small business bookkeeping notch above bookkeeping brisbane

Why it’s time for small business to fall in love with remote bookkeeping

Big companies have long adopted remote working as an acceptable or even equal way of doing business.

And it can work for you too.

Handing over your bookkeeping to a remote business has tremendous benefits and with the technology that’s now available, it’s easier than ever for a small business with a limited budget.

We’re here to tell you it is possible. In fact, Notch Above has always existed as a virtual office. We’ve never had a physical office and we continue to grow each year without one. Here are three ways your small business can thrive by adopting a virtual office or remote working.

#1: Productivity tends to go up

Many studies and research have shown that employees tend to be more productive when working remotely. You’ll spend less time commuting and getting stuck in traffic. You also have the freedom to work from anywhere you choose, whether it be a breezy park or a bustling coffee shop.

The caveat here is that you need good software, technology, company policies and proper training to build a good virtual office.

We use a combination of systems in my business to communicate, collaborate and get things done. We use Skype for interaction, Dropbox for storage, GoToMeeting for group sessions and webinars, SnagIt for creating training videos and Screencast for sharing video libraries with staff and clients.

And, of course, we use the full suite of cloud-based Xero for our clients. Here’s just a few practical examples of the typical work we do…

  • Bank reconciliations can be time consuming and stressful, especially if you’ve left them to the last minute and your BAS is due! Outsourcing your reconciliations gives you more time to building your business or have more time for family and friends where you’re able to relax.
  • One of the easiest ways to develop strong business relationships is to pay your accounts on time, every time. Outsourcing your accounts payable to a remote team, means you’ll be able to build trust effortlessly. We generate a report of what’s due, you give the approval and we do the payments.

Tick, another item off your list.

  • Paying your employees on time is vital to team morale and loyalty. Working remote through cloud-based Xero, we will ensure your employees are prioritised. You receive notification on what to pay, we provide you with a bank payment file and you simply upload it to the bank and we’ll send out the payslips. It really is that simple.

Can you picture your business running this efficiently? It is absolutely achievable and we access your accounts remotely and work virtually without stepping inside your offices. Our clients love this option because we can get things done faster, better and in real-time. On top of this, we do offer onsite meetings if needed.

#2: Your employees are happier

In addition to being paid on time, a remote working policy gives your staff freedom and flexibility to work when and where they choose. By catering to their different lifestyles and growing families, you’re giving them a good work-life balance.

The biggest benefit to keeping your staff happy is that they’ll stay with you longer. Every business owner knows how valuable a good employee is to the company. A high staff churn rate is a nightmare to manage for any business owner. Losing a capable staff member means money going down the drain to hire and train a new employee.

#3: Your business can save money

A business can save on operating costs such as electricity, water, gas, office supplies and rent. By cutting on overheads, you can afford to invest in good software and technology to enable remote work.

A study by PGI found that a business can save an average of $11,000 a year for each employee if they worked remotely half of the time. Personally, I’ve saved a lot by choosing to forgo a physical office over the years. I’ve also managed to hire the right people who are dedicated and driven to serve our clients due to this.

The benefits are two-fold – it works for the business and the employees. People love being able to save time and money on petrol, public transport tickets and work clothes.

Virtual offices are the future

It’s not just a growing trend. Virtual offices are everywhere nowadays. If you’re not offering it in your business, you may be missing out on good talent who are looking for that flexibility.

And it’s not just for your staff. It also extends to your contractors and service providers, who are looking to reduce cost and commuting time. If you’ve always done bookkeeping face-to-face, try hiring a remote bookkeeper and see how much time you save and how easy the working relationship is.

Fall in love with remote working. We promise that you’ll never look back.

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Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent 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. Call us today on 07 3355 6041.

Personal budgeting Notch Above Bookkeeping

7 Budgeting Tips to TAKE CONTROL and Regain Financial Power

Using your business like a personal bank? 7 budgeting tips to TAKE CONTROL and regain financial power.

As a business owner, have you ever felt like you’re just not getting ahead financially, and that even when your income increases you seem to be on a treadmill of spending every cent you earn and sometimes even more?

