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Make better business decisions

Make better business decisions

Make better business decisions

As a business owner, you want to make the best possible decisions for your business. The choices you make regarding strategy, spending, revenue generation and cashflow management can all have a major impact on the long-term future of the company.

So, how do you give yourself that competitive edge when it comes to decision-making?

The answer is to make the most of your financial data and to use the outputs from today’s cloud accounting tools and finance apps to inform and guide your choices as a leader.

Five major benefits of having financial real-time data

Cloud accounting has revolutionised the ways that small business owners manage their business accounts and broader financial management.

With the right tech stack and cloud accounting software, it’s possible to have genuine real-time information about your business finances. That instant access to your financial performance numbers is a game-changer, for a number of reasons.

Here are five ways that deep financial data can help to drive your business success...

Real-time data gives you:

1. Informed decision-making

With access to the most up-to-date financial data, you’re no longer flying blind! Real-time data empowers you to make strategic decisions based on the most current business information. You can see how marketing budgets are performing, analyse your sales trends and identify areas for cost-cutting – with a dashboard that provides a real-time snapshot of your overall financial health. You’re informed, on the ball and can react like lightning to any pressing business opportunities, or unplanned threats to your funding and operating cashflow.

2. Improved cashflow management

Cash is king, so it’s crucial that you have the best possible insights into your cashflow position, planning and management. Real-time cash data helps you plan for upcoming expenses, predict potential shortfalls and make informed decisions about borrowing or investment strategies. This real-time visibility ensures you always have sufficient funds to cover your operational costs, dodging the cashflow pitfalls that could otherwise hinder your business growth.

3. Enhanced budgeting and forecasting

You can ditch the static spreadsheets and embrace a more dynamic, real-time way to run your budgeting and forecasting. Track your progress towards financial goals, identify variances and deviations from key budgets, and adjust your plans and strategy accordingly. Accurate historic and real-time data also means more accurate forecasts, leading to better resource allocation and improved financial planning for the future.

4. Increased potential to turn a profit

With access to real-time data, finding the prime areas for cost reduction and revenue optimisation is made easy. You can quickly hone in on the products that are bringing in the biggest sales revenues, or the operational expenses that are costing you money but failing to deliver a healthy return on investment (ROI). If the majority of your sales income is coming from one product, by tracking key metrics like customer acquisition costs and conversion rates, you can identify and refine marketing strategies to maximise return on investment. Additionally, real-time sales data allows you to react quickly to customer trends and adjust pricing strategies to improve profitability.

5. Greater confidence in your business potential 

Modern accounting tech puts all this real-time data right at your fingertips, so you always feel in control of your finances. That’s a major boost to your confidence as a business owner, giving you the overview and insights you need to keep a tight grip on your financial health. Having this transparency makes it possible to share key metrics with your key stakeholders, like investors or partners. It also demonstrates your commitment to keeping good records and focusing on your financial management – a trait that investors, lenders and banks will see as a good sign of the viability of your business.

Talk to us about accessing your finance data goldmine

If you’re currently only tracking the most basic of finance metrics, now’s the time to dive deeper into your pool of valuable financial data. The more detailed and refined your finance dashboard becomes, the more you’re in control of the next steps of your business.

We can help you set up a tailored business dashboard and management reporting tools to track all the most valuable finance metrics for your business.

Get in touch to start exploring your real-time data

Keeping your receipts

Keeping your receipts

Keeping your receipts

Source document management

When it comes to small business compliance, source documents – bills, receipts, checks, or anything substantiating a transaction – are critical.

Collecting and managing source documents can mean a lot of administrative effort and time. Plus you have to store all the documents too. Historically, source documents have been paper based, so that means a lot of office space just dedicated to paper document storage!

The good news is that bookkeepers, like First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray, can help small businesses to better manage source documents.

Here are a few frequently asked questions to better understand why and how bookkeepers can help. 

Who should manage source documents: the business, or the bookkeeper?

Allocating source document management to your bookkeeper means you can better manage your source documents for compliance-related reasons. This is because your bookkeeper is able to provide more accurate reconciliation. The added bonus is that this can lead to meaningful business insights.

Why are source documents important for bookkeeping?

Source documents are vital for business compliance and audit preparation. Bookkeepers keep up to date with compliance requirements and understand the types of documentation that small businesses are required to keep compliant.

Source documents are also important for improving bookkeeping quality. Having source documents readily available will not only make the reconciliation process faster, easier, and more accurate, it will also help to gather clean data. Again, that data can then be translated into business insights.

