When speaking to new clients we always get a consistent question; I am unsure if I need a bookkeeper for my business? In many cases we have found if a client is questioning whether there is a need, more than likely they should investigate getting one.
There are two important things every small business owner wants – and needs – to keep things running successfully: time and money. Choosing a bookkeeper for your business is one way to give you everything you want (and need).
There is sometimes false economies that a bookkeeper will cost your business money but what many business owners forget to do is cost themselves doing the work themselves. How many of us are guilty of spending countless weeknights and weekends catching up on paperwork or even doing the work during the day when we could be using this critical time to build our business, make sales and actually do what we’re trained to do (and outsource the rest).
There are numerous reasons your business could benefit from a bookkeeper but I’ve narrowed it down to the top six for you:
If you have come to the realisation that your business may benefit from having someone help with your bookkeeping, make sure you partner with the right firm.
There are many providers of bookkeeping services out there but it essential to ask the right questions before selecting one for your business.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a bookkeeper for your business:
Like many industries, you need to remember you get what you pay for and your bookkeeping partner should be aligned to your business.
At Galaxi Bookkeeping we pride ourselves in the level of service we provide to all our clients and are always available to answer and add value. We have a resident CPA member who oversees all the work and ensures books are kept up to date. Furthermore, our experience across many industries allows us ensure that you, as the client, gets the right information the first time around.
As a small business owner, there’s nothing worse than having overdue accounts – funds you could be using to enhance sales, replenish inventory or simply make necessary payments to your own suppliers.
Overdue debt is that fragile relationship between wanting to get paid and not wanting to upset the customer that may put a strain on future work. Having the right process and understanding is key to ensuring that overdue debt does not get out of hand.
While there are always going to be those select invoices that take a bit longer than usual to complete, it should be the goal of any small business to reduce overdue accounts. Overdue debt cannot be avoided sometimes however there are ways of achieving success without being overbearing or rude, in fact, there are quite a few proactive solutions that will help reduce the chance of debt becoming overdue.
Understand your Prospects
Guess what!! There is such a thing as a bad customer. When quoting a prospective client do your due diligence on who they are and the reputation they have in the marketplace. This will give you a first glance of any potential issues you may have in the future, if red flags pop up don’t be surprised if you take on the risk and the debt become overdue.
If red flags do appear, we suggest to;
Letter Of Engagement
Having a clear understanding between you and your client is nothing new, create a Letter of Engagement for your business which outlines clearly what each parties’ expectations is. This is critical if you operate a business which is based on retention of continuous work.
This will become quite useful if you ever run into a client who won’t or is slow in paying their bills. Furthermore, this becomes a golden document in the unfortunate event of having to escalate and go to court. Where you sell products or one-off engagements, Letter of Engagements are still considered useful but ensure that payment terms and method of payment are clear on the invoice.
The Letter of Engagement should contain key information such as;
Another way to reduce overdue accounts is to understand what risks you are happy to take and more importantly ensure everyone in your business is on the same page. This can be done by writing a clear and concise credit policy that highlights your terms and conditions. The policy should contain information such as general payment terms offered, process of escalation and reminders and timeline of steps taken before it’s turned over to a collection agency.
Don’t forget to review these policies periodically to ensure they remain current and cover trends in the economy and payments from clients.
Most accounting software now come with functionality which allows you to setup reminder letters and monthly statements. This allows your clients to keep track of what is due and give them a friendly reminder when something may have been missed.
We operate in a world where many businesses get hundred of emails and notifications each day, and sometimes even with best intentions your invoice may go missing or fall part of the dreaded spam. Sending a friendly reminder allows the client to be aware that payment of an invoice was missed. What is even better, is that clients can also be excluded from the process in most cases so you can manage who gets what and when.
If your business is unique there are always third-party providers which integrate to you accounting software which allows you not only to manage your debt but also integrate with payment platforms.
Contact us if you need assistance in setting this up in your business.
