Beankeeper Help


PLEASE REMEMBER, Beankeeper isn’t responsible for running your business - you are.

Beankeeper V5 (APP) User Manual for Mac: Contents


Welcome to Beankeeper!

installing beankeeper

the Dashboard

Database Management

Database Management Button #1: Corporate details

Database Management Button #2: Rate categories

Database Management Button #5: VAT (TAX) Quarters

Database Management Button #7: Nominal Categories

Database Management Button #8: Trading Terms

Entering Data

Overview - the way Beankeeper does it

From Dashboard to Screens

the BUSINESS dashboard screens


DATA DASHBOARD: quick contact



Beankeeper Numbering 26

DATA DASHBOARD: Jobs / worksheet / purchase orders / digital library

DATA dashboard: worksheet

DATA dashboard: Purchase Orders

DATA dashboard: Library

The Accounts screens


data dashboard: Sales Invoices

DATA DASHBOARD: Sales Credit Notes

DATA dashboard: cash sales

DATA DASHBOARD: Purchase Invoices



data dashboard: Bank receipts

DATA dashboard: Bank Payments

Nominal Reports Dashboard

Nominal reports Dashboard top line

Nominal account report buttons

Nominal reports Dashboard second line

nominal reports Dashboard third line

nominal reports Dashboard fourth line

Important note regarding vat


nominal reports Dashboard: Run VAT Analysis

another important NOTE regarding vat

nominal reports Dashboard: TAX documents

profit & loss reports

REPORTS Dashboard: Profit and Loss Period buttons

last exit and back up

Automatic Safety Copy



Welcome to Beankeeper!

Congratulations on joining the hive! You’re getting a business app that’s hopefully going to change your life! Beankeeper v5 provides you with a complete system to organise your business and accounting data and make everything easier and more efficient. Beankeeper combines all the “stuff” you need to run a small business, built using one of the world’s most successful and efficient relational databases: Claris’ Filemaker Pro.

So, if you need to add a new client all you have to do is push a button and enter some data. If you need to create a budget, the same. Run a job worksheet? Create a sales invoice? Enter a purchase invoice? Sort out your expenses? Find out how much you’ve spent on paper clips? Or coffee? Or your staff? All the same. It’s that simple. Let’s dive in and see how it works.


There’s nothing different about installing Beankeeper. We sent you a .zip folder that contains everything you need. Unpack it.

Now locate the uncompressed folder wherever you would like it - in a cloud would be perfect - and trash the .zip.

Open the folder to check the contents:

Read everything, watch everything, then double click the BeankeeperUK.pkg icon to get going. You’re off.

install beankeeper

All the usual screens appear.

First time log on

You will now see this screen:

Enter the user name “Beankeeper” and the password “buzzbuzz” - but don’t check the save box yet as the next screen needs you to change the password to something more secure of your own choice.

Enter your new password and then the next time you log on, check the save box. Beankeeper and your keychain will remember the log on and default to it each time you log on. Congratulations. You are now the beankeeper for your organisation.

Please note - we do hold a master password to retrieve permissions and reset passwords should anything go wrong.

the Dashboard

The first thing you see when you open Beankeeper is the “Dashboard”. The controls that guide you to the screens where you input or process data. The one above is the screen of “Buzz Advertising” a small start up ad agency. We’ll use their (ficticious) data throughout the manual to illustrate some of Beankeeper’s many features.

The screen is divided into three sections:

  • The part that handles the beans that earn money, headlined “Business Data Entry” – your contacts, rates, budgeting, job maintenance, purchase orders, your daily work sheet and your digital assets.
  • The part that handles the beans that keep the finances on the straight and narrow, titled “Accounts Data Entry” - your sales and purchase invoices, cash sales, cash payments, bank receipts and payments and any (perish the thought) sales credit notes.
  • And finally, the part that controls the beans that personalize the data and make the whole thing work – your “Database Management”. Controlling your Company details for your layouts and reports, your rate, bank and tax categories, trading terms and library categories. And most importantly, the Nominal Codes or categories that sort your beans into the right boxes and allow the machinery to analyse the data the way you need it.

Below these buttons, there’s one to take you through to Beankeeper’s reporting sections - of which more later.

And at the very bottom, together with the legal yada you’ll see your licence name and number.

There’s also, at the top, one more important piece of information – the date and time that the last safety back up was made.

The back up is made every time you exit Beankeeper and is stored on your desktop folder as “beankeeper.(date).fmp”. It overwrites itself only on the same day. We reccomend storing the files in a folder on a cloud system for safety. You will be able to open it if you have Filemaker pro - but in the event of a disaster - send it to us and we can restore it.

We’re going to begin in the last section of the Dashboard and take a look at the database management first – the stuff you need to input so that Beankeeper can help you run your system successfully.

Database Management

Database Management Button #1: Corporate details

The first button takes you through to a screen that you need to fill in with the details that will be printed on the reports you’re going to make later.

Your licence is issued automatically once you have entered your name and date and stays issued to that person permanently.

The rest of the fields are the trading address, company registration (if pertinent), tax ID, local currency and code and details like the level of tax you pay and the mileage rate you charge or allow for car use. It’s all pretty self explanatory so we’re not going to go into detail on every line. Suffice to say that it is important that every field is completed. They all do jobs somewhere down the line!

You can add your own logo – and update it at any time – by using the button to add it to the box at the bottom. It should be in the .jpg or .png format, and preferably (but not necessarily) square. It doesn’t need to be big - around 200 pixels square is ok. To delete it, click on it and hit delete, then drag in a new version.

Note: The Company Name, Address, Telephone and Registration Numbers and the logo cell are all universal – in that if they are changed, They will update everywhere throughout Beankeeper’S screens - but only going forward - beankeeper doesn’t change historically entered data.

Note: Every screen has a close button somewhere and it’s best practice to use that rather than the X on the window you are working with.

Database Management Button #2: Rate categories

Your rates are the engine room of your business. What you do, what you charge for it, these tables will provide the information for your budgeting and your worksheet data later. But before you consider the amounts, you need to sort out the structure. So when you click the “Rate Categories” button, you get two new windows:

You have an infinite number of rates sections and sub-sections so you can categorise and update to your heart’s content. These categories will be used when you create your rates later.

Database Management Button #3: Library Categories

The library is set up to hold the digital assets related to the business. This could include any important documents, PDFs, photographs, audio files or videos.

The library also includes a powerful sorting and searching facility, with 16 user-defined categories. Just click in any of the boxes and change the title of the category to anything you need and it automatically feeds through to the library layout that you’ll explore later. This isn’t for important stuff like client or project / job titles, the library already has these categories ready for you, but here you might add key details, elements or suppliers you might need to be reminded of - especially perhaps at some point in the future! Note: Categories 9 and 10 are tick boxes.

