Q: I am setting up my own yard but am worried how to keep track of my finances and how I will cope at year-end. Where can I go for advice and how can I manage my accounts without drowning in paperwork?
STARTING up a business can be daunting and people often worry about accounts. There are various organisations to help you get started in any new venture. Business Link provides a free service online, over the phone or via workshops. It can provide you with all the information you need regarding your premises, taxes and licences.
You must keep accurate records for both your business and the horses in preparation for year-end or should you need the information quickly. A solid filing system is essential.
A new website is now available to horse and business owners — Manage My Horse. It is a free online service which allows you to record all your daily occurrences, including a business section in which you can keep track of all your income, outgoings and staff details. In the horse section you can keep track of feeding, worming and weight records as well as a journal and diary for appointments.
Each horse has its own profile where you can store notes on breeding, competitions, dental, hoof care, health, insurance, training and any injuries.
Instant internet access makes the site flexible and there is assurance that the site is backed up and secure.
Manage My Horse has been running for four months and is becoming invaluable to owners, riders and business owners, including osteopaths, farriers, vets and yard managers.
Top eventer Francis Whittington uses the site to keep his owners up to date with their horses’ progress as well as an integral part of running his yard.
“In the short time I have been logged on it is fast becoming invaluable to me as a rider and business owner,” he said.
This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (22 May, ’08)