes frightening feelings out of running a business. They have guided us through the working of Xero and have offered “teaching sessions” on the day to day running of the accountancy package. Our only regret is that we didn’t join their team earlier.

Pippa Scott Scott's Commercial Services Limited
Sara Southey

Panthera puts the personal back in to accountancy!

Tory and her team have provided a friendly, approachable and helpful service from the start. They have delivered a quality service, above and beyond anything I could have expected. Panthera, with the help of the Xero package, have taken the stress, strain and confusion out of managing my company and personal accounts. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Sara Southey Bluestones Garden Design
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Panthera are fantastic. Always professional, going the extra mile for their clients and delivering superb service. I recommend them all the time to my clients.

Tracey Miller Bigger, Brighter, Bolder BBB

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