Q. I have recently set up a small business - have you any advice?

A. Separate your personal and business finances. If you were previously an employee, your income and other funds would have been held in a personal account, whereas being self-employed or a limited company owner will bring your business-based finances into the mix.

Having a different bank account for business transactions is essential not only for organisation but also for avoiding stress and complications when it comes to tax deadlines.

Invoicing, tax returns and bookkeeping can all become a bit of a nightmare if you have to sift through all your personal transactions to identify your business transactions. Be aware of deadlines – be it Companies House or HMRC - and stick to them. HMRC paperwork which has been filled out incorrectly or missed the deadline altogether will result in late fees and fines, neither of which are great news for a small business or sole trader with a tight budget. Plus, the longer it takes you to send your tax return beyond the deadline, the higher the penalties and interest will be.

Using a professional accountant for self-employed and small businesses might come in handy. You can be assured that you will not miss important deadlines and that your tax return will arrive at HMRC as a well organised, accurate depiction of the accounts of your business. There are many Cloud-based accounting software solutions available which can provide the ideal tool to keep your incomings, outgoings and taxes organised which gives you more time to focus on other aspects of your business.