What’s the best way to collect and manage source documents?

One of the best ways to collect and manage source documents is to do so digitally. This means implementing a process and using technology to automate and digitise document management.

Using a single system and process for collecting source documents gives you a centralised document storage solution, and all your documents are readily available when you need them.

There are a number of apps and tools, such as Dext, that can make it easy for both bookkeepers and business owners to collect and digitise documents. Most of these will integrates with cloud storage platforms and integrate with cloud accounting packages.

Are digital documents acceptable in the event of an audit?

Yes! Many governments accept digital files as source documents in the event of an audit, including the Australia.

In the event of an audit, having all documents readily available in one place will help to make sure the audit process goes smoothly.

Talk to us about improving your source document management

If you are interested in digitising your source document management, contact us today to discuss the apps and tools available, and how we can help, 

Collect your debtors faster

Collect your debtors faster

Collect your debtors faster

Managing cash flow effectively is crucial for the sustainability of any business. A significant component of this involves managing debtors efficiently to ensure that cash inflows occur on time. However, it's important to remember that even uncollected sales impact your financial obligations.

Did you know that you still have to pay tax on your debtors, even if you haven’t collected them yet? This happens because your tax obligations are calculated based on your sales figures, not just the cash you have received.

Why It's Critical to Collect Debtors Promptly

When your cash is tied up in uncollected invoices, it restricts your ability to reinvest in your business, pay your bills on time, or even meet your payroll obligations. This can hamper your business's growth and potentially lead to financial difficulties.

Therefore, collecting debtors promptly should be a top priority.

How to collect your debtors faster

Agree on Payment Terms at the Time of Sale

Clear communication about payment terms sets the stage for all future interactions with your customers regarding payments.


Ensure Your Customer Signs Your Terms of Trade Before You Start the Job

This formal agreement protects you legally and ensures that both parties understand the financial obligations involved.

Include a Guarantee in Your Payment Terms

This adds an extra layer of assurance that you will be paid, encouraging prompt payment.

Invoice as Quickly as You Can

The sooner you send out an invoice, the sooner you can expect to be paid.

Ask for a Deposit Prior to Starting the Job

This not only secures a portion of your payment upfront but also commits the customer financially to the project.

Change Your Payment Terms to Within 7 Days of Invoice or On Delivery

Shortening the payment period accelerates your cash inflows.

Send Statements Religiously at the Start of the Month

Regular updates remind your customers of their dues and prevent overdue payments from being overlooked. Implementing automated reminders through your cloud accounting system, such as Xero, can encourage late payers to pay on time. 

Have Someone Other Than the Owner Be Responsible for Collection of Debtors

This can often lead to more systematic follow-up and less personal conflict.

Document Any Changes to Your Standard Payment Terms in Writing

Keeping a written record of all terms and agreements avoids misunderstandings and provides legal backing.

Use an Integrated Payment Gateway App

This technology simplifies the payment process for your customers, making it easier and faster for you to collect your money.

Don’t Provide Credit to Customers Who’ve Been Late Payers in the Past, and Don’t Offer More Credit to Customers with Outstanding Payments

This policy helps mitigate risk and improve your cash flow.

Proactive management is key

Don’t procrastinate on your debtors. Establishing clear, firm payment terms and ensuring you stick to them is vital. Remember, it’s often the proactive, attentive businesses that manage their cash flow most effectively.

"It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil." – Anon

Don’t let your business be slowed down by late payments. Be the squeaky wheel, take action today. We can help.

Keeping debt low through proactive credit control

Keeping debt low

Keeping debt low through proactive credit control. 

Having a large amount of debt in your business is bad for cashflow, weakens your overall financial health and brings down your credit score as a business.

So when customers don’t pay on time, that ‘aged debt’ is bad news for your finances. Aged debt can begin to stack up, adding to your liabilities and reducing the health of your overall balance sheet.

The good news is that there are ways to tackle late payment head-on.

Get effective with your credit control

Being proactive with your credit control procedures and debt management helps you speed up payment, reduce your debtor days and rein in your overall debt as a business

To improve the efficiency of your credit control, these strategies help speed up payment processes, reduce debtor days, and maintain a healthier financial status for your business.

Make your payment terms clear

The foundation of effective credit control is clear communication about payment terms. Ensure that your payment conditions are explicitly stated on all invoices. Additionally, incorporate a detailed credit control policy into the terms and conditions your customers agree to. This clarity helps prevent misunderstandings and sets clear expectations from the start.

