I've been s-l-o-w-l-y ploughing through the end of year accounts for what feels like forever.
I started a few weeks ago but was overtaken by events so although they were 75% complete, the recent hiatus forced a delay, since when I have been loath to return to the accounting fray.
It's not that they're hugely complicated. I keep the book-keeping side of things as simple as possible. When I first started the business, I used a rather complex book-keeping spreadsheet thingy, which drove me demented. After a few years I ditched it in favour of a much more streamlined system, which is so much quicker and easier to maintain.
However, I must admit to a certain laxity in my filing of receipts etc, which are mostly kept in a large box, all mixed up together. Every April, at the beginning of the tax year, I start off with the best of intentions, and carefully file receipts in labelled envelopes. But by June I've usually reverted to just chucking them into the accounts box, vowing I'll sort them out at the end of each month.
Predictably, by the end of the tax year I have two month's worth of perfectly filed receipts, bank statements etc, and the other 10 month's worth are all milling around in the accounts box, forming unlikely alliances and generally ending up in a right old mess.
This mess takes about a week to knock into shape, at which point the box should be empty, resulting in a neat row of 12 buff envelopes, containing all the documentation relating to each month's transactions.
I can then input all the relevant details into my spreadsheet and 'Tah Dah!' the numbers miraculously arrange themselves into end of year figures.
Of course it's a little more complicated than that, because the taxman needs to know, as my grannie would have put it, 'the ins and outs of the cat's backside'.
However, I am within a gnat's whisker of finally being finished. I'm hoping it will all be done and dusted today.
And just in case you think I've been unduly melodramatic... (WHO?!! ME?!!!!) here is evidence of the scale of the problem.
1) Before - the calm before the storm. Note the neat and orderly filing system.
2) During - Neatly illustrating the point that you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
3) After - order is (mostly) restored.
So, just the online tax return to do now........