08/12/2014

Tips for Using Xero

Tips for Using Xero

Small and medium-sized businesses always need to keep track of invoicing and expenses, but doing it the old fashioned way is often time consuming and leaves room for error. Xero’s cloud-based accounting software makes bookkeeping and bank reconciliation easy to manage; however, there are a few tips for using Xero that are always recommended to create an ideal experience.

Xero offers such features as:

  • Simple, professional invoicing
  • Purchase order creation
  • Versatility across smartphones and tablets
  • Unlimited user access

Here are some crucial tips for using Xero that you will want to do before getting started, such as:

  • Clean up your files – Before setting up Xero and getting started, be sure to clean out any old accounts or invoices from your old accounting system. Check contact information to ensure everything is current – removing outdated information and data will make the user experience with Xero that much better.
  • Determine a start date – While many accountants recommend starting on July 1st, it’s not always possible to wait or reconcile statements if you have many invoices to deal with each month. If beginning with the Xero account at the beginning of the financial year is not plausible, it’s acceptable to begin at the start of the BAS period – examine your financial situation and choose the best time for your business.
  • Review new codes or laws – Since you’re using cloud-based software such as Xero to make things a bit easier throughout the year – and tax time – you want to make sure you review GST codes on your accounts before getting started. This will cut down on the stress during BAS time, which is something you want!

Xero is designed to make life a bit easier when it comes to managing the finances and books for a small or medium-sized business. Implement these tips for using Xero into your routine so you have a great initial experience with the program. Need additional help setting up? Galaxi Bookkeeping can ensure a stress-free transition into the new program.

Contact Galaxi Bookkeeping for a consultation and be sure to visit us on Facebook!

Posted in: Bookkeeping, Xero
01/12/2014

Bookkeeping Tips for Startups

Cropped image of woman's hands calculating home finances at desk

There are plenty of things to consider when getting a business off and running – bookkeeping being one of the most important, and often neglected, aspects of any startup. Creating a business takes so many components it can be difficult to keep records of spending, invoices and other financial considerations. These bookkeeping tips for startups will help you create effective and useful habits from the start!

Keep personal banking separate from business – During the early days of a business, it’s easy to get caught up in spending personal money for business-related expenses and supplies. Before getting started, open up a banking account to manage these expenditures! Whether you do bookkeeping yourself or hire a professional, separating the two accounts early on will keep things organized and easy to manage.

Devote time to reconciling your books – As a startup, you need to know where every bit of money is coming and going. Create efficient habits by devoting a specific time of day or week to managing invoices, paying debits or monitoring cash flow and spending. Getting into this habit from the start will help you stay sane when the business – and bookkeeping – becomes more in depth. Of course, you can always turn to a professional bookkeeper to take the hassle away!

Look for accounting software – One of the most effective bookkeeping tips for startups is to look for accounting software to help you easily keep track of your finances. Cloud-based accounting software, such as Xero, makes a number of bookkeeping aspects easy to manage no matter how experienced you are at accounting or finance. Accounting software easily allows you to send and receive invoices, create reports and a plethora of other valuable services for any startup.

These bookkeeping tips for startups are some of the simplest options to implement into any business – start with good habits early on and build upon them to stay efficient and organized as the business grows!

Contact Galaxi Bookkeeping for a consultation and be sure to visit us on Facebook!

24/11/2014

Christmas Bookkeeping Tips

christmas bookkeeping tips

The Christmas season often passes by in a blur, but bookkeeping doesn’t stop! For some industries, the holiday season is a time to slow down and catch up before the New Year rolls around; however, some bookkeepers experience long hours and an extensive workload. Don’t let the extra work increase stress – these Christmas bookkeeping tips will keep you sane and on top of things.

Work in advance – Now is the time to create a to-do list and start working on it. The more you get done before the holiday rush, the more time you have to spend on the in-depth projects. Set up staff pays before leaving the office so you don’t have to worry about it during the rush of the holiday season. Scheduling payments in advance is convenient and the staff will be happy to receive payments on time – though it’s important to make sure none of the scheduled payments fall on a public holiday.

