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Category Archives for "Bookkeeping"

Streamline your business administration with digital record keeping

Streamline your business administration with digital record keeping

Streamline your business administration with digital record keeping

Good record keeping is the mainstay of accounts management. It assists you to both meet your compliance obligations and provide verification for all your business transactions.

The Government requires that relevant records exist to support all business transactions – purchases, sales, payroll, and other business matters such as loans or foreign currency dealings. It is a business owner’s responsibility to maintain and store accurate records for all financial transactions.

Did you know that you are allowed to store all business records digitally? This is both more efficient and sustainable than having to keep years’ worth of paper records at your office.

The most important thing to take care of if you are moving to electronic record keeping is the security of your information.

Using cloud accounting platforms, such as Xero, with add-on apps and systematic electronic record keeping makes it so much easier to run your business. 

This is because you will not waste time trying to find documents when you need them; whether that’s for yourself, your bookkeeper or your tax agent.

Most government departments allow business records to be either in paper or digital format. The legal requirements for record keeping are the same, regardless of format.

All records must be:

  • True and correct
  • Unaltered once stored
  • In English and legible
  • Stored in a secure system, whether physical or digital
  • Easily accessible if required
  • Held securely for the statutory five to seven years, depending on the type of record.

For best protection, store records both locally on your business computers and secure external online storage. This makes the records easily accessible from anywhere at any time.

Always take care of who has what level of access to your documents and manage user access accordingly.

If you need help understanding which apps will work with your business systems, we'd love to hear from you.

What value can automation bring to your business

What value can automation bring to your business?

What value can automation bring to your business?

Automation has the capacity to revolutionise your efficiency and productivity. But how many of the automation features that are available to you are actually being used?

Could you be getting more value by building automated processes into your operational framework?

Removing the manual workload to streamline your processes

There’s a very simple mantra when it comes to making the most of automation

If there’s a manual task in your business that’s taking up time, automate it now!

The more time you and your team spend on low-level administration, data-entry and form-filling, the less time you have available for actually running your business.

With your software tools maximised, your automated processes can be chugging along in the background, doing the heavy lifting and freeing up your time to focus on client service, sales and strategy etc.

So, which elements of your everyday operations could you be automating? And which apps and software solutions can help you to achieve your automation goals?

Here are some areas where automation and smart systems can really help to add value

Automated bookkeeping and digitisation of paperwork

Apps like Dext (formerly Receipt Bank) offer you the opportunity to automate your bookkeeping and record-keeping. These solutions let you snap a photo of a receipt or invoice, digitise the contents and then automatically create an expense claim or bill in your accounting system. There’s no keying in and the whole process is synced with your choice of cloud accounting platform.

Automated employee expenses

Apps like DiviPay give you automated control over your employee expenses. Using either virtual or physical credit cards, your staff can pay for expenses and payments are then automatically synced with your main accounting platform.

That means no late expenses claims, no need for petty cash and no wasted time keying in the receipts. All employee expenses can be tracked, measured and paid, with the whole expenses process automated from start to finish.

Automated payment collection from your customers

With payment gateways like Stripe and GoCardless you can automate your cash collection. By using a modern payment gateway, you make it easier for clients to pay their bills. 

But you also automate the actual cash collection and bank reconciliation process too. Money can be instantly paid to your main business account and all the transactional data pulled across to your accounting platform. That means less admin, and faster payments too.


Automated marketing and social media posts

Digital marketing is key to finding customers and growing your business. You can automate a large chunk of your marketing work. These solutions let you create automated emails, target specific customer audiences and track your return on investment (ROI) in forensic detail.

Talk to us about understanding the different App options to help you automate your business.

Getting on top of your invoicing

Getting on top of your invoicing

One way to help your small business succeed is to get on top of your invoicing.

This means sending them in a timely manner, making sure they have all the essential information included and chasing them up when you need to!

When you’re running a small business or working for yourself as a contractor, getting paid relies on sending your invoice. And because getting paid, and on time, is essential to staying afloat, it’s important to make sure that you’ve got all the important information included.

Setting up your invoices correctly will ensure you get paid quicker.

One of the important aspects of invoicing is making sure your invoices are sent in a timely manner. Ideally you will be invoicing immediately a services is completed or a product ordered. At a minimum you should provide an invoice within 28 days.

Also, for high ticket items, consider asking for a deposit.  If your service is ongoing or extended over a period of time then look at implementing progress invoices. This will help your cash flow. 

