Keeping Accurate Business Records
When you are starting a business boarding cats, you need to be aware of the importance of keeping accurate business records. You will need to work out a system that suits you and that you can keep up to date easily.
If the system is too complicated there is a danger that you will find it difficult to keep up to date. Once you have fallen behind it is always hard to catch up, particularly at your busiest time of the year.
Records to KeepFirst and foremost you will need to keep a record of the cats that are boarded with you. You will need to record the date they arrive and the date they leave. You will need to record when the cats vaccination is next due and what vet the owner uses. You will also need to record how much per day your charges are and the total cost to your customer.
Then you need to record how the customer paid you, cash, cheque or credit card. Every receipt you get for goods you purchase for the business must be filed. Your petrol and telephone bills must be kept as well as electricity, water and all other services. In fact apart from your personal food clothing and entertainment all receipts should be filed.
The Importance of RecordsYour accountant will need to see all of your records to work out how much tax you will need to pay. He/she will be able to ascertain how much of your service bills can be charged to your business.
The first year after starting a business you will not have a tax bill, they are worked out a year in arrears so it is essential that you save everything and keep it in date order. To avoid paying too much tax your small business records must be accurate.
As for the records you keep for individual cats, it helps to have a filing system that you can refer to. If you board the same animal several times a year it looks, and indeed is efficient to have all the relevant details on file. This means you would only need to see the vaccination certificate once a year when the yearly booster injections are due.
How Long to Keep PaperworkFor tax purposes you need to keep your records for six years. If you use a computer to take your bookings and log your expenses it will not be sufficient. The tax inspector could, if he wanted to, ask for the records for the past six years and he will want to see paperwork.
You will need some business records storage, this can be filing cabinets or a secure cupboard, but you should ensure that they are somewhere that protects them from mice etc. If you store papers in cardboard boxes in the garden shed they will deteriorate over time.
A metal filing cabinet is probably the best for long term storage of paperwork. You may want at sometime to check the booking paperwork yourself, if only to have a look and see what customers no longer use your cattery. You can then follow your research up with a phone call. Throw nothing away that could prove useful.