Remember, you don’t have to decide the categories right now. The categories can stay as they are until you’ve had a chance to work with the library and decide how you’d like things done - so don’t feel the need to rush into this until you’ve worked with your library for a little while.

note: all material about vat refers to UK use only - for the eu€ or Us$ versions please use these sections if appropriate or useful.

Database Management Button #5: VAT (TAX) Quarters

This does exactly what it says on the label. When you register for VAT in the UK, you are assigned your three monthly reporting quarters - and this is where you enter the first day of each period, so Beankeeper can give you an accurate return when you need it.

We’ve set up a default setting that shows Jan 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1. It’s convenient, but rarely the case, so ensure you fill yours in carefully.

Database Management Button #6: VAT (Tax) Codes

The UK VAT / Tax Codes database is already set as below:

  • T0 (0%): If you are UNREGISTERED this is the code for you. It is set to 0%. Use it on every transaction, but don’t split the VAT out of any purchases - you don’t charge it so you can’t claim it.
  • T1 (20%): If you are REGISTERED then this is the code that most UK VAT transactions will be entered against. It is set to the current UK rate of 20% and should the government change it you will have to adjust the percent on the changeover day. Use this code on all sales and purchase transactions, but not Bank Receipts or Payments that do not have any effect on your trade - e.g. payments from clients or to suppliers. If you supply goods or services which are charged at the REDUCED VAT RATE (e.g. Children’s Car Seats or Energy Savings products) then change the rate to this rate, currently 5%. If you mix full rate and reduced rate goods or services, please contact us and we will suggest an alternative.
  • T2 (20%): If you are REGISTERED and do business in the EU with customers who are unable to provide you with a VAT REGISTRATION. In this case you have to charge them VAT and account for it.
  • T3.0 (0%): If you are REGISTERED and supply SERVICES to REGISTERED EU CUSTOMERS.
  • T3.1 (0%): If you are REGISTERED and supply GOODS to REGISTERED EU CUSTOMERS.
  • T4 (0%): If you are REGISTERED and supply or purchase any ZERO RATED goods or services (food, clothing etc).
  • T5 (0%): If you are REGISTERED and supply or purchase any goods or services that are EXEMPT from charging VAT (insurance, credit, charity events or gambling(!)).
  • T6 (0%) If you are REGISTERED and supply or purchase any goods or service to or from any suppliers or customers in NON-EU countries.
  • T7 (13%): If you are REGISTERED and using the FLAT RATE SCHEME. NOTE: This rate varies from industry to industry so check with HMRC’s web site for your industry rate and change this number to the correct one.

VAT is a complex business which varies from business to business and it is in your best interest that you have your own situation clear in your mind. Check with the HMRC web site to see how your company and your company’s goods or services sit within the VAT picture. You can find it at

In the event that the government decides to alter these codes later on, all you need to do is alter the relevant code at the point it changes. Beankeeper adds data going forward so it will not affect your previous entries, providing you don’t alter them or re-enter them manually after you’ve made the change.

NOTE: Although the data in percentage boxes is displayed accurately you need to enter it as decimal percentages of the number 1. so “10%” is entered as “.1”, “7.5%” is entered “.075” ETC.

IMPORTANT: For the EURO or USD version use this section if necessary and as appropriate, but do not alter the “t” code numbers.

Database Management Button #7: Nominal Categories

The Nominals are the real engine room of Beankeeper. Allocating your sales, cost of sales and overheads to the correct nominal codes is a vital part of running a business. These nominals are used to create your chart of accounts - the layout that gives you the state of play of your business over any period.

Business normally divides this into two areas - THE Balance sheet - the value of your company at any one time and the profit and loss acount - whether or not your trading is to the good or not. Being a management tool, Beankeeper concerns itself only with profit and loss, providing you with powerful reporting tools to analyse your trading. It’s here where you figure out that you are spending too much on your videogames and not enough on your marketing - and how much you’re saving on your accountant’s fees by using Beankeeper. Ultimately the nominal accounts are the categories used to produce this PROFIT AND LOSS REPORT:

But first you have to set up the headings of your own nominal accounts in the way that suits you.

When you enter this category section, you will see that Beankeeper allocates you four sales categories, four purchase categories and fifteen overhead categories. In addition there are four reconciliation accounts, for bank, tax and expenses and drawings balancing (your accountant will find these useful at your year end - you can use them for transactions you want to keep track of but which don’t affect the trading profit and loss account, for example most banking transactions. Finally, there is one drawings account - where, for example, if you are a sole trader or a partnership, you can enter the money which is withdrawn after the trading profit is established. If you are a limited company you could use it for dividend payments to shareholders.

Again, your accountant will advise you what this account might be useful for.

NOTE: FOR STRUCTURAL REASONS, You can’t add any more Nominal accounts.

You can’t re-section or re-number the categories - but you can re-title them, and that’s what you do here. Think about this carefully, because it might be confusing to change them later. If unsure, a meeting with your advisors might be useful!

If you need more analysis of your transactions, think outside the box and you will find your own ways and means of applying levers and handles to your data by careful entry. For instance if you are a business consultant and have re-named Sales Category 3 to “Reports” then the description of data entered to that N/C (Nominal Code) could always include a keyword, for instance, “Written”, “Financial” or “Verbal”. Using powerful searching tools, Beankeeper will be able to use one of its reports to provide the data you need.

Database Management Button #8: Trading Terms

The last button in the setup section is where you setup the terms that you want to print on your sales invoices, purchase orders and statements.

You will see that we’ve got you started with the four categories you will need them for: Purchase Orders, Sales Invoices, Sales Credit Notes and Statements. We’ve left some of the trading term fields blank so you can fill them in to suit your way of doing business - add in clauses for pro-forma invoices, varying credit agreements, stage payments etc, for any of your client or supplier forms. As many as you like. When you come to produce the documents you need, a drop down list will allow you to fill the forms in as you require them.

  • Entering terms

One more thing about entering your terms, when you open the form on screen, you will see a notice reminding you to enter your terms in one line. No breaks. If you need to format the terms when you enter them - for instance on the budget form - you will have the opportunity, and how you do this will be described in the screen: budgets section later in the manual.

all the category sections have print buttons on them, and we recommend that once you have finalised your categories you print and file hard copies for reference.

Entering Data

Overview - the way Beankeeper does it

We’re going to work through this part of the process in the way it appears on screen - but there is no reason that you should approach it that way. You may need to jump from Contacts to Sales Invoices, Jobs to Bank Payments or Cash Expenses. That’s fine, business doesn’t have one route. You just need to know that whatever you decide to do - Beankeeper will keep up with you and back you up all the way.

From Dashboard to Screens

Go back to the Dashboard and remind yourself that aside from the Database Management it has two other sections - Business and Accounts Data entries. Each has a number of buttons associated with it. Press any of the buttons in either of the sections and the screen will change to one of two new ones.

