Budgeting Archives - BUSY01 and First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray

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Top 8 Things to outsource in your business

Top 8 things to outsource in your business

Top 8 things to outsource in your business

Scaling your business requires a strategic shift from being deeply involved in every task to focusing on high-level planning and growth. To achieve this, you need to spend more time working on your business rather than in it.

This means dedicating your energy to strategic initiatives that drive growth, innovation, and long-term success. However, the day-to-day operational tasks can often consume a significant portion of your time, making it challenging to focus on bigger goals.

Finding ways to leverage your time effectively is critical, and one of the best strategies to achieve this is through outsourcing. Outsourcing allows you to delegate tasks that are either not within your core skill set or those that you simply do not enjoy. By doing so, you free up valuable time to concentrate on areas where you can add the most value.

Outsourcing these tasks to professionals can enhance the quality and efficiency of your operations, ensuring that critical functions are handled expertly.

Things you should consider outsourcing in your business:

1. Payroll

Managing payroll involves complex calculations, tax withholdings, and compliance with regulations. Mistakes can lead to hefty fines and unhappy employees.

Outsourcing payroll ensures accuracy, saves you time, and can even reduce costs. While utilising a payroll product is a great option, a professional payroll service will handle everything from wage calculations to tax filings, allowing you to focus on your core business activities.

First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray can help: We offer comprehensive payroll services that ensure your payroll is handled accurately and efficiently. 

2. Bookkeeping

Do bookkeeping tasks often infiltrate your evenings or weekends? Does the stress of these tasks piling up occupy your mind?

Bookkeeping is essential but can be time-consuming and stressful, especially if it spills into your personal time. By outsourcing your bookkeeping, you not only save time but also gain peace of mind knowing that your financial records are up-to-date and accurate.

At First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray, our bookkeeping services are designed to take the load off your shoulders, providing you with accurate and timely financial information. Let us handle your bookkeeping so you can focus on growing your business. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

3. Virtual CFO

Budgeting and forecasting are crucial for any business but can be challenging without the right expertise. A virtual CFO specialises in these areas, providing detailed budget analysis and accurate financial forecasts that help you plan for the future. They offer strategic insights, monitor your financial health, and identify opportunities for growth, ensuring you make informed decisions.

At First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray we offer comprehensive budgeting and forecasting services to help you plan effectively and make strategic decisions. We use cutting-edge software like Futrli to provide you with clear, actionable financial insights. Contact us today to learn how we can support your business growth.

4. Digital Marketing

From your content strategy to your social media accounts, if this is not a strength of yours, outsource it! There are many freelancers who have multiple clients at this level, who’ll likely be more knowledgeable regarding SEO and much more effective and efficient in general.

5. Graphic Design

Your brand is a key reflection of your product offering. If you don’t have the skill, software and time to do this well, you’ll potentially damage your brand.

6. Scheduling and administrative tasks

A Virtual Assistant can help you manage anything from your appointments to flights, emails and beyond (virtually anything admin). At a lower level, consider adopting software that’ll automate or minimise processes, such as self-booking appointment apps where your clients can schedule a meeting with you, e.g. Calendly.

7. Customer feedback

Many businesses miss this valuable opportunity to connect with customers and improve their experience. A Virtual Assistant can help, but there are also apps (such as Ask Nicely) that automate the process of asking for feedback; directing happy responses to leave you Google reviews and negative responses back to you to quickly resolve!

8. Inventory management

Too much stock can cause cashflow issues and affect sales price (due to resulting discounting), but not enough equals lost sales. Outsourcing inventory management can help you minimise stock-carrying costs and allow you to focus on more important things.

While outsourcing takes a little bit of setting up, it’s worth the short-lived pain for massive gain. We don’t have to be jacks of all trades. In fact, this thinking often leads to begrudgingly doing many things poorly rather than doing a few things really well – and enjoying doing them.

Tempted to start outsourcing some of your tasks to free up your time? We can help by taking the first three roles off your hands! We work with a number of our clients in this way, allowing them to focus on what they do best.

Work to your strengths, outsource the rest! Need help? Get in touch.

A business budget will help with your financial decision making

A business budget will help with your financial decision making

A business budget will help with your financial decision making

Budgeting is about estimating your revenues, projecting your expenses and detailing the allocation of funds, so you stick to (and don’t overrun) your agreed budget ceiling.

How does budgeting affect your business?

