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Cashflow Tips – Managing cash flow in a small business – How a cashflow can help

Cashflow Tips - Managing cash flow in a small business – How a cashflow can help

Cashflow Tips – Managing cash flow in a small business – How a cashflow can help

Here are some great tips from a great resource for managing cash flow in a small business, at the Queensland Govt site at:

http://www.business.qld.gov.au/business and under the Running a Business then – Finances cash Flow.

Managing Cashflow –

Your cash flow is the money you have coming in from revenue and going out for expenses. Good cash flow management will ensure you always have money available for paying your expenses when they are due.

Even profitable businesses can fail if cash flow is not managed properly. If you don’t have enough money available to pay your lenders or suppliers, banks may foreclose and suppliers could cut supplies.

There are many areas in your business that can impact on your cash flow. It is important to understand how customer payment terms, supplier payment terms, loan payments, future spending decisions and other items can affect your cash flow.

This guide will help you to manage your cash flow and understand how to use cash flow analysis to inform business decisions.

Plan and Monitor Cashflow

Planning and monitoring your cash flow is one of the most important things you can do when running your business. This should also include how you will address cash shortfalls or surpluses if they occur.

Forecast cash inflows against cash outflows

A cash flow statement will help you forecast your money coming in and going out. Forecasting your cash flow is usually done annually and broken down into monthly amounts. Always record the amount in the month it is expected to be spent or received. For example, electricity is usually paid quarterly so should be recorded in the month it is due.

You can use a cash flow template to forecast your annual cash flow. You will need to estimate and record the following amounts for each month:

  • total monthly cash inflow – includes sales, sales of assets, capital injections from borrowings or owners funds, interest revenue and any other sources
  • total monthly cash outflow – includes items such as purchases, loan payments, supplies, telephone, electricity, wages and any other bills
  • net cash flow – take the total outflows from the total inflows to see if there is more money in or out
  • opening balance – record your cash available at the beginning of the month
  • closing balance – calculate your funds available at the end of the month by adding the net cash flow to the opening balance. This will become your opening balance for the next month. Note: If your net cash flow is negative, this amount will be reduced.

Include GST when inserting amounts for some cash inflows (particularly sales) and many cash outflows (particularly purchases). Calculate the difference between total GST inflows and total GST outflows and insert this as GST payments.

Different businesses are subject to differing GST requirements, so you should seek specific advice from your tax adviser. Learn more about working with business advisers.

Monitor actual inflows against outflows

As each month passes it is important to record your actual cash flow. This can be compared against your forecast to see if you are tracking as planned. You may find you need to review and adjust your forecast as amounts change over the year. Always make sure your payments received match invoices issued, and receipts and payments match.

Invest surplus cash or arrange loans

If you forecast excess cash for some months, it can be worth putting it in short-term investments to maximise your income. If you anticipate any shortfalls in cash, you may want to plan to use this invested excess, or seek for an appropriate loan to temporarily cover your costs. Don’t forget to include these extra payments or receipts in your cash flow forecast.

What are your thoughts? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

0407 361 596 Aust

Call and you also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia

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Bookkeeping – New Year Resolution – Organising bookkeeping tips for small business

Bookkeeping – New Year Resolution - Organising bookkeeping tips for small business

Business Tax Tips – Reconciling GST accounts in the Balance Sheet and GST Reports – How to understand

You may be working as the bookkeeper for a business. Or you own your own business and you find you have several roles to juggle including production or service, marketing, operations, sales, dispatch, invoicing and bookkeeping of the accounts. These must all be done!

Two main areas need to be organised – the bookkeeping records, and the money (bank and cash and credit cards).

Starting your bookkeeping accounts correctly (or re-organizing your current books and accounts)

Most business owners don’t like doing the books! But if you want to be in business then accept that the books and finances are one of your responsibilities and JUST DO IT or PAY SOMEONE to do it.

