Bookkeeping is a crucial part of owning a business. It’s the basis of business accounting that will let you properly manage your finances, plan for tax payments, and make well-informed business decisions.

It’s not the most interesting activity, but if you own a small food truck business, then it’s just another part of the job.  For newcomers, bookkeeping can seem a little intimidating, but there are simple things you can do to make it much easier. 

In this guide, we’ll be sharing some bookkeeping tips for small food trucks. Specifically, we’ll be covering:

  • Opening a business current account
  • Recording expenses
  • Tax estimates
  • Cash flow
  • Profit and loss statementsInvoicing

Opening a business current account

The first step to simplifying your bookkeeping is to open a separate bank account for your business. It’s more practical to separate your business finances and keep your personal finances out of the mix. 

With a business current account, you’ll save time because you won’t have to shuffle through transactions to find the ones that matter for your business. Then, you can update your bookkeeping records without worrying about mistaking the wrong transactions for your business earnings and expenses.

Recording expenses

Doing your own bookkeeping means you’ll need to keep detailed records of all your business expenses throughout the year to make sure you’re paying the right amount of tax to HMRC. 

When reporting your earnings, you can claim business expenses to reduce the amount of tax you pay on your income. Business expenses are defined as any running costs that are wholly and exclusively for business purposes. 

In short, not recording your expenses properly means you could end up paying more tax than you need to. Recording and organising business expenses throughout the year can take a lot of time and effort, but it’s a lot easier with the Countingup app.

The Countingup app has an automatic expense categorisation and receipt capture tool. You can just take a picture of any receipts you have for business expenses, and they’ll be automatically stored and categorised into HMRC approved expenses categories. 

Recording expenses as you go will save you loads of time and reduce your chances of making mistakes or forgetting to record them entirely. 

Learn why good record keeping is so important for your business here. 

Tax estimates

Good bookkeeping will also give you a better idea of your tax bill in general. If you know how much you’re earning, compared to your expenses, then you can estimate how much income tax you’ll have to pay 

Instead of pouring through the numbers and calculating everything on your own, the Countingup app shows you accurate tax estimates all year round based on your income and expenses, so there won’t be any nasty surprises. 

Not only that, the app is compatible with Making Tax Digital (MTD), which is the government initiative to digitise and simplify the tax process. Today, only VAT-registered businesses must use MTD, but eventually, it will be a requirement for many businesses. Countingup helps by automatically calculating VAT for each transaction and making it easier to turn in quarterly digital submissions so you have less to worry about.

Cash flow 

Tracking cash flow is an integral part of small business bookkeeping. 

Cash flow basically means how much money is moving in and out of your business account, so it’s a good indicator of your business finances. Without the right amount of cash flow, you could struggle to make regular payments like insurance, subscriptions, and employee wages. 

From a bookkeeping point of view, it really boils down to having accurate information about cash flow. And that can be tricky without having the most up-to-date figures. 

Countingup is currently the only business current account that can show you your cash flow in real-time. You can see exactly how much cash is in your account at any given time, and it’ll be updated as soon as that changes. There’s no data lag, so you’ll get the most recent, accurate information possible. 

Profit and loss statements

A profit and loss statement is a financial report that shows all your ingoings and outgoings over a given period. It shows your net income and if how much you’ve made or lost. 

Like cash flow, profit and loss statements are useful indicators of your business finances. It can give you valuable information, such as:

  • How your business is performing over time.
  • How your business decisions impact your profits.  
  • A record of your profits and losses for submitting a tax return.
  • Evidence of the financial state of your business that can be used to apply for loans or attract investors. 

Instead of manually recording the data yourself and making projections, the Countingup app can automatically generate profit and loss statements based on your monthly income and outgoings. Then, based on the current projections, you can instantly see how profitable your business is and how it’s likely to perform in the future.

Invoicing

Like most food service businesses, the majority of your income will probably be from cash and card payments. But still, there are a number of reasons you might need to make your own invoices. 

For example, you might hire out your truck for a private function or festival, rent out some individual pieces of equipment, or offer training sessions for paying clients.

Any of these activities will require invoices in order to receive your payment. An invoice is a bill for your clients that includes payment terms, the amount you’re charging, and a breakdown of the work and hours. In theory, it’s fairly simple, but creating and recording them can be time-consuming. 

To make things much easier, you can use Countingup’s accounting app to do most of the work for you. 

With the Countingup app, you can: 

  • Create an unlimited number of customised invoices.
  • Add a logo to invoice templates.
  • Send invoices to customers.
  • Receive a notification when an invoice is paid.
  • Match a payment to an invoice.
  • Duplicate an invoice.
  • Change an invoice’s due date.

Click here for more information about how it works. 

Simplify your food truck bookkeeping with Countingup

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you run a small business. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.

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