MINISTER MEETS THE FIRST LADY OF BUSINESS
March 11 2010.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Timms, met Hilary Devey - the presenter of Five's troubleshooting series "The Business Inspector" - today for a one-to-one conversation about the secrets behind running a successful business.

The Business Inspector is a four-part series that aims to highlight the benefits of keeping good records when creating a successful business. It will be broadcast weekly on Five at 8pm from Wednesday 17 March 2010.

Stephen Timms said: "Successful businesspeople know that good record keeping is essential, and can save them a lot of time and money.

"We want to ensure that growing businesses are not held back by the need to play catch up with their tax affairs down the line. The Business Inspector will bring this to life and highlight the importance of having good systems in place from day one. I'm looking forward to watching the first episode next week."

Hilary Devey said: "I am inspired and delighted that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) decided to sponsor the Business Inspector. It is the kind of programme many small to medium-sized businesses will relate to. I am sure they will recognise many of the scenarios portrayed in their own businesses. It is entertaining, and in some cases hilarious, yet it delivers a very strong message.

"I am an avid believer that good book-keeping makes for good business and is essential for growth. I believe that the programme will get HMRC's message across in an easily understood manner without having to delve into the small print. I applaud HMRC for finding this method of reaching the public."

The series has been sponsored by HMRC and will raise awareness among small businesses that they need to keep good records.

Keeping good records makes good business sense as it gives small businesses the information they need to manage their business and help it grow. It also makes filling in tax returns easier and helps small and medium-sized enterprises pay the right amount of tax.

Businesslink's top tips for keeping good records: 

- Set up a reliable system for keeping full and accurate records of your income and expenses from the outset.

- Keep records throughout the year - update your records regularly, rather than letting the paperwork pile up.

- Keep your records for a minimum of six years.

- Keep records to show what you have bought or sold relating to your business. This should include details of all cash transactions as well as invoices and receipts.

- If you are an employer you must keep records of wages paid and details of tax and National Insurance that you have deducted and paid to HMRC.

- Keep bank statements and building society books - this is particularly important if you don't have a separate business account. You should be able to show clearly what you have spent personally and on the business.