Either a business screen:

Or, one of the accounts screens:

Each screen has fields that contain your data, tabs that interpret your data in different ways, navigation buttons such as the button situated in the top right that takes you back to the Dashboard, buttons that control FUNCTIONS of the section you are in, and buttons that prepare REPORTS from the data you have entered. Some of these controls are common to each window and will only be covered once, some can be described with a single note, others need more comprehensive detail.

All the main screen windows have two buttons in their top right hand side. “OPEN ACCOUNTS WINDOW” if you are in a production screen, or “OPEN PRODUCTION WINDOW” if in an accounts screen, and “GO TO ACCOUNTS” or “GO TO PRODUCTION” accordingly. Both swap you over to the other side of your business but in different ways. The first opens a NEW WINDOW, the second swaps the WINDOW YOU ARE IN for a new one. We figured there will be times when both will come in handy.

  • Screen Buttons

Across the top of the main window are the SCREEN BUTTONS that will take you to the various parts of the production cycle, below that the data box with its various tabs, and below that, function buttons and the record creation and modification details.

We’re not going to go into detail about all the ways to enter the data or what all the tabs do, it’s pretty self-explanatory but there are certain common items and key instructions that need to be made clear.

  • creation buttons

Any button in GREEN is there to create new data. A new record. In some cases it duplicates a record to save you time (contacts from the same company for instance) in others- the short form new contact button for instance - it will open up a new window in which you can create a new contact quickly without leaving the main screen (Quotes / Estimates / POs etc) you are working in. This also up the workflow.

  • Navigation Buttons

Wherever you see a field or a box that is in PURPLE, it is a NAVIGATION BUTTON. Clicking it will take you somewhere else. Some are obvious from their labelling, others not quite so obvious. If, for instance, you click on the purple button next to a Job No. field, you will immediately be taken to the Job that it relates to. Similarly, if you want to check on an invoice for a job and you are in the CURRENT JOB FINANCIALS or the ALL JOBS tabs of the JOBS screen, click on the purple box that shows any invoice number and you will be taken to it. Sometimes in a new window, sometimes the same one.

Other purple buttons send you to your e-mail program or take you to suppliers’ websites in your system browser if you need more space than the built in one.

The exception are the buttons at the top of the main screens - which are purple when they are live, as above.

  • report buttons

Report buttons are the workhorses that run scripts that analyse your data and offer you the choice of reviewing, printing or sending a pdf of the document to the desktop for electronic distribution. They handle Sales Invoices, Cash Sales, Credit Notes, Statements, Bank Statements, Job analysis, Purchase Orders, Product sheets, Library printouts, Nominal printouts and tax returns. They always offer you opt outs and update themselves the moment you enter new data.

  • The Delete Button

Where ever you see a box that is RED it’s a negative button - an instruction to delete the record you are browsing or working on. If you hit it you get asked if you really do want to kill the record - and then, if you say yes, it is done.

Note: once deleted, data cannot be recovered with a Command Z keystroke. however beankeeper will always ask for confirmation before deleting any data.


In the bottom left of every data screen is a small ORANGE BUTTON. This is a “Commit Data” button. Filemaker doesn’t commit the record to the database until you have finished working on it and moved on to a new record or screen. Once it does it’s saved, but this delay can sometimes be confusing. If, for example, you are working with two screens at once - say Jobs and Invoices - and you are making changes that need to cross from one screen to the other. Clicking the Orange Button commits the data and makes it instantly available across the whole database.

Note: It is not neccessary to hit the orange button, Beankeeper will update without it, and the screen updates on exit - but because of the way beankeeper processes data it is sometimes neccessary to commit the record to update certain calculations live on screen.


As Beankeeper loads a screen it sorts each section of your database and sorts all the records it finds. Sometimes this doesn’t work for the user so each of the main Beankeeper screens has a NAVIGATION BOX to take the user to the first or last records, or step backwards or forwards one record at a time at will.

  • other screen data

Finally, all screens make other user data instantly available. When the record was created, who created it - when it was amended, by whom and so on. We’ve tried to think of every need possible. If we’ve missed one - let us know and we’ll add it to a future version!

the BUSINESS dashboard screens


The first button in the list will take you through to the CONTACTS screen.

This functions like many other contact phone books - Beankeeper keeps it locked into your business, grouping clients, suppliers, staff and other important business details together and using the power of the internet to flick between their web sites, locations and other important details all on one screen. It will search, list and e-mail. It is, we like to think, handy. It also saves you having to look up addresses when you’re preparing invoices. We’ve included a spare category field for additional grouping - so you can find something we haven’t thought of. It’s a drop down list that offers you your previous entries as you add them. Then if you search “left-handed” or “Porsche” and you’ve entered those groups for any contacts, they will be shown to you in the LIST view.

The “MAIN ACCOUNT” field with the bold type indicates that the record is a KEY ACCOUNT, i.e. records that you want to use data from in other areas - for instance sales invoices, statements or purchase analysis forms. It’s to avoid confusing beankeeeper in the clients and suppliers sections. Not all your supplier or client contacts will be used in your accounts data - so use this check box and details ONLY FOR THOSE PEOPLE OR COMPANIES YOU EITHER SEND INVOICES TO, OR RECEIVE INVOICES FROM.


In CONTACTS, as well as a “New Contact” button, Beankeeper provides a “Duplicate Contact” button. Because you can have many contacts from one company, we thought it would be easier to duplicate a whole contact record and then just change the fields that vary.


A lot of the information you will enter is produced through drop down boxes of lists that Beankeeper will update as you store data - and drop down calenders for dates - as shown above. Tax codes lists will drop down now as those codes are already entered for you, whereas other lists, for example Job Numbers or Clients, will be produced as your data becomes those lists.

Also, sometimes it’s better to have auto-complete so certain fields just offer an auto-completion as you type in data, as Beankeeper checks the entry against entries made previously. In the CONTACTS table for instance, the COMPANY and ADDRESS fields auto-complete, whereas the OCCUPATION field offers you a list of previous entries. OCCUPATION is something you might search for, so it’s better to have consistency. If for instance you are a builder and you want to search your database for all the carpenters who work for you, an entry mis-spelled as “carpnter” might be missed.


The two other buttons on the CONTACTS SCREEN are fairly consistent throughout Beankeeper. The SEARCH button will find whole words, partial matches, dates and numbers, though if you’re searching dates you have to enter the whole year and not the last two digits. for instance if you were in SALES INVOICES and you wanted to find all the invoices for Client A in July 2013, you would search “Client A 07/2013” NOT “Client A 07/13”.



Will find:

The found records located by the SEARCH are displayed in a NEW SCREEN as a list. This is also the screen you get when you press the VIEW CONTACTS AS LIST BUTTON. Sometimes it’s easier to just scroll down a page if you’re searching and this way provides that opportunity.

To the left hand edge is a small purple button:

This appears on most of the report screens, to the left of each line of the records it displays. It’s a navigation button that takes you back to the record it is linked to in the main screen that the data was entered from. For instance if you’re looking for a sales invoice of a specific value, search the value in sales invoices. That will produce a list of all sales invoices of that value. Find the one you want, hit the putple button and you will go straight to that invoice.

