The business landscape of Hong Kong is thriving at a highly rapid pace and is expected to grow even bigger. Hong Kong provides the perfect business environment for small and medium-sized enterprises. Several factors influence the growth and success of SMEs, and one among them is bookkeeping and accounting. This should not be ignored as it might harm your business at times of tax filings and other financial procedures.
Bookkeeping and accounting play a vital role in the success of a business, and it should be taken seriously. All the records and accounts must be handled with care in an SME. However, it could be costly to manage the accounts and records. To solve this problem, you can follow the instructions provided below in this article. This article will provide you with all the facts related to bookkeeping and accounting. The prime focus of this article will be on cost-effective bookkeeping tips and accounting strategies for SMEs in Hong Kong.
What is bookkeeping and accounting?
Bookkeeping and accounting are an integral part of SMEs and other businesses in Hong Kong. Bookkeeping and accounting allow companies to keep track of their transactions and other finance-related actions. Bookkeeping is a procedure that focuses on documenting transactions in a physical or electronic state. It involves keeping a systematic record of the sales, receipts, purchases, and payments. On the other hand, accounting deals with an extended amount of financial activities. Accounting refers to the practice of analyzing financial records and generating reports, including income statements, balance sheets, and other finance reports.
Why is bookkeeping and accounting important for SMEs in Hong Kong?
Bookkeeping and accounting in Hong Kong have great significance for SMEs. They help SMEs handle records with care to reduce the chances of misplacing the financial statements. This helps them track their overall financial performance and allows them to make informed decisions. It is also important because it can help SMEs build trust among investors and grab their attention for future projects and funding.
Furthermore, bookkeeping and accounting are important aspects of businesses due to the tax regulations in Hong Kong. It is mandatory for all companies operating in Hong Kong to maintain their records for 7 years from the time of the transaction. Failing to comply with the laws can lead to penalties and financial charges. And being an SME, you won’t like getting penalties and charges.
Overview of the Hong Kong Accounting System
The accounting system of Hong Kong is based on international accounting norms. The accounting system of Hong Kong emphasizes transparency and accuracy of financial records, leading to the portrayal of a respectful image of the city.
The accounting framework of Hong Kong is managed by the Hong Kong Reporting Council (HRC) and the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA). This helps businesses build a credible picture in the eyes of customers and investors, leading to the growth of the company.
Common Bookkeeping and Accounting Challenges for SMEs in Hong Kong
There are some challenges which are encountered by Hong Kong SMEs in bookkeeping and accounting. This section of the article will focus on these challenges and how to counter them:
- Limited Resources – Limited resources are one of the most typical challenges for SMEs in bookkeeping and accounting. To address this, you can outsource your work, use affordable bookkeeping software, and train your employees. This can save you time and help you manage your records more effectively.
- Lack of Expertise – Lack of expertise can be hazardous for the business as it can harm the company to a great extent. It can lead to mistakes in the records or even loss of records. In counter to this problem, you can seek help from accounting experts and consultants, provide training to your staff, and outsource your work to accounting experts.
- Complex Tax Regulations – Although the tax regulations of Hong Kong are pretty simple and easily understandable, there might be some instances when these regulations can confuse the SMEs and businesses. To be safe from these confusions, businesses must take some actions. These actions include seeking help from tax professionals, being updated about the laws and regulations, and leveraging technology for better knowledge.
- Time Constraints – Time boundedness is one of the most common challenges in bookkeeping and accounting practices. This may result in mistakes in the records, which can ultimately lead to big losses in the future. To successfully address this problem, you can use effective software, segregate the work, and complete the important ones before others to quicken the work.
- Higher Accounting and Audit Fees – Higher accounting and audit fees are a challenge for SMEs in Hong Kong. You must compare various accounting and audit firms to choose the most cost-effective one for your business. You can communicate with accounting and audit professionals and find ways to save money. You can also negotiate with them for better accounting contracts.
What is a profit tax return in Hong Kong?
According to the tax laws, filing a profit tax return in Hong Kong is compulsory for all businesses that operate in Hong Kong. They have to annually submit a document known as a profit tax return to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). This document contains all the information about the income, expenses, and other financial details of the company. It is used to calculate the payable tax of the business. It is necessary to provide this document accurately to avoid legal charges and retributions.