To keep accounts organised, you need a set of systems to ensure:

  • ALL sales and expenses are recorded and transactions aren’t forgotten (eg Cash receipts);
  • To keep all documents required by law easy to find and neat and tidy;
  • Good records of conversations with customers or suppliers; and
  • At year end – a good set of all required data and reports so your accountant can complete your tax return quickly and efficiently.

Bank and Credit Cards

  • First, use a dedicated business bank account and credit card. Processing your records is much easier if you have these separate bank and card accounts (even if only a personal credit card in your name to start) that you only use for business transactions.
  • Secondly, request that all statements, including bank, debit card, credit card and petrol accounts, are sent on a monthly basis. That’s because the key aspect of processing your financial documents is reconciling them on a monthly basis.

If you follow these suggestions, nearly all of your income and expenses will be captured in statements from both your bank account and credit card account and account keeping is much easier.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has a good overview of what is required, and they explain more as follows – Managing your Small Business Records

Good records help you make sound business decisions, monitor your business health, analyse your cash flow and demonstrate your financial position to lenders, businesses, accountants and prospective buyers.

Under tax law, your records must explain all transactions and be:

  • in writing, either on paper or electronically;
  • in English, or in a form that we can readily access and convert into English;
  • kept for five (5) years (although some records need to be kept longer).

If proper records are not kept, we may impose penalties.

You can choose to look after your record keeping or engage a bookkeeper or registered agent to do all or part of this work. We can also give you advice and help on record keeping systems.

Find out about:

Getting help with setting up your record keeping system early will save you valuable time and money in the long term.

You should consider:

These are 6 steps to get your books/accounts off to the right start (or improve current systems). Coming up next month we will look at some templates that can help you get organized and keep you and your accountant happy!

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

Call and you also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia


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Business Finance 101 – Accounting Standards / Principles (GAAP) – why is it important to have?

Business Finance 101 – Accounting Standards / Principles (GAAP) – why is it important to have?

Accounting Standards / Principles (GAAP) – why is it important to have?

When we do accounting (which is recording the monetary values of financial transactions) there are general rules and concepts that have been developed over many decades that apply. These are called basic accounting standards / principles or guidelines and are the groundwork on which more detailed, complicated, and legalistic accounting rules are based.

In Australia. The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) uses the basic accounting principles and guidelines as a basis for their own detailed and comprehensive set of accounting rules and standards.

There is a phrase “generally accepted accounting principles” (or “GAAP“) which consist of three important sets of rules: (1) basic accounting principles and guidelines, (2) detailed rules and standards issued by AASB, and (3) the generally accepted industry practices.

When a company distributes its financial statements to the owners or the public, it is required to follow generally accepted accounting principles in the preparation of those statements. Further, if a company’s shares are publicly traded, federal law requires the company’s financial statements be audited by independent public accountants. Both the company’s management and the independent accountants must certify that the financial statements and the related notes to the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with GAAP.

GAAP is useful because it attempts to standardise and regulate accounting definitions, assumptions, and methods. Because of generally accepted accounting principles we are able to assume that there is consistency from year to year in the methods used to prepare a company’s financial statements. And although variations may exist, we can make reasonably confident conclusions when comparing one company to another, or comparing one company’s financial statistics to the statistics for its industry. Over the years the generally accepted accounting principles have become more complex because financial transactions have become more complex.

The Accounting Standards (GAAP) are split into various categories eg “Statement of Cashflows”, “Construction Contracts” etc and a list with most recent updates/ pronouncements for Australia can be found HERE.

Get a FREE 30 min answer to your query, and FREE ongoing email or phone support – No-one offers as much! Call and you also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia


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Business Tax Tips – Reconciling GST accounts in the Balance Sheet and GST Reports – How to understand

Business Tax Tips – Reconciling GST accounts in the Balance Sheet and GST Reports – How to understand

Reconciling GST accounts in the Balance Sheet and GST Reports – How to understand

A client was reconciling the GST accounts: Collected & Paid amounts on the Balance Sheet and GST reports, and wanted to know –

  1. The end of year Balance Sheet shows a different amount to the GST Accrual (& Cash) reports.  Why?            
  2. They thought that the GST Liabilities section of the Balance Sheet gets automatically updated when you enter a Spend Money purchase or raise a Sales invoice.  Is this the case?
  3. Or do we have a classification issue in our MYOB account set ups that we need to fix?