Often, when I meet clients for the first time, and ask them how much they are spending and how much they are saving each month, they either have no idea or openly say they are saving nothing, but know they can (and should) save more.

So why is controlling our finances so difficult? It’s mainly because we don’t try!

Why not? Because it seems too hard to set up a system or put a plan in place to help us keep track of our income and our spending, and to set and stick to savings goals. But here’s the thing…. You can change your current situation, if that’s what You really want. It doesn’t have to be this way anymore.

Think about it…. How good would it feel to get your finances on track, and stop stressing about them? You’d have the life you want. You’d TAKE CONTROL…!

If you have read this far, I know this resonates with you and I’m sure you want to take action. Enough is enough right?…. Take your financial life to the next level by starting new habits and following these tips.

  1. Embrace Financial Technology to track your spending

Tracking your spending helps you understand your daily money habits so you can create new ones.

Gone are the days of having to keep all of your receipts and enter them all into a notebook or spreadsheet each month to see what you have earned, spent & saved. Having to spend ages doing this is one of the main reasons people stop budgeting.

There are now a wide variety of apps and software programs available to help you do this easily. They range from fairly simple to very comprehensive. The best of these can: link to all of your accounts (even business accounts), let you upload photos of receipts, automatically categorise your income and expenses, help you set & tracks savings goals, help manage your debts and even track your super.

  1. Review your cashflow

It helps to treat your personal finances like a business. Measure the revenue (money coming in) against costs (what is spent), and look at what you own versus what you owe.

Calculate the proportion of your income that goes to meeting your expenses, is the key here as it helps you identify the areas where you are spending more than you realised.

By simply understanding your potential to save you can make better financial decisions about investing, borrowing, cost-cutting and spending.

  1. Create a cash flow plan

By understanding the current flow of your money and then setting both spending and savings goals you can establish a cash flow plan. Once you have committed to a list of goals you will have a stronger motivation to change your money habits. Here’s an article on 5 quick tips on faster customer payments, which will help your cashflow.

Now that you have an accurate picture of your cashflow, lowering or eliminating the unnecessary expenses becomes a lot easier. Whether it’s, entertainment, food and alcohol, interest on financed purchased, or travel that are out of whack, scaling these back is the secret to creating positive cash flow.

The trick is not to waste your new found positive cashflow, but instead to save and or invest in order to maximise profits and increase wealth. If you don’t have positive cash flow, it’s nearly impossible to do this.

  1. Pay yourself first

One of the most difficult (but important) aspects of cash flow management is having the discipline to pay yourself set amounts of money for separate goals. For instance:

  • to cover your day-to-day living expenses
  • to pay down debts
  • to go towards a savings goal – home, car, holiday
  • to invest

Having all your income paid into a hub account and then setting up automatic payments into multiple accounts for each of these goals is one way to manage this.

  1. Make clearing personal debt a priority.

One of the largest obstacles to financial growth is personal debt. The problem is that personal debt, particularly credit cards and short-term financing attract high interest rates and if the principal is not repaid, the debt will quickly compound, making it your most expensive liability.

Paying off your personal debt as your first cashflow priority helps to prioritise your other expenses. By forming this habit, you will become debt-free sooner. 

  1. Invest 

Once you’ve implemented a cashflow plan that has reduced your expenses, established some saving and eliminated personal debt, it’s time to consider investing into assets that will help you grow your wealth for years to come.

There are a range of ways to invest your hard-earned money: real estate, direct shares, managed investments, superannuation and venture capital. Do extensive research, ask questions and choose the investment types where you feel most comfortable investing.

  1. Seek advice from experts.

Develop a habit of seeking advice to help you plan and test out major financial decisions. This can help you avoid making costly mistakes that you’ll end up regretting. When seeking financial advice, make sure you seek it from qualified experienced advisers who are able to provide strategic advice, not just sell you a product. This way you’ll be less likely to take financial risks that could hurt your lifestyle.

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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.  