On the other hand, if it is a small RED button:

it is a DELETE button - so be sure not to mix those two up!

Record data fields

Finally, at the bottom of the screen is a bar that provides the dates of the record’s creation and last modification and the names of the person responsible. This is standard across all the data screens and particularly useful if you need to track changes.

DATA DASHBOARD: quick contact

If you click the ADD QUICK CONTACT button a small window appears where you can create the headline data and come back and fill in the detail later. Handy if you’re working on the phone or in another part of Beankeeper. It can stay open all day if you need it to. Once it is opened, it creates a record in the “Contacts” table - so if you decide not to add anything, exit by using the “Cancel Adding” button.

Note: Shortcuts to this screen appear on other screens - for example Purchase Invoices - where you might need to add a new supplier in quickly, when processing invoices.


The RATES screen window is where you enter what you charge for the products and services you provide. You have already set up the sections and sub-sections of your business products and services, so fire away and enter some prices. The fields for the SECTION and SUB-SECTION data will drop down and provide you with the options you need and if you find you need a new category in either, just click on the relevant purple button and a pop-up window will allow you to create your new section.

In addition there’s a notes section to keep the kind of adjustments / favours / reminders that are important at the time but always impossible to find when you need them later. Beankeeper keeps it all. For as long as you need it.

The “All Items” tab in the main screen provides a list of everything you’ve entered and the “Items for Price List” tab shows you which items you’re currently putting together as a simple list. The radio buttons that select these items means combinations and lists are totally variable. The PURPLE navigation to the left of each line brings that entry up in the main screen.

  • the price list

The price list offers you a simple way to produce a single different pdf price list to suit any situation or customer. Just select the items and save a pdf to your desktop.


You’ve entered your rates, so you’re ready to start preparing either soft estimates or hard quotes for your customers. Open up a new budget, fill in all the the global details, client brief, date required, any notes to help you in the process.

Use the second tab to enter line details. You enter a line by clicking in the first white box, follow the drop down menu till you find the rate you’re after, enter the quantity and the extension will add to the total. You don’t have to have rates entered, alternatively you can use the boxes to describe the function and type in the numbers - all the fields are totally flexible.

  • Entering and formatting your “terms” box

Your trading terms have been entered in one line, so your drop down will look similar to this:

select the line you require and enter it and the “terms” box will fill with your terms in one line.

To format the line or enter specific terms, repeat the process but this time select “other”

a new box will appear with your selected line inside it.

Edit the type in the new box to look the way you want it - and if you need anything else, you can add it in at this point.

Here we’ve added in “E & OE”. This stands for “Errors & Omissions Excepted”. Just in case!

All the terms boxes in the Sales Invoices, Statements and Purchase Orders work like this. And if you find you need to adjust your stored terms, you can go to the Dashboard and enter them via the Data Management / TRADING TERMS button.

  • Previewing and Producing review or hard copy estimates or quotes

When you’re done - return to the overview screen and use one of the formatting / report buttons to process your form.

Printing and creating pdfs in Beankeeper is covered in depth in other sections of the manual (click the words to link), and for more and more users e-mailing a pdf is the most convenient way of delivering documents. Use the button to send a pdf of your quote or estimate, titled with its number, to your desktop to print - e-mail to the client - or store with the job when you win it.

If you decide to amend it, use the button again and it will update the file on your desktop (so don’t forget to re-title each version, if you need to keep progressive versions of the file for review}

Whatever you choose the final budget in short form layout looks something like:

And in long form - the same data but in a more detailed report:

Note: when you preview the long form budget, as the budget doesn’t fit on a single page you need to use the “Ctrl” and the “Up” / “Down” arrows together (at the same time!) on your Mac keyboard, Filemaker will move you through each page of the whole form.

NOTE: if you are working in Beankeeper on a Mac running OS 10.9 or above, in order to run this function you will need to ensure that the “ctrl” + “arrow” short cut combinations are not assigned to other functions - for example mission control.

  • Housekeeping estimates and quotes

One last box to look at. At the bottom of the main screen there’s a check box to archive old quotes / estimates.. Just housekeeping , but after a while it makes it easier to find the ones you need via the Active quotes and active budgets tabs.

Beankeeper Numbering

This is a good point to give you some information on NUMBERING. Documents that need numbers increment by +1. This applies to Budgets, Jobs, Purchase Orders, Sales Invoices and Sales Credit Notes. You don’t have to start at 1, the first time you enter any of these documents, choose any number and the next time you create a new document, Beankeeper will look in the box and just add 1. So if you don’t want your first customer to know they’re your first customer, start your sales invoices at an arbitrary number, say 423. Your second number will be 424. Alternatively if you’re swapping your system over from a previous one to Beankeeper and you’ve already sent out 2369 purchase orders, number your first one on this system 2370 and Beankeeper will pick it up and run with it. If you delete a document, Beankeeper will default to the last number it finds +1 - so there won’t be any gaps. If you change year on year that’s OK too. But be aware that this version of Beankeeper doesn’t do letters IN REFERENCE NUMBER FIELDS. So an invoice number like AZ6345 won’t work. It’s something we might look at down the line, but for now, just use numbers. Although the system handles any number of digits, for display purposes we recommend that the maximum number is 4 - so up to 9999. Hopefully that should be more than enough!

DATA DASHBOARD: Jobs / worksheet / purchase orders / digital library

Pleased to say Buzz Advertising won the job they were pitching for and have now converted it into a real project. By now you should be getting the hang of the format, so we’re not going to dwell too much here. More fun to poke around and figure it out right? So it’s the same system with NUMBERING - enter the first number you’d like and the rest will follow on, drop down menus let you find your other data, tabs keep you updated on the job’s progress. We’ve given you a box to enter the budget you’ve just won the job with, and that feeds through to the financials to date reports so you can see how much you have left to play with. There are also four boxes for stage payment invoices to be entered and a tab to show you what POs you’ve sent out against the job. There is a box to add notes for future reference and the ability to cross check connected jobs - by brand, client company or the contact that placed the order. Handy when you might need to remember how much you charged last year!

Once all your basic information is entered and you have a job number everything flows and Beankeeper really starts to come into its own.

The daily WORKSHEET is where you log your chargeable in-house times and workflows:

As each is entered - taking data from your rates - or anything you need to add - Beankeeper searches and lists all the other costs you’ve entered to that project.

The Purchase OrdeRS screen is where you create instructions / orders to your suppliers:

Once you’re happy you can preview or print the PO, or send it to your desk top as a .pdf file to e-mail to suppliers:

You can then store this pdf inside the container on the “Purchase Order pdf tab” as a safety copy.

And the Digital Library screen locks in any job related pdfs, documents, images and or videos to the project by referencing the job number


Data Dashboard: JOBS

On the Jobs screen you will see a number of tabs that offer quick ways to see the positon of your projects.