The answer is – the amounts in the GST accounts should reflect the way the transactions are created, and depend on whether cash recording (cheques and deposits or cash receipt sales) or accrual recording is used (invoice sales and purchases or bills).

Cash transactions recognise revenue sales and expenses when actual CASH is received and paid, ie when paid. The GST accounts will have the exact GST amount for each transaction, as and when paid or received.

Accrual transactions recognise revenue sales and expenses when the TRANSACTION occurs, not when paid. The GST accounts will have the GST  from the invoice or purchase.

If you report tax amounts for a period, keep in mind the way transactions are entered, as the GST on sales and the GST on purchases will not be picked up if reporting on Cash basis, and are not paid in the time frame. If they were paid, they would appear in the report.

Always check on screen the GST detail reports to see what transactions are picked up for the period, and after checking, if ok, PRINT to keep a record, then print the GST/Tax summary report.

The balance of the tax accounts also changes, as we post the amount reported to the ATO to them, reducing/increasing the account to reflect what is reported and paid (or refunded). So a tax payment during the period reported also changes the Balance Sheet amount. Look through the detail of the transactions in the tax accounts, and see what has occurred.

See also Cash and Accrual – will there be Debtors (Accounts Receivable – AR) and Creditors (Accounts Payable – AP)?

And for a quick summary of the reports suggested to check and use to prepare a BAS, go to MYOB – Aust. BAS Checks Reports & Entries

Get a FREE 30 min answer to your query, and FREE ongoing email or phone support – No-one offers as much! Call and you also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia


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Cashflow Tips – Lease or buy business vehicle and equipment?

Cashflow Tips – Lease or buy business vehicle and equipment?

Cashflow Tips – Lease or buy business vehicle and equipment?

In an interesting discussion about mistakes in business, the topic became whether to lease or buy a business vehicle or stock/equipment.

The example one business gave, was to buy outright for equipment that would have signs on it to advertise another business (he organised advertising for businesses). The issue was – spending $10,000 on the equipment took all the spare money the business owner had, while the payment for the advert was monthly over a multi-year contract.

Hindsight showed that it would have been better to get a loan for the equipment,  then add his mark-up for the advert and service on top of the monthly re-payments, and he would still have his $10,000 to use for cashflow and marketing.

“What is your tip? Consider posting a review or comment for us below!”

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / Strategy session today!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia


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Business Tax Tips – Business Christmas party ideas – when things can go wrong

Business Tax Tips – Business Christmas party ideas - when things can go wrong

Business Tax Tips – Business Christmas party ideas – when things can go wrong

The festive season should be an enjoyable time of the year but are you aware of your obligation to provide a healthy and safe environment when planning business Christmas party/workplace functions? Don’t be complacent – prepare for when things go wrong…

If a function is organised, promoted and funded by the business, it is more than likely to be considered an extension of the workplace and therefore, your business should ensure it takes all reasonable steps to minimise any risk to the business.

When is the employer liable?

In most legal contexts, an employer function/staff party will be considered as part of the ‘workplace’ and having connection with the employment of employees. As such, all the duties and obligations of the employer that apply in the office, shopfront or yard will continue to apply for the duration of the function or party. In practical terms, this could mean the organisation (or even individual employees of the employer) could be held liable for occupational health and safety breaches for failing to provide a working environment that is safe and without risks to health.