As a business owner, you also need to stay on top of outstanding debts to reduce overdue accounts. Nothing is still better than this, run your reports or setup your accounting software with the right information on the dashboard.
Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and have that friendly discussion with your client as to why an invoice may be outstanding. This will allow you to quickly identify what steps you need to take to get the invoice paid.
While it’s frustrating to deal with slow-paying clients, reduce overdue accounts by implementing your own unique solutions and create clear guidelines as to what you expect from those working with you!
Managing both the job site and bookkeeping for tradesmen can be a real challenge. Tradies have spent a lot of time skilling up in their profession with many being masters of their trade. However, one of the items which is never taught is how to manage your own bookkeeping and how to keep on top of paperwork.
When we speak to our tradie clients, they always say there is never a simple job and managing these jobs can become a nightmare without the right tools. There are labour components, materials purchased, and tasks contracted out, all of which get invoiced at different time frames. Add to the mix: job setbacks, contract retainers, design changes and bad weather and you have a perfect storm.
It is guaranteed that the tradie will complete the job, however knowing whether you made money and more importantly getting paid is not that definite. We believe, as you get busier with work you need to work smarter and not harder. Too often we have heard instances where invoices have not been raised and business owners fall behind in their paperwork as it is not a priority.
Here are some quick tips we have found work well in helping tradies;
Get yourself some help
Although you are a master at your trade, paperwork and finances may not be it. Tradies are excellent at what they do and should be spending most of their time excelling at that, as a result get some help with your back end work. Whether its through engaging a Virtual Assistant (VA) or Bookkeeper it will free up time to book in more paying clients.
Your need to remember that the time you spend doing your bookkeeping is either time you could be charging out or in some cases time you should be recharging your batteries ready for the next day.
Manage your jobs
Assign each unique job with a job number. Train your employees and contractors to use the appropriate job number when they purchase materials or invoice out their time. This information should then be brought across to your accounting application allowing to understand how each job has performed.
With latest job management applications this is all automated for you. Setting up these applications allows you to have common pricing for tasks and build work orders. More importantly you can then assign these to your employee or contractors including location and job priorities based on GPS routing.
Contactors can then complete jobs as they are done via taking photos and / or client signatures and most importantly take payment directly on their smart device from the client, removing the need to chase unpaid invoices.
The better applications then automatically integrate all the information into your accounting software allowing for revenue and costings to be itemised, and you knowing immediately the performance of your business.
Managing of Supplier Invoices & Paperwork
When paperwork gets out-of-control it is difficult to recover and makes it seem like you are drowning in paper. Create simple paperwork habits to stay on top of your bookwork. Keep a folder in the car to put all purchase dockets, invoices and receipts into. Train staff to collect and pass on paperwork when purchasing materials. Keep all fuel receipts in the car glove box. Enter all purchases into your accounting software on a regular basis. A positive routine will help you stay in control of your paperwork.
Want to work smarter and not harder; with latest third-party integrated applications, you can send or take photos of invoices and receipts which integrate directly into your accounting application. This information is digitised allowing for owners to quickly understand what they owe and when it is due. Can you imagine picking up some product from your local hardware store, taking a photo and bang it’s in your accounting software ready to be paid.
These applications not only integrate the data but a copy of the image, so if you ever want to know what each product cost you for a particular job six months down the track, a copy of the receipt is there for your viewing.
Got an account with a supplier? Not an issue, integrate your online login you have with the supplier with the third-party software and the invoices will be fetched automatically. No need to even take a photo.
How easy is that!
This will then streamline the business’s statutory reporting requirements especially where supplier invoices are GST taxable, free or a combination. Introduction of key third party applications which read and interpret invoices, ensures you don’t overstate your GST obligations and remove potential duplicates. Too often we have seen owners overstate their GST due to manual capturing of information.
Paper was so 2019!
Time is precious when running a busy business – don’t waste time by tracking all these features manually!
Want to know more about how to work Smarter and not Harder! Give us a call, we offer free initial consultation and specialise in helping business owners spend more time in their business making money, feel free to contact us.
