tradie working on a deck

Be your best tradie with the right tech

How can tradespeople go about streamlining their business and help set themselves up for success?

Reduce admin with the right tech

For trade business owners wanting to get more control and grow their business, reducing time spent on admin can have a huge impact.

Worldwide, 39% of tradespeople spend more than 12 hours per week on paperwork – that’s more than one working week every month. Using specialised trade business management software can drastically reduce this.

For example, one area that’s a time blackhole for tradespeople is quoting. A fast and efficient quoting system not only saves admin time, but can also have a positive impact on how many jobs a tradesperson is likely to win.

Managing staff and communicating with customers is another area where the right software can come to the rescue for tradespeople. It’s easy to see how this time can add up if operators are spending a lot of the time on the phone, booking jobs, giving customers updates and liaising with staff.

Whereas a cloud-based job management app like Tradify can ensure staff know exactly what they need, where to go and what to do just by checking the app. And app features like live job-tracking can help communicate to the customer exactly what’s happening.

Using software to set up efficient admin processes builds a solid foundation for a trades business.

The amount of time saved compounds over time, potentially saving hundreds of hours a year. And the flow-on effects can be huge. Not only does it mean time saved, it can also help tradespeople feel less stressed, more in control and give them time back to spend on higher-value activities, helping their trade business grow as a result.

We know that better efficiency gets you more family time and ability to take the time off you want to have!

Notch Above Bookkeeping are Platinum Certified Xero bookkeepers and BAS Agents in QLD and NSW. We help tradies across Australia to prepare their BAS returns and streamline their bookkeeping processes, payroll and accounting records using cloud technology. Call us to find out how your trades business can benefit on 1300 015 130.

Source: Xero

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cash flow

Tips for Maintaining and Managing Good Cash Flow

Having adequate working capital at all times is important

Managing this capital carefully is critical.

Managing cash flow involves keeping a vigilant eye on revenue, cost structure, the quality of your business plan and your capital structure. This way, you can ensure your business remains cash flow positive at all times.

Best practice tips for cash flow management

Financial reporting

  • Have a properly structured balance sheet that has all the details, from inventory and debts to interest costs.
  • Know your business’ balance sheet back to front and understand the numbers. This is vital in managing cash flow and budgeting.
  • Review your P&L statements comprehensively at least quarterly and preferably monthly to identify trends and track progress against budgets and targets, whether or not times have been good.
  • Keep a close eye on margins to ensure costs aren’t creeping up.
  • Don’t just focus on your profit and loss statement to the exclusion of all else. Be aware that healthy profits can sometimes mask a developing cash flow crisis.

Cash flow management

  • A crucial part of managing cash flow for small business is knowing where every dollar and cent is being spent. Every dollar saved is a dollar straight on the bottom line, whereas a sale carries with it direct costs and overheads.
  • Construct a useful cash flow projection, which is your ‘best guess’ at the business’ cash inflows and outflows over a period of time. Review and adjust your projection regularly.
  • Work with your bookkeeper to learn how to manage cash flow in your business. Depending on your specific situation we may recommend doing cash flow budgeting on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis and advise you on a range of issues including which invoices you should pay and who will pay you.
  • Update and review your business cash flow budget regularly, using conservative revenue and expense estimates. This will forewarn you about potential cash shortages. It will also help build your business’ credit track record.
  • Be aware that rapid growth can often result in a cash crunch.

Suppliers

  • Keep good records of supplier transactions. This will give you better leverage in negotiating more favourable terms and prices.
  • Regularly review your suppliers, such as your insurance or energy plan.
  • Get the payment cycle right for creditors and debtors.
  • Check all supplier invoices carefully for accuracy.
  • Spread the payments of invoices over the month when payments actually fall due rather than having one day per month designated to pay invoices.

Best practice

  • Keep your working capital and business bank account separate from your personal bank account.
  • Avoid giving family members credit cards on the business account.
  • Use purchase orders to reduce discretionary staff spending.
  • Draw a wage or salary for yourself rather than just drawing on the account for personal expenses as needed. This can be unmanageable, time-consuming and costly.
  • If your business has a floating interest rate loan, consider the benefits of locking in your loan’s interest rate for a defined period to avoid the impact of increased interest rates.
  • Consider the benefits of protecting your bottom line profitability and minimising the impact of additional interest costs bypassing any costs on to customers as they arise.

