Self Employed Book keeper

(10 Posts)
Dawny65 Fri 10-Jan-20 05:13:21

Twenty years ago I became a self employed book keeeper while I brought up my children. Once they were older I went back to full time employment for the social aspect and more security. Last year I was made redundant and had the whole summer off and loved it. Now I'm back in full time employment and I hate it. It's too corporate, the workload is too heavy so you end up doing loads of unpaid overtime and I now find the rigidity of office hours stifling. I have looked around for part time work, but there is not a lot of it about. The part time work that is available seem to be very poorly paid. The only good thing is the money!
I am considering trying my hand at becoming a self employed book keeper again. I'm 55, no mortgage and I have a supportive husband, and don't want to be chained to the office for the next 12 years (who does!). I'd also like some flexibilty in place ready to help out with school runs for my grandson in the future.
My question is this: Things have moved on in 20 years in terms of IT, home computers. With all the user friendly accounting software out there now is there still a market for your old fashioned, but IT savvy book keeper? Or do self employed people mainly do it themselves & use a proper accountant for the tax stuff. I'm a very capable book keeper including the VAT, but can only do basic, straight forward tax.
Is it worth pursuing this or is it too old fashioned now?

OP’s posts: |
Dawny65 Fri 10-Jan-20 05:19:45

I would just like to add that after having my brain fried all day & keeping on top of housework, visiting parents etc I don't have the mental energy to try self employment in my limited leisure time. If I do it I've got to give up work to focus on self employment properly.

OP’s posts: |
zebra22 Fri 10-Jan-20 05:29:21

Learn Xero

Stick with bookkeeper, don’t offer tax returns services if you’re not up to date

user1497207191 Fri 10-Jan-20 15:48:18

Yes, things have moved on. Only the smallest of businesses will be using hand-written records or spreadsheets. Making tax digital "MTD" requires VAT returns to be submitted directly from within the book-keeping software, so that means MTD-compliant software which is mostly online/cloud these days. Same with payroll. As for data-entry, so much is automated now - automatic bank feeds into the software which "guesses" which code to allocate to (so no more bank reconciliations), systems which scan/read invoices etc and automatically enter the data straight into the software. Automatic imports from sales invoicing/time recording/expense recording systems. As said above, have a good look at Xero to see what modern book-keeping looks like. Personally, I think book-keepers need to be far more multi-skilled these days - they can add value if they know about software integrations, payroll, etc., but not so much if they just want to do little more than data entry. You may get more business if you offered yourself as a payroll bureau or credit controller.

forestdweller11 Fri 10-Jan-20 15:58:55

Personally I think there is a need for bookkeepers. We have one, they do the vat and tax returns.

Sole trader business , plus a small limited company. Not terribly complicated business but for all the reasons why you dont want to do bookkeeping after work we don't want to do bookkeeping after our work!.

I used to do the books, but it was ruddy awful and we'd argue all the time whilst I was doing them. It's easier and less stressful to pay for a bookkeeper to sort out the accounts!

user1497207191 Fri 10-Jan-20 17:22:09

We have one, they do the vat and tax returns.

If they're doing tax returns and limited company accounts, they're more of an accountant than a book-keeper.

Dawny65 Fri 10-Jan-20 18:16:00

I wouldn't be a really old fashioned book keeper keeping manual records and spreadsheets. I'm talking about using book keeping software, linking to the Cloud. I was just wondering if there was a need for a modern freelance book keeper who would do everything including the VAT, draft accounts, sole traders accounts & tax returns in this day & age.

OP’s posts: |
Minty50 Sun 19-Jan-20 23:44:08

I have been a self employed bookkeeper for 20 years and am in more demand now than ever.
I would definitely recommend having an understanding of Xero and Quickbooks and offering the whole package VAT and payroll

Clymene Sun 19-Jan-20 23:57:07

If you am use the right software, definitely! One if my friends dies tax returns and she's very busy!

Ariela Mon 20-Jan-20 00:57:36

Gosh yes, my friend has a marvellous bookkeeper, she chucks a pile of invoices at her each month and the VAT returns, tax returns etc are all done on time, etc. She's always singing her praises.

I think it might pay you to go and do some training, whether courses on the actual software (Sage, QB, Xero etc ) that small firms might use, but also look at basic accountancy qualifications. the better qualified the more you can charge.

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