Keeping track of finances is a struggle for many small businesses, but the hustle and bustle of a busy café or restaurant can be even more overwhelming for managers and owners. Constant challenges of juggling staff and their shifts and rosters, suppliers, cashflow and produce requires great time and task management not to mention the fine art of multi-tasking. Often items are taken care of in the spur of the moment, based on what is critical at that moment; a supplier who won’t supply any more products, an employee who needs to change availability and so it goes on….. While bookkeeping for cafes may take a bit more attention, that doesn’t mean it has to be harder!
Let’s not forget, unfortunately businesses in hospitality have the highest percentage of failure, due to poor record keeping. Without timely information, this does not give owners valuable insights to make the right decisions. As a result, with little to no data, decisions are made on emotions.
Choosing the right software is a crucial first step to making bookkeeping for cafes and restaurants easier to handle and helps you stay on track each day. Xero ticks many of the boxes we see that owners of cafés and restaurants require. Everything from managing their daily cashflow, supplier payments to integration of key third party applications to manage shifts and rosters.
Managing of Supplier Invoices
With latest third-party integrated applications you can send or take photos of invoices and receipts which integrate directly into your accounting application. This information is digitised allowing for owners to quickly understand what they owe and when it is due. This removes the embarrassing situation when suppliers won’t supply more stock due to unpaid invoices. We all know, no stock means no sales.
Statutory reporting for cafés and restaurants can also become an issue with many supplier invoices being GST taxable, free or a combination. Introduction of key third party applications which read and interpret invoices, ensures you don’t overstate your GST obligations and remove potential duplicates. Too often we have seen owners overstate their GST due to manual capturing of information.
Paper was so 2019!
Managing staff in any business can be challenging, however add the issues of shifts, rosters and awards and this adds a whole lot of complexity. Most accounting applications such as Xero provide payroll components which are suitable to manage staff, however where this does not suffice, third party applications exist which allow owners to manage rosters, capture hours worked (including time of the day) which is then subsequently compared to awards, making the paying of employees a whole lot easier.
It’s important to stay organised for the sake of your business and your employees – you don’t want to spend unnecessary money overbooking your staff or being short on hands during peak hours.
Selling to Customers
Once you have managed your supplier invoices and rostering of employees you need to remember the main objective as to why you got into business; selling to customers. Having the right tools to capture customer orders and sales is pivotal in understanding the success of a menu and customer satisfaction.
Add to this the different ways of selling a meal from client facing to delivery via Uber or Deliveroo, it is important to segment how sales are made. Point-Of-Sale (POS) applications take the hassle out of managing menus and pricing, orders and segmentation. With easy setup and user interaction it allows for business owners to understand what works, what makes money, and more importantly, what makes the customer happy.
Time is precious when running a busy business – don’t waste time by tracking all of these features manually!
Like individuals, there is no reason as to why businesses don’t have New Year resolutions. This is a great opportunity for business owners to introduce targets and milestones for their business, or aim to change the way they do things.
Speaking to business owners, we are hearing that many of them want to spend more time in 2020 building their business and increasing sales, but don’t know how to go about it as they are already spending all their time running their business.
Finding more time in a day is difficult, we all suffer the tree through the forest syndrome where we can not see how we could possibly do more in our day. The key to this is to split the tasks we do daily into value added, which drive increased business, and those which we should look to simplify via automation.
Automation is the process of introducing technology to help simplify the process and reduce the manual nature of the task. There is a whole marketplace of applications which work in simplifying tasks, and more importantly integrate with the top accounting applications.
Having spent extensive time with small to medium businesses who are time poor, we have found that management of jobs when having employees / contractors, and management of supplier invoices, are the most time-consuming manual tasks in any business owners’ daily tasks. These tasks consume valuable business owners time and in some cases are seen as “must be done” and not value-added. By identifying technology to help business owners with these tasks, it frees up their time to allow it to be invested in their business.