What to include in your invoice

Your invoice needs to contain the following:

  • 1
    The words ‘tax invoice’, ideally as a heading.
  • 2
    Your business or trading name.
  • 3
    Your contact details- these aren’t technically required for invoices for under $1000, but it’s a good idea to include them in case the recipient needs to get in touch.
  • 4
    Your ABN or ACN.
  • 5
    The date you’re issuing the invoice.
  • 6
    An itemised list of what you’re invoicing for, including the price for each item or service. Make sure that you clearly indicate whether GST is included in the total price.

If you are using accounting software simply fill in the templates or you can see some examples of invoices on the ATO website.

A well set out invoice will make it easier for your clients and customers to pay you. Accounting software will make the job easier by providing the format for your business and increasing your efficiency.

Talk to us about your invoicing to ensure you make it easy for people to pay you.

Understanding your revenue drivers

Understanding your revenue drivers

Understanding your revenue drivers

For your business to make money, you need to generate revenue.

You produce revenue through your usual business activity, by making sales, getting your invoices paid, or taking cash from paying customers. So, the better you are at selling your products/services and bringing money into the business, the higher your revenue levels will be.

But what actually drives these revenue levels? And how do you get in control of these drivers?

Knowing where your cash is coming from is more crucial than ever

As a business, you face the multiple challenges of a global recession, an increase in online consumer buying and a ‘new normal’ when it comes to trading, markets and buying expectations.

The better you can understand the nature of your revenue and its drivers, the more you can flex, manage and control your ability to generate this income.

This helps your medium to long-term strategic thinking, and your decision-making, allowing you to be confident that you’re focusing on the business areas that deliver maximum revenue.

Important areas to consider 

Revenue channels

Where does your revenue actually come from? Do you create income from online sales and ecommerce, through retail sales in bricks and mortar stores, or through wholesales to other businesses? You may focus on just one of these channels, or it could be that you use a mixture of two, three or more.

Revenue streams

Your total revenue will be made up of a number of different ‘streams’. Knowing which revenue streams you rely on, which are most productive and what return they are delivering allows you to make decisions.

If 80% of your income comes from 20% of your products, perhaps you need to tighten up your product range and ditch some of the poor sellers. If you’re selling more services to one particular industry, perhaps you should focus more marketing in this specific niche, or downscale your sales activity in less profitable niches.

Product/service split

Do you know which products/services are the most profitable in the business?

Which products/services have been resilient to market changes (giving you some revenue stability) and which have adapted well to change?

The more you can dive into your metrics and find the most productive and adaptable products and services, the greater your ability is to provide constant and evolving revenue for the business.

Value vs volume

Is your revenue based on selling a high volume of products/services at low margin, or low volume at a high margin?

Based on this, can you move your margin down to create a more attractive price point (and more value for customers)? Or are their ways to push volume up, shifting more units and boosting total revenue?

By diversifying into new channels, new streams or new products/services you can aim to balance value and volume to create brand new sales – and higher revenue levels.

Talk to us about exploring and understanding your revenue drivers

We’ll review the numbers in your business, help you to understand your revenue drivers and will give you proactive advice on enhancing your total revenue as a company.

Get in touch to kickstart your revenue generation.

Creating a watertight accounts receivable process

Creating a watertight accounts receivable process

In business, it doesn’t get much more important than making sure your customers pay you.

And accounts receivable is all about getting paid for the work you do – in business.

It’s not exciting, but it’s important.

The accounts receivable process covers every part of your payment lifecycle. From finding customers to communicating expectations to billing correctly to following up on late invoices.

Building an accounts receivable process

So, how do you to build an effective accounts receivable process in your business?

The right customers

First, you need to work with the right customers and clients.

Before taking on customers, make sure you run credit checks. It’s also important to have them sign written terms, including billing timeframes and late payment penalties.

If you are comfortable doing so, you can also ask clients to sign a personal guarantee. This gives you the option of suing for an unpaid debt.

Effective invoicing

It’s vital that you always send invoices straight after the work is completed. This gets the payment ball rolling.

Make it as easy as possible for your customers and clients to pay you. You can do this by offering options like debit, credit or direct debit to.

Dependent on the apps you and your customers use, you may be able to set up to send e-invoices directly to your customer’s accounting or finance software.

Following up

Make sure you keep a close eye on your invoices. Make frequent and regular checks that payment has been made.

Have a process to follow up if an unpaid invoice is past its due date. This can be an automated process using cloud accounting software to send email reminders and statements. If that is unsuccessful included phone calls and consider debt collectors in your process.

Reviewing

For any customers that regularly pay their invoices late, consider changing their terms. Perhaps split your invoices and ask them to pay half upfront. Or suggest another payment method.

