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Window Cleaning Issues - Canvassing, pole systems, pricing, problems, etc.


Posted by windows_chepstow (windows_chepstow), 8 October 2003
I'm registered as self employed and have been window cleaning for about 7 months now and have done fairly well.

Has anyone got any tips on self-assesment.  I'm fairly literate and finished in the Army as an accountant (sort of), but know nothing about self assessment.

Should I spend money on an accountant, or can I do it myself?  Obviously the name of the game is to... well you know, keep as much as you can!  I'd prefer to do it myself.  

Has anyone got any tips?  What should I read?  What web-sites should I visit?

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Tosh (Windows_Chepstow)
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 8 October 2003
Hi Tosh
You want to try to do the books yourself , I do .
I use the  Simplex D Account Book , you can get it from the likes of Office world , wh smiths .It has a step by step guide on how to fill everything in, and a phone help line you can call if you have a problem .
The idea is to pay as little as possible , keep all your receipts , and try to keep your books up to date  Cool
Posted by AMG (AMG), 8 October 2003

I have been doing my own books for a while but it can be a pain so I'm looking at using some accounting software for my PC.. Can anyone recommend an "idiot proof" book keeping software??   Tongue


Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 9 October 2003
Hi Andy,
           I use Quickbooks 2003 software and after a short learning curve it saves you such a lot of time. Cheesy It even does a profit and loss account at the end of the year and does all your invoicing with the fed logo. Cheesy

Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 9 October 2003
Hi Steve ,
Can you use it for the tax man  Huh Cool
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 9 October 2003
Hi John,
           Yes the profit and loss account can be used for your tax return. Cool

Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 9 October 2003
Hi Steve
Is it a Microsoft product Huh Cool
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 9 October 2003
Hi John,
          No its made by Intuit . Cool

Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 9 October 2003
Hi Steve
Have just been on there site which version do you have Huh
Basic , Pro  , Premier Cool
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 10 October 2003
Hi John,
          I just use the basic version which can do more than i would ever need it to. Cheesy

Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 10 October 2003
Hi Steve
I went out today and priced it   Shocked did you pay 150 for it Cool
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 10 October 2003
Hi John,
           Yes thats what i paid for it but when you think that you dont need an accountant to do a profit and loss at the end of the year it saves you money in the end.

Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 14 October 2003
a good accountant can save you hundreds of pounds because they know all the tricks.

mine just charged me 315 to sort out a right mess i had made when i lost my last business and claimed back 1000 which was offset against my tax bill Grin Grin Grin

I would of known nothing about this. I tried doing it myself and it took me ages and sent up all sorts of red flags at the tax office. They know all the tricks, legally.

Honest truth... accountant every time.


Martin Cool
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 18 October 2003
I say go to an accountant but keep all your records tidy so that he only has to do the minimum possible for you.

If you just turn up with a carrier bag full of reciepts and bills he will charge you good money to sort them out.

The Inland Revenue will believe him much more readily than they will believe you and he will know all the allowances you can claim for.

The rule of thumb is that an accountant should save you more than he costs you.

I have never been the subject of an investigation by the tax man but I know someone who is currently going through it and believe me its your worst nightmare come true.
Posted by Fox (Fox), 18 October 2003
hi all
I use Quickbooks Pro It is good to know someone else uses it too! I recently advertised for a bookkeeper with experience using this program but it doesn't seem very popular.  I find this program very simple to use and as said it will give you any reports needed.  It is good for invoicing, tax returns, VAT and if you employ people you can buy the payroll version.
Has anyone else had experience of this system?
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 18 October 2003
Hi Fox
        I thought i would let you know of an excellent forum for quickbooks users which is useful for any problems or tips. It is

Hope this is of use Wink

Steve Lowe
Posted by Fox (Fox), 18 October 2003
Thanks Steve will defo be looking at that

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