Notch Above Bookkeeping are Platinum Certified Xero bookkeepers and BAS Agents. We help small business owners across Australia (especially medical specialists such as dentists, orthodontists, optometrists and anaesthetists) to prepare BAS returns and streamline their bookkeeping processes, payroll and accounting records using cloud technology.

Source: Business Australia

#remotebusinessbookkeepers #cloudbusinessbookkeeping #xeroplatinumbookkeepers

stethoscope

Notch Above Medical and Healthcare bookkeeping

Bookkeeping solutions for medical and healthcare practices

Transform your clinic’s bookkeeping and free up your time

Running a medical practice or health centre can be busy and demanding. With Notch Above Bookkeeping powered by Xero, you can free up time so you can focus more on your clinic. With Notch Above working as your bookkeeping advisors you can more easily:

  • Keep track of expenses
  • Ensure all claims are progressing and maximised
  • Manage working hours, approve leave and pay staff more easily with Xero’s online payroll
  • Work from your practice, remotely or on the go with a suite of mobile apps
  • Synchronise Xero with third-party healthcare apps for appointment scheduling, practice management and more.

Practical and streamlined solutions for medical and health clinics

Notch Above’s cloud bookkeeping clients include Dentists, Opticians, Anaesthetists, Acupuncturists, Pharmacists, Medical Clinics, Ophthalmologists, Specialists Surgeons and General Practitioners.

Our bookkeepers work with your Practice Manager to allow you, as the medical specialist, to concentrate on running your clinic. Doing so allows your Practice Manager to manage your practice rather than taking away focus to attend to bookkeeping tasks.

The Notch Above Bookkeeping team is experienced using medical software platforms such as Genie Solutions and Gentu.

What our clients say about working with Notch Above Bookkeeping

“The friendly, professional team at Notch Above provide me with the confidence to know my bookkeeping is under control, allowing me more time for my patients and ultimately, my family.” – Dr Sunil Warrier, Ophthalmic Surgeon & Ocular Oncologist

 

“We have been with Notch Above and Xero for several years now and the combination is the best thing we ever did to tidy up our pre-existing bookkeeping/accounting arrangements. The service they provide is not only consistent and reliable, but also friendly and reassuring – things which are so important in these still unsettled times. Notch Above certainly lives up to the name.” – Eric Woodford, CC Oates Pty Ltd

Hassle-free Bookkeeping Packages

AAA20_seal_finalists_Bookkeeping Firm of the YearNotch Above Bookkeeping are certified Xero bookkeepers offering agreed-price monthly fees so you know exactly where you stand. No hidden extras and no ticking clock.

Browse our range of Xero bookkeeping services and get in touch with our team on 1300 015 130.

Copyright 2021. Notch Above Bookkeeping @NotchAboveBAS

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panicked man; bookkeeping woman

Cost control measures

7 Steps to Finesse your Finances

Effective cost control measures are crucial to cash flow for running a sustainable business at any time, especially during periods of economic uncertainty.

Rethinking your cost management strategy could make the difference in seeing your business thrive in 2021. Here’s how to get started.

1. Identify your major cost centres

Although you probably have a rough idea of your business costs, understanding exactly where your biggest expenses lie is an important first step in cost management. Review your main cost centres, including:

  • employee wages and benefits
  • rent
  • equipment and vehicles
  • utilities
  • products and materials
  • marketing and advertising
  • insurance and other professional fees
  • business loans and debts
  • other overhead costs such as repairs and maintenance.

Make sure you have a clear picture of how much you’re spending in each category over a specific period, such as the last quarter. Some expenses may be seasonal, so it’s also a good idea to look at how these costs vary during different times of the year.