Injuries or illnesses arising out of or in the course of the function may be compensable under statutory workers compensation schemes and inappropriate conduct or comments could lead to harassment or discrimination claims. Additionally, employees must also be aware that they may be disciplined for their actions at the party, as the terms and conditions of their contract and any applicable company policies apply for the duration of the function. The employer’s liability may be limited in some circumstances where the employee has engaged in serious misconduct or for instances that occur after the completion of the organised function. However, such exceptions are assessed on a case-by-case basis. In all circumstances it is clear the employer must be able to demonstrate all reasonable and proportionate steps were taken to educate staff on appropriate standards of behaviour, to provide a safe environment, and eliminate discrimination and sexual harassment.

Some tips to minimise your risk of things going wrong:

  • Plan your function – Select a venue wisely and provide all employees with the details of the function, including clearly communicating start and finish times;
  • Educate and set the rules – Ensure all employees are aware it is a work function and, as such, that the usual code of conduct and associated policies and standards of behaviour apply. Now is also a good time to review relevant policies and consider training employees in acceptable workplace behaviour. For example, Bullying and Discrimination awareness training for managers and employees;
  • Safety – Provide alternative transport options including designated drivers, Ubers and taxi vouchers.

Other Questions

Is the employer liable for the actions of employees at an ‘after party’ event?

Employers may be vicariously liable for the actions of their employees if such actions are in the ‘course of’ or within the ‘scope’ of employment. This will differ on a case by case basis, depending on the factual circumstances of each situation. As discussed above, advising staff of the clear finishing time of the organised function and avoiding sanctioning or funding any post-function activities will assist in reducing such liability.

Does the employer have to provide transport after the function?

Employers have a duty of care to provide a safe workplace environment to all employees. Legislation concerning liability for injuries sustained whilst travelling to or from the workplace (or a workplace function) differs from state to state, but the possibility of providing transport to employees after the event should be considered as part of the planning phase, but is not obligatory.

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

Call 0407 361 596 Aust and also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!


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Business Finance 101 – What are the key financial ratios that help you understand your business financial health

Business Finance 101 – What are the key financial ratios that help you understand your business financial health

What are the key financial ratios that help you understand your business financial health

With several months of transactions recorded and bank and credit cards and loans reconciled, an important business finance task each month is use the hidden value in your bookkeeping to get key financial ratios to track how the business is going, to understand your business financial health.

To save time, use the reporting features to generate some key margins and ratios. These are like a report card for your business. The most common to monitor are –

  • Gross profit,
  • Net profit,
  • Current ratio,
  • Quick ratio and
  • Debt to equity ratio.

Use the Profit & Loss statementTip – in MYOB choose with YTD (year to date), or in Reckon/Quickbooks, modify to include the YTD. This will automatically give you a percent column that is the amount of Gross Profit or Net Profit as a percent of the total sales at the top. See our Business Profit and Loss Statement and Profit Margins post for more detail to understand more and how to calculate manually.

Then compare to your peers – Do you know what your industry Gross Margin % is?

Call us and we can give you a guide for FREE!

Use the Balance Sheet to look at the next ratios, which give an indication of the health of your business –

Current Ratio = Total Current Assets / Total Current Liabilities

This confirms whether the business has enough current assets to meet payment of its current debts (current refers to assets and liabilities that will fall due within 12 months). It includes inventory value, as this will be turned over in less than 12 months.

Quick Ratio (Acid Test) = Cash + Receivables/Debtors / Total Current Liabilities

This is like current assets without inventory which can take time to sell if a fire sale is needed, and is mostly the liquid assets. The higher the amount the more “Stable” the business is. That is, the higher it is, the longer the company can stay afloat.

Debt to Equity = Debt/Equity

Divide the amount of debt usually total liabilities) by the equity (owner’s or shareholder’s). the lower the better, but some debt can help you grow and is called leverage – debt can be beneficial, but it must be manageable – higher than 1 can be a warning to keep a close eye and manage the debt carefully. See more

The key is to see that huge value lies in your bookkeeping records! The books are and asset not a liability or expense – they are an invaluable source, so use your bookkeeping to get key financial ratios to track how the business is going.

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

Call 0407 361 596 Aust and also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia