Lost in Venice: How Software Support Helps You Navigate a New Application

Have you visited Venice? Rising out of the Venetian Lagoon like a dream, Venice is a tangle of enchanting laneways and canals lined with Renaissance-era palaces and churches. It is beautiful to behold and ranks as one of Europe’s most celebrated destinations. In Venice, there are no cars, tooting Vespas, or even bicycles. Visitors to Venice explore the city on foot or by water taxi or gondola.

Venice is a maze of anonymous streets. Very few streets have names, making most maps essentially useless. One of the great pleasures of Venice is to toss away the map and simply lose oneself in this magical labyrinth. But if you are trying to find your way back to your hotel at night or trying to find your hotel fresh off a train from the mainland, Venice’s no-name streets can prove frustrating.

Navigating a new software application can feel a lot like being lost in Venice: lots of beautiful dazzling features, but when you are trying to get from point A to point B and encountering dead ends at every turn, things start to lose their lustre.

Every software application comes with its own bible to study: a veritable paper storm of how-tos and FAQs. There are online forums, hours and hours of instructable videos, and detailed infographics. It is the equivalent of navigating Venice using an unwieldy folding map and a Lonely Planet guide book that could moonlight as a doorstop.

A dinky-di Venetian, does not need a map to navigate his or her city and neither does a visitor. Getting to grips with a new software application does not mean slavishly committing to memory  every command and process. It is simply a matter of unlocking the logic that underpins the software’s design.

The logic that underpins the layout of Venice is simple to grasp and once you do the city is actually easier to navigate than a metropolis with street names.

Venetian addresses are different in that they do not locate a business or residence on a street but in one of Venice’s six districts, called sestieri. For example if the address of your hotel is 5609 Cannaregio, then your hotel is located in the district called Cannaregio, not Cannaregio Street–it doesn’t exist.

Using a starting point like a bridge or a water taxi stop at the edge of a particular district, it is simply a matter of noting how the numbers above the doorways change. Simply follow the increasing or decreasing numbers to find your hotel. A big change in the number, means you may have crossed into another neighborhood. Simply turn around and go back the way you’ve come.

The path to unlocking the power of a software application is revealing the underlying logic that informs how it is laid out. And to do that you need access to expert users who spend their days navigating the software.

Notch Above offers new Xero users as well as more experienced users valuable insights into how Xero works. Sign up for your personal training session with one of our Xero experts.  You can answer questions specific to your business one on one with us from the comfort of your office.  You will come to know Xero the way a local knows his or her hometown.

If you run into a dead end in Xero, we will turn you around and put you on the right course again. Think of us like a hotel concierge providing you with directions you need to explore the highlights of a foreign capital.

Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support.  Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns. 

Travel and Tax Deductions

Claiming a tax deduction for travel-related accommodation and meal expenditure
A question that we are commonly asked at CNS Partners is “Can I claim for a deduction for accommodation and/or meals while away for work?”. This applies to both self- employed people and employees.
As a general rule accommodation and meals will only be deductible where the individual is found to be travelling overnight on work. This type of expenditure will not be deductible where the individual is found to be ‘living away from home’. The ATO tends to apply the 21-day rule of thumb. Specifically, where an individual is away from home for a brief period and it is difficult to conclude whether they are travelling overnight or living away from home, the taxpayer will generally be take to be travelling overnight on work where they are away for 21 days or less.

Evidence to support expense
If you incurred work-related overnight travel expenses and want to claim these expenses as a deduction, the nexus has to be established. If you are selected for a review or an audit, you may be asked to provide the following records to the ATO:

  1. Details of employment duties, including information about the requirements to undertake overnight travel for work-related purposes
  2. A letter from your employer, including contact name and telephone number, to confirm:
  • why you were required to undertake overnight travel in the course of carrying on your employment duties
  • details of any relevant reportable fringe benefits, or reimbursement to compensate your client for expenses incurred
  • details of specific travel allowances paid to you

In order to claim deductions for meals and accommodation expenditure in relation to work-related travel, taxpayers are generally required to substantiate this expenditure by providing receipts and/or maintaining a travel diary.
As an exception, these substantiation requirements do not apply to meals and accommodation where an employee is paid a ‘bona fide’ travel allowance to cover such travel costs, and the amount claimed by the employee does not exceed the Commissioner’s prescribed reasonable amount.
For more information on claiming travel expenses please contact CNS Partners.


CNS Partners

CNS Partners


Note: We at Notch Above Bookkeeping are BAS Agents and can’t provide tax advice. This information is general purpose only from Tax Agents, CNS Partners.

Receipt Rage? Keep Calm and Follow These Tips

Along with flying cars and holidays on the moon, the 21st century held the promise of paper-free offices; but alas, no. Twenty-first century bookkeeping still involves an awful lot of paperwork. While most civilians can safely toss their receipts away, small businesses operatives have to hold onto the invoices and receipts they amass, sometimes for years.

Not only are invoices and receipts easy to lose or misplace, but keying essential information from hundreds of these slips is a time-sucking experience. While collecting, transcribing, and archiving receipts are tasks that just need doing, there is no reason to lose your mind over these itty-bitty pieces of paper.

If you have a veritable hill of receipts waiting for you in your office, you need to conquer it with a plan, and once you have your receipts under control, make it a habit to capture your receipts every day by scheduling time for this task.

Reduce Your Mountain of Receipts to a More Manageable Molehill

Use Receipt Bank to Capture Receipt Data

If the prospect of keying in hundreds of receipts and invoices fills you with despair, chin up, because there is an application that takes care of that chore for you. Receipt Bank is a mobile application for iOS and Android devices. Instead of keying in a receipt, you take a picture of the receipt or use the desktop version of the application to scan the receipt.

The application then extracts all the essential information like the vendor’s name, the receipt total, the GST you paid, and the date of purchase, and then uploads this data. What is more Receipt Bank seamlessly integrates with Xero. With an application like Receipt Bank, a tedious process that can take hours is reduced to minutes. From there Notch Above can get you back on track with the bank reconciliations and BAS.

Life often gets in the way of best laid plans. A business trip, a sick child, or looming fulfillment deadline could take your attention away from dealing with your receipts. If you are juggling a lot right now, you do risk dropping an important ball. By delegating the task of reconciling your receipts and invoices, you will have one less ball to juggle.

We at Notch Above can help you catch up on your invoices and receipts and take on other Xero bookwork tasks, leaving you free to concentrate on growing your business and fulfilling the needs of your customers, as well as giving you back time for family and friends, and personal time for yourself.

Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support. Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.