2. Update business finance statements

Financial statements provide valuable information about how your costs are impacting the financial health of your business. To help you assess your business costs, consult your bookkeeper or if you’d like to take control, now may be a good time to invest in an accounting software program.  At a minimum, you need to be able to produce:

  • A profit and loss (P&L) statement: this summarises your revenue and expenses over a period. It’s useful for seeing how business costs are impacting your profit margin.
  • A cash flow forecast: this provides an estimate of how much money will be flowing in and out of your business over a future period, such as a month or quarter. Cash flow statements help you to assess how your upcoming expenses will impact your cash flow.

3. Sort the ‘good’ costs from the ‘bad’

Although it’s good practice to keep overheads low, some expenses are essential for long-term growth. Before you start looking at ways to slash costs, consider which areas help drive revenue and profitability for your business, and which are more likely to drain your resources.

For example, if your employees work remotely, rent and utilities might now be considered ‘bad’ costs because they’re no longer contributing to your bottom line.

On the other hand, marketing and advertising expenses that help grow your customer base might be considered ‘good’ costs.

Sorting the ‘good’ expenses from the ‘bad’ can help you identify which areas to target when it comes to cost-cutting.

4. Look for ways to reduce expenses

Once you’ve worked out the difference between helpful and harmful costs, consider how you can consolidate or reduce your ongoing expenses. This could include:

  • negotiating new terms with your landlord or suppliers
  • switching energy providers, banks or insurance companies to get a better deal
  • reducing stock levels and warehousing costs
  • reducing payroll costs by changing shift patterns
  • cancelling subscriptions you no longer need
  • automating business processes using technology
  • refinancing business loans
  • reducing discretionary spending such as entertainment costs.

Focus on cost-saving in areas where you’re most likely to see the smallest impact on your essential operational activities.

5. Determine your financial goals

If one of your goals is to grow your profit, it’s important to forecast costs and opportunities to ensure your growth is sustainable. For example:

  • Landscaping or pool building businesses looking to diversify into outdoor pizza ovens: costs may include additional equipment, upskilling and training employees, updating your website and investing in some initial marketing and advertising.
  • Cafes and restaurants looking to expand operations with mobile coffee carts or food trucks: costs may include an additional vehicle and it’s running costs, commercial hospitality equipment, insurance and permits.
  • Web designer looking to win more work from existing clients: costs may include hiring freelance support staff, automating or outsourcing tasks such as bookkeeping and invoicing to free up time for meeting with clients.

6. Identify the funding you need

Do you have the means to comfortably grow or sustain your business? We are fortunate to have both government and private business grants available to help support Australian businesses. Many are state or territory-specific and apply to different business stages including small business grants and startups, categories and industries.

Eligibility criteria and application periods vary but if successful a cash injection can make the difference to the future of your business and the Australian economy.

7. Reconcile: business plans vs life goals

Running a small business can consume a great deal of your life. Weighing up profitability and the time you personally invest in your business is an ongoing equation to balance.

If you want to step back from the day-to-day in your business, consider what the biggest time overheads are and the possible solutions. You might be surprised at how a small investment can recoup a lot of time back in your day.

Customer service

Enhancing your website with clearer product information, FAQs or even a chatbot will reduce non-sales oriented phone calls.

Marketing and advertising

Working with a professional marketing agency can help ensure that your advertising is both cost-effective and efficient. You can then apply data and insights to make informed decisions about how you spend your marketing budget.

Bookkeeping

If you haven’t already, make the call whether to bring on a bookkeeper or invest in some accounting software and automated invoicing.

Payroll and HR

Managing employee paperwork can be a headache and it’s an important item to keep on top of to protect yourself legally and ensure you’re getting the most out of your employees. Considering a cloud-based solution that integrates with your accounting software is an affordable way to remain compliant.

Notch Above Bookkeeping are Platinum Certified Xero bookkeepers and BAS Agents. We help small business owners across Australia (especially medical specialists such as dentists, orthodontists, optometrists and anaesthetists) to prepare BAS returns and streamline their bookkeeping processes, payroll and accounting records using cloud technology.

Source: Business Australia

#remotebusinessbookkeepers #cloudbusinessbookkeeping #xeroplatinumbookkeepers

calculator financials pen

Reduce Business Operating Costs

Every business owner – no matter how big or small the business – wants to reduce operating costs

And it’s not impossible. Here are eight strategies that’ll not only save you money but improve the efficiency of your business.