Run regular debtor reports

Regular reviews of your debtor situation are vital. Run frequent reports to identify which invoices are overdue and which customers are consistently late in payments. Understanding the pattern of late payments allows you to prioritise debt collection efforts effectively.

Be proactive in chasing late payment

Being passive about debt collection is a common pitfall, however it's important to not be shy about asking a customer to pay their bill. Adopt a proactive approach by regularly contacting customers with overdue payments. Set up reminders for yourself to chase late payments, ensuring you are persistent but respectful in your communication.

Automate your credit control tasks 

Technology can significantly streamline your credit control processes. Many cloud accounting platforms offer built-in tools or integrations specifically designed for automated credit control. These systems can automatically send reminders to customers as soon as an invoice becomes overdue, reducing the manual effort required and ensuring timely follow-ups.

Leveraging technology for better credit control

The use of technology in managing credit control cannot be overstated. Automated systems not only save time but also reduce the chance of errors and omissions that can occur with manual processes. These tools ensure that all customers receive consistent communication and that no overdue invoice slips through the cracks.

If late payment and aged debt is weighing heavily on your balance sheet, we’ll help you implement the appropriate apps that support the automated systems, debtor reports and credit control processes needed to reduce debt.

Get in touch to improve your credit control.

Make your business more profitable

Make your business more profitable

Make your business more profitable

Is making your business more profitable at the top of your business goals this year?

Achieving significant profit is not an overnight feat. It requires a steadfast commitment, a clear focus, and a meticulously crafted strategy aimed at enhancing profitability.

This entails a comprehensive review of your business model and an examination of every operational area to identify opportunities to reduce costs, increase margins, and ultimately maximise revenue.

Understanding Profitability

Profitability is the ability of a business to earn a profit.

A profit results when the total income generated by the business exceeds the total expenses incurred. However, simply generating revenue is not enough; effective management of costs and strategic pricing are crucial to realising a substantial profit.

Strategic Review of Your Business Model

The first step in boosting your profitability is to conduct a thorough review of your existing business model.

This analysis should cover all aspects of the business, from supply chain management to customer relationship handling.

By understanding the nuances of each component, you can pinpoint inefficiencies and areas for cost savings that directly contribute to the bottom line.

Focus on your key drivers

Having surplus cash at the end of the year allows you to invest back into the business, fund your growth plans and increase the size of your own dividends and drawings as the owner.

To achieve these profits, it’s important to focus on the key financial drivers in your business.

To drive profits:

Boost Sales

Enhancing sales volume is a direct path to increasing net revenue. This can be achieved by investing in marketing, amplifying sales activities, and expanding business development efforts. Each of these initiatives should be tailored to meet the unique needs and preferences of your target market.

Increase Prices

Setting a higher price point can significantly enhance your profit margins, especially if you manage to keep the cost of goods sold low. This strategy needs to be balanced with market demand and customer value perception to avoid any negative impacts on sales volume.

Cut Costs

Operational costs and overhead expenses can diminish your profit potential. Implementing effective spend management and cost reduction strategies are crucial for maintaining a lean operational model. Regularly reviewing supplier contracts, reducing waste, and optimizing workflows are practical steps towards cost efficiency.

Reduce Taxes

Tax liabilities often represent a significant expense for businesses. Engaging in sensible tax planning and taking advantage of available tax reliefs can substantially lower your tax burden and increase your profitability. Consulting with tax professionals can provide insights into new tax saving opportunities and compliance strategies.

Talk to us about boosting your profits

At First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray and Busy01 Consulting, we help businesses like yours optimise their profit margins.

If you'd like to make your business more profitable, we're here to help:

  • review your business model
  • identify your key financial drivers
  • proactively drive your profit performance.

Get in touch and let’s start boosting your profits.

Save time and money

7 ways to save time and money in your business


7 ways to save time and money in your business

We all know that time is money. And the quest to find balance between quality and speed can often feel like a never-ending battle.

With this in mind, the emphasis on strategies to save time and money has never been more critical. The good news is, technology offers a variety of solutions designed to streamline operations, reduce costs, and boost productivity.

Below, are 7 ways to help your business save time and money. These insights are not just theoretical; they're actionable strategies that have proven effective across various sectors.

How can technology help?

Here are 7 ways to save time (and money) in your business.

1. Automate your invoicing

While invoicing is a vital part of running your business, it can take up a significant amount of your time. Using a digital/cloud accounting system to extract data from supplier emails and auto-populate your invoices can save hours each week. You can also use cloud accounting systems to set up recurring invoices and timely payment reminders, saving your more time.

