How to prepare for the January 31st self-assessment deadline (and a whole lot of day-to-day book keeping advice thrown in for good measure…!)

self employed women in the UK

It can’t come as a surprise to you all that preparing for tax returns, filing for self assessment and general, good old bookkeeping and accounting continuously crop up in interviews every time I ask each female founder that I chat to, to reveal the biggest challenges that they battle with as business owners behind the scenes. Be it that we’re unsure of where to file certain expenses  (because, let’s face it, there’s a whole lot of accounting categories to choose from nowadays), we struggle to keep on top of filing our receipts in general, or – like me – you aren’t from an accounting background so find finance jargon to be somewhat puzzling; making sense of our business accounts isn’t the most glamorous job that we all have to conquer as business owners but it is a job that, let’s face it, can’t be ignored!

Especially when the self-assessment tax return deadline is fast approaching on 31st January and you are sat there, putting off filing yours for the first time… *cue the sweats*

If any of the above sounds familiar, then please don’t worry! I’ve interviewed over 200 female founders now since launching She can. She did. and can safely say that it’s a worry that is shared by the vast majority of us (and in some cases provides angst, not just in January but throughout the year, anytime any conversation around bookkeeping or accounting crops up!)

With that in mind, given that there’s only a fortnight to go before the self-assessment deadline is due (and I know how stressed I was about the whole process this time last year when I sat down to file mine for the first time) along with the fact that so many of you have listed ‘financial freedom’ as a goal for 2020, I thought it was about time that I recorded a special episode of the She can. She did. podcast, to provide some clarity on all things tax returns and bookkeeping for you all.

Sounds like a wild episode, I know (!) but roll with me here…

If you’ve been following She can. She did. for a while now, you’ll know that Xero aka. the accounting software app cherished by so many business owners worldwide, myself included – has been sponsoring She can. She did. since October 2018. They were the first company to take a chance on little old me and this business of mine because they instantly recognised what She can. She did. stood for and is trying to achieve and for that, not only am I eternally grateful to them but I’m also going to be (unapologetically) raving about how helpful their accountancy software is for business owners like you and me, henceforth wherever I go… or at least, to any female founder who mentions that bookkeeping/ managing their finances, preparing their tax return etc.. is their biggest headache because quite simply, Xero has been a game changer for me!

Last Monday morning therefore, I paid a visit to Xero HQ in my hometown of Milton Keynes, to sit down for a chat with the wonderful Becca Smith who heads up end-user education at Xero worldwide, to chat about how we can all prepare for the upcoming tax deadline (that is, if you haven’t done so already) and reduce any anxiety that we might hold when it comes to the topic of dealing with HMRC and filing your self-assessment. We also natter about how we can all better manage our bookkeeping throughout the year and why a simple change in mindset when it comes to the topic of accounts can empower us all and help us to really understand our business. Naturally, how Xero can help with all of the above does crop up too but I couldn’t help but bring it up because I genuinely swear by it!

Normal episodes will resume next week but for now, I hope you find this bonus episode to be a handy one!

how to prepare your tax return

The wonderful Becca Smith, Head of End-User Education at Xero

Want to know more about how Xero can help your business?

Take a peek at the Xero website here

Still need to apply for your Government Gateway code?

Apply on HMRC now (you will need your Government Gateway number to file your self-assessment tax return!)

Want to hear from some of the UK’s most inspiring self-employed women?

LISTEN: Subscribe to the She can. She did. podcast on Apple Podcasts here!

READ: Grab yourself a cuppa and browse the interview archive here!

Comments (2)

  • Super helpful and interesting, loved this bonus episode talking about the practical sides of taxes and bookkeeping. Would love to hear more about women starting businesses as side hustles and what particular challenges they face building a business without much outside investment. Thanks for all the hard work!

    • Hi Sun, thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed the episode! If you click on blog archive or the She can. She did. podcast, you’ll find a whole host of interviews from Founders who started their businesses as side hustles. The latest podcast with Eloise Franks (The Big Bakes), Tiffany Ceri and Lara Goodison (Brush & Bubbles) and Jessica Blackler (Jecca Blac) are a good place to start! I hope you find them helpful! Fi x


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