Having a clear, agreed budget gives you a structured framework for your financial decision-making. It’s a practical way to control your costs, monitor performance and adapt your strategic and financial decisions to meet changing economic conditions.

Using budgeting helps your business in a number of ways:

Better control over your finances

Budgeting gives you a clear roadmap for managing your company’s finances. Sticking to that budget helps you maintain control over expenses, reduce wastage and make the very best of your resources.

Achieving your financial and strategic goals

Your budget helps you to set and track financial goals, making it easier to align your business strategies with your desired goals and outcomes. It’s a great way to boost growth, profitability and debt reduction.

Improved control over your cashflow

Effective budgeting helps you anticipate any cashflow fluctuations. That’s a bonus that helps you plan for both lean and prosperous periods, making sure you have the funds to cover expenses and seize opportunities.

Allocating your resources

Budgets are useful for guiding how and where you allocate your resources. From your one pot of cash, you can decide whether to prioritize investments, marketing efforts, operational improvements or business growth.

Keep track of your performance

Comparing your actual financial results to your budgeted results helps you quickly assess your performance as a business. You can look for variances, make timely adjustments to stay on track toward your goals.

How can Busy01 Consulting and First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray help you with budgeting?

Being in control of your expenses, spending and predicted revenues sits at the heart of your financial management, giving you a framework and set budgetary goals to aim for, track against and (hopefully) achieve.

As your bookkeeper, we’ll help you set up budgets for your strategic business plans, with clear tracking and reporting to keep you on the ball and meeting those targets.

Get in touch to chat about budgeting.

Christmas gifts for your customers and team

Christmas gifts for your customers and team

Christmas gifts for your customers and team

As the festive season approaches, it’s a great time to let your customers and team members know how much you appreciate them. 

In a year that has presented its challenges, when it comes to deciding on Christmas gifts for your customers and team, finding the right balance between generosity and sensitivity is important. It’s not easy to know how much to spend or whether it’s appropriate to throw a party.

Let's explore some Christmas gift ideas that go beyond the traditional, and are appropriate for both your clients and team.

The traditional route: gifts, cards and donations

The traditional approach often involves food-related gifts like hams, hampers, or bottles of wine or spirits. While these can be easily ordered online and delivered, it's essential to consider potential delays and the possibility that recipients might be working remotely. To navigate these challenges, opt for non-perishable items or those with extended shelf life.

For clients who you have a close relationship with, consider personalised gifts that align with their personal interests.  This more personal approach demonstrates your attentiveness and can strengthen your professional relationship. Additionally, a handwritten card adds a personal and cost-effective touch that resonates well during the holiday season.

Another option is a making a donation on behalf of your clients or team members. This adds a meaningful element to your gift-giving as many people really appreciate an email or card that lets them know you’ve donated money to a charity on their behalf. For that extra touch you can include details like, “The local foodbank will use this donation to feed families on Christmas Day.”

Building Stronger Connections: Coffee, Lunch, and Face-to-Face Interaction

Treating high-value clients to a coffee or lunch can be a powerful gesture. This not only allows for a more personal connection but also creates lasting memories. While this approach may involve a higher cost, the impact on client relationships can far exceed that of a traditional gift.

Consider the preferences of your team when deciding on gifts for them. While hampers are a classic choice, it may not be universally preferred. A Christmas bonus is appreciated, but it's essential to consider the tax implications. A supermarket voucher, on the other hand, retains its full value, providing a practical and tax-efficient alternative. Engage with your team to understand their preferences; some may value a paid day off more than a physical gift.

Budgeting for Generosity: Tailoring Gifts Based on Relationships

Working out how much to spend on each client can be challenging. One approach is to categorise clients based on their spending with your business and their overall value to your business.

Consider giving high-value clients more substantial gifts, while smaller clients may receive more modest yet thoughtful tokens of appreciation.

Need help with Christmas budgeting?

If you find yourself wondering how much each client has spent or are unsure about your Christmas gift budget, we're here to assist.

Get in touch with us, and we'll analyse the numbers to provide insights tailored to your business. We'll help make sure your generosity aligns with your financial capabilities, making this festive season memorable for both you and your clients.

Get in touch and we’ll run the numbers to give you the insights you need.

Key numbers to focus on in your business

Key numbers to focus on in your business now

Key numbers to focus on in your business now

As a business owner, it’s always been helpful to have an understanding of accounting – but in the world today, it’s never been more important to have a good grasp on your finances.

