Digital Media Design


Work Placement – Accounts and VAT

Monday & Tuesday 9th/10th May 2011

The VAT Return

One of my jobs every 3 months is to chase any outstanding invoices, complete the accounts and submit a VAT return to HMRC.

I work as a self employed computer engineer and so I have designed a range of office processes and documentation which makes the back office functions relatively easier to do. One of these is my Quarterly VAT sheet which I use to record all my Outputs (that’s money coming in) and my Inputs (that’s my expenditure), which sounds the wrong way round but this ties in with HMRC’s VAT Return.

Each of my transactions are given a classification for example Income is classified as (1) and say Computer Supplies are classified as (7). This makes the organisation of invoices much easier, so for example I put all my computer purchases together in the (7) file. I use one of those concertina style folders that have 12 file pockets and I fill these up as I go along with all invoices that come in, ready for inclusion into the Quarterly VAT return. I also do this as my Accountant wants to be able to follow my expenditure over a 12 month period and they find this easier if I use a classification number so that they know how much I expend and on what.

One of the reasons for doing this is that some expenses are taxed differently from others, for example capital equipment cannot be claimed in their entirety in the first year they have to be depreciated over a period between 2 and 3 years much more if it’s a building etc.

Screenshot of Quarterly VAT Return sheet

Quarterley VAT calculator - Excel Workbook

Quarterly VAT calculator - Excel Workbook


My VAT sheet is automated using macros and various calculations, by this I mean as I manually enter the individual figures the totals and VAT totals are automatically updated. This process continues until the last figures have been entered and then the totals in the 3 Boxes at the bottom of the sheet Outputs, Inputs and Payable can then be entered onto the HMRC VAT Return.

One of the key cells on the VAT sheet is the value for VAT rate, I’ve actually named this as VAT and so all the calculations are based on this for example Cell X = Cell Y times VAT and of course these days I now enter all this information online.

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