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Budgeting Notch Above Bookkeeping Brisbane

Personal Budgeting & Avoiding Future Tax Troubles

Using your business like a personal bank? 3 red flags and how to fix them

After a good long break, I’d like to start 2018 by talking about personal budgeting. Although I deal with business finances, I can tell you that your personal budget is inextricably linked to your company’s success.

I’ve seen it happen many times in my line of work.

Time and time again, business owners make good profit and then commit the fatal mistake of spending more than what they earn. They run into tax problems with the ATO as they can’t pay their GST, PAYG and superannuation obligations. If left unchecked, it will spiral out of control until their business falls into financial ruin and their personal life in distress.

Red Flag #1: Treating the business like your personal wallet

The first common red flag is when you consistently have a debit balance loan account in your business, or what the ATO calls division 7A loan. This can happen when a business owner or shareholder, takes out money from the company for themselves without declaring it as a salary or bonus. Essentially, this amount is treated as a loan from the company to you if unpaid within a year, so your business will have a debit balance loan.

However, the ATO’s rule on division 7A loan treats this amount as “dividend” for the person who drew the money. This means you will have to pay personal tax on the amount at the end of the fiscal year. Therefore, you shouldn’t treat your business like a personal bank because you can’t run away from paying taxes.

Red Flag #2: Always scrambling to pay your debts

The second red flag is when you’re constantly struggling to pay all your bills and tax obligations. It’s the stuff of nightmares for business owners to get slapped with a huge tax bill. If you’re always using credit to pay the ATO or your personal expenses, then you will eventually run out of resources for money.

Red Flag #3: Your savings are depleting

Having a substantial amount in savings is important to your personal wellbeing. If you’re constantly breaking your piggy bank or have zero amount allocated for savings, then you need a huge reality check.

In part B to this article Craig Buntain from CFL Financial Planning explains how to take control of this situation and regain the financial power.

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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.  

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5 Reasons Good Bookkeepers Are Worth Their Weight In Gold

Running a small business is a big juggling act, especially when you are on a tight budget or looking to cut costs. However, there are some things you should never compromise on – bookkeeping and accounting.

Good bookkeeping can make or break your business.

If you’ve just started a business, you may think you can reduce costs by doing a lot of things yourself. After all, you wear plenty of hats as a small business owner, so why not add bookkeeper as another role?

Or you have an established business are looking for ways to cut spending.  You may be tempted to do your own bookkeeping and hire an accountant to do your end of financial year tax return. Isn’t it just recording transactions and keeping receipts?

Allow me to explain why a great bookkeeper is worth their weight in gold.

One of the reasons I started my company, Notch Above Bookkeeping, was from personal experience when working for a tax agent and dealing with my clients’ books at year end. So many of their books came to me in bad shape.

  • The bank transactions were not reconciled properly.
  • Files were outdated and in a mess, which meant their business couldn’t produce profitability reports.
  • Old debtors were still on the books, which meant plenty of uncollected money should be written off as bad debts

As I saw this happen year after year, I knew there was a genuine need for a bookkeeping business to help small to medium sized businesses.

And so Notch Above was created to provide accurate financial data to empower our clients when making financial decisions for their business. I’ve genuinely enjoyed watching our clients grow and thrive over the years through our work together.

Here are 5 great reasons why a good bookkeeper can be one of the best investments you make for your business.

  1. A good bookkeeper helps your accountant do their job well

This is one of the least understood relationships in business. A bookkeeper’s role is to do the ground work for your business so the accountant can assess and advise you appropriately. Therefore, a harmonious relationship where your bookkeeper and accountant work like a well-oiled machine is imperative to your business success.

A good bookkeeper should understand what your accountant needs. They’ll communicate, clarify, and check with your accountant on important matters. Clear, direct and regular communication such as monthly meetings to review your books is paramount to a job well done.

  1. A good bookkeeper saves you money

When it comes to closing the book for the end of the financial year, a good bookkeeper can help your accountant spend their time on more strategic areas within your business rather than verifying the numbers. At Notch Above, the year end files and information we pass to your accountant is comprehensive and complete.