Job management applications allow for business owners to organise their work tasks and what needs to be done for each one. These jobs are raised for each client and outline what work needs to be done by whom. The more advanced job management applications then allow for location management of tasks, completion of jobs via capturing of photos and then followed by providing clients the ability to pay real time via payment services like Stripe or PayPal.
Due to the manual nature of keying of data, supplier invoices are generally not entered into accounting applications and the expense simply allocated when the payment has been made. Automation of supplier invoices has come a long way in the past couple of years with invoices now digitised and information extracted including supplier information and values so that they can be easily integrated into leading accounting applications. Copies of the invoices are also maintained in the accounting application for future reference removing the need for paper to be kept. Invoices can be sent to these applications through forwarding of emailed invoices or capturing a photo of the invoice through smart phone applications.
These two automation technologies, as examples, have been found not to only simplify manual tasks and give back business owners valuable time, but also reduce the amount of paperwork maintained by businesses reducing costs and footprint required in offices.
There are endless tools and applications that can assist in the simplification of tasks and each business should be looked at individually to see what solutions suit their needs, with broad experience across multiple industries we can help review and identify applications which will simplify and automate tasks and most importantly give business owners back valuable time to work on their business and grow.
The festive season is a great time not to only take a break and recharge the batteries but also take a look at what you have achieved in the first six months of the FY20 financial year. Although for many businesses this is a slow down period, it allows for business owners who are time short to get on top of those tasks which were never done during the busy period.
Taking note on how the first six months have gone is a great way to ensure you change your strategy for the next six months and ensure your business is on the path of success.
However, its not only about assessing your business, its also to relax and take some well time off to rest. Celebrating with family and employees on another year gone. Don’t forget thought for all those small business owners out there it is season to be jolly! However, before you start making spirits bright with gifts and Christmas parties, fringe benefits tax (FBT) may apply when providing all the trimmings.
When considering giving gifts and Christmas parties for employees and clients, consider;
– How much will it cost
– Where and when it is held – a party held on work premises on a normal work day is treated differently to an event outside of work
– Who is invited – is it just employees or are partners, clients or suppliers also invited?
Similarly, where you provide Christmas gifts, you’ll need to consider:
– the amount you spend
– the type of gift – gifts such as wine or hampers are treated differently to gifts like tickets to a movie or sporting event
– who you are giving the gift to – there are different rules for employees and clients/suppliers.
We always recommend to speak to your accountant or bookkeeper if you are not sure of how to handle or know what is a reasonable expenditure for your employees, clients or suppliers.
More importantly have an awesome and safe festive season, recharge those batteries and prepare for an exciting 2020.
Single-Touch-Payroll is here and as off 30th September 2019 all business (with exception of a few) should have been switched onto STP.
Single Touch Payroll is a new way of reporting payroll information to the Australian Tax Office. Businesses used to report this information to the ATO once at the end of the financial year
Now, businesses need to send information after each pay run. And those reports must be submitted using a solution that is Single Touch Payroll compliant, such as payroll or accounting software. Xero have worked hard in becoming compliant and now have a one-stop solution for all business sizes.
With Single Touch Payroll, the payment summary annual report and the payment summary will go away, you can still create a payment summary if the employee asks, but it is no longer a mandatory requirement as they will receive a notification from their MyGov account.
So you may ask yourself, “How do I become STP Compliant”, easy follow these easy four steps;
1. You can report your Single Touch Payroll through a payroll or accounting software, a registered tax or BAS agent who reports on your behalf or a low cost STP solution
2. Before you can file your payroll to the ATO, you’ll first need to set up your payroll system.
3. To be compliant with the ATO’s requirements, you’ll need to connect your Xero account to the ATO’s portal.
4. Call us and we can take the hassle out of STP for you
Most accounting software have developed their STP solution as part of their accounting package, however if you have not used an accounting package for your payroll calculations in the past you now need to subscribe to one. Xero have developed payroll only accounting packages to help you, however we do recommend, regardless how small your business is, to implement a full accounting package so that you can manage your business better.