With the business world irreparably changed by the impact of coronavirus, the war on Ukraine, and rising inflation, your business is facing a ‘new normal’. Priorities have changed, customer behaviours have mutated and revenue streams have had to evolve and pivot in order to create a viable post-lockdown business model.

To track, monitor and drive your financial performance in this new business world, it’s increasingly important to have a handle on your key financial reports and metrics.

Getting to grips with your financial reports

Whereas in the past, extra cash in the business may have been seen as a surplus that needed to be spent on something, the past three years have shown us that having these reserves is vitally important for the survival and long-term health of businesses.

To truly be in control of this cash, it’s vital that you can dip into your accounts, financial reports and dashboards and ‘see the genuine story’ behind your financial position.

So, what are the key reports to focus on? Let’s take a look:

Budget 

Your budget is the financial plan that's tied in with your strategic plan. In essence, the budget is your approximation of the money it will take to attain your key strategic goals, and the revenue (income) and profits you hope to make during this period. It’s a benchmark you can use to measure your actuals (historic numbers) against, allowing you to see the variances, gaps and missed targets over a given period.

Cashflow Statement 

A cashflow statement shows the flow of money into and out of your business.

Understanding these cash inflows and outflows in detail allows you to manage this ongoing process, allowing you to aim for a ‘positive cashflow position’ – where inflows outweigh outflows.

In your ideal positive scenario, you have enough liquid cash in the business to cover your costs, fund your operations and generate a profit.

Cashflow Forecast

Forecasting allows you to take your historic cash numbers and project them forward in time.

As such, you can see where the cashflow holes may appear weeks, or even months, in advance. This gives you time to take action, whether it’s increasing your income stream, reducing your underlying costs, chasing up unpaid invoices (aged debt) or going to lenders for additional funding.

Balance Sheet 

Your balance sheet shows you your company’s assets, liabilities and equity at a given point in time.

In a nutshell, it’s a snapshot of what your business owns (your assets), what you owe to other people (your liabilities) and what money and profits you currently have invested in the company (your equity).

Your balance sheet is useful for seeing what stock and equipment your business owns, how much debt (liabilities) you’ve worked up and what your company is actually worth. This is all incredibly useful information to have at your fingertips when making big business decisions.

Profit & Loss

Your profit and loss report - often referred to as your P&L. Your P&L gives you an overview of the company’s revenues, costs and expenses over a given historic period of time.

Whereas the balance sheet is a snapshot, your P&L is more like a moving video. It shows you how your finances are progressing by demonstrating how revenue is coming in and costs/expenses are going out (rather than cash coming in and going out, as you see in your cashflow statement and cashflow forecasts).

There is a range of software and apps that you can use to generate the above reports. For example Xero

Talk to us about software and apps to help you with the financial reporting and forecasting for your business

making it easier to get paid blog

Making it easier to get paid

Making it easier to get paid

Making sure you get paid on time is crucial to your success.

The process of making sales and generating revenue lies at the heart of any business model. But you can't manage your cashflow effectively or raise any profits if customers don't actually pay their invoices.

The easier you can make it for customers to pay you, the faster you'll see cash coming into the business. That’s good news for your financial position, your ability to cover your operational costs and your capacity to fund the growth and expansion of your business.

So, how do you speed up those payments and make sure you get paid on time?

Set out clear payment terms

Your payment terms are the starting point for healthy payment times.

These terms set out when you expect to be paid and form a legally binding contract with the customer.

You may expect immediate payment on receipt of the invoice. Or you might set out a specific number of days that the customer has to pay the invoice (generally 30, 60, 90 or 120 days, depending on your industry). This is sometimes called ‘trade credit’ and allows your customers to pay for goods and services at a later, pre-agreed date – helping them to spread the cost.

Your payment terms should also include details of any late payment penalties.

If the customer doesn’t meet your agreed payment times, most businesses will add a 1% to 1.5% monthly late payment fee to the outstanding bill. This acts as a great incentive for the customer to pay the bill, before the penalty fees start mounting up.

Invoice customers as soon as you can

In a business-to-consumer (B2C) environment, your customers will generally pay for their goods and services immediately. But when you’re working in the business-to-business (B2B) world, you’ll need to send your customer an invoice, asking for the money to be paid.

A customer can’t settle their bill until you send them an invoice. So, it’s vital to send out the invoice as quickly as possible, so you can minimise the gap between doing the work and being paid for the work.