We will include draft reports such as profit and loss, balance sheet, trial balance, all your reconciled accounts covering items such as payroll, super, debtors and creditors, and an extensive checklist or note regarding your finances throughout the year. Our note will include eventful items such as if you’ve bought new equipment or vehicles for your business.

All the information provided means your accountant needs to make fewer alterations or modifications to your books. Trust me, this also makes your accountant’s life easier and they’ll thank you for it.

  1. A good bookkeeper helps your business thrive

Chances are you will touch base with your bookkeeper more often than your accountant. This is because the bookkeeper handles all the legwork such as sorting your documents, dealing with payment and balancing your accounts on a daily or weekly basis.

They deal with the nitty gritty details of your finances regularly. Therefore, they are the first to spot when an issue arises, such as an unstable cashflow. They can also generate reports which tell you where your business is heading, which helps your accountant when offering advice on tax or business strategies.

Good bookkeepers will also free up your time to run and grow the business. If you’ve just started a business, a good bookkeeper will set up the appropriate software, train and help you organise your finances. By using a cloud accounting software, your bookkeeper and accountant can easily work together on your books in real time. You can also access your accounts anytime on multiple devices.

  1. A good bookkeeper helps keep the tax man at bay

Based on your tax strategy, your bookkeeper will help fulfil all your tax obligations and claim your tax benefits. If a problem pops up, he or she can raise the red flag instantly with your accountant, rather than delay it until the end of the financial year to resolve it with your accountant.

  1. A good bookkeeper offers expertise in several areas

It’s not just receipts and invoices. Good bookkeepers are well versed in several areas such as payroll, super, financial reports, budget and cash flow forecasting. They keep up with the latest regulations and changes. They should also know the latest technology and software in the market to be able to recommend what you need for your business. Establishing a good process and using the right software will help you keep your finances in shipshape all year.

Feel free to share this article if you feel others will benefit or if you wish to discuss further book a next actions discussion with me by clicking here.

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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.  

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Are you on track with your business goals?

As we come to the tail end of winter – hurrah! – some of us may be coming out of hibernation or still lost in the monotony of day-to-day tasks in business.

I don’t blame you, especially since we haven’t had a long weekend in a while. Well, I’m here to give you a wake-up call so you can embrace the coming spring season with confidence. August is usually a period when I need to give my clients a much-needed motivational boost to stay on course with their business targets.

Do you have a set of business goals?

First, are you monitoring critical KPIs such as business costs, profitability, sales, cashflow health and your budget?

If you’re not, you need to start doing so as soon as possible. Get in touch with your bookkeeper and accountant to start drafting a realistic set of business goals. One of the things I love about Xero is the ‘Dashboard’ because it gives an eagle’s eye view of my business.

The Xero Dashboard is fully customisable so you can set what you would like to track based on your current goals, such as reducing business costs or increasing the profit margin.

Here are just a handful of KPIs that Xero can track:

  • Cash flow to monitor your inflow and outflow of cash to see whether you are ahead of your plans or facing a potential crisis.
  • Money you owe and owed to you
  • Your budget and how much you have spent
  • Profit margin and current liability

Are you achieving your business goals? (Breaking down your goals to projects)

Business goals can be overwhelming if you don’t break them down into several projects or areas of improvements. Projects can then be broken down to tasks or actions. Doing this will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated to start kicking your goals.

One of the most common issues faced by my clients is they tend to get lost in their everyday tasks. When you’re constantly looking at a list of things to do every single day, you will start to feel like a hamster running on a spinning wheel. It never ends, and soon you will lose any motivation to run your business.

Understand the difference between everyday tasks that must be done to run the business and comply with the law, and tasks that help achieve your targets. The latter will grow your business in the long run so you must set aside time for it or outsource tasks to subject matter experts. You can’t do it all.

If you don’t keep your eye on the prize, you’ll start to get upset and anxious over little setbacks, which are part and parcel of business. You will be working long hours without making more income or sales. You will burn out faster than you anyone else.