Once you have the right software and STP compliant, remember to “File” your payroll every-time you run one.
We have all done it before, “Spring Clean”, a time we throw out the old in anticipation of warmer weather. Who says this is limited to our homes, businesses can benefit from the same approach! A good look of how the first quarter of the financial year has gone and a time to change strategies if required.
It is important to keep on top of your business and its strategies and make slight changes to them as environment, industries and general markets change. By keeping on top of these you can take advantages of new trends emerging in your industries or simply concentrating on different parts of your business which bring the most benefit.
An engaged bookkeeper partners with your business and works through with your strategies, gone are the days of “rear view” accounting where you spend most of your time looking at what has happened. Although important to see the path taken it is evermore important to look at the path forward.
At Galaxi Bookkeeping we enjoy partnering with our clients to help them achieve the most of their business by keeping their books up to date and providing insightful information on their business. Providing you with detailed information allows you to;
Another benefit of taking the time to review your business as part of a “Spring Clean” it sets milestones within your business calendar to ensure you are spending time improving your business and not just running it. Our experience has taught us that businesses grow but their processes don’t keep up. Part of a good business “Spring Clean” may be the need to identify if the business has outgrown “how you do things” and look at introducing intuitive applications to help the business into the next phase of its life.
Whether it’s a simple “how am I going”, through to “we need to change”, Galaxi Bookkeeping is here to partner with you and help you succeed.
Many businesses from time to time start to ask themselves whether they are operating the right accounting software for their business, especially through time of growth or change. The good news is that you are not stuck with the one accounting system for the whole life of your business.
Your accounting system should change as does your business, if it becomes more complex or grows your accounting software should also change to keep up with the businesses demand. If you find yourself asking some or all of these questions you should look at upgrading;
1. I am not getting the right reports from my system
2. I have some complex processes which are not catered for
3. My chart-of-account and reports no longer make sense
4. Price continues to increase but I am unsure what I am getting
The start of a financial year is always a great time to look at changing your accounting system, there are many strategies on how to bring data across and how much detail. From converting a whole accounting year at a transaction level to simple opening balances, there is a solution for all businesses.
It is important you choose an accounting system which suits your business and will grow with your business and complexity. Look at choosing a system which can;
1. Grow with your business
2. Has adaptable applications which can be integrated and help you run your business
3. Provides you the level of data and reports that can be used to make decision
4. Is user friendly and gives you a quick snapshot on the performance of your business
Another item to be aware is that many software options provide different levels of functionality, from entry level with limited transactions to multi-currency, multi employee top of the line functionality. Not only choose the software which suits you now, but one which may become useful in the future. Taken into consideration that some upgrades require a full conversion rather than a simple software upgrade.
Galaxi Bookkeeping specialise in software conversion and are partnered with Xero to provide you the solution you need. Ask us now which software application best fits your business now and in the future.
STP For Small Business
Most recently new legislation has been introduced relating to payroll which will impact small to medium businesses. Due to come into effect 1st of July this year if you run your own business it is important to be prepared.
Regardless of your business size or number of employees as of 1 July you will need to lodge all payroll information, including salaries, tax and super information to the ATO each time you complete a pay run.
Having the right systems in place and team to help you implement and manage these is the key in ensuring you meet the new legislative requirements, allowing for a seamless and efficient process so you can continue to focus on what keeps your business ticking.
For an estimated 90,000 business who don’t operate a payroll application, this means higher compliance costs with them now requiring to obtain appropriate software to calculate and lodge payroll information. Using Excel will no longer will acceptable according to the ATO.
So what do I do if I am a small business now impacted by STP;
1. Contact your accountant or bookkeeper
2. Decide on a compliant payroll software
3. Setup and commence using an application for payroll
We understand the rising costs of compliance and as a result can help you with low-cost payroll software, setting it up so that it is seamless and even look after your payroll needs. If you need help, get in contact with us for a free chat and see how we can help you direct you down the right path.