  • CuRrent Job Financials

This gives you a spot check on where the finances are. As you enter job charges - in house work, purchased items or services, cash payments and Sales Invoices and Credit Notes, they will all show up here, together with navigation buttons to take you to the individual items and a wide range of reports.

In the above image, you can see all the costs in and out (to date) relating to Buzz Advertising’s project for their High Flying Client as it moves forward - the work of the agency, the charges from Buzz’s suppliers - and the invoices sent to the client.

  • in house work

As you enter worksheet items (see Worksheet section) they will transfer to the jobs you allocate them to and show up here.

  • Purchase orders for job

This tab provides an up to date record of POs allocated to the job and whether they have been invoiced by suppliers and whether they have been paid.

  • Preview & Print or PDF

The “Preview” and “Print / PDF” buttons appear throughout Beankeeper and have identical processes.

If you want to take a quick look at the report, preview it. If you need a hard copy, print it.

In both printing and making pdfs, Beankeeper runs SCRIPTS. At key points in the process the scripts stop so you can consider the documents. When this happens, and you are satisfied with the document - or you have decided to make changes, press your ENTER / CURSOR RETURN key and the script will move on. There will be choices along the way to EXIT the process and return and MAKE CHANGES.

Note: If you are printing any report, make sure the “All records” and “All pages” boxes are checked on your printer. These are manual operations on your computer and though they stay constant can come unchecked if another user uses the printer or if you change them for other programs.

In the Jobs screen, these two buttons are invaluable, putting all your job financial data at your fingertips and giving you the opportunity to find out your exact financial position on a job at any given moment.

So our friends at Buzz’s running analysis on their job looks like this:

Beankeeper looks and finds all your in house work, invoices from suppliers, petty cash and bank disbursements, checks the budget and whatever’s been invoiced, then calculates exactly where you stand financially on the work done to date - and more importantly, what’s left in the plan!

note: beankeeper does not include credit notes in this report.

DATA dashboard: worksheet

The Worksheet screen is where you will enter all your chargeables. It’s like a time-sheet but with a wider brief. It picks up your Rates from the data you’ve already entered, and adds them back to the job. It also provides a list of the items charged to the job underneath, so you can see if for some strange reason you’ve managed to charge for the same thing twice!

You can also use the browse by job tab to check on the status of other jobs - or use the search button to find a particular task. If you are a creative and spend your days hopping from job to job as the mood takes you then this will serve as your daily bible - logging your time and sending the costs back to the jobs you are working on. Sleep tight!

DATA dashboard: Purchase Orders

The Purchase Order process follows the simple Beankeeper format - a main screen for the global overview and a sub-screen below for the line data. By now you should be familiar with the process, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. Once you’ve entered all your data you can preview, print or pdf your PO to your desktop to suit your distribution needs.

  • hard copy pdf storage

In the PO screen there’s another tab:

This tab contains one field that will hold a hard pdf copy of your PO. Either drag it straight in from the desktop, or use the navigation buttons to insert it. If you need it later for review purposes it will be easy to find and you can export it straight out from its container. You will find storage containers like this one in other screens, including those for sales invoices, sales credit notes and purchase invoices.

preview and printing or pdf forms

This is a good point to review preview and printing forms.

  • preview

Using the Preview button will open the form up in a window so you can check it. When you want to get rid of the window just hit the enter key (line return, CR, big fat one on the right etc) and the window will close.

  • print or pdf

Using the print button shows you the preview window, but then each time you hit the enter key button you will move through the printing stage dialogue. Remember to check that the records being browsed radio button is checked and whether you need “All pages” or a “Range of Pages” to be entered. Filemaker / Printer controls default to the last ones used, so make checking them a habit.

  • PDF

If you need a PDF copy of the document, use the PRINT setting and your machine dialogue to open or save a pdf version..

  • Exiting a process mid-point:

It sometimes happens that you start a journey only to find you don’t need to complete it. if that happens when you are printing or pdf-ing a Beankeeper document - don’t worry. Just hit the cancel button at any stage.

DATA dashboard: Library

The Library in Beankeeper is a powerful way to organise your digital assets. Beankeeper can store documents, PDFs, images, audio files and videos in QuickTime or Mp4 format. It has over twenty fields to store data - and, you will remember, 15 of them can be tailored by you through the Library categories panel which we looked at at the beginning of this manual. If you want to go back now and amend them you can reach the library categories screen via the Dashboard. Whatever you type into the boxes there will show up next to the relevant boxes here.

When you add a file into the library, images, documents, Beankeeper stores it in a sub-folder of the “files”folder you created on your hard drive when you installed it, and references it. In this way Beankeeper itself only gets a little, rather than a lot, larger each time you add external data. Material of any size can be inserted and the Filemaker programme running things processes it and inserts viewable thumbnails into the containers which can be played, opened externally or exported.

With the powerful Filemaker search tool enabling you to find anything in the database quickly and efficiently, the Beankeeper library is a dynamic desktop tool you will find plenty of use for. As your business grows you will use the library every day for keeping track of your digital assets, instantly at the press of a key.

The Accounts screens


Having worked your way through the screens of the business section of Beankeeper’s dashboard and, hopefully, gained an understanding of the way Beankeeper works, it’s time to investigate the accounting process.- beginning with the creation of a Sales Invoice.

data dashboard: Sales Invoices

Creating an invoice is simple, a manual operation, similar to other screens we’ve already discussed, creating the global invoice details - client, job number, terms etc - increasingly handled through drop down menus as Beankeeper learns your data - in the top area and then the individual lines that go on the invoice in the centre section. Here we see a blank invoice waiting for data to set it up and apply it to a job.

  • important note about invoice numbering

As with your Jobs, you need to enter an invoice number on the first invoice you generate (No letters please or fancy coding - just a straight number of 4 digits please) and Beankeeper will pick up the sequence for you.

All of the fields that link to your other data (Client / Terms etc) have drop down arrows - and there’s a calender box for entering the date. Beankeeper won’t let you forget to enter the Tax and Nominal Code Id fields - and it will look up reference fields for you and enter the description.

Additionally - there’s a field titled: Notes. This prints just above the terms section of your invoice and is useful for occasional comments for example a “Paid with thanks” message.

Once you’ve entered your Sales Invoices, they will also show up on the two other tabs on this screen - one that shows you all the invoices you’ve sent out, the other which shows you those that remain unpaid - and once they are, you can check the paid box to clear them from the list. Beankeeper also prepares your statements for you as well - more on that in the reports section.

  • Important note about VAT Codes

if you are unregistered for VAT and enter “T0” in the vat code in the relevant field in your “corporate details” screen, all the transactional VAT entry codes throughout the app will default to “T0”. If at some point in the year you need to register, change the code in your “corporate details” screen to "T9" and all subsequent transactional entries will be left open for you to complete.

  • Important: VAT checked field.