If you already have goals in place, it’s crucial to monitor and fix any issues as they arise. This is where you need to work closely with your bookkeeper to track the numbers. If you’re in need of some motivation, look at what you’ve achieved so far and have a little celebration with your staff.  Learn from any mistakes and regroup with your team.

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What if you’re falling behind with your business goals

Get in touch with your bookkeeper or accountant quickly. As the subject matter experts for business operating numbers, I can’t tell you how many times I have caught something before it became a major problem for my clients. In fact, a good bookkeeper will raise alarm bells before you speak to them. We produce monthly reports and schedule catch-ups with our clients so nothing goes unnoticed.

Anything can happen in business. The economy may shrink, which affects consumer spending, regulations may change or tax benefits may be cut. You need to stay one step ahead by regularly monitoring your goals and revising your plans as needed.

Get your team members to commit to resolving any issues that is hindering you from reaching your goals. Draft a plan of attack and work together to tackle it as a team. Establish a standard of accountability among team members. This is not to punish them when something goes wrong, but for your business to thrive by tackling problems head on.

At the very least, talk to your bookkeeper who can help set goals, assist you in deciphering the numbers and guiding you to stay on the right course towards your targets. It is never too late to start new goals or to fix any issues. This way, you know you truly deserve that long break over Christmas and the New Year.

 

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 Abov
e 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.
 
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Connect with me on LinkedIn

What Are Your Super Obligations As A Business Owner?

Superannuation obligation is a tricky subject you need to tackle when you first employ people in your business.

You must invest enough time to get it right because making a mistake can have horrible and expensive consequences.

I am often asked about Super by my clients, and so I thought I’ll touch on a few superannuation basics. This message is for both first time business owners and seasoned ones, and I’ll outline what happens if you miss a payment, pay late or make a mistake, which can be a costly nightmare.

 

Basics of the Super Guarantee Contribution

If you have employees, you are required by law to pay a minimum super guarantee contribution for them, to help them build a retirement nest. This contribution is tax deductible for your business.

Check the ATO’s latest regulations on which employees you must pay super contributions for, to ensure you don’t miss anyone. Currently, the super guarantee rate is 9.5% of ordinary time earnings, which means ordinary hours worked minus overtime.

The super payments must be made at least 4 times a year, which is quarterly. You can make more frequent payments as long as all your super obligation for the quarter is satisfied and made on time.

You can use clearing houses to help pay your super obligations. A clearing house helps distribute your super contributions to the appropriate super funds on your behalf. If you are a small business with 19 or fewer staff members, you can use the clearing house provided by the government, which is free, called the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House.

Now, here is the important bit.

By law, the super contribution must be in all the employees’ super fund accounts by the 28th day after the quarter ends. Note that it needs to be in the super fund accounts, not being processed, just deposited or sent to a clearing house.

 

The table below lists the quarterly due dates.

Quarter Period Payment due date
1 1 July – 30 September 28 October
2 1 October – 31 December 28 January
3 1 January – 31 March 28 April
4 1 April – 30 June 28 July

Source: ATO

 

Furthermore, a recent law that came into effect between 2015 and 2016 requires you to pay your super contributions using SuperStream. SuperStream was introduced to standardise the payment and data processing of all super contributions.

The accounting software Xero also offers a super stream compliant solution inclusive in its software which makes the payments a breeze.

Previously, businesses were not required to transact electronically, and could pay manually by sending checks in the mail. Data was also not stored properly and generally inconsistent from business to business.

SuperStream sets the data and payment standards, which requires everything to be done and stored electronically. If you are planning to hire for the first time, make sure you read up on your SuperStream obligations first.

 

What happens if you didn’t fulfil your super obligations?

There may be several reasons why you didn’t make your super payments or paid less than the required amount. Regardless, you will be handed a super guarantee charge (SGC), which is akin to a tax.

You must lodge a SGC statement if you couldn’t fulfil your super obligations. The SGC amount is calculated based on the circumstance which the default happened. If the payment was late, you may be able to offset the SGC with your late payment. If you missed a payment, interest and other penalties will be applied. You should refer to the ATO site on how SGC is calculated.

