Bookkeeping Archives - BUSY01 and First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray

Category Archives for "Bookkeeping"

automation can ease your workload

Automation can ease your business workload

Automation can ease your business workload

Small and medium-sized businesses are spending on average 120 hours a year on admin tasks, according to recent research into productivity at UK SMBs.

If your people are spending 120 hours wading through tedious and unproductive admin, that’s bad for the business and for your overall efficiency. Fortunately, technology and software automation can go a long way towards automating the low-level admin tasks.

Better productivity through automation

Automation is an important way to ease your business workload, with a host of different business apps and cloud solutions offering ways to automate your admin.

With ‘smart business tools’ increasing in number and choice, software is utilising automation algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cognitive solutions to help remove the mundane admin tasks from your workflows.

Core processes that will benefit from automation include:

Automated bookkeeping

Just take a photo of your receipts, expenses and invoices and ‘optical character recognition’ (OCR) technology will digitise the output and pull it through into your accounts software. No data entry, no human error and no lost receipts! We can do the rest to ensure your records are accurate.

Automated credit control 

Chasing up debts and late-paying customers takes time. Automated credit control apps track your debtor numbers and automatically sends out customised chaser emails as soon as an invoice is late. This reduces your credit control time, speeds up cash collection and cuts your aged debtor figure.

Automated payment collection

The easier it is to pay you, the faster your customers will pay. Automated card payments and cloud-based Direct Debit solutions allow you to automatically take payment from a customer as soon as an invoice is due. Some solutions will even automate the invoice matching and bank reconciliation process.

Automated reporting and forecasting 

The better your reporting and business intelligence, the easier it is to make informed decisions about your company strategy. Accounting platforms and fintech tools now offer automatic, real-time reporting and forecasting, giving you access to the important numbers and metrics, fast.

Automated digital marketing

Digital marketing is key to raising your brand’s profile. Marketing platforms offer important time-saving ways to schedule and post social media content, or email automation that sends a pre-programmed cadence of emails to specific target audiences within your wider customer base.

Talk to us about embracing the power of automation

If your admin is starting to hold you back, come and talk to us about how automation can pick up some of the heavy lifting as well as giving you the metrics you need for decision making. We can review you business processes and identify the automation opportunities, helping you choose the best apps to drive your business efficiently.

Contact us to discuss your automation opportunities. 

basics of business tax

Basics of Business Tax

Basics of business tax

Different business structures pay taxes in different ways, so it's important to have an understanding of the basics.

Although there are many taxes that a business might be affected by, the main ones are:

  • goods and services tax
  • income tax
  • pay as you go withholding tax for employees
  • payroll tax
  • excise tax

Other taxes that a business could encounter are:

  • fringe benefits
  • capital gains
  • property
  • vehicle
  • other duties and levies administered by state or local governments
Taxes Paid on the Business Activity Statement

Once your business is registered for the relevant taxes, several are reported and paid as part of the monthly or quarterly activity statement.

  • GST is collected from customers and paid to suppliers, and you pay the difference between GST on sales and purchases
  • PAYG Withholding for employees or suppliers that don’t provide an Australian Business Number
  • PAYG Instalments contribute towards an expected income tax bill
  • Other taxes paid on the BAS (if applicable) are fringe benefits instalments, fuel tax credits, wine equalisation tax and luxury car tax
Taxes and Other Fees Paid to State Revenue Offices

Some business taxes are paid directly to the state revenue office, such as land tax for property purchases and payroll tax once the state threshold of reportable wages is reached. Other common government duties include stamp duty on property transfers and land tax.

Income Tax for Businesses

Income tax is calculated after the end of the financial year, taking into account any PAYG instalments already paid.

Tax deductions for business expenses reduce your taxable income and, therefore, your tax bill.

If financial gain is made on the disposal of assets, such as property or shares, capital gains tax is paid on the amount of financial gain and is paid as part of income tax.

Income tax for business is calculated differently according to the type of entity.

