cash flow Archives - BUSY01 and First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray

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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.

chasing invoices

5 tips for chasing invoices without annoying your clients

Chasing Invoices

When you’re a small business owner, sole trader or freelancer, chasing invoices and asking for payment on overdue invoices can be a delicate matter.

Without an accounts person or department, sometimes you’re trying to secure new work and chase invoices from the same person. That can be an awkward tightrope to walk.

Here are five tips for chasing payments while maintaining customer loyalty:

Automate reminders

Set friendly payment reminders that go out automatically – they tell clients they’re missed a payment without making it personal. It’s like your invoicing platform is giving them a nudge, rather than you doing it yourself. You can sign it off with just your business name, rather than your own.

Find out who’s behind the payments

Is there another person at the business who’s in charge of accounts or payments? Ideally, you want to be selling your services to your usual contact and chasing someone else to pay your invoices.

Enlist help from a friend

If you have a friend who also has a small business, become each other’s accounts support. Set your friend up with an ‘accounts@yourwebsite.com’ address and they can send out email reminders and follow-ups to your clients, or call them about the invoice. Maybe you can do the same for them.

Set expectations when you negotiate the job

Firm and clear payment terms make it easier to get paid faster and keep that cash flowing.

Set out your terms up front – it’s much easier to talk about your payment expectations when you organise the job, rather than once the invoice has been sent.

For persistently slow payers, consider offering an early payment discount or ask for more money upfront for the next job.

Be nice, but firm

There’s no need to be rude or aggressive to your clients when chasing payment; you want to maintain a positive relationship.

However, at some point you need to cut off their credit. Often saying ‘I’m very happy to do that for you, just waiting on payment of that last invoice’ will give them the impetus they need to pay you.

But if they persistently don’t pay, no matter how much you like the client, you’re not providing a free service! Stop working for the client and chase those outstanding invoices more assertively.

If you need help managing your outstanding invoices, get in touch for expert support and guidance.


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.

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.

Credit Control

Keeping debt low through proactive credit control

Keeping debt low

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. So, it’s important to tackle late payment head on.

Get effective with your credit control

Being proactive with your 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:

  • Make your payment terms clear – state your payment terms on all invoices and create a policy that’s part of the terms & conditions that customers sign up to.
  • Run regular debtor reports – check your list of late invoices to see which customers are the late payers, and where the big debts are that need to be collected.
  • Be proactive in chasing late payment – don’t be shy about asking a customer to pay their bill. Set up notifications and schedules to remind yourself to chase late-payers.
  • Automate your credit control tasks – cloud accounting platforms have built-in tools or automated credit control integrations that can automatically chase your late-paying customers as soon as an invoice is overdue.

Talk to us about enhancing your credit control

If late payment and aged debt is weighing heavily on your balance sheet, we’ll help you set up the debtor reports and credit control processes needed to reduce this debt.

Get in touch to improve your credit control.

How do you get your outstanding invoices paid?

How do you get your outstanding invoices paid?

Do you dread following up outstanding invoices?

It can be frustrating when you have customers who haven’t paid their invoices. Not to mention the impact on your cash flow.

Getting paid on time is essential to good cash flow. But how do you get paid?

Here are some simple, effective techniques that can help you get your outstanding invoices paid.

Make sure your terms are clear

Write into your terms of service that you will charge a late fee for overdue invoices. Make sure you your customers are aware of your terms of service before you do the work.

Also, we recommend doing a credit check before you do business with a new customer. This can help reduce the risk of late payments and defaults, as well as minimising the need for follow-ups.

Reminders

Often, the payment is a simple oversight. By resending the invoice or sending a simple payment request an outstanding invoice will be paid. Start there, and you might be surprised by how many outstanding invoices are paid.

Better still, set your accounting software up to send automated reminders to customers with outstanding invoices. Talk to us about how to do this.

If the above action doesn’t achieve the desired result, ie your outstanding invoice being paid, it’s time for firmer action.

