Simplify your bookkeeping

Submitted by Mathew on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 09:38

If you're used to keeping records of every customer and every transaction in your bookkeeping package this may come as a shock: you don't have to!

You can enter summary transactions instead. These allow you and your accountant to see where the money is coming from without having to transfer every transaction. You can classify your transactions however you like using Accounts Codes. That allows the system to list your net sales for the month in the Sales by accounts code report. There are lots of other reports available too, you might find the Transactions by type report useful for this too, as it also breaks down by accounts code, but separates invoices and credits.

People tend to think their bookkeeping software needs to keep track of all transactions in case the tax authority asks to see their records in detail. But it's perfectly acceptable to show summary transactions in the books and individual transactions in Flight School Booking. Tax authorities may ask to see your top ten highest invoices over a particular period. These will be available in the booking system. Likewise, if they ask to see a full list of transactions, these are all stored in your account.

You might still want to transfer all transactions into the books, and that's possible using the CSV export from the transactions page. Many accounting packages support directly importing from CSV, or sometimes a script is required to handle cases such as creating new customer accounts before importing transactions. Just set a filter over the date range you want to export, perhaps the previous full month.

But if you would like to save some time and enter summary transactions, here is the process we suggest.

  1. In your bookkeeping package, create an asset account for the Flight School Booking system under a suitable category, e.g. "Petty Cash". You can name it anything you like, but in this example we'll call it "Stripe". This will be used to track the balance in your Stripe account.
     
  2. Once a month, run the Sales by accounts code report from the Billing tab for the previous month. The report lists net sales (invoices - credits) and VAT broken down per accounts code. If you charge different VAT rates (e.g. standard, zero or exempt) you should set different accounts codes in Flight School Booking for each. This means the net amount and any VAT is listed in a separate row, making it easy to enter the summary transaction(s).

    Sales by accounts code report
     
  3. Enter a transaction for your sales, choosing the "Stripe" account. If your bookkeeping package allows you to enter split transactions, enter a split for each accounts code as shown in the example below. If you followed the advice in step 2, any tax in this accounts code will be one rate (e.g. standard, zero or exempt). If not, enter separate sales transactions, one for each code. You can choose the date, we recommend using either the first or last day of the month.

    Entering a split transaction
     
  4. Stripe produce tax invoices for their fees each month. Log in to Stripe and you'll find them under Settings > Documents.

    Tax documents from Stripe

    Once you have downloaded the tax invoice, enter the transaction into your bookkeeping software from your "Stripe" account. You should record the VAT (if any) as you may be able to claim this back.
     
  5. If you are using our Silver Plan, we will produce tax invoices for the commission element and email them to you. You should enter these in the same way as you do the Stripe fees.
     
  6. When payments from Stripe arrive in your bank account, enter these as simple transfers from the "Stripe" account to your school bank account.

 

For one cycle, if all invoices, payments from Stripe, and fees have been entered, you will find the balance of the "Stripe" account is zero. The account acts as a simple holding account to allow you to record all your sales, tax, fees and payments received into the right places in your books without needing to account for every single one.

If you ever need to refer to an individual invoice, or a customer's account, you can do this from Flight School Booking.