There is one very important field on this screen - the VAT checked field:

As well as Sales Invoices, this field appears on all the accounting screens - Sales Credit Notes, Purchase Invoices, Cash and Bank Payments and Bank Receipts. Its default is “No” and you do not need to change it - it will be done automatically if and when the transaction is analysed for a VAT return. The only time you might need to change it is if you make a mistake in a period (e.g after entering an incorrect date and picking it up later) and have to return transactions from “Yes” to “No” for re-analysis. More of that in the VAT section.

  • Print or pdf the invoice

Now you can preview your finished invoice as discussed earlier.

note: this can be a “gotcha” the preview comes up as a blank sheet unless you have used the orange “commit” button to save the data before you preview.

Once you are happy with it you can either print it or create a PDF version - for whichever method of delivery you prefer. Remember, if you pdf it it will go straight to your desktop. Once again you have the SaLes Invoice pdf tab to store a hard copy of the invoice with your data for future reference.

DATA DASHBOARD: Sales Credit Notes

If you issue too many Credit Notes you’re not going to be in business long, so for that reason we’re not going to spend too much time on this screen. Suffice to say it’s a clone copy of the Sales Invoice process - so if you have to send one out then it shouldn’t be any more taxing. There is an extra box to relate the Cr. Note to a specific invoice should you need it - and Beankeeper won’t let you forget to enter your tax and nominal code details.

Use the same methods to preview, print or pdf and digital store your final Credit Note.

DATA dashboard: cash sales

If you work in a business that uses a cash model - say for internet trading - or perhaps where clients come on an irregular basis but need receipts - then this tab is for you.

It treats each transaction as a one off and keeps track of who the customer is, what they’ve paid for and bought and how much they’ve paid for it, and accounts for the tax and nominal sales positions. It generates a unique transaction number, allows you to print or pdf receipts for filing or e-mailing and keeps track of what your customers do and where they are.

For some people it may be the only tab you use, and if so it will be invaluable to the organisation of the business.

In the illustration below we see the entry for some illustration work Buzz has done for a customer in Nevada.

They spent a couple of hours noodling up designs and because Mr Hivenburg was only in town for a day or so - he paid cash for the work. He’s not UK VAT registered so all the tax boxes are entered as “T0”and his product nominal code is “other” 01.03.

He took a cash sale receipt with him:

and Buzz made a pdf and stored it in the tab. All very easy.

  • Key fields for analysis

Certain fields in any of the screens that are concerned with the finance side of the business, cash sales, sales invoices and credit notes, purchase invoices, cash payments, bank payments and receIpts are key to Beankeeper’s analysis engine. Should you miss any of these, Beankeeper will flag a warning and ask you to go back and enter the data.

DATA DASHBOARD: Purchase Invoices

Entering purchase invoices is a piece of cake with Beankeeper. The boxes guide you through the process. The Supplier box gives you a drop down list of your current contractors - these are the companies you’ve added in your contacts screen, marked as suppliers and put an “x”in the main account box. If it’s a new supplier - click the add contact button to open up the quick contact box and add them in. Enter a Job Number and the charge will automatically be posted back to it and can immediately be seen in the current financials of that job - which you can navigate to by clicking on the purple Job No. button. Add the PO Number and Beankeeper will look up the value of the PO, add it to the screen and flag up any difference between the amount agreed and the final billing.

Add the VAT code to charge the VAT back to the right section - or T0 if you’re not registered, and finally the Nominal Category information and any notes you want to add as a reminder for later referral. Now file all that paper!

As on the Sales Invoices screen there are two other tabs to show you all the purchase invoices on the system and those yet to be approved or paid. Once again, checking the relevant boxes will remove them from the list. Two other boxes for a payment reference and those important notes complete the data screen. But there’s more!

  • supplier Payment reports

One of the useful functions available here is to produce reports of outstanding bills and then to produce payment reports that can be sent to suppliers with Bank Payment advices or cheques.

On the “Unpaid Invoices” tab are two buttons that deal with this:

The first enables you to produce a report of all unpaid invoices, either by single supplier or all suppliers:


The second enables you to produce a payment report that can go to an individual supplier, detailing which invoices are being paid - you check the paid box on the form before you print it.


  • sales and purchase invoices buttons

At the bottom of the Sales Invoices Screen, in addition to the ubiquitous List and search buttons, there are two more that enable you to see how much you have billed in a period - or billed to a specific client in a period. Useful housekeeping stuff. In the Purchase Invoices screen these buttons are set up for the purchase ledger, enabling you to cross check invoices with suppliers, review billing cycles and spend levels.


Similar to the Purchase Invoice screen in look and purpose, the Cash Payments Screen is where you store your non-account disbursements. This would include single one-off supplier payments and what used to be called “Petty Cash”, i.e. cash out of your pocket that you might not always get paperwork for.

As well as posting all your cash disbursments, you use this screen to add any mileage charges, either as part of a charge, say a hotel overnight, or as a stand alone item. The fields are in the lower third of the screen:

The mileage rate picks up the data you entered in your corporate data set up screen and calculates the charge. If you have allocated the transaction to a job, Beankeeper will post it back as a cash payment on the Job screen current financials tab.

  • Cash payment Report BUttons

In addition to the List and Search buttons, the bottom bar of the screen offers more options, clearly labelled to help you process your data. “Find unpaid by staff” for example will sort out expenses for a particular staff member. Let’s say one of your regular team is someone whose name is Leanne. Every month Leanne gives you her expenses and you enter her name in the “Paid by” field. If you hit this button and enter Leanne’s name then Beankeeper will prepare a report that shows how much is outstanding to her. You could also use it to find terms like “Credit Card” or “Cash”. Other buttons help you find data Between Dates and one enables you to print a current (“today’s”) batch of entries. Handy for printing daily reports to clip a sessions paper receipts to and file away at the end of the day. There is also a mileage report function by period and staff member.


data dashboard: Bank receipts

Beankeeper provides a way to reconcile bank accounts manually, enabling users to stay in touch with their finances and be aware of their financial position at all times. The present version doesn’t allow an easy way of importing data directly from bank accounts - we’re working on that - but for now the idea is that users have a process to keep themselves in touch with their liquidity.

The bank receipts screen is provided to store transactions that result in cash coming into the business - though not always to do with product or service sales; for example interest on deposits, or equipment or asset disposal could be logged. But of course, it’s the place where the money goes when a client pays a bill.

There is a field for a statement number to help you ensure that all items from the bank statement are entered, a tab that displays all transactions and the usual search and list buttons.

The most important thing here is to ensure that correct Tax and Nominal codes are entered with regard to how the transaction affects the business’s trading position. For instance, if you are just acknowledging payment for an outstanding bill then the transaction Tax code used should be “T9 - bank transactions” (which is the default entry for both Bank Payments and Bank Receipts) and the item be posted to Nominal Code 04.01 - the “Bank Receipts” category. Only new business transactions should have nominal codes from the 01.00 nominal codes section attached to them. For instance interest on deposits could go to 01.04 which might be labelled “Miscellaneous income” to provide a home for unusual sales transactions. If you are in doubt in any way - ask your accountant.