In some industries, the project will be broken down into multiple invoices, paid across a period of time. This makes it easier for the customer to pay, and means you (as the supplier) don’t have to complete the project before receiving the money you’re owed.

Ideally, you want your invoices to go out as early as possible. This allows your payment terms to kick in and makes it easier to predict when cash will be coming into the business.

Be organised about your payment admin

Getting paid is a process – and the more organised you make the process, the quicker the payment will be received.

When you send out the invoice, make sure you send it to all the relevant people in the payment chain. This will usually be:

  • Your main contact at the client – the person who you usually deal with
  • The person who will approve the bill – the person who will green-light the payment
  • The finance team – the person (or people) who will actually action the payment.

It’s also a good idea to quote any relevant purchase order (PO) numbers that the customer has raised, and to give a very clear description of the work done, or the goods purchased.

Embrace the available payment technology

Invoices used to be hard-copy printed bills, but in the digital age the vast majority of companies will send out e-invoices.

Electronic invoices are easy to raise (usually from your accounting software or project management app) and can be emailed out instantly.

Doing everything in the digital realm also makes it easier to keep records and keep track of payments.

Many e-invoice systems will also let you add a variety of different payment options for the customer.

You could just include your bank details and wait for the customer to make a direct payment to your account. But you can also include payment buttons in the e-invoice that give customers the option to pay via digital payment gateways, like Stripe or GoCardless.

Offering more ways to pay makes the whole process more convenient for your customers. And it will generally result in faster payment times as a result.

If you want to speed up your payment times and boost your cashflow, please do get in touch. We can help you streamline your payment processes and embrace the latest in payment tech.

Cost of living

Coping with the skyrocketing cost of living

Coping with the skyrocketing cost of living

Whether it’s refilling your petrol tank or paying at the supermarket checkout, the higher cost of living is hitting every household hard.

Across the world, everyday essentials are surging in price, up 7.2% year on year across the OECD. Unfortunately, experts predict that prices will keep rising for at least the rest of the year.

What can you do to try to keep up with the increasing cost of living?

Here are our 12 top tips

Look for ways to earn more
  • Grow your business’s profitability (talk to us about improving your profits) or ask for a pay rise.
  • Take in a boarder or flatmate.
  • Sell your unwanted items online.
Cut back where you can
  • Prepare more meals at home and spend less at cafés and restaurants.
  • Create a budget and keep your spending under control.
  • Reduce the amount of meat you buy.
Find ways to use your car less.
  • Cancel your credit cards and your buy now pay later accounts.
  • Review all your ongoing expenses like utilities, insurance and subscriptions – cancel, switch providers or get better deals.
Invest in your future
  • Think about investing in ways that are likely to outperform inflation – both shares and the property market have historically provided returns higher than inflation.
  • Start a new business, launch a new product or service, or try a side hustle.
  • Teach yourself about money and finances using free tools online and books from the library. Better money management will help you make the most of what you’ve got.

If prices rise by 7% this year, it won’t be easy to increase your income by the same amount. But if you can increase your income by 5%, then make up the rest through savings, while also investing for the future, you can still come out on top once inflation settles down and prices stabilise.

Worried about budgeting, cash flow or forecasting?

Talk to us. We have years of experience through many economic cycles, including previous periods of high inflation – and we’re always here to help.

The Fundamentals of a Business Budget

The Fundamentals of a Business Budget

The Fundamentals of a Business Budget

A business budget is one of the essential tools in managing your business finances and actively building your business.

A budget shows what you plan to do with your cash over the next year.

For a complete picture of your business health, you need to review the profit and loss statement, the balance sheet, the cash flow forecast and the budget. Taken together, these reports allow you to make informed business decisions and monitor performance.

Why have a budget?
  • Forecast sales and expenses according to monthly or quarterly variations.
  • Evaluate performance over time, including changes or patterns.
  • Get really familiar with where your money goes and where it comes from.
  • Clarify targets and goals and use the budget to help you focus and achieve those goals.
  • Comparing actual figures to budgeted figures allows you to see potential problems early and plan for unexpected costs.
  • A budget will help you to see the big picture and stay motivated over the long term.


Where to start

A basic budget takes known income and expenses, then makes certain assumptions about the timing of income and planned expenditure. The basic budget is based on cash in and out of the business.

Over time, as you start to see the benefits of using a budget, your budget should evolve into a more sophisticated version that includes non-cash elements such as provisions and depreciation.

Most businesses will start with one budget but soon move to having three budgets.