As uncomfortable as it can be to make a phone call to ask for payment, it can be one of the most effective ways to get paid. Perhaps start with asking are they aware that their invoice is outstanding.

A stronger stance

So, what do you do if your customers don’t respond to your polite requests?

If you have been waiting for payment for months, it’s time take a stronger stance.

This could include:

  • stopping your services until payment is made
  • using a professional debt collector
  • bringing in your lawyer

While you will likely get paid by taking this stronger stance, you do need to consider the potential impact on the relationship with your client. How important is it? Do you want to continue to do business with them? Is it worthwhile continuing to do business with them? 

If you need help managing your outstanding invoices, get in touch for expert support and guidance.

managing finances in your business

Managing finances in your business

Managing finances in your business

When you are busy running a business getting your head around effective financial management can be difficult.

If you get it wrong you could end up focusing on the wrong things that are detrimental to your business.

As a business owner, there are four basic areas that you need to consider when managing finances in your business:

Have a plan

It’s important to have a plan to you understand your business expenses, project your revenue and be able to track your finances.

Having a plan allows you to track and review your profits and losses, outstanding accounts, payroll expenses and more.

You should review your plan regularly so you have a clear understanding of your business financials and are able to forecast accurately.

We recommend using online software, like Xero. Online software helps you keep accurate and up-to-date records and is a more efficient and time saving way to stay across your financials.

Cash flow

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Cash flow is the lifeblood of business.

By understanding and tracking your incoming and outgoing cash (or cash equivalent), you can gain insight into trends over time. This gives you more understanding of, and therefore control of, your cash flow.

And that means you can use forecasting tools, like Futrli, to identify opportunities to make adjustments to help prevent fluctuations in your cash flow.

Debt

If you have debt associated with your business, and let’s face it – most of us do, it’s essential to keep an eye on it.

Borrowing isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s important to make sure the benefits of going into debt outweigh the costs.

On the flip side, if you’re owed money, it’s vital to closely manage unpaid invoices and secure any money you’re owed in a timely manner. Read more about having a watertight accounts receivable process here.

Growth

Growth is great, but it does need to be manageable.

When you are looking at growing your business or taking on new clients, work out if you manage the additional work and how it will affect your current setup. What additional resources, tools, personnel, financial investment will be required? And (like taking on debt), will the benefits outweigh the costs.

Successful financial management isn’t necessarily about the specific decisions you make. It’s about understanding the impact your decisions will have on your business.

Talk to us about the Apps and tools available to help you manage your business finances.

5 ways to improve your cash flow

5 ways to improve your cash flow

5 Ways to Improve your Cash Flow

In our last blog, we discussed ways of managing your cash flow. We know that cash is the lifeblood of any business, so here are 5 more tips to help you improve your cash flow.

 If the cash dries up, problems quickly begin to multiply. By keeping the cash running freely and you can continue to grow your business.

Here are five tips for improving your cash flow:

1. Have a system to manage your debtors. 

Come up with a clear, step-by-step way to handle outstanding accounts. This might include:

  • automated reminders on unpaid emails
  • a phone call or email when the amount has been outstanding for a certain period of time
  • a stop credit on the client when they exceed an acceptable payment time.
2. Be prepared for tax time 

One of the fastest ways to run out of cash is to find yourself short at tax time. Talk to your accountant about tax planning measures you can implement to ensure you can make your compliance and tax obligations. 

3. Try not to dip into business funds for personal spending

It’s always tempting to tap your business account for personal spending. Instead, try to keep them separate. If you’ve over-saved at the end of the tax year, you may be able to draw down a nice bonus. That’s much better than being caught short.

4. Sell old stock

Too much stock? Consider old stock, old furniture, machinery or even stationery: they can all be sold to free up space and provide a small cash injection.

5. Forecast your cash flow

Create a cash flow forecast (we can do this with you) and that will help you monitor and measure the flow of cash in and out of the business.

Need help with forecasting or cash flow management? We’re here for you. Feel free to get in touch.

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