DATA dashboard: Bank Payments

Similar to the Bank Receipts screen, the Bank Payments screen is for money that leaves the bank account. This could include supplier payments but might also include Standing Orders, Direct Debits, or Credit Card or expense settlements.

Once again there is a field to enter the statement number for cross bank paperwork reconciliation, and again, this field will be important on future versions of Beankeeper that include bank balance reconciliation.

The tax default is again set to “T9 - Bank Transactions” and the Nominal Code set to “04.02 - Bank Payments”, though both of these can be overwritten when appropriate.

Once again, please apply the same guidelines for applying Tax and Nominal Codes to individual transactions, i.e. only new business transactions should have purchases and overhead nominal codes attached to them. For instance a Direct Debit for software subscriptions or one off bank payments needed for specific jobs.

note: the bank sections are linked to the nominal and job sections in the same way the cash purchases and purchase invoices sections are - any disbursements relating to jobs will show up in the job financials section.

note: Reconciliation payments or drawings should go to the 04.00 or 05.00 nominal codes.

Again, it’s always a good idea to get advice from your accountant as to the most appropriate Nominal Code titles and layouts for your business.

Finally, should you need to, you can print statements that match your bank statements from this section - useful if any get lost over the year.

Nominal Reports Dashboard

Once you’ve entered your data, it’s time to start processing it and finding out how the business is doing. Your bankers, accountants, investors and consultants are going to need information to help them in their guidance process - and you are going to need to know exactly how things are going so you can make informed decisions on what your next steps might be. Beankeeper provides those opportunities through it’s nominal reporting. Navigate to the Nominal Reports Dashboard. Its familiar look contains a new clutch of buttons to explore.

Let’s go through them in the order they appear on the screen.

Nominal reports Dashboard top line

Nominal account report buttons

The Nominal Ledger Report buttons all operate identically - but each one acts for a different section of your ledgers (accounts data). Let’s say you or your accountants needed to know how much has been spent on a category of your business in a certain period. First punch the Purchase Invoice button. You’ll get a screen that looks like this:

Click on the “Single N/C” button. Another pop up screens opens. Enter your search criteria:

note: if, when you are running reports you do not enter the necessary data, Beankeeper will ask you to have a second go. if you decide not to perform the search, press the “cancel” button.

Once you have entered these details, press the enter key and the data you need will be shown, broken down by supplier, in a new report window with the option to either print the report or exit the window by closing it:

If there’s nothing to report, Beankeeper will advise you:

All of the four nominal report buttons work in the same way and enable you to search your file data and prepare reports in a variety of ways, any period, any category.

Nominal reports Dashboard second line

  • Outstanding account items

The second line of buttons report outstanding transactions from your four main accounting sections. Anything that hasn’t been flagged as paid on your main screens:

Press the relevant button and the data will be presented as a form, with buttons that enable printing - or just exiting the screen.

On the unpaid sales invoices screen, there is a third button - to print statements. Click on it and step through the process. First decide whether you want to send out statements to all your clients or just one:

If it is just one client you want to nudge, click on single. A search box opens:

Type in your client name - or a unique part of it, Beankeeper’s search power is pretty good with fuzzy logic - and Beankeeper will find the statement. First it reminds you to adjust your Terms accordingly.

Which you do in the same way as the budget, purchase order, sales invoices and sales credit notes, via the drop down menu:

And once you’ve set the tone, hit your ENTER (cursor return) key and decide whether you want to print or pdf the statement. Bingo, the statement(s) is / are prepared and you can e-mail or post them to your credit remiss customers.

note: statements can also be accessed and prepared from the sales invoices screen and the outstanding invoices tab.

nominal reports Dashboard third line

  • Bank Reports: Bank Payments / Bank receipts

On the third line of the Nominal Dashboard is just one button for Bank reports, either receipts or payments. The reports may be by Nominal Code, Date or all criteria. The screens walk you through the process in the same way as the previous line, beginning with the choice for the type of report:

Then asking you to define the criteria:

Then the range:

And then Beankeeper reports on the transactions.

And, as you know by now, if there have been no transactions for the nominal code within the period, it tells you that too!

nominal reports Dashboard fourth line

  • VAT Accounting & storing tax documents

The fourth line of the Nominal splash is given over to VAT reporting and storing tax documents. If you’re not registered for VAT you needn’t bother with the VAT section - if you are or about to be in the happy position of growing towards reaching the VAT threshold, then read it carefully.

vat analysis

Important note regarding vat:

Understanding VAT, what you should charge for, how you should charge for it and how you should account for it is a very important part of your business - particularly if you do business with other EU countries. Be sure you have read and understood the relevant VAT documentation applicable to your business. Check on line through the HMRC web sites.


Although it can be a daunting part of the business, doing a VAT return for a period is not necessarily that difficult. If you are doing enough business to mean you are registered for VAT then it is the process of either taking all the tax you’ve charged your clients in a three month period and deducting all the tax you’ve already paid to suppliers in the same period - OR - if you are on the flat rate scheme - paying a percentage of the VAT you’ve charged in the quarter, without deducting anything for any VAT you have incurred on your applicable inputs (purchases).

If you have entered everything correctly and closed down your business for the relevant VAT period, then Beankeeper can help you prepare a report that will enable you to clearly understand your trading / tax pattern and your VAT liability.

In addition, Beankeeper has safeguards built in to aid the identification of any mispostings and prevent the report from mis-reporting.

The process for running a Beankeeper VAT analysis is two step - entering the relevant quarter and running the report. Remember that Beankeeper refers back to the quarters you entered when you set up the database management section at the beginning so the first part is just deciding on the quarter and the year.

nominal reports Dashboard: Run VAT Analysis

  • checking for Human error

As soon as you hit the button, Beankeeper gives you a warning. It’s not that we’re frightened - more that we take this very seriously, and we would rather we and you were uber-cautious than wrong! Just click it and it goes away.

The safety message disappears and Beankeeper asks you which type of report you’re looking for: “Full or Flat Rate”.

Choose the type that your business is registered for.

another important NOTE regarding vat:

if you are flat rate registered, ensure that the VAT code “T7” in the “VAT codes” screen accessed from the Dashboard is set to the correct flat rate percentage for your business. The current rates for business types can be accessed from the HMRC site. More information can be found here:

The next step is setting the “VAT Quarter” - and the year it is in, i.e. the most recent unreconciled quarter.

VAT is accounting for relevant transactions in a given period. Let’s say you do the period and everything is hunky dory. In the next period, you might, just might, accidentally enter one or two transactions with the wrong date and not pick it up. If the incorrect date is sometime in the future, then the error is not totally disastrous as far as the VAT is concerned as it’s a reasonable expectation that the transaction will be accounted for in an upcoming return - but if the date is in the past - in a period for which a return has already been made - then it might never be spotted - until a VAT inspection comes around - and then there will be questions raised.