If there is not change to their late payments after changing their terms, you might consider letting them go.

Consistency is key

At the end of the day, having a watertight accounts receivable process is all about consistency.

Follow your process every time.

  • Select the right customers
  • Have clear policies and prompt billing
  • Ensure thorough follow-ups and reviews

Automating your process as much as possible ensures consistency. And being consistent in your process reduces the risk of unpaid bills and rogue customers.

If you’re ready to create an effective payment process talk to us about how we can help.

Single Touch Payroll Reporting for Closely Held Payees Mandatory from July

Single Touch Payroll Reporting for Closely Held Payees Mandatory from July

Closely held payees must be reported via Single Touch Payroll from July 2021. Now is the time to get organised.

Does your business make payments to closely held payees? If so, you will need to start reporting these payments via Single Touch Payroll (STP) from July 2021.

Closely held payees include family members, directors or shareholders of a company and beneficiaries of a trust.

If you’re already reporting employees via STP, then it will be easy to include the extra payees from July.

If your business only pays closely held payees then you may not have signed up for Single Touch Payroll. If not, now is the time to establish a reporting solution.

Typically, closely held payees are paid amounts on the advice of the tax agent, and often these amounts are not calculated until they do your tax return. In this situation, the business can report estimated amounts via STP.

Three Ways to Report Payments to Closely Held Payees

Report actual payments on or before the date of payment if you lodge your own STP reports through your ATO business portal.

Report actual payments quarterly when the activity statement is due. This option is available if you have a BAS or tax agent lodge on your behalf and they already have the ATO quarterly reporting concession in place.

Report a reasonable estimate quarterly. Estimates should be based on amounts equal to or greater than 25% of the previous year’s payments.

If you’re reporting quarterly estimates, it’s important not to underestimate amounts to be paid, as the business may later be liable for superannuation guarantee late charge and penalties.

Small employers have until the individual’s tax return due date to submit the STP finalisation declaration. (For all other payees, the finalisation is due by the usual date of 14 July).

If you’d like help with Single Touch Payroll reporting for your closely held payees, talk to us about planning ahead for lodgement and calculating estimates. We’ll help organise your systems so you’re prepared for STP reporting obligations,

JobMaker scheme – key points

JobMaker Scheme - Key Points

The JobMaker hiring credit scheme is now open for registration.

Here’s a summary of some of the key points around the JobMaker scheme.

If you are considering applying for JobMaker, please take into consideration the administration of JobMaker can be quite complex, so we don't recommend attempting to manage this on your own. Talk to us about how we can assist.

For background, JobMaker was announced by the government in the October 2020 federal budget, and will operate until 6 October 2021.

Key points:

  • Key to the hiring credit scheme is that employers must have added additional employees and also have increased their payroll during the relevant JobMaker period, as compared to a baseline date.
  • The hiring credit is backdated to 7 October 2020 (applying to new employees from that date) and will provide eligible employers with the following payments for up to 12 months for new jobs created from that date.
  • Eligible employees must work an average of at least 20 hours per week over a JobMaker period for the employer to qualify for the payment in respect of that employee. They must have commenced employment between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021, were aged between 16 and 35 years at the time they commenced employment, and worked an average of 20 hours a week for each whole week the individual was employed by the qualifying employer during the JobMaker period.
  • The JobMaker payments for up to 12 months for new jobs created are:
    a) $200 a week for hiring a worker aged 16 to 29 on at least 20 hours a week during the JobMaker period and
    b) $100 a week for those aged 30 to 35 on at least 20 hours a week during the JobMaker period.
  • Employer eligibility criteria are broad. Some employers are specifically excluded. These include:
    • employers who are claiming JobKeeper
    • entities in liquidation or who have entered bankruptcy
    • commonwealth, state, and local government agencies (and entities wholly owned by these agencies)
    • employers subject to the major bank levy, and
    • sovereign entities (except those who are resident Australian entities owned by a sovereign entity).
  • Entitlement to a hiring credit payment is assessed in relation to three-month periods known as “JobMaker periods”. These periods are relevant for the purposes of the additionality criteria (refer first point).
  • Claims can only be made during the claim period. No exemptions or extensions are available. There are strict dates by which claims for a period must be reported by. The credit is paid every 3 months in arrears to employers.

As mentioned at the start, this is a summary of some of the key points around JobMaker. There are many other requirements and a thorough understanding of those requirements are needed to ensure your JobMaker administration is correct. 

Talk to us if you need support in applying for or administering JobMaker.