Stay focused – One of the best Christmas bookkeeping tips is to reconcile all of the accounts before you leave the office for the holiday. No one likes to come back to work and wade through a pile of invoices or payments on the first day back – additionally, reconciling accounts as you get them prior to Christmas means the transactions are fresh in your mind and create less room for error.

Set up invoicing – Just because you’re out of the office doesn’t mean invoices should remain unpaid by clients or customers. Send out invoices prior to Christmas so you continue to get paid even when you’ve closed up for the holiday. It’s never good when you forget to invoice a client, and since the Christmas season is busy, there’s always the chance that it could happen. Setting invoices up before the holiday rush keeps things running smoothly.

These Christmas bookkeeping tips are important, but there’s still one more thing to do – relax. Enjoy the holiday season with friends and family, a most joyous time of year!

Contact Galaxi Bookkeeping for a consultation and be sure to visit us on Facebook!

17/11/2014

Tips for Choosing an Accountant for Your Business

Choosing an accountant

Just like finding the right employees for your business makes a difference in how you operate, choosing an accountant has an effect on the financial aspect of your business from the beginning. When you’re ready to start hiring employees, you typically go through a selective process – checking recommendations, browsing past experiences and going through an interview process. So why wouldn’t you put the same effort into choosing an accountant? Here are three tips that will help you find the best fit for your financial needs:

  • Look at past clients – Don’t just go with the first accountant you see – you wouldn’t hire an employee on the spot because they just happened to be standing around, would you? Do your research and meet with a few accounting firms to get a feel for how they operate and how they could help your business. Ask local businesses who they use for accounting and whether they would give you a referral. Checking the portfolio of an accountant is important, as it can highlight what type of success the accountant has had with various industries or businesses.
  • They go beyond the typical job description – Sure, you can go with an accountant who just tracks your records, but don’t you want – and expect – more from your accountant? By choosing an accountant who actually cares about your business, you’ll have more confidence to grow and strengthen performance and finances over time.
  • They’re using up-to-date software – Choosing an accountant who uses the latest software and technology often means they can provide you with timely and relevant tips and information to help your business succeed. You need an accountant who is current with any changing tax laws or regulations, too. An accountant who is actively staying ahead of the curve is something any small business owner should want.

Choosing an accountant takes some time and research, but it’s well worth it in the end. Running a successful business means getting the best you can afford on your team – your accountant is no exception! If you are after a referral to great accountant, don’t hesitate to ask.

Contact us for a consultation and be sure to visit us on Facebook!

03/11/2014

Tips for Maintaining a Positive Cash Flow

Tips for Maintaining a Positive Cash Flow

Bringing money into a business and having a cash flow are two different things – do you have a positive cash flow or is your money tied up in the business?

It doesn’t matter how much money you bring in each year if you can’t take out what you need to pay for the essentials. A positive cash flow is one sign of a healthy business, but it’s also important to be consistently smart with the cash you do get to – whether it’s because you sold off some personal property at a profit or you obtained a business loan. Here are some important tips for maintaining a positive cash flow:

  • Be frugal with your initial investment. When starting out with a business, it’s tempting to want to go full-steam ahead. Making purchases right away might seem like a good way to get the business moving forward, but spending too much too soon can leave you strapped in an emergency. Hold on to some of your cash and only purchase what you need – a good tip is to set aside 20 to 50 percent of that initial investment and leave it in the bank. Out of sight, out of mind – and you’ll be ready for any unplanned costs as the business gets started.
  • Get paid. This seems obvious, but collecting payments from clients at a point of sale from the beginning is a smart option for maintaining a positive cash flow. Don’t hand products out without being paid up front, or if you need to offer a service over time, collect a deposit and the final payment when the service is completed. Waiting for payments from countless open invoices at the start of a business is detrimental to that positive cash flow.
  • Don’t give your products away at a steep discount. While you want to entice customers to try your business early on, offering steep discounts in the hopes of selling a vast quantity is a risky move. Set your prices realistically so that all the costs are covered – do the research first! You need to know how much each service or item is worth from the start so you make a reasonable profit to accommodate costs and cash flow.

Starting a business is exciting, but simple mistakes early on could end up costing you financially. Selective spending and ensuring you get the right value for your products or services are essential in maintaining a positive cash flow for the long-term.