  1. Business as usual -  the next year’s budget is based on current year income and expenses, with perhaps a small adjustment for consumer price index increases.
  2. Worst case - budget is based on a pessimistic view of next year’s performance.
  3.  Best case -  budget is based on an optimistic view of performance over the next year.

A budget is usually for a financial year, but you can also set up budgets for two to five years.

Once you have one budget (or more) set up, you can then run your current financial reports against the budget to see how you are tracking. This allows you to make rational business decisions in real time to adjust accordingly.

Your can run your financial reports monthly and adjust your budget as needed.


Whats next?

It's never too late to to put a budget into place. Book a time with us to help you create a meaningful budget in your accounting software so that you can use it as a proactive part of your business management, strategy and your success.

xeros short-term cashflow feature

Xero’s short-term cashflow feature for businesses

Xero's short-term cashflow feature for businesses


Business cashflow is simply money coming in and money going out of the business. Your outgoings will include things like rent, payroll, taxes and supplies. Your income will be revenue from sales but might also include investment funds or the sale of assets.

For most businesses, income and expenditure don’t always happen at the same time so focussing on strong cashflow management will help you prepare for the shortfalls and also manage surplus income.

Cashflow reports allow you to look back at cashflow in your business. This can uncover cashflow patterns over time and show you how much money you need to run your business each month.

Cashflow forecasts look forward by combining payment dates and due dates for invoices, to give you an idea of what your cashflow will be like going forward.

Managing healthy cashflow

Xero’s short-term cash flow feature gives you an up-to-date dashboard view of your organisation's cashflow. You can choose multiple bank accounts and see the projected cashflow over 7-30 days. The more information you include, the more accurate your forecast will be.

Healthy cashflow management gives you better control, so you are more prepared for growth or for the unexpected. Read the article at Xero Central to learn more about this feature.

understanding working capital

Understanding working capital to maintain business success

Understanding working capital to maintain business success


If cashflow is the lifeblood of your business, then working capital is the health check you should regularly undertake to keep your business alive. It is important for you to have an understanding of your working capital to maintain business success. Regularly checking working capital will play an essential part in maintaining business success during these times of greater economic insecurity.

What is working capital?

Working capital is your current assets minus your current liabilities and measures the surplus (or deficit) you have to keep your business afloat without needing to sell assets, borrow more, or add your own money into the business. The more working capital you have, the easier it is to fund growth or weather any downturns.

To calculate your working capital: Cash + debtors + stock + work in progress - creditors - taxes owing

For example, if your business had the following balances:

Cash $150,000
Debtors $120,000
Stock $100,000
Creditors $45,000
Taxes owing $25,000

Then your working capital would be $300,000 ($150,000 + $120,000 + $100,000 - $45,000 - $25,000).

If the business had an overdraft of $150,000 rather than a positive cash balance, the working capital would be zero. This means the business would have no cash to cover any slowdown in debtor payments or a downturn in sales (which would lead to higher stock levels). Worse, the business could be in serious trouble for trading while insolvent.

It’s likely your working capital has taken a hit due to Covid-19. Now is the time to review your processes and boost your working capital.

Consider the following strategies:

Build up enough cash to cover at least 2 months’ sales value

One of the key learnings from lockdown was how important it is for businesses to have enough cash in the bank to get them through a shutdown. Use the average sales value for the last six months to calculate the amount you’ll need, then manage your expenses to build your cash stocks up to this level.

Renegotiate your debt

If your business has an overdraft, could the core debt be negotiated into a term loan? Have you spoken to your bank manager about options for managing your debt as a result of Covid? We can work with you and your bank manager to determine your best finance options.

Negotiate with suppliers

Speak to your suppliers and see if you can negotiate better terms. This might be a discount for early payment or longer payment terms. They’ll be suffering too, so work together to come to the best arrangement for you both.

Set aside money for taxes

Calculate the percentage of sales you need to put aside for taxes and put this aside in a separate bank account so you have the cash to cover tax payments as they fall due.

Inject sufficient funds

If the above strategies don’t boost your working capital sufficiently, you’ll need to invest your own funds into your business to cover your working capital requirements.

Even with the many challenges of a post-pandemic economy, undertaking regular working capital checks is an effective way to help increase your business’s cashflow. We can help you calculate your working capital requirements and identify strategies you can implement to increase your working capital.


“Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.” - Seth Godin

We can help. Talk to us about your working capital.

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