Self Employed Accounting Spreadsheets - Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not listed here please feel free to contact us.

How long will it take before I receive the file after purchase?

Following payment via Paypal, you will be directed to a page containing a link to the file(s). You will also receive an email containing the same link (to the same email address as the one you have set up in Paypal check your Spam folder if you have not received the email).

The links will expire after 7 days so you should ensure you download the file(s) as soon as possible after purchase.

Once you download the file, save it firstly as a master copy, ie ‘Accounting Master’ so that you can use it use it in future years, and then save the file again as a current working copy, ie ‘Accounting 2011’.

I don't have Microsoft Excel - can I still use the system?

Most of the accounting systems have been set up in Excel using complex formula and macros. These will not work with most open source applications such as Open Office. However, we do have a basic accounting system, which you should be able to use without Excel. The systems do not have banking reconciliation or mileage and the categories cannot be changed by the user. It does, however keep allow you to enter your income and outgoings in the same way, produces a P&L summary sheet, and produces a draft Self Assessment to help with completing your tax return. While this is more basic than the other systems, it is extremely easy to use.

I try to enter a figure in a cell and a message appears asking me for a password

Some cells are password protected to prevent the formula from being deleted by accident. It is likely the cell you are trying to enter data in is an incorrect cell/sheet. Please ensure you read the instructions prior to use. In particular, the entire Summary Sheet is password protected and you cannot enter any data in this sheet. To enter income and expenses you must enter these on the individual monthly sheets.

Can I use this system in future trading years or do I need to re-purchase each year?

Unlike many other systems available, there is no need to repurchase further copies of our Self Employed bookkeeping spreadsheet system, it can be used year after year. The Government may make certain changes to the annual allowances, for example mileage allowances, writing down allowances etc. This system allows you to amend these figures yourself as they change. You can find the relevant figures on the HMRC site, however Equal Figures will add any changes to the ‘Annual Allowances’ sheet on this website. After downloading the file following purchase you save it firstly as a master copy, ie ‘Accounting Master’, and then save the file again as a current working copy, ie ‘Accounting 2011’. That way you can use the master copy in future years.

Do I need bookkeeping or Excel experience?

No bookkeeping is required to be able to use this system. You just need to enter all business income and expenses as they occur in the monthly sheets. The spreadsheets contain complex formula to enable the system to automatically a P&L Summary Sheet as well as a sheet containing the sums you need to complete your own Self Assessment form. Although you do not need to be an Excel expert, some familiarity with Excel is useful to enable you to find your way around the system. Complex formula have already been entered into many of the cells in the spreadsheets which means the system will automatically update saving you from tedious calculations.

Can I add or delete categories to suit my own business?

This unique system allows the user to change the categories to suit. You simply add/delete categories under the relevant tax headings, click a button and system updates accordingly. Categories should not be deleted part way through the year if you have already used that particular category – this may affect the totals.

Can I match up the transactions with my bank balances?

Although this system cannot link with your online banking provider, as long as you enter your balance (in the Cells E17 to E21 of the Business Information sheet) when you first start using this Self Employed Accounting System, the running totals will update with each transaction you enter, ie expenses or income. This can apply to bank accounts, petty cash or credit cards. This allows you to see at a glance how each transaction will affect your bank balance etc. Overdrawn figures are shown in red.

This is only applicable for the system with banking and mileage

I also use my business vehicle for personal use.

If you use your business vehicle for personal use you can enter the relevant percentage use for business in the Business Information sheet on bookkeeping spreadsheet system. This will then automatically calculate any motoring costs by that percentage. The same applies for telephone and home use.

The figures for rent are not showing through to the P&L/Summary Sheet.

You will need to enter the relevant percentage of business v personal use on the Business Information sheet – it is defaulted to 0% on download. For example, if you are renting premises purely for business you can enter 100%. However, if you are using part of your home, you will need to calculate the relevant percentage figure for business use taking into account the number of rooms you use for business out of the number of rooms in the house, then calculate how much of the time you use those rooms purely for business use.

I calculate my vehicle costs by the number of business miles – can I record this?

There is an easy to use mileage calculator which comes free with this system you can enter both business and personal mileage on this spreadsheet. The costs are then automatically calculated using the current mileage allowances (see Annual Allowances Sheet). If you use this option you need to enter ‘M’ in Cell M18 of the Business Information Sheet. Any expense costs you enter on the monthly sheets will still affect the bank balances, and will also show through into the Summary Sheet, however they will not show transpose to the Draft Self Assessment. Cell R8 of the Business Information Sheet will show the total of all motoring costs and this will allow you to compare the Mileage v Actual Vehicle costs so that you can see which system is best suited to you.

This is only applicable for the system with banking and mileage

The figures on the P&L/Summary do not match the ones on the draft Self Assessment

The Summary Sheet will contain totals of all transactions by category that you enter on the individual monthly Income/Expense sheets. It is likely that you will have entered expenses for such things as National Insurance, Tax, personal drawings and other non tax allowable categories. These amounts will not be included in the Draft Self Assessment but will show through to the Summary sheet to enable you to see the exact figures for your income and expense.

What if the government changes annual allowances?

You can easily amend these figures on the Self Employed Accounting Spreadsheet System on the Business Information Sheet where applicable. Following the Budget each year, or following any other Government changes, Equal Figures will enter those figures on the Annual Allowances sheet on this website. Alternatively you can check the figures on the HMRC website.

How will I know which figures to use to complete my Self Assessment?

Whether you use the online system or the paper version for completing your Self Assessment, you will have boxes for each category or, you can enter the total amounts by category or if you earn less than £73,000 you can add simply add a total of all allowable expenses. The figures on the Draft Self Assessment spreadsheet show you which figures to use transfer over to your form/online form.

My trading year is not April to April – can this system be adapted for my needs?

The Bookkeeping Spreadsheets are set up for a standard April to April accounting year. However, if your trading year is different please feel free to contact us after purchase and the system will be amended for you. Due to the fact that the system will be produced manually this will not be available as an immediate download and will be emailed to you once it has been amended. This may take up to three days depending upon our workload.

Frequently Asked Questions