One thing to remember is, a company director may be personally liable for a SGC. If the company fails to report the outstanding super payment within 3 months of the due date, or the debt is 3 months overdue, a lockdown provision applies. This makes a company director personally liable for the debt, and recovery proceedings may be carried out if you fail to pay up.

Once in lockdown, you are still personally liable for the SGC even if the company winds down. Shutting down the company does not absolve you of your responsibility to an employee’s retirement fund.

Therefore, I always advise company directors to be vigilant and extra careful when it comes to super requirements. For those planning to become a company director, check that there are no SGC outstanding or have a plan to pay it off according to the ATO’s requirements. It is better to be safe than sorry.

The final point I’d like to stress is to always double check or perform an audit to ensure you have paid the required amount and have not missed anything. If you do discover discrepancies before the ATO conducts an audit or an employee raises a complaint, you must report it to the ATO as soon as possible.

Burying your head in the sand will only make things worse. There will be penalties and charges to pay, but you may get discounts depending on when you report it.

Please consult an accountant or a bookkeeper if you need help or feel overwhelmed. I can’t stress enough how vital it is for your business to survive by meeting all your super obligations correctly. Trust me, you don’t want see the bad side of the taxman, as it could cripple your business.

Lastly, don’t forget to pay all your super contributions before the 30th of June, if you plan on claiming the full tax deduction for this financial year. I hope you have a good end of financial year experience without any headache and stress.

If you need to discuss your Super obligations, book a “Next Actions” chat and I we together we can ensure you’re obligations are being met. Book in now or all our office on (07) 3355 6427.

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.

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How a Bookkeeper Counteracts the 3 Common Stresses of Small Business Owners

Being a small business owner is stressful. Reports, surveys and studies of small business owners around the world claim running a small business is their # 1 cause of stress. And the three common stresses of small business owners? Lack of control, having no time to ‘do it all’ and reacting too fast and too soon. It might seem very simple, but hiring a bookkeeper can counteract all three.

 

Common Stress 1: Lack of Control

As a small business owner you’re dealing with clients, investors, creditors, business partners, employees and government legislation while trying to navigate traffic, employee dietary needs and healthy snacks for kindy. Not surprising so many small business owners feel they have no control in their lives and get majorly stressed out. This is one key area where an efficient bookkeeping service can help.

Just knowing that your quarterly or monthly BAS Return will be lodged correctly (and on time) is certain to give you back a feeling of control. Knowing that your annual payroll reconciliation and tax office reporting is taken care of, and that the superannuation payments are calculated accurately, might free your mind to think of other things instead of being overwhelmed.

Notch Above have made my business life soooo much more ordered and lowered my stress levels by half! AND they’ve saved me money but ensuring I’m compliant and up to date with all the latest regulations and compliances that have to be adhered to.Brett Lane, Keltah Ventures

 

Common Stress 2: Reacting Too Fast and Too Soon

Small business owners are often so overwhelmed by volumes of paperwork, compliance demands and dormant sales leads that when issues arise suddenly (especially those involving capital purchases and major repairs) they make inappropriate responses. Result? Overwhelming stress.

Having an efficient bookkeeping service means you have real-time, up-to-date financial figures and accurate cash flow data, enabling you to make informed decisions. Balance this against the stress of making a super-fast purchasing decision only to remember an overdue loan or tax instalment a few weeks later.

Notch Above has been offering outstanding bookkeeping and administration advice for my clients for over five years. Notch Above is a real expert in the field and importantly makes life easier for people running their own business. A true professional who goes the extra mile.” Scott Grady, Partner at CNS Partners

 

Common Stress 3: No Time to “Do it All”

Small business owners (especially those in the first year of business) are doing it all. Missing valuable time with family and friends, having no time for hobbies or creative pursuits and probably working more than 70 hours a week, it’s no surprise they’re experiencing significant stress.