Saving time and money with a bookkeeper

Saving time and money with a bookkeeper

Turning a profit will be high on your list of goals as a business owner. And if you want to generate the best margins, that means keeping an eye on the money that’s going out of the business, as well as what’s coming in.

So, how can your bookkeeper help with this?

The days where your bookkeeper just did the bookkeeping, compiled your accounts and filed your BAS are well and truly over. Modern bookkeeping firms are far more interested in helping you with your financial performance, your business strategy and offering flexible value-add services that put you in better control of your finances.

If you partner with the right bookkeeper, we can actually save you money – in both the short, medium and long-term. And that’s good news for the growth of your business.

Key ways your bookkeeper can save you time and enhance your financial health

The less expenditure you have as a company, the bigger your profit margin. It sounds incredibly simple, doesn’t it?

The smaller your costs, the larger your profit. But if you’re not fully in control of your financial management, it’s very difficult to know WHERE you’re spending money, and WHY you’re not achieving your profit targets.

This is where working with a bookkeeper adds a huge amount of value. Your bookkeeper helps put you back in the driving seat of your finances. And that’s never been more needed than in the current economic climate.

So, what specific things can your bookkeeper do and what will the impact be on the future of your business?

Cashflow management and advice

‘Cash is King’ may be a cliche, but it’s true. Unless you can balance the cash inflows and outflows from your business, you’ll never have the liquid cash to pay your bills, cover your payroll costs or cover your operational expenses. We’ll show you where money is going out, and coming in, so you achieve the ideal positive cashflow position.

Cost control and spend management

To improve your cashflow, you need to reduce your cash outflows. An important way to do this is to focus on cost control and spend management, reducing your expenditure, removing unnecessary costs and negotiating better deals with your suppliers. The more you cut costs back, the better your cashflow will be and the easier it will be to thrive, grow and become more profitable.

Forecasting and financial modelling

When we understand the key financial drivers in your business, we can build you a full financial model. This allows us to change the variables, run different scenarios and forecast the various future paths of your business. Being able to project these numbers forward gives you a clearer view of the path ahead. And that’s invaluable in the challenging economic times that we all face at present.

Better management reporting and information

Your decision-making stands or falls on the information you have available to you. We provide detailed management accounts, breakdowns of key metrics and forecasts of your cashflow, spending, aged debt and revenue – all of which helps you to save money, make sound decisions and keep the revenues flowing into your business.

There are a number of Apps that create efficiencies with cashflow management and forecasting to help you save time and money, and have a life.

Rather than spending your life working in your business and trying to do everything yourself, you'll be saving time and money with a bookkeeper. We’ll help you optimise the most profitable parts of the business and increase your overall return on investment.

Let’s talk about how we can work together to support your ongoing business profitability.

cash flow vs profitability

Cash flow vs profitability

Cash flow vs profitability.

We all know that understanding cash flow is vital to the success of your business.

And having cash reserves is important to make sure you are never left short at crucial times, such as when wages are due, and when tax and loan repayments needs to be paid. Or, as 2020 has shown us, if the unexpected occurs.

That’s why it’s important to be able to forecast your business’ cashflow.

An accurate cash flow forecast should take into account your business’ current performance across revenue, operating costs, payment habits of both, financing commitments etc.

It should also include what you know about future trends and seasonality.

Cash flow vs Profitability - What’s the difference?

Having positive cash flow is different to being profitable.

Positive cash flow means your revenue comes in on time to pay your expenses and keep you from running out of cash.

Profitability means your revenue is greater than all the expenses required to keep your business generating that revenue.

Basically, timing is the difference between the two.

An example

If you sell $1,000 of goods every month and spend $500 in a month, you will make +$500 profit.

But if you’ve paid your suppliers for the $500 expenditure within the month and fail to collect the cash from the sale of goods within the month you would have -$500 in negative cash flow.

Why it's important to understand the difference between cash flow and profitability

Unfortunately, many businesses fail due to poor customer payment collections, and not understanding the difference between profitability and positive cash flow. 

It’s important not to rely on a profit showing in the Profit and Loss statement, as it is more reflective of positive cash flow than actual profit.

When relying on your bank balance and the P&L to indicate your business performance, you are at huge risk of forgetting all of the items you are responsible for “below the fold” on the Balance Sheet.

Often, the biggest, lumpiest cash out flows that you are responsible for appear there: GST, payroll taxes, loan repayments etc.

This is why it’s important to implement forecasting in your business. A great option to implement forecasting is Futrli

Talk to us about how we can help you forecast your business cashflow and profitability.

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