Small Business Tax Concessions

Your tax agent can make sure you are claiming all the small business tax benefits that you are allowed through concessions that reduce the amount of tax liability.

For example, there are specific concessions for asset write-off, primary producers, fringe benefits or start-up expenses. Concessions also apply in some situations to reduce the amount of capital gains tax payable.

Thinking of starting or changing your business?

Talk to us about adding or cancelling tax registrations, concessions and planning for the various taxes your business will need to manage.

e-invoicing

E-invoicing

E-invoicing

Is your business using e-invoicing?

It’s a fantastic way to protect yourself and your customers from invoice scams, and it can help you get paid faster. E-invoices replace emailed PDF invoices or links to online invoices. Instead, e-invoices are delivered securely to your clients, even across different accounting systems.

Preventing invoice fraud

Invoice scams are surprisingly common, and can be quite sophisticated.

For example, with intercepted invoices everything looks exactly right, but the bank account number has been altered. When it happens to you, your client thinks they’ve paid you, but the money has actually gone to a scammer. 

Another example is when you receive notifications from suppliers that their bank account number has changed. But it’s not actually your supplier, it’s fake, and your money is going to a scammer.

In the event of an invoice scam, it can be very difficult to get your money back.

E-invoicing prevents these types of scams because the invoices travel directly from one accounting or payment system to another. By directly connecting suppliers with their clients, there’s no opportunity for scammers to intercept the invoices.

Start sending and receiving e-invoices

When you have your accounting software set up for e-invoicing you can send and receive e-invoices immediately.

You can also use e-invoicing if you don’t use an online accounting platform. There are a number of e-invoicing enabled software providers. Talk to us about which one would suit your business.

It only takes a little bit of time to learn how to use e-invoicing.  And once you have implemented e-invoicing you’re more protected from invoice fraud. So, it’s well worth getting it set up!

We can help you set up your accounting software to send and receive e-invoices immediately. Talk to us about how

Keeping your business cash liquid

Keeping your business cash liquid

Keeping your business cash liquid – the difference between cashflow and profit

The foundational goal of any business is to make a profit.

As a business owner, that’s one of your key financial aims – to make enough sales, at a big enough margin, to generate profit from your enterprise.

But how does profit differ from cashflow? And why is cash king?

How do profit and cashflow differ?

To really understand the difference between generating profit and managing cashflow, we need to look at what both these terms mean. You might think that delving into the accounts is a job for your adviser, but being in control of your profit and cashflow is an invaluable business skill.

Let’s take a look at the differences:

What is profit? 

Profit is the surplus that’s left from your income once you’ve paid your expenses, supplier bills and tax etc. It's driven by creating a profit margin and generating value from your products and/or services.

What is cashflow? 

Cashflow is the ongoing process of ensuring that the business has the available cash (or ‘liquid’ cash) needed to operate. This provides the money needed to trade, to pay suppliers, to cover wages or to buy raw materials etc.

Why is positive cashflow so important?

‘Cash is king!’ may be a cliche these days, but it’s a maxim which underpins any successful business model. Yes, it’s great to make a profit at year-end, but if you don’t look after your cashflow then the business may not survive as long as the end of the year.

What’s needed is good cashflow management to enhance your financial health. And without a careful eye on your cash numbers, things can quickly go awry.

A business can generate high revenues and big profits, but still be cashflow poor. In other words, it can have profits at the end of the period, but have very little liquid cash to fund it's day-to-day operations over the course of the period.

Talk to us about improving your cashflow management.

Good cashflow management is all about being in control of your cash inflows (income you’re generating) and your cash outflows (what you’re spending). To achieve ‘positive cashflow’ you need to proactively work to keep your inflows higher than your outflows.

As your bookkeeper and BAS Agent, we’ll help you set up detailed cashflow reporting and forecasting, so you can keep the business in that ideal positive cashflow position. And we’ll also look at key steps for keeping your revenues high, margins profitable and meeting your financial targets.

Get in touch to talk through your cashflow management.

