Set up a profit and loss account for your business

Sales and other sources of business income


Business income falls into two categories for profit and loss reporting:

  • sales or 'turnover'
  • other income

Business sales or turnover

Your business' total sales of products and/or services in a trading year is referred to as turnover. This is the starting point for your profit and loss account.

How you record sales will vary according to your business type, size and whether you are VAT-registered. You may use a simple list or 'ledger' in a book, a tailored spreadsheet, or a computer software program.

Sales records back-up

The back-up records for your sales ledger fall into two categories, and will vary according to your business type:

Sales documentation:

  • copies of sales invoices issued by you
  • rolls of till receipts
  • records of money you pay into the business when taking goods out for personal use

Proof of income relating to the above:

  • paying-in slips
  • bank/building society statements and similar

If you operate on a 'cash only' basis you must keep detailed records of your income in your sales book or ledger and be able to relate these to your expenditure, cash in hand and bank statements.

Business income: other than sales

As well as reporting sales income, you need to report income to the business from other sources, for example:

  • interest on business bank accounts
  • sale of equipment you no longer need
  • rental income to the business
  • money you put into a limited company from personal funds

Recording other income

  • Record equipment sales in your sales ledger, or on a separate schedule of assets if you prefer.
  • Keep a record of any rental income, for example if you sub-let part of your office to someone else.

Back-up documentation

You must keep paying-in slips and/or bank statements to account for your additional business income.