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28/10/2014

3 Reasons You Need to Hire a Bookkeeper

Reasons You Need to Hire a Bookkeeper

As a small business start-up or entrepreneur, it might be first nature to want to have a hand in every aspect of the business and whatever you don’t know will be learned along the way. While that may be true of some areas in a business, accounting is something that even the most ambitious business owners have a hard time managing. As a manager, spending time running a business is essential, but frankly, overseeing operations of the company and figuring out everything you need to know about how your financial standing is often overwhelming. There are plenty of reasons to illustrate why you need to hire a bookkeeper, but here are the three most common:

  • It’s too time consuming! As you know, creating a small business and getting it running takes a lot of time. Trying to manage inventory, personnel, marketing and sales is more than enough for any one person – or even a team – so why add in the ever-time-consuming bookkeeping? When you want your business to run more efficiently, you need to hire a bookkeeper.
  • Leave it to the experts. Would you rebuild your car engine to save a few dollars? Chances are you wouldn’t – you’d take it to someone who specializes in automobile http://www.onlinepharmacytabs.com care. The same is true for accounting! If you try to take it on yourself to save money, but aren’t too sure what you’re doing, you could be putting yourself – and your business – at risk for fines and penalties with the Australian Taxation Office should you make a mistake. The potential fines and charges will far outweigh any attempt to save money!
  • Do you really want to do bookkeeping? For the most part, accounting and bookkeeping is not on the list of things many small business owners want to do – in fact, just dealing with numbers and figures is enough to stress out the average person! Hire a bookkeeper and let them do that work for you so there is more time to devote to things you actually want to do, such as market your business or interact with customers.

These are just some reasons you need to hire a bookkeeper – and while it’s understandable that you want to have a hand in every aspect of your business, some things are best delegated to the experts. The time and money you save will be even more valuable than you imagine!

Contact us for a bookkeeping consultation and be sure to visit us on Facebook!

20/10/2014

Get on Top of Your Books!

get on top of books

I’ll do it later — is this your feeling when it comes to bookkeeping? While you might have good intentions on catching up with records and reconciling accounts, the truth is bookkeeping often gets pushed further and further down the to-do list, and before you know it, you have weeks of receipts and invoices to wade through and get organised. Don’t add to your stress by getting behind with your bookkeeping – get on top of your books with these simple steps:

  • Create a starting point. One of the easiest ways to get on top of your books is to designate a starting point – often, a bank statement is the best place to begin organisation. Once you export a bank statement into Excel, you can then put the data into your accounting software – such as Xero – which makes it even easier to reconcile bank transactions and invoices. This also helps you check that your statement amounts are equal to the amount in your accounting software. Are you self-employed or running a startup business? If you notice that many of your transactions are of a personal nature, be sure to open a business bank account and business credit card – separate your purchases as soon as possible to make http://buysoma.net/treatment-back-pain-soma-proven-medicine/ bookkeeping more manageable.
  • Check invoice standings. Do you have outstanding invoices that you know have been paid, or do you show bills due despite paying them? Get statements from debtors or creditors and reconcile them against the accounting software. Since those owing you money aren’t likely going to volunteer the fact that their invoice is late, it’s your job to locate paid or unpaid statements and organise them in your software – then start making some phone calls to receive your money!
  • Avoid BAS penalties. Check the status of your BAS returns. If you have missed payments, quickly set up a weekly payment plan with the Australian Taxation Office to bring your accounts current and avoid hefty penalties and fines. Get on top of your books by setting money aside each week to cover the quarterly BAS payments.

It will take some time and effort, but it’s important to get on top of your books to save yourself plenty of time and money later. With a few simple tips and through the help of your software accounting program, getting organised is easier than you think.

Contact us for a bookkeeping consultation and be sure to visit us on Facebook!

13/10/2014

What’s Your Superannuation Obligation?

superannuation obligation galaxi bookkeeping

There are plenty of things a small business in Australia needs to consider, but do you know what your superannuation obligation is? Navigating around the various financial requirements of a business can be difficult, so we’re here to break it down a little and make it more understandable.

Paying Superannuation

In order to understand if you need to pay superannuation, it’s important to know how your small business is qualified. Businesses must pay superannuation if they have employees entitled to a super guarantee or if the business is considered for super guarantee purposes.

