Telephone iconCall UsTelephone icon0333 0146 683
Our opening hours
Chevron left icon
Knowledge centre

Small business bookkeeping: quarter of SMEs manage finances entirely on paper

1-minute read

Anna Delves

27 June 2017

Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

With the government’s Making Tax Digital plans back on the table, HMRC might be surprised to find out that almost a quarter of small business owners and sole trades manage their finances entirely on paper.

This is according to a new poll by Simply Business, where 24 per cent of those surveyed said they don’t even use a spreadsheet for the monetary parts of their business.

Less than a third of business owners use specialised accounting software

Even though there are a number of free and subscription-based accounting programs for small businesses out there, less than a third of respondents said they used specialised software.

But that doesn’t mean UK small businesses are completely against technology. Nearly half said they manage their finances using a spreadsheet, such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

Should small businesses manage their finances digitally?

At the moment, it’s entirely up to business owners to decide how they manage their finances - so long as they register for Self Assessment and remember to file and pay their tax return each year.

However, though it was put on hold for a while, the government’s Making Tax Digital scheme was brought back in the Queen’s Speech last week.

This means that, starting in 2018 and by the end of 2021, all small businesses will be required to keep digital records. Accounting software will have to be able to link to HMRC for the submission of quarterly tax returns.

You can find out more about what Making Tax Digital will mean for you, or check out the best accounting software for small businesses.

Ready to set up your cover?

As one of the UK's biggest business insurance providers, we specialise in public liability insurance and protect more trades than anybody else. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored quote?

Start your quote

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

Find this article useful? Spread the word.

Facebook icon
Twitter icon
LinkedIn icon

People also liked

12 March 20202-minute read

What the UK Budget 2020 means for landlords

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the first UK Budget since October 2018 amid continuing political and economic uncertainty. Here’s the key…

Read more

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter


Popular articlesBusiness resources from FarillioGeneral businessGuestInsuranceLandlordLandlord resources from FarillioLegal and financeMarketingNewsOpinionProperty maintenanceTradesmanCovid-19


6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ

© Copyright 2020 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.