When I started freelancing, I had no clue how to manage my finances. (1) I found that it was extremely boring (2) the more I tried to educate myself, the more discouraging it was to dig deeper. At the start, I didn’t even have a clue how to invoice and the info that I had to put on them (fortunately, you can figure this out by getting our free ebook on Legal and Accounting). As time went past, tax returns were submitted, mistakes were done and lessons were learnt, so I decided to put some order into these things and created my very own Self-Assessment Finance Log which took my game way up and allowed me to most of the things that I wanted with my finances: planning spendings, estimate tax payments, log and track my invoice/incoming payments as well as expenses. Note that this log is designed on the Cash Basis accounting method meaning that it only takes into account payments which have been received and expenses which have been paid for (more on Cash Basis accounting here).
You’ll find all the in-detail explanations in the Help Index, but let me tell you a few essential things. There are a few main sections which you’ll want to know about (but may not use all of them):
- Functional (mandatory for the whole document to function properly)
- Tax Year Parameters: every time that you enter a new tax year, Tax/NIC rates can change so here’s where you update these values. If you don’t do it, there will be considerable discrepancies in estimations and values showing up in the automated reports.
- Client Information: here’s where you’ll put all of your client’s information. This data will be reflected in the Income/Expenses management sheets, so don’t skip this part.
- Income/Expenses management
- Self-Employed sheets: where you log your invoices and expenses for your self-employed business.
- PAYE sheets: same as the Self-Employed sheets, but sometimes you’ll end up in a short term contract (still as a freelancer) and get put onto the PAYE payroll. You’ll need to set up your payments’ information there if you’re required to submit your tax return at the end of the tax year. It will help you get your tax estimations correct.
- Property sheet: again, same as the 2 previous sections, but if you earn income from personal property.
- Automated Reports
- Dashboard: that’s where all of your sheets data is pulled into to calculate your final tax/NIC estimations. as well as other cool little features which will help you monitor numbers.
- Unsolved/Paid Invoices Logs: one log stack all invoices owed to you, which will be bumped to the other log when they are paid for.
- Profits, Tax & Expenses (Charts): cool little function allowing you to monitor your monthly cumulated taxable profits and to see where you stand between the tax brackets.
- Other sheet
- Earnings Planning: separate function to check your estimated spendings across the year and perhaps plan how much you’ll be able to save to invest in stuff or go on holidays.
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Table of Contents
Sheet 1 – Help Index
Sheet 2 – Earnings Planning
Sheet 3 – Tax Year Parameters
Sheet 4 – Dashboard
Sheet 5 – (HIDDEN) Profits, Tax & Expenses – Values Only
Sheet 6 – Profits, Tax & Expenses (Charts)
Sheet 7 – Client Information
Sheet 8 – Self Employment – In Payments
Sheet 9 – Self Employment – Expenses
Sheet 10 – Self Employment – Expenses (Monthly)
Sheet 11 – Self Employment – Accounting Report
Sheet 12 – PAYE – In Payments
Sheet 13 – PAYE – Accounting Report
Sheet 14 – Unsolved Invoices Log
Sheet 15 – Paid Invoices Log
Sheet 16 – Property – Income/Expenses