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Compare the differences between a Sole Trader, a Partnership and a Limited Company when preparing final accounts

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Unit 12 Financial Accounting Simon Taggart Introduction In the following essay, I will compare the differences between a Sole Trader, a Partnership and a Limited Company when preparing final accounts also included in the essay will be the concepts and conventions used when preparing final accounts. I shall also outline the regulatory standards within the Accounting Profession. I shall start by giving an explanation of how the accounting system functions. How does the accounting system work? Business keep financial records for a number of practical reasons, which are: > To quantify such items as sales, expenses and profits > To present these figures in a meaningful way so the business can judge its success over the past year Below is a diagram of the Accounting System: (all things below will be explained later in the assignment) Diagram taken from Business Accounting Second Edition by David Cox. Prime Documents Business transactions generate documents, these documents go into the primary accounting records and from these records are placed throughout the accounting system. The following are prime documents: > Invoice - when a business purchases goods the company or individual the goods where purchased from sends the business an invoice which outlines the amount that is owing, when this amount is to be paid by and details of the goods or services that have been provided. This is also the same case when the business receives an order for a good or service. > Credit Note - if a buyer returns a good that has been bought on credit, a credit note will be generated and sent to the buyer, the value of the credit not will be deducted from the buyers amount owing. On the credit note it outlines the money amount and the goods or services that have been given. > Banking Transactions - businesses use their bank accounts to pay in and withdraw money at regular intervals, from these bank transactions paying-in slips, cheques and BACS are frequently used.


The Final Accounts for a Limited Company Accounts Advantages of forming a Limited Company A limited company is owned by the shareholders and run by the directors, it is a separate legal entity. A limited company is often chosen as the legal status of a business because of the following reasons: > Limited liability > Separate legal entity > Ability to raise finance > Membership > Any other factors Limited liability If a company where to go into solvency with limited liability the shareholders would only lose the capital they have invested. This means the shareholder is covered for any losses of the company and will not be liable to repay the creditors. Separate legal entity The company is a separate legal entity form the shareholders, if someone where to take action against the company they do so against the company and not against the individual shareholders. Ability to raise finance A limited company can raise funds from the follow outside sources: > For a PLC - this capital is generate from the general public buyer shares which are traded on the Stock Market > For a LTD - this capital is generated from Venture Capital companies and friends and family who can purchase shares Membership To be a member of a limited company you are required to own at least one share of that company, there is a minimum number of members which is two and no upper limit. If you are a member of a company you are the same as a shareholder. Other factors As a limited company is normally larger than that of a sole trader or partnership it benefits from economies of scale and makes it of sufficient size to employ such specialists as production, marketing, finance which work in their respective functions. The Companies Act The Limited Companies Act 1985, which was amended in 1989 states that there are two types of limited companies.


This claim will be made on the difference. A business that is VAT-registered does not normally include the VAT in the income and expenditure of the business - whether for capital or revenue reasons. There are goods and services that are exempt from VAT these are things such as the loaning of money and letting of land, VAT cannot be charged by the charge so no output tax is received, they can only clam back an agreed proportion of the input tax that has been pre agreed with the VAT authorities. Irrecoverable VAT occurs when a business that has been registered cannot reclaim VAT on input tax, this means the VAT is entered into the accounts as an expense. A business that is not registered for VAT will include VAT within its input financial statements. SSAP 9 Stocks and long-term contracts This sets out the broad rule that stock should be valued at cost or, where lower, selling price. FRS 15 Tangible fixed assets This sets out that a fixed asset has a known economic life and must be depreciated, this doesn't apply to land unless it is either a quarry or mine. As long as the depreciation method is acceptable it can be used to spread the cost of a fixed asset consistently over that fixed assets economic life. A depreciation amount is most of the time based on the cost of the fixed asset. FRS 18 Accounting policies This standard is to ensure that all material items have the following: > The particular circumstances of the business accounting policies are fit of the given purpose and give a true and fair view > The policies that have been selected by a company are regularly reviewed to ensure they are still appropriate, also when the circumstances change the policies are changed to > The information that is disclosed within the financial statements is of sufficient information to enable users to understand the accounting policies that have been adopted and how they have been implemented * * 1

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