common bookkeeping mistakes

Autumn Is Here: And So Is The Time To Fix These Bookkeeping Errors

We are rapidly approaching the end of the business year, and those clouds of bookkeeping catch-up needs are now transforming into a ticking timebomb. Bookkeeping mistakes throughout the year are easy to make but are about to become your worst nightmare to unravel. The good news is that bookkeeping services in Manchester have time to help you get back on track before the end of the year. To help, maybe you should look into these common bookkeeping mistakes to help identify where things are going wrong so we can help you.

Those Expenses

Have you claimed personal expenses against the business? That is a big no-no, and surprisingly is one of the biggest mistakes people make – especially when self-employed or running a small business.

While an easy mistake to make, HMRC has strict rules. The general guidance is that it should be wholly and exclusively for business. If used personally, it is not a business expense. If you only have that expense because of your business then it is claimable. You must also avoid categorising those expenses incorrectly. Avoid using General Expenses, Miscellaneous or Sundries at all costs – because before you know it, you’ll have no clue what they are for.

Instead, use categories such as Salaries, Insurance, Advertising, Software, Professional Fees, Travel etc that are useful.


One thing you have to stop doing is uploading receipts that are not fit for purpose. Whenever you ask for a receipt, ask for a VAT receipt – because you cannot claim VAT from a card receipt. Card receipts also do not clarify what it is you bought either.

When uploading invoices/receipts, always ensure that they are actual invoices/receipts and not delivery notes, statements or shipping confirmations. Also, take a clear picture scan of the entire invoice – not just the amount. Without this clarity, it can end up rejected for both tax and VAT claims. It is also imperitive to not procrastinate as you will likely cause plenty of issues, such as losing receipts, forgetting what half of them are for or struggling to remember how they were paid.

That will also affect your data being updated, meaning your financial decisions will struggle to make sense.

Disposing of Records

You must keep your bookkeeping records for a minimum of 7 years. At any point, HMRC could choose to audit you, and you will need to prove where the money was moved to.

To help, you could store your records in Google Drive or have financial software such as Xero to keep most of your paperwork stored for easy access.

If the Autumn clouds are getting darker overhead, it is time to contact bookkeeping services to get you back in shape before the financial year ends and avoid common bookkeeping mistakes. Contact the friendly team at Pebbles Bookkeeping for bookkeeping services in Manchester today.

Don't just take our word for it...

Sarah Rekia, Site Welfare

“In bringing Pebbles onboard, it has made me wonder why we decided to try and do our own bookkeeping at all. Pebbles came in and sorted 18 months worth of mess we had unwittingly created, and we cannot be more grateful. I wish I had been told about them years ago and I hope every business out there struggling would give them a call to fully see the benefits they are missing out on.”

Lisa Heggie, The Gunnery

A massive thank you to Diane at Pebbles Bookkeeping & HR. You took the huge stress away from where do I start, with employee policies etc. You have created us a great, informative employee handbook, covering all necessary policies and risk assessments in a matter of no time and from the other side of the world too. I will definitely be in touch for any future help our company needs.

Nick Aldrich, Only The Brave

Only The Brave have used Pebbles Bookkeeping for a few years now and we treat them instinctively like an integral department of our business.

I have worked with Sean for over two decades in my previous businesses and when Sean and Diane went on their own it was a no brainer to get them involved with our day to day accounting.

Pebbles manage our bookkeeping, expenses, credit control and PAYE and have a keen eye for detail and help us spot important financial matters before they become issues.

Their integrity and honesty are unquestionable and as a result, Pebbles are an asset to our business and will continue to work with us for many years to come.

Anne-Marie Armstrong, Amberry Marketing

I just wanted to thank you both for the help you’ve given me thus far in setting up my new cloud-based bookkeeping system ‘Clearbooks’.

Having used Microsoft Excel for more years than I care to admit, I had more than a few reservations when considering changing the way I managed my books, yet understood that I had to make the change sooner or later.

After an intense training session with Sean, (where I probably asked 101 questions), my fears quickly dissipated and I can honestly say that although it’s likely to take me a little while to really get to grips with the new interface, I’ve no doubt that this simple system will save me so much time and hassle in future.

And less time spent doing my books, almost certainly means more time with the family and an end to rushing around like a mad woman at quarter-end!

Thanks again and I’m looking forward to working with you again soon.

Robert Flinn, Director, The Drawing Room

“Pebbles have provided professional and personal approach to all our accounts needs from processing invoices to management accounts. Based in-house they have become a valuable asset to the business and have given us a more strategic and analytical approach to our finances.”