Thank you for signing up for the free Go-Self Employed bookkeeping spreadsheet.

Getting Started

I’ve designed this free bookkeeping spreadsheet for self-employed individuals to help you:

  • Stay on top of your finances;
  • Be clear on your weekly, monthly and annual bookkeeping & tax responsibilities;
  • Make you aware of your tax bill and when you need to pay it;
  • Analyse your earnings and expenses;
  • Help make tax time as simple as possible.

The spreadsheet is designed to be used for 12 months of activity at a time.

It works best if you fill it out from 1 April each year as this will match the tax year for which you will need to complete your self-assessment tax return.

Business Details

Start by heading over the Business Details tab and fill out ‘Your Business Details’ and ‘Your Personal Details’.

These will be really handy when completing your HMRC personal tax return, so complete all the boxes now to make things easier later on.

Your Business Details

Complete the general details about your business, along with a brief description of what you do.

You will need to set your accounting period start date. If you are newly self-employed, then just use the date that you became self-employed.

Or if you have filed a tax return previously, then check the dates that were reported in your last tax return.

There is a box for your opening business bank account balance. This is the opening balance in your business bank account at your accounting period start date.

HMRC guidance states that keeping your business and personal banking separate, so if you haven’t opened a business bank account then consider doing so. 

Not just is it preferred by HMRC but it will make managing your business finances much much easier.

If you would like to open a business bank account, there here is how to do that.

If you do not have a business bank account, then just leave this blank.

Your Business Income & Expenses

Your business profits are made up of income and expenses. I have listed out the most likely types of income and expenses that will affect you when you are self-employed. 

If you have other income and expense types that you feel do not fall into any of the categories, then these can be added in the rows highlighted in grey.

Your Personal Details

Fill out each of the boxes, these will need to be included when you complete your self-assessment tax return.

If you are missing anything here such as your NI number or UTR number then request them now. It will avoid stress when you need to file your tax return.

Other Earnings

The amount of tax you will pay on your blogging earnings is based on ALL your earnings.

So in order to make an accurate estimate of the tax you need to pay on your self-employment earnings you are going to need to enter details of all your other income and any tax deducted.

For example, if you are employed and self-employed then you’ll need to enter your gross earnings and tax deducted at source (excluding National Insurance).

If you are unsure how much tax you pay across the year then make a reasonable estimate. For example by taking your last payslip and multiply the amount of tax you pay in one month by 12.

Bank Statement

Ideally on a weekly basis, enter your business bank account transactions, either from your business account or by analysing your personal account, into this tab.

Enter the following details:

  • Date of the transaction;
  • Details of the transaction such as name or description of what you bought;
  • Category this is selected from the drop-down list, which is generated from the business details tab;
  • Amount of the transaction from the bank account.  (Note: enter all amounts as a positive).

Depending on the number of transactions each week, you could choose to download your bank statement from your online bank account as a CSV or Excel file.  Then just copy and paste the information into the bookkeeping spreadsheet.

Invoicing Tab

There may be circumstances where you need to invoice a customer/client in order to receive payment. 

Enter Your Payment Terms at the top. This is the amount of time you give your customers to pay you and are typically 7, 14 or 30 days.

Every time you raise an invoice enter it on this list to help you stay on top of your credit control and track your customer payments.

Then, I recommend each day you look at your bank account to monitor your payments in and out.  

As your customers pay, mark it off with a ‘Y’ on this list.

Mileage Claim

Business mileage is an allowable expense, but one that is often not written down and easily forgotten. 

If you do use your car for business travel then try and write it down as soon as possible or as part of your weekly bookkeeping.

Included within the bookkeeping spreadsheet is a tab called ‘Mileage Claim’ which contains all the information you need to log as per HMRC guidelines.

Start by entering the pence per mile you wish to claim as part of your business.

HMRC allows you to claim up to 45p on your first 10,000 business miles and 25p thereafter

Read more about the Self-Employed Mileage Allowance and which journeys you can claim for against your taxes.

Cash Expenses

Like business mileage, cash expenses are often forgotten

Included within the bookkeeping spreadsheet is a tab called ‘Cash Expenses’ where you can log all your cash expenses.

Don’t forget to keep your receipts somewhere safe or a scanned version online somewhere safe.

Business Results

After you have entered all of the above information, the business results tab is automatically populated. It summarises all your self-employment income as well as your expenses from your bank account, those paid in cash and your business mileage.

Shortly after the end of each calendar month, take a look at how your business has performed.

Have you made a profit or a loss?

Were there unexpected costs or is one form of income that is going really well for you?

Reviewing your past performance will give you the information you need to shape what you do next.

Dashboard

The dashboard is a summary of your business results – your turnover, costs and profits.

There is also a total of your unpaid customer invoices – it is worth regularly reviewing this section so you can chase up any money owed to you.

Also included on this dashboard is an estimate of the tax you will need to pay and when to help you budget for your tax bill.

Remember everything you earn when you are self-employed is UNTAXED and it is your responsibility to declare your earnings & how much tax you need to pay to HMRC.

The figure for tax here is an estimate and your actual tax bill may differ once you claim for all the allowances you may be entitled to or record your actual income accurately.

Your Self-Employed Bookkeeping & Tax Responsibilities

Here is a summary of my recommended daily, weekly, monthly and annual bookkeeping & tax responsibilities.

Try to set notes in your diary with reminders so you stay on top of all the UK Tax Dates and Deadlines.

Daily

  • Check your bank account and review money in and money out, marking off any payments on the Client Invoicing tab;
  • Invoice your clients for any work completed;
  • Update the bank statement input tab for the week’s bank transactions;
  • Record your business mileage and cash expenses;
  • Check which invoiced clients have exceeded the credit terms offered and chase for payments where necessary;
  • File receipts and invoices safely, either as a scan or paper copy in a folder

Monthly

  • Review your results on the Business Results tab;
  • Transfer money into a deposit account for your tax bill due 31 January and 31 July each year;
  • Scan in your business paperwork and file securely online

Annually

  • Close off your bookkeeping spreadsheet for the UK tax year;
  • Complete your self-assessment tax return by 31 January each year and pay any tax due by 31 January and 31 July each year;
  • Start with a new copy of the bookkeeping spreadsheet and being populating it with transactions for your new financial year.

Whilst getting started may feel overwhelming, once you create a routine for yourself and become familiar with basic bookkeeping, staying on top of your finances will become very simple.  

Just remember to:

  • Include all your bank account transactions, cash expenses and mileage on the bookkeeping spreadsheet;
  • Stay on top of your bookkeeping by sticking to the daily, weekly, monthly and annual tasks;
  • Set up a neat filing system for your business information & receipts.

Question?

If you have any questions setting up your bookkeeping spreadsheet then feel free to contact me on hello@goselfemployed.co

Anita Forrest

Anita is a Chartered Accountant with over a decade of experience taking self-employed business owners from financially confused to business savvy.
She is the creator of the ‘Go Self Employed’ website, which is her corner on the internet where she makes self-employment less terrifying.
Anita Forrest

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