Q3 Deadline

Q3 Deadlines for the Diary

Q3 Deadlines for the Diary

Don’t let the relaxed summer holiday feeling distract you from your business lodgement responsibilities!

Lodgement and payment deadlines still apply, although you get a little extra time this quarter for your December obligations.

To help you get organised for the new year, we've highlighted some upcoming business lodgement due dates.

Q3 Deadlines table

Talk to Us About Lodgement Planning


If we're already lodging on your behalf, lodgement extensions automatically apply. You may have earlier deadlines if you're lodging activity statements and other forms directly with the ATO.

If you need more time to lodge and pay, let us know, and we can help you meet your obligations or arrange a lodgement extension if required.

Some tax return due dates fall within the first quarter of 2022. Talk to us if you're not sure of your business entity's tax return due date.

It's good practice to plan for your lodgement dates, so you're always ahead of the ATO and also for your cash flow planning. Don't get caught out with a penalty for late lodgement!

We are a registered BAS Agent. Get in touch to organise Busy 01 Consulting and First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray to manage your lodgements. 

Automating Bank Reconciliation

Automating bank reconciliation

Automating Bank Reconciliation

Good bookkeeping is all about recording and matching your financial transactions.

Over the course of a usual week of trading, you’ll have a range of payments being deposited into your bank account and a host of operational expenses being withdrawn from that same account.

To keep on top of this, you must match each line on your bank statement with the transactions recorded in your accounting software.

This process of matching the incoming (or outgoing) transaction with the relevant receipt, invoice or supplier bill is called bank reconciliation.

Why is bank reconciliation so labour intensive?

Bank reconciliation (or bank recs) is not the most thrilling part of the accounting process. But it’s essential if you’re going to have an accurate overview of your current accounting balance, and the balance that’s in your business bank account.

Traditionally, to complete the bank recs, you would need to:

  • Get a copy of your bank statement for the period
  • Check the deposits (cash coming in) and withdrawals (cash going out) on the statement
  • Look at the related credits and debits in your accounting software
  • Match these transactions to the relevant receipts, invoices or supplier bills
  • Reconcile your balance in the bank with the balance in your accounting software.

It’s a necessary process – and something you have to keep on top of. But it’s also a laborious and time-consuming task that eats into your admin time.

So, is there an alternative?

How can automation help to lighten the workload?

Accounting software has evolved in leaps and bounds over the past decade. And many of the innovations that are now available focus on alleviating the time-intensive tasks, like bank recs.

Modern cloud accounting packages offer a range of ways to not only lighten the financial workload, but also to improve speed, accuracy and efficiency.

For example:

Live bank feeds

These software integrations pull all the data from your online banking into the accounting software, giving you a live feed of your bank transactions.

Automated matching

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are used to automatically match the right invoices and bills with your bank transactions.

One-click matching

In a platform like Xero, you just need to review the automated matches and then click OK to match the transaction and complete the bank rec process.

Reduced human error

With an algorithm doing the matching, there are fewer errors in the bank rec process, and the whole process is completed in seconds, rather than hours.

Real-time bank and accounting balances

With live bank feeds and real-time data in your accounting software, you have the most current overview of your balances.

Talk to us about automating your bank reconciliation process.

If your current accounting platform doesn’t allow for automated bank recs, now’s the time to upgrade. Cutting out the manual processes gives you more time to focus on higher-value financial tasks, and keeps the reconciliation process ticking away silently in the background.

Get in touch to discuss switching to a new accounting platform.

ATO line of credit ending

ATO Line of credit ending


ATO Line of credit ending

As new reporting powers come into play, businesses are being warned against using the ATO as an alternative line of credit.

Debt Reporting Powers

In 2019, the ATO was afforded new debt reporting powers. While this took a backseat to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ATO is now cracking down on outstanding tax debt. 

Businesses without a payment plan, that are more than 90 days in arrears, and who owe more than $100,000 in tax are more likely to be reported to credit agencies by the ATO.