2. Simplify your expense claims

If you have a manual expense claims process, implementing a digital automated process means your team will save time submitting receipts, approving expenses and dealing with any mistakes.

3. Reduce human error

It’s well known that manual data entry brings a high risk of error. You can eliminate this risk by automating key manual data entry tasks. And that allows you to spend more time on data analysis so you can make better decisions.

4. Automate approvals

Streamlining your bank reconciliation with an automated platform means you don’t waste time manually approving individual transactions.

5. Up to date payroll

Keep staff details up to date and calculate tax contributions within your accounting software. You’ll save significant chunks of time and you’ll avoid mistakes.

6. Accurate information for tax

Instead of Excel spreadsheets, receipts and physical documents, by using cloud accounting software. the information needed for your accountant to complete your tax is accessible through your software.

7. Better access to business data

With smart software and cloud based apps and add-ons, you get accurate business data wherever and whenever you need it. No more going back to the office to check a number, getting back to clients with final details, or reworking quotes because the numbers were wrong.

Harness the power of technology

At First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray and Busy01 Consulting, we specialise in implementing smart, effective apps and solutions that save time and money. Whether you're looking to automate your invoicing, streamline your expense claims, or gain better access to business data, our team is here to guide you through the process. 

So, if you want to save time(and money) in your business talk to us about setting you up with the right systems.

5 ways to increase profit and improve cashflow

Profit Vs Cash

5 ways to increase profit and improve cashflow

The dual goals of increasing profit and improving cash flow are usually at the forefront of every entrepreneur's mind, as both are essential for sustaining and growing your business. 

However, the path to profitability and strong cashflow is not always straight forward. 

Here, we explore 5 ways to increase profit and improve cashflow, offering actionable strategies that can improve the financial health of your business.

These insights are particularly beneficial for businesses navigating the complexities of the current economic landscape.

1. Sales

Profit increases when you increase sales; cash increases when you collect the money from customers. To increase both your profit and cash from sales:

  • Delight your customers
  • Generate more leads and referrals
  • Convert a higher number of quotes or proposals
  • Increase transaction frequency
  • Increase transaction value
2. Invoicing

Profit increases when you send an invoice to a customer; cash increases when you collect the invoiced amount. To increase both your profit and cash:

  • Set clear Terms of Trade
  • Offer a small discount for early payment
  • Agree the price in advance
  • Stick to your payment terms
  • Don’t do work for people who have overdue payments
3. Margins

Increasing your margins will increase your profit; collecting the increased margin will increase your cash. To increase both your profit and cash:

  • Increase your prices
  • Invoice faster
  • Negotiate better payment terms with suppliers
  • Reduce errors and rework
  • Train and empower your team
  • Increase your efficiency
4. Financing

Reduce your finance costs to increase your profit; borrow money for assets to increase your cash. To increase your profit and cash through financing:

  • Spread the costs of assets over 3-5 years instead of buying them outright (e.g. vehicles)
  • Borrow from a bank instead of a finance company
  • Secure the asset purchases over ‘bricks and mortar’ (if possible)
5. Overheads

Reducing your overheads will increase both your profit and cash. To reduce your overheads:

  • Negotiate with suppliers
  • Measure your return on your spend (e.g. advertising, accounting fees, etc.)
  • Review your subscriptions
  • Go paperless

This is not an exhaustive list of ways to increase your profit and cash. We can help you identify specific areas of improvement in your business to increase both profit and cash. Contact us to find out how

"Never take your eyes off the cashflow because it’s the lifeblood of the business."

Sir Richard Branson

Seek support

Implementing these strategies requires a meticulous approach and an understanding of your unique business context.

At First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray and Busy01 Consulting, we provide bookkeeping and business consulting services that are tailored to your specific needs. We can identify areas of potential financial improvement and help you implement strategic solutions to enhance both profit and cash flow.

Don’t let the complexities of financial management hold your business back. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you implement these 5 ways to increase profit and improve cashflow.


Meeting the environmental expectations of your customers

Meeting the environmental expectations of your customers

As environmental consciousness rises, small businesses in 2023 face increasing pressure to adopt sustainable practices and reduce their carbon footprint.

But going green means being able to balance your desire to run a sustainable, environmentally conscious business with the pressing need to remain economically and strategically viable.

Meeting the environmental expectations of your core customer base

Globally, 85% of consumers have become ‘greener’ in their purchasing  in recent years, driving a green sea-change in how companies large and small run their business operations.

Most consumers want to buy sustainable products and packaging. It’s a change that will take a concerted effort and strategy, but the end results will be better for the planet and your customers.