Effective Ways to Handling the First Profit Tax Return
There are several steps that need to be followed to handle the first profit tax return. When a company receives its first profit tax return, it should move forward according to the following steps.
- Prepare Their Accounts – The first step is to prepare the accounts, which means gathering all the records and financial information related to the income, expenses, sales, assets, and other financial data of the company.
- Submit the Accounts to Their Auditor – The next is to present the accounts to their auditors. They have the work of reviewing the accounts and issuing an audit report about the financial status of the company.
- Review the Financial Statements – It is the auditor’s job to review the financial statements and sign them. After they have been reviewed and signed, they need to be submitted to the tax authorities.
- File the Profit Tax Return – The final step to file the first profit tax return is to file it to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) after around 18 months of company incorporation.
Effective Strategies for Simple and Proper Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping service in Hong Kong is extremely critical for businesses as they must maintain formal financial records. The strategies for simple and proper business records are mentioned below.
Keep the list of Required Business Records
You must keep a list of the required business records to avoid mistakes at the time of tax filing. The needed business records are,
- Financial transactions
- Payroll records
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
Types of Accounts
There are several types of accounts that are required to be collected for filing taxes. These accounts include,
- Assets – Assets are the cash, accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, etc, that the company holds.
- Liabilities – It consists of the accounts payable, loans, etc., that the company is carrying.
- Equity – It is the owner’s capital and retained earnings of the company.
- Income – Income refers to the money earned from the sales of goods or services, fees, interest, and other sources.
- Expenses – Expenses are the money spent on goods, salaries of the employees, rent, utilities, and others.
Use Bookkeeping Software
You can use bookkeeping software to keep track of the transactions and prepare a financial record. Some of the best bookkeeping software is,
- QuickBooks Online – It is a software that has a multitude of features and can help with both bookkeeping and accounting. It has numerous advanced qualities that eliminate the need to hire a Hong Kong accounting professional.
- Xero Online – Xero has a cloud-based accounting software that is supported by both Mac and Windows. It can integrate with 500 other apps to automate tasks and also has a 24×7 live support system, which can help you in difficult times.
Cost-Efficient Accounting Strategies Based on Revenue
Startupr follows cost-effective accounting strategies that can help either type of companies, whether they have high revenue or low revenue.
Revenue Over HK$5,000,000
The companies that have a revenue over HK$5,000,000 should follow in-house accounts preparation. In-house report preparation means all the accounting processes are conducted internally. This provides companies with better control over their financial data and helps them maintain confidentiality.
Startupr can assist you with auditing and tax return filing. Our expert team, including auditors and bookkeepers, who can help you with auditing and tax filing procedures. We have a team of experienced workers who can guide you in the right direction.
Revenue Less Than HK$5,000,000
These companies should maintain all their bank statements and invoices in sequential order to easily find them in times of urgency. It helps them to arrange the records in a way that saves their valuable time, which might have been wasted. This provides them the time that they can use for other tasks and for strategizing the operations of the business.
Startupr also offers free bookkeeping templates and guides for Hong Kong companies, and with the help of this guide, you do not need to hire an expensive accountant. Therefore, the guide allows you to save thousands in accounting services annually.
Startupr will take care of the accounting, tax return filings, and audits altogether. Startupr can manage all your requirements and save money, which you can use to grow your business. Tax filing and accounting can be pretty hectic, but with Startupr by your side, you need not worry.
Get a free quote for your bookkeeping and accounting needs today!
Bookkeeping and accounting are essential components of businesses, and if you have an SME, then it becomes even more important to concentrate on it. This article is the best piece of knowledge that you can read to grasp important knowledge about bookkeeping and accounting. It provides information about bookkeeping and accounting services, their importance for SMEs, and cost-effective strategies for bookkeeping and accounting procedures.
If you use Startupr’s bookkeeping and accounting services, you can get a free quote for your bookkeeping and accounting needs. Startupr offers numerous bookkeeping and accounting services, which include accounts management, financial statement preparation, tax filing, budgeting and forecasting, financial analysis, inventory management, and consulting and auditing services.