If you are spending your time reconciling bank statements or trying to manage the year end payroll data or process group certificates, you are not using your real expertise working on your core business. An efficient bookkeeper gives back your valuable time. Time you can put back into growing the business or spend with family or even ride your bike again.

“I have saved at least 1/2 day a month of my valuable time which has been put to better use and my bookkeeping needs have been expertly and thoroughly looked after.” Shirley Farrell, HR Management Services.

We would love to help you put energy and passion back into your life by taking away your bookwork drag. Having had over 20 years bookkeeping and accounting experience, we truly understand your frustrations and stresses. Why not get in contact today, arrange a free consultation and check out our hassle-free bookkeeping packages.

Reduce your stress. Let us take care of your bookkeeping, while you take care of your business.

5 Silly Excuses We Give For Not Going Paperless

After years of handling clients’ data, I’ve found that a lot of businesses are still clinging on to a paper-based system. It’s such a shame because there are massive benefits when you store your documents digitally, especially your invoice and receipts.

 

This is why Xero’s latest survey failed to surprise me. Here are the facts:

  • 65% of small businesses in Australia store some of their receipts and invoices in boxes or files.
  • Over 50% of respondents admit their filing system isn’t very organised.
  • Less than 4% do not have any system for storing receipts and invoices.

I know it’s not easy to commit to going paperless. It’s a lot of work.

While I understand their concerns and fears, I want to show that the benefits far outweigh the initial investment and work. These are 5 common excuses I’ve heard over the years.

 

Excuse #1: “I know where everything is and I can easily find the document I want quickly”

How about when you are on a holiday or off-site? If an emergency pops up, there is no way you can get back to your office to grab your documents in time. Using a cloud system means you can access your documents anytime and anywhere.

In fact, you can work anywhere when everything is stored online. Sit on a park bench and enjoy the fresh air. Type away in a café and smell the morning coffee. Work from home while minding the kids. You’re no longer tied to a physical space. You can pull up your documents instantly from the cloud and get cracking.

 

“Wouldn’t you want to work from here?”

“Wouldn’t you want to work from here?”

 

Excuse #2: “It’s always been done this way. It would take too much time and energy to learn and train my staff”

We’ve all heard the saying: If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. The problem with having everything on paper is that your business is not disaster proof.

All it takes is a momentary lapse of judgement and all hell could break loose. It could be as simple as a coffee spill or as tragic as a fire in the office. Think of what would happen to your business if all your receipts and invoices are gone? Scary, isn’t it?

An employee misplacing or losing a file could easily happen. But the possibility of losing all your digital documents stored in a cloud system? Is unheard of. Remember, you always have backups even if it did occur.

Think of storing your documents in the cloud as a form of business insurance, in case the worst happens. You wouldn’t travel anywhere or do anything without insurance. So why risk your source of income?

 

Excuse #3: “I don’t know where to start. There are too many options out there.”

Any bookkeeper worth their salt will be able to help you organize your documents digitally. All it takes is careful planning and some time set aside weekly. Most cloud accounting system now give allowance for file storage.

Xero allows you to attach files with your transactions. I can’t tell you how practical and useful this feature is because you can organise all your documents on the spot, rather than leaving them to pile up on your desk so you can sort it out one fine day.

There is also software that can scan your documents and extract all the important information into your accounting system so you don’t have to flip through them one by one. Take a look at Receipt Bank, which integrates beautifully with Xero.

Digital storage also means using less physical space in your office, helping you reduce clutter. Who wouldn’t love to start work every day on a clean desk? Before you’d know it, you will be fully loving your digital filing system and wondering how on earth did you manage to do without it.

 

Work with a clear mind

Work with a clear mind

 

Excuse #4: “My accounts guy likes to work with paper.”

What if you need to collaborate with people? What about the rest of your team? It may be okay for a few, but others might find it difficult and tedious to work with paper. In a cloud system, all the documents can be easily accessed and edited by team members.

Your team can now collaborate easier and get the job done quickly without physically sitting next to each other while poring over documents. This is a simple way to increase productivity in the office. Then again, who says you need to be in the office to work?