Impact on credit rating

In the past, business owners have sometimes used the ATO like a ‘line of credit’ by not paying their ATO commitments on time.

Taking this road is much more likely to have an adverse impact on your credit ratings and credit insurance limits. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to maintain or extend credit terms with suppliers.

Therefore, it's important to maintain a high level of communication with your creditors. 

Staying on the front foot

As business owners, if you owe tax, it's vital that you stay on the front foot with this ATO crackdown. We suggest you seek the advice of your BAS agent.

First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray, as your BAS Agent, are able to advocate on your behalf to deal with the ATO.

As Busy01 Consulting, we can also to assist with:

  • preparing a business plan
  • management advice
  • cash-flow planning and projection
  • systems development
  • business expansion
  • budget development
  • trading-structure planning.

Get in touch to discuss which options are best for your business. 

direct debits and online payments

Direct Debits and Online Payments

Direct Debits and Online Payments

Do You Have Direct Debits and Online Payments Set Up for Your Business?

Making it easy for your customers to pay you is vital to business success. Getting direct debits and alternative payment methods linked to your business is so easy these days there's no excuse not to give your customers multiple ways of making payment.

Many service-based businesses choose direct debit arrangements with their clients to avoid late payment. If you’re often chasing overdue payments, consider implementing direct debit arrangements to reduce your administration time.

If you’re already using online accounting software, check the add-on solutions and choose one that integrates with your accounts. This means that the payment platform information feeds directly into your accounting software to be easily matched to customer transactions.

Make it Easy

You probably already have bank transfer information set up, but adding several other methods such as PayPal, debit cards, and credit cards allows customers to choose the method most convenient for them at the time. Many customers appreciate the automation and simplicity of direct debits.

Make sure your payment terms and conditions are clear on your website and invoices and don't forget to include all your chosen payment methods for customers!

Worried About Costly Fees?

You have the option to choose whether you will absorb the cost of the payment gateway processing fees or whether you will add the cost to your invoice and charge the clients extra. Your accounting software will then allocate the funds accordingly to invoice payment and fees received.

Better Transaction Recording

When you integrate direct debits and online payment methods with your accounting system, you dramatically reduce errors in recording customer payments – which means less time spent on your accounts!

Not Sure Where to Start?

If you’d like to make it easier for customers to pay you, talk to us about which solutions are best for your business. We can discuss which platforms have the best and most secure integrations with the accounting software you use.

We’ll help streamline your payment systems.

Single Touch Payroll Phase 2

Single Touch Payroll Phase 2 is Nearly Here


Single Touch Payroll Phase 2 Expansion is Nearly Here!

The expanded Single Touch Payroll (STP) Phase 2 is due to start on 1 January 2022.

However, the ATO has recently announced that there will be some flexibility with the reporting start date being allowed up to 1 March 2022 if the business is not ready by 1 January.

Businesses must now report all employees via STP. Plus, concessional reporting options are no longer available unless the employer has extraordinary circumstances.

It's important to note that employers should be reporting STP to the ATO on the day they pay employees.

What’s New with the Expanded Phase 2?

The STP Phase 2 report includes extra fields to allow for more detailed payroll information. The additional details enable the data to be reported to multiple government agencies using standard payroll categories.

This means the government agencies receive accurate data directly from the employer without extra forms or time-consuming administration.

STP Phase 2 Improvements

  • More income types and related special tax treatment.
  • Reporting gross pay in separate elements such as bonus, commission or overtime.
  • New employee tax file number declarations lodged directly with the ATO.
  • Employee termination information.
  • Clearer superannuation and lump sum payment reporting.
  • Easier for employees at tax time and when dealing with government agencies.
  • Better matching employer payroll data, employee tax return information, government agency payments and business activity statements.

The main payroll software providers are now bringing in phase 2 reporting categories, and in some cases, the changes have already happened in the background.

If you’re not already using an STP enabled payroll product, or you want to upgrade your software, talk to us about implementing a solution to make STP reporting quick and easy.

We can set you up with the right software or submit all the reports on your behalf.

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