Operating costs are the ongoing expenses incurred in the normal day-to-day activities of running a business. Lowering these costs is one of the most effective ways to save money and boost your business’s profits.

It’s an important exercise for any business, but especially those still dealing with the impacts of COVID-19. So, how do you do it? It starts with understanding what your business is spending money on before reviewing each activity in detail to see where you might be able to make cuts. We’ve outlined eight areas to help you get started.

1. Automate business process

A sure-fire way to save some cash is by looking into automating some of your business’s processes. In other words, you’ll want to identify processes that are currently being done manually and research whether they can be partially or fully automated with the help of software programs and services.

The idea is that by automating a process, it will free up time for employees to spend on other activities. Processes in departments such as accounting, marketing and communications, legal and HR are some easy places to start.

2. Outsource

Similar to identifying business processes that can be automated, looking at outsourcing functions typically done in-house should also be considered.

In some cases, when responsibility is given to an employee as an add-on to their remit, they’re not properly trained in how to do it. Or they simply don’t have the capacity to do it as best they can. For this reason, outsourcing the work to an agency or freelancer with the time and skills required for the task can lead to a better outcome.

3. Review your insurance policy

Another way to reduce operating costs is to scrutinise your business’s insurance. According to a 2019 Aon study, rates across the majority of its business insurance lines went up by 10% as insurers looked to replenish their returns after being hit by a string of natural disasters.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution to reducing your insurance rate, some key options companies can consider are alternative risk-transfer strategies, reviewing their existing insurance programme structure or demonstrating a better risk profile to the market.

If that sounds tricky, Aon may be able to assist you to get a better understanding of your company’s insurance rate

4. Pay invoices on time

Another strategy to help you solve mounting expenses is to pay invoices on time. Late payment fees and penalties eventually add up if you let them slide, and can be easily avoided. Some vendors even offer discounts if you pay your invoice early.

Similarly, try to pay your loan or debt repayments on time to avoid additional interest payments.

5. Review expenses regularly

On that note, another way to reduce operational costs is to take the time to look over the invoice or expense bill before paying it. Too many business owners make the mistake of paying bills without looking at the charges in detail – especially if the bill is set to automatic payment.

Often, owners discover they’ve been paying regularly for services they no longer use, like professional memberships. Once identified, these fees and dues can be cancelled immediately.

6. Cut down on office space

One of the biggest expenses for a business with an office is the fees associated with leasing it, cleaning and maintaining it – not to mention the utility costs. As such, ending your lease at the end of the lease period and allowing your employees to work remotely will free up a considerable amount of cash.

If your entire team working remotely full-time isn’t an option – consider leasing a smaller space or renting desks at a co-working space and staggering out workdays.

7. Shop around for the best rate

If you’ve been working with the same vendors for a while now, it’s worth looking into their rates and comparing them to other vendors who offer similar products or services. While the price differences could end up being negligible – particularly if there’s a fee for transferring your service – you might also find you’ve been overpaying, and the switch is worth it.

Another helpful tip: consider negotiating a discount by offering a vendor cash. It’s a win-win for both parties – you’ll be spending less, and they’ll be getting paid faster.

8. Ask your employees for ideas

Finally, one of the best ways to reduce operating costs is to ask your staff for suggestions. Working so close to processes and using them day-in and day-out should mean they’re able to better identify inefficiencies and recommend potential tweaks.

Though a concern for every business owner, operating costs are not always given the attention they deserve. When you consider that a few simple tweaks alone can generate major results – saving you hundreds or, in some cases, thousands each year – they’re well worth looking into.

Notch Above Bookkeeping is a team of Platinum Certified Xero bookkeepers and BAS Agents. We help small business owners across Australia (especially medical specialists such as dentists, orthodontists, optometrists and anaesthetists) to prepare their BAS returns and streamline their bookkeeping processes, payroll and accounting records using cloud technology.

Source: Business Australia

#remotebusinessbookkeepers

#cloudbusinessbookkeeping

#xeroplatinumbookkeepers