 

Excuse #5: “The current system in place needs a signature so someone has to sign on paper.”

There are plenty of options when it comes to electronic signatures. Electronic signatures also reduce processing time as everything can be emailed through quickly, without having to fax and wait for a response. As a business, your customers will love the reduced processing time.

Xero has plenty of add-ons for electronic signatures such as RightSignature and DocuSign. In fact, you can sign digitally when you do your tax returns with Xero Tax.

So there you have it. I would even go as far as saying that going paperless is life changing for your business. Try it and I promise you won’t regret it. We can discuss the options with you today. Book a next action chat with me now by clicking here.

 

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.

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Is your Bookkeeper Up To Industry Best Practice?

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’ve thought about clients whom I have loved working with.

It may be just business but it does get personal. We work hard to build a business together, even in my capacity as an outsourced bookkeeper.

As with any relationship, sometimes it can go sour. Usually it’s nothing more than just having the wrong chemistry. Sometimes it could be as bad as one party being totally unprofessional.

But there are other reasons to consider breaking up. Do you know the sign that it’s time to bid adieu to your bookkeeper?

 

1 – “I want to switch to an online accounting system but my bookkeeper doesn’t seem to know much”

I can’t even begin to list down all the benefits of keeping your books in the cloud, but here’s a few to consider

  • The ability to work anytime and anywhere? Check.
  • Having a peace of mind knowing that your documents are protected from fire, water damage and catastrophe? Check.
  • Easier collaboration with your staff members and bookkeeper? Check.
  • Faster payment processing for your customers? Check.

In this day and age, a bookkeeper has to keep up with the latest technology. There are plenty of options out there when it comes to online accounting software. I’ve tried a few over the years and Xero is still my favourite.

 

2 – “My bookkeeper keeps tonnes of files and prints on paper when we work”

It might not seem a big deal now but what if one of you misplace or lose a file? If you are still using a paper-based system, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Reducing paper usage also helps reduce the clutter in your office.

Besides, I have a particular liking for Mother Nature. Please save the trees. It’s the least you can do for the environment.

 

3 – “When I ask for data, my bookkeeper can’t provide it until much later.”

Time is money in business. If your bookkeeper takes days or weeks to get you the data or analytics you need, maybe it’s time for a breakup.

It should be a quick turnaround. Your bookkeeper should be able to pull up the numbers easily if he or she has a good system in place. They shouldn’t be digging into a library of files or have to crunch numbers when you need information urgently.

 

4 – “I have to wait until the end of the quarter to know my profit or cash position.”

Your financial numbers should always be in shipshape and up to date. Your bookkeeper shouldn’t be tidying up your numbers at the last minute when your BAS is due at the end of the quarter. With an online accounting system, you always have a finger on the pulse of your business.

 

5 – “I don’t know how much money is owed to me or how much money I owe my creditors.”

This problem is the same as above. For the sake of a healthy cash flow, you need to know these numbers. Your cash flow will be in trouble the longer it takes to get paid. Likewise, your reputation and credit score will be in trouble the longer it takes you to pay up. A good bookkeeper should be able to give you this information without hesitation.

 

6 – “I’ve never discussed how my company is performing with my bookkeeper.”

A good bookkeeper knows whether a company is going south or going places. After all, they work with the nitty gritty financial details of your business.

You will be wasting a precious resource and opportunity if you’ve never asked your bookkeeper how your company is really going. A good bookkeeper will share this information without being prompted. You can track your business performance over the years and even discuss what needs to change to hit your goals.

 

7 – “I don’t have a relationship where I can speak to my bookkeeper anytime.”

I believe that a good bookkeeper should feel like another staff member of your company. Why not? They process your books, which is an essential operation in any business.

Thus, you should cultivate a healthy working relationship with your bookkeeper. It would be great if you can just pick up the phone to discuss an issue or idea with them. It shouldn’t be a quarterly affair or worse, a yearly affair when you need to file taxes and close the books for the end of the financial year.   If you would like a different perspective on things book a “next action” chat with me now by clicking here.

 

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.

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