Enjoying the blog?

20 | 04 | 19

How Long Does Bookkeeping Take for Beginners? Plus 5 Handy Tips

4 minute read

For different businesses, the time it takes to do your books can vary as there’s no one answer. It’s simple - leave your books to the last minute and it'll take longer, so we’ve got more useful tips on making your bookkeeping process a breeze.


As a beginner, it’s probably tempting to avoid learning all of the ins-and-outs of bookkeeping and shifting this workload to a professional to do it for you. Thankfully, even as a bookkeeping rookie, it doesn’t need to take long. If you’re asking yourself, ‘How long does bookkeeping take?’ the answer is that it can vary depending on when you do it, how clued up you are and your type of business.


Here’s why that’s the case and some valuable tips to speed up the process.

How Long Does Bookkeeping Take?

As we mentioned, there’s no one concrete answer. While the assumption will be that it’ll take bookkeeping beginners longer than experts, that’s not always the case.


For example, it’ll take a self-employed sole trader much quicker than somebody that’s running a small business. That’s because they might have other employees’ finances to think about rather than just reporting their own.

Hiring a professional bookkeeper won’t always make the process quicker either. Firstly, you don’t need to be an expert or qualified in bookkeeping so it’s not exactly a requirement. Secondly, they might juggle too many clients at once which can slow them down. They’re not always going to make you the priority.

If you want to make bookkeeping quick, stress-free and accurate so that HMRC stop causing you a fuss, follow the tips below.

Tip #1 - Don’t Leave it Last Minute

Make sure to keep deadlines in mind and create reminders so that you’re not doing your books the night before. Doing it last minute runs the risk of mistakes creeping through and you could end up spending more time looking for crucial bits of information than actually doing your books.

Get everything organised beforehand. Then, look at your books regularly and give yourself enough time to sit down well before the deadlines to report your figures accurately and without rushing. You’ll find that it takes a lot less time by planning it all in advance than brushing it off until it’s almost too late.

Tip #2 - Keep Your Records Nice and Tidy

As we briefly touched on in the last point, make an effort to keep your records nice and tidy. Unorganised and cluttered records with endless bits of paper make it a nightmare when it’s time to do your books and can waste a lot of valuable time.

By creating your own system, you can tidy up your records as you go. When it’s time to find the crucial bit of information, you know exactly where to look without making the process a long-winded one. Quick and easy.

Tip #3 - Store Your Receipts

We’re not saying stash away the weekly shopping receipts. Just make sure the business-related receipts are kept somewhere safe, maybe even in those neat and tidy records we mentioned.

Store your receipts so that you can claim back some business expenses. If you’re working from home, for example, then those receipts can be vital when it comes to claiming back expenses for domestic bills. It’ll make everything much quicker with those receipts in hand, plus you won’t be upset about losing out on money you could’ve claimed back.

Tip #4 - Keep Business and Personal Finances Separate

One thing that’ll surely slow you down when you do your books is digging into your finances that combine everything personal and business-related. To help you do your books much faster, think about keeping your business and personal finances separate by creating a business account.

Both costs will stay separate, plus you don’t need to search through endless personal statements for business information. When it’s time to do the books, you’ll know which account to look in to find what you need, saving time and effort.

Tip #5 - Use a Bookkeeping App

With tax going digital, the best way to learn how to do bookkeeping and do it quickly is to use a bookkeeping app. This software can help remove all of the hassles to do with incomings, outgoings, taxes and everything in between by keeping them all organised.


So, you can manage your financial records without worry.

When looking for an app, find one that only includes the features you’ll actually need. That means you won’t overpay and you won’t waste time in getting to grips with features you’ll probably never need either.

Plus, by being hands-on with the app, you’ll quickly learn how to do your books like a genuine expert in no time, even if you start as an amateur.

Best of all, using an app also makes it quicker and easier to do your books, rather than still collecting endless amounts of paper. While you don’t have the exact figure right now, it’s obvious that by following the tips above, bookkeeping will be much quicker even for beginners.

Do Bookkeeping Better and Faster With Your Very Own Checklist

Don’t let bookkeeping stress you. With the right methods in place, it can be quick, secure and easy so you’re never wasting much of time.


To make sure nothing slips through the net to slow you down, get your free checklist that’ll make you a bookkeeping whiz in no time.

Download our latest resource


Take the confusion out of bookkeeping

Download our handy guide to help you bookkeep like a pro
Download Now

Subscribe to our blog

Enter your email to receive updates, FREE ebooks and extra tips you won’t get anywhere else on the internet.