So the first thing Beankeeper does is look at all the transactions available for analysis and check if they are in the right period - particularly if there are any available from before the period began. It does this by checking whether the field “VAT checked” on every transaction says “Yes” or “No”.

If it says “Yes” Beankeeper thinks - OK fine - ignore it. But if it says “No”

Then Beankeeper looks to see whether it is inside - or after - the VAT period you are working on. If it is, then fine, but if not, if it is unchecked and before the vat period you are analysing, then you will get an error message as follows:

When you cut out of this screen you will see a report showing you all the transactions that Beankeeper is looking at - what their dates are and whether they are checked for VAT or not.

The black indicator on the left highlights the error Beankeeper has found. Note: this may not be the only one.

Beankeeper will make this check by stepping through the sections of your accounts in order, Sales Invoices, Sales Credit Notes, Purchase Invoices, Cash Payments, Bank Receipts and Bank Payments. It will ask you to correct in turn - so if you’ve made more than one error in your postings you might find you have to go back and correct more than once.

As it does this it also checks to see how many transactions there are, and if it finds none in a section it stops and lets you know:

and eventually (it takes seconds, really!), everything will be checked and your screen will become populated with what might seem like an awful lot of reports.

  • The VAT reports

The top two sheets are the template for the breakdown of your analysis and a return. For a Full (normal) VAT Report they will look like this:

The right hand report shows all transactions with breakdowns in the period covered, and the left hand report shows analysis laid out as per the current HMRC VAT return.

Once you have checked all the reports thoroughly and are satisfied with their accuracy, then you can fill in the official form on-line using the figures in the matching boxes.

Behind these two summary reports are six more breakdown reports that detail all the entries that go into this quarter’s accounting. These can be printed out and filed with your copy of your VAT analysis for future reference.

  • Printing or closing

Each of the eight forms have buttons to give you a choice of either printing the form (you can pdf it via your print dialogue box) or closing the window. And once you’ve run your reports and are happy with your progress then you can go on line - fill out the appropriate form and get ready to have the money magically whisked out of your bank account!

  • Flagging VAT entries

note: This can be a real “Gotcha”!

Once you are satisfied that your return is complete and accurate - you can (and must) flag all the VAT entries on your report so that they don’t remain unchecked and mess up future reports.

Hit the “Set VAT flags” button:

You now get a warning - and a choice:

Hit “Flag them” and you get one last chance:

There is no third chance! hit yes and the next thing you’ll see is this:

Everything is cleared and ready for your next return in three months time!

Close all your windows and relax!

more important notes regarding vat:

  • If you are setting your VAT reports up for the first time and importing data from previous quarters then Beankeeper automatically sets the transaction VAT checked flags to “No”. One way of fixing this is to process all your earlier VAT quarters, starting with the earliest, checking the flags as you go. There are other methods, but this one allows you to check all your entries as you go and we think it is probably the best. however, if this is a problem for you then please get in touch with us.
  • if there are any numbers in red on the vat breakdown on either the full or flat rate, it means that you may have entered vat incorrectly. use the breakdown and the reports to go through your data and check.
  • Box 2 on the form refers to “VAT due in this period on acquisitions from other member states” and relates to the “Reverse Charges” EU legislation. The form defaults to zero. In most of our customers’ experience, this box is not required and is often counterbalanced by an equal input tax. However - if you do a lot of business outside the UK but inside the EU you should seek specialist advice on the accounting of this section.
  • All VAT accounting should be thoroughly checked before submission to HMRC. Beankeeper takes no responsibility for the accuracy of our clients’ data entry - or their submissions.
  • VAT legislation often changes or is updated. Make sure you keep up to date with HMRC’s ever changing mood swings!

nominal reports Dashboard: TAX documents

As with the PO and the Purchase invoice Screens we’ve added the facility to store tax documents inside Beankeeper. Pressing the button will take you to a new screen where you can add a pdf of your on-line return or EEC list - or any other HMRC or tax related document you may need to find later, logging it by period, quarter and type:

profit & loss reports

REPORTS Dashboard: Profit and Loss Period buttons

  • Period, Last 12 months, YTD buttons

This is where it all gets put together and you find out if the business is working. All three buttons do the same thing, provide a report on all your finances over a period of time. The first opens a window that enables you to set a date range:

The second and third calculate the period since the beginning of your financial year - or the last 12 calender months. Just saves a little time.

In Buzz Advertising’s case, as they have only been trading for a short while, we’ll go for the YTD (Year To Date) option.

You can see that the data has been posted in all the right places, sales and purchase invoices to the relevant sections and all Billy’s set up costs to the correct nominal sections. And glory be! He’s made a small profit. Though of course - he hasn’t paid himself anything yet. But his bank will be pleased.

  • Printable version

And if he needs to print or pdf the report and send it to his masters - all he has to do is push another button and Beankeeper will take care of it:

Then it’s off to the bank for a spot of lunch and a pat on the back for Billy, his small team and of course, Beankeeper.

last exit and back up

As we’ve said, one of the best things about Beankeeper is the instant write back to file - so as soon as you’ve committed data to the file, it’s saved. So there’s no dilemma about forgetting to hit “Command S” and then finding out your system has crashed. We thought that was all very well, but this stuff is really important, so we wanted to make sure that we had a back up as well - so even if we lost everything - we still have everything - if you see what we mean.

Automatic Safety Copy

When you exit, Beankeeper makes a copy file which it date names and stores on your desktop. It does this everytime, overwriting only the previous copies of the same day. That way you’re always up to date. If you want to store them - just drag to a new location.

NOTE: You won’t be able to open these files unless you have Filemaker pro - but in the event of a disaster you can send the most recent to us and we can sort you out with a new Beankeeper - at no charge.

In Summary

If you’ve read all this you’re probably itching to get started on your own version. At first, you might not need everything this puppy does - but as you grow... and we think that once you get your head round it, you’ll learn to love it! A couple of hours a week ought to bring you right up to date with all your accounts - and you’re going to learn a lot about your business along the way. And when you decide to stand up and beard those dragons in their dens with your big idea, Beankeeper will give you a lot of stats and financial information to back you up. That will impress them. Used regularly and efficiently, it will re-coup your investment in saved accountant’s fees in a short time and let you get a good night’s sleep now and then, comfortable in the knowledge that you know exactly how your business is doing.

It’s going to be your best pal.


DON’T GET FRUstrated!

We appreciate that not everybody will be able to pick everything up without some questions, and so if you need to then please get in touch with us at We’ll need your name, your trading name and your licence number, a description of the problem and, if possible, relevant screen shots. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Above all we want you to be delighted with Beankeeper and find that it serves you and your business really well.

Stay tuned for news of updates, and happenings.

Good luck with your business, and - above all - great Beankeeping!

The Beankeeping team - June 2020.

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