To become more sustainable:

Carry out a company-wide environmental audit

Do you know what your environmental impact is as a business? Carrying out an [environmental audit] (https://blog.viibe.co/measure-company-environmental-impact/) helps you identify the areas where you can improve your energy consumption and waste reduction.

Look out for green partnerships

There will be plenty of other business owners wanting to become more green. So, why not collaborate with eco-friendly suppliers, vendors and partners to align your business with green, sustainable values.

Offer eco-friendly products/services

Offering environmentally responsible products or services helps you attract environmentally conscious consumers. It’s good for your brand and drives a greener reputation for your company in the marketplace.

Be more transparent about your eco credentials

Talking about sustainability and green values is important. By communicating your sustainability efforts, and being seen to drive change, you build trust and loyalty with environmentally aware customers.

Tie sustainable choices into cost-effective solutions

Choosing to implement sustainable practices can also lead to cost savings, by reducing waste and operating in a more lean way. So, the planet wins, and so does the company’s cashflow. It’s a win-win scenario.

Incorporating Apps into your business model

This is an effective way to enhance your environmental sustainability. Here’s how technology can make your operations greener:

  • Digital Efficiency: By adopting digital bookkeeping and document management apps, businesses can significantly reduce paper usage, leading to less waste and deforestation.
  • Remote Work Facilitation: Apps that enable remote working reduce carbon emissions by minimising the need for commuting. Project management and collaboration tools allow teams to work effectively from various locations, decreasing transportation-related emissions.
  • Resource Optimisation: Inventory management apps ensure that resources are utilised efficiently, cutting down on waste and improving operational efficiency.

With climate change ever more visible, there’s a real imperative for businesses of all sizes to play their part and become better, greener and more sustainable enterprises.

We’ll help you review your operational practices to find the best opportunities for choosing appropriate apps to help you cut back unnecessary waste and reduce your carbon footprint.

Get in touch to talk about your integrating Apps to support your green strategy.

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation

Technology is changing how we do business. But how do you start this digital transformation?

We’ve highlighted five of the big challenges to plan for and overcome.

The rapid technological advancements we're seeing are a double-edged sword for many business owners, presenting both great opportunities and potential challenges.

Adopting and integrating these new technologies is essential if you want to remain competitive, but it requires careful navigation and a clear strategic plan for your tech stack.

5 key steps for transforming your use of business tech

There are solutions for enhancing your bookkeeping, accounting, forecasting, inventory management, project management and a host of other key operational areas. These apps slot perfectly into a custom tech stack that can be tailored and integrated to meet the exact needs of both your industry and your individual business.

But if you’re at a loss as to where to start, it’s a good idea to step back and think in more detail about your digital strategy – and the best ways for you to grab the best tech opportunities.

Here are five important steps to help you start your tech transformation

1. Assess your need for the right technologies 

It’s important to think about the relevance and impact of emerging technologies on your business operations. Choose software solutions that meet a genuine need within your business model, and don’t be tempted to jump onto a tech bandwagon just because it’s ‘the latest thing’.

At First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray and Busy01 Consulting, we specialise in business Apps, offering implementation of various Apps across a range industries to improve efficiencies and transform your business. Talk to us about implementing Apps for your specific needs.

2. Train and upskill your staff

You’ll only get the best from new software if your team knows how to use it. Invest in upskilling your employees so they feel comfortable with these new tools and can use them effectively. It’s about reducing any 'tech fear' that some employees may feel and showing them how it makes their job easier.

3. Tighten your cybersecurity and reduce risk

The more software tools you use, the more data you’ll hold in the business. Because of this, it’s vital to protect your sensitive customer data and information from cyber threats. This means putting robust security measures in place and keeping up with all the latest security protocols.

4. Scale up your IT infrastructure 

It’s crucial to check that your proposed tech infrastructure can grow with the business. Any apps you use must be able to scale up as the business expands and volume and demand ramp up. With a properly thought-out tech stack, your systems can grow and scale with you as the business expands.

5. Focus on the customer experience (CX)

One of the biggest benefits of going digital is the positive impact this can have on your customer experience. Digital tools help you to personalise the customer journey, interact seamlessly with your customers and use highly targeted marketing and promotional activity to reach the right audience.

Most digital transformations don’t take place overnight. It takes time to switch each area of the business over to a software solution, and this can be an organic process as you find the right tools for the job. However, it does pay to have a sound strategy behind this transformation.

We can help you review your planned tech strategy and implement the appropriate Apps and tools to combine into your ideal business tech stack.

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