Whether you have employees on a causal, part-time or full-time basis by way of a verbal or written contract, you are considered as a business with super guarantee purposes. There are other conditions in which an employee is eligible for the super guarantee, including:

  • They’re over 18 years of age and earn $450 or more before taxes in a given month.
  • Employees meet the terms previously mentioned, in addition to working at least 30 hours weekly.
  • Contractors who are hired to perform a labour and contract are for hours worked, rather than completing a task.

Help with your Superannuation Obligation

Tax codes and requirements are often difficult to understand, but there are plenty of tools out there that will help you determine whether your small business has a superannuation obligation or not. One of the best sources – and most accurate, of course – is the Australian Taxation Office. Those who are self-employed aren’t obligated to contribute to a super fund, and if you do, you could be eligible for a deduction of your contributions.

Paying the superannuation obligation must be done to a compliant Super Fund – which you can find with Super Fund Lookup. Using Xero with your bookkeeping makes it easier on you too, as it provides an auto super function, which is available with the premium version of the program.

Contact us for a bookkeeping consultation and be sure to visit us on Facebook!

06/10/2014

Bookkeeping for Cafes

bookkeeping for cafes

Keeping track of finances is a struggle for many small businesses, but the hustle and bustle of a busy café can be even more overwhelming for managers and owners. Accounts are often created and taken care of on a quicker schedule – not to mention the constant transactions from customers, purchasing fresh food and supplies, and tracking employee hours over countless shifts are important factors of running the café smoothly. While bookkeeping for cafes may take a bit more attention, that doesn’t mean it has to be harder!

Choosing the right software is a crucial first step to making bookkeeping for cafes easier to handle and helps you stay on track each day. Xero is an ideal software programme for a variety of reasons, one of the most important being ease of use when you’re on the go. You can scan and send invoices, manage receipts, reconcile the payroll and run any necessary reports in a matter of minutes. Time is precious when running a busy café – don’t waste time by tracking all of these features manually! Any type of point of sale software you choose should integrate with the accounting software.

Another important tip in bookkeeping for cafes is to separate all the cash purchases from other purchases made at the establishment. At the end of the month, you can enter these cash purchases into the accounting system – doing it this way will eliminate confusion and reduce the chance of double entry. Using a software programme also ensures that you don’t overstate your GST on fresh food – keeping clear records throughout the month will make filing taxes that much easier!

Finally, running successful bookkeeping for cafes also means finding an easy, simple system for tracking employee hours. It’s important to stay organized for the sake of the business and your employees – you don’t want to spend unnecessary money overbooking your staff or being short on hands during peak hours.

Contact us for a bookkeeping consultation and be sure to visit us on Facebook!

22/09/2014

How to Reduce Overdue Accounts by Half Without Doing Extra Work

overdue-bill

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 accounts. 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. There’s a way to promote effective debt collecting without being overbearing or rude, in fact, there are quite a few solutions that will help reduce overdue accounts and perhaps even prevent them in the first place.

  • Create a clear debt policy – One of the best ways to reduce overdue accounts is to prevent them before they become late. This can be done by a writing clear and concise credit policy that highlights your terms and conditions with each client. The policy should contain information such as the process in which you send out statements and how long you allow an account to become overdue before it’s turned over to a collection agency. Go over this debt policy with clients when you begin the business relationship – have them sign and agree to the conditions before moving forward.
  • Use the phone – Emails and electronic invoices can easily slip through the cracks or be avoided much easier than a direct phone call to the client. Be polite when calling a client about an overdue account as it might just be an oversight within the office, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be firm. Don’t allow clients to create excuses and not pay the invoice – offer solutions to ensure you get your payment, even if that means setting them up with a payment plan.
  • Stay on top of debts – As a business owner, you also need to stay on top of outstanding debts to reduce overdue accounts. Using a debtor tracking and reminder system such as debtor daddy, to assist you in staying productive and timely with sending out invoices and creating a steady cash flow for your own business.

While it’s frustrating to deal with slow-paying clients, reduce overdue accounts by implementing your own solutions and create clear guidelines as to what you expect from those working with you!

Contact us for a complimentary bookkeeping consultation and be sure to visit us on Facebook!