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Business Finance 101 – COS or COGS – Cost of Sales or Cost of Goods Sold – What it means

Business Finance 101 – COS or COGS – Cost of Sales or Cost of Goods Sold – What it means

COS or COGS – Cost of Sales or Cost of Goods Sold – What it means

Cost of Sales (COS) or Cost of goods sold (COGS) is the cost of the product that was sold to customers. It includes the cost of materials and direct labour used to produce the goods ready to sell. The cost of goods sold is reported on the profit and loss at the time/period the sales revenues of the goods sold are reported.

A retailer’s cost of goods sold includes the cost from its supplier plus any additional costs necessary to get the product into inventory and ready for sale. For example, a store purchases a book from a publisher. If the cost from the publisher is $60 plus $5 in delivery costs, the store reports $65 in its Inventory account until the book is sold. When the book is sold, the $65 is removed from inventory and is reported as cost of goods sold on the profit and loss.

COGS is usually the largest expense on the profit and loss of a company selling products or goods. Cost of Goods Sold are deducted from the sales/revenue.

Cost of goods sold is calculated in full, as follows:

Cost of beginning inventory + cost of goods purchased (net of any return stock) + freight-in – cost of ending inventory.

This account balance or this calculated amount will be deducted from the sales amount on the income statement, leaving a Gross Profit.

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Xero – Handling Overpayments in Xero

Xero – Handling Overpayments in Xero

Handling Overpayments in Xero

From the Xero blog, here is how to handle overpayments in Xero and resolve them –

Overpayments can be challenging at times, or even forgotten. There are some easy ways to handle overpayments within Xero.

Let’s take a look at a few ways we can record an overpayment and apply this to an invoice/bill or refund it directly. In Xero, the term “invoice” relates to a sale, and a “bill” relates to a purchase. I’ve only referred to invoices below, but these processes relate to both.

To Record (handle) an Overpayment, you can either:

  • Simply enter the amount paid directly onto the invoice, and if the amount exceeds your invoice total, Xero will automatically calculate an Overpayment transaction.
  • Create an Overpayment Receive Money / Spend Money transaction in your bank account
  • During reconciliation, create an Overpayment Receive Money / Spend Money transaction

Allocate or Refund an Overpayment (Resolve the overpayment)

Once the Overpayment transaction has been entered into Xero, a cash refund can be recorded or you can allocate the overpaid amount to an invoice for the same Contact in Xero.

  • The Allocate option will appear in the Overpayment Options drop down menu while viewing your Overpayment transaction.
  • If a contact has a new invoice you created Xero will ask if you wish to allocate the overpaid amount against this invoice.
  • You can record Cash Refunds on the Overpayment directly and then reconcile them with your Bank Statement line.

(XERO) have some great Help Centre pages that step through Overpayments in Xero. You can check them out here, and call us for help!

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today! 0407 361 596 Aust

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Bookkeeping – 7 tips for business health by keeping healthy books/accounts!

Bookkeeping – 7 tips for business health by keeping healthy books/accounts!

Bookkeeping – 7 tips for business health by keeping healthy books/accounts!

Here are some timely reminders from J T Ripton at smallbizdaily.com

Accounting is often one of the toughest jobs for small business owners, especially those who don’t have a lot of experience or a strong background in bookkeeping. Following a few simple tips throughout the year can make it much easier to track expenses and file taxes when the time comes.

1. Plan Ahead

The first step is to look ahead at the potential needs for your company and plan for these expenses. For example, if you know that you will need to replace expensive equipment in the near future, make sure to set aside funds every month to cover the costs. Other major expenses that may arise include office supplies, inventory, maintenance, and repairs. You can also set aside money each month to cover the annual taxes, so you won’t stress about the amount you need to pay when April 15 arrives.

2. Use Reliable Software

Business bookkeeping software has come a long way over the past decade, and some programs make it much simpler to input expenses and cash flow. MYOB, Reckon and Xero allow you to keep everything you need in one place for easy recovery as needed. From tracking the status of unpaid invoices, to creating customized invoices, to tracking billable hours and budget spent, online accounting software is a great way to save time and money. Some programs like Dropbox and  Google Drive also offer cloud access to your files, which means that you can pull up information from anywhere instead of having to go to the office to find a document or receipt.

3. Separate Business and Personal

If you use your business credit card to pay for a personal expense, make sure to track that and separate it as soon as possible. It is much easier to separate expenses if you use separate accounts to pay for them, but you may accidentally use your business card for a non-company purchase. Business costs are tax deductible, so make it easier on yourself by separating them every time you make a purchase.

4. Schedule Yourself

When it comes to bookkeeping, it might seem easier to just put it off until the end of the year. However, this is going to result in a big headache when you are trying to track down receipts and invoices that may be months old. Schedule time each week or each month to work on your books and stay as current as possible. It may be tempting to skip this every so often, but when you can stick to the schedule, it will be much easier to stay on top of the finances without feeling so stressed.

5. Review Invoices

Be sure to keep close track of your invoices, since some (clients) are notorious for paying bills late. You can probably use your accounting software to run a monthly report and determine what invoices are still outstanding. This gives you the flexibility to send reminders and follow up on outstanding bills before too much time passes. It is also smart to keep a close eye on your cash flow statement, so you can avoid the dreaded insufficient funds message on a payment.

6. Call in a Pro

For some things, it is definitely worth the investment to bring in an expert. You may rely on a financial advisor who specializes in your industry, or you might just need an accountant who can pay your taxes and payroll. You can even use a student intern who is working on an accounting degree if the budget is tight.

7. Track Expenses

Most experts discourage business owners from using cash to pay for any business expense, since it can be very difficult to track. When you use a credit card or debit card, you can view the transactions right away and make sure that all items are true business expenses to avoid issues with write-offs and taxes.

Accurate bookkeeping is an important part of business ownership, so it is crucial to stay on top of the expenses and invoices to prevent problems. If you have questions about bookkeeping, you can always rely on an expert, but once you have your system down, it should be much easier to keep track of the money coming in and out of your company each day.

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Business Tips – 3 Favourite Productivity Tips

Business Tips – 3 Favourite Productivity Tips

3 Favourite Productivity Tips

A fellow blogger in South Australia – Sarina Abbott shares her 3 favourite productivity tips

“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” Dr Seuss

As a business owner, your productive days are the ones that keep you moving forward. They keep you one step ahead of the competition. Importantly, they mean that you can put your feet up at the end of the day with a smile on your face, feeling good about your day and what you’ve achieved.

Today I’d like to share my 3 favourite productivity tips to help you, in Dr Seuss’ words, get on your way!

Play music

Playing music whilst working BUT…only when doing easy tasks I don’t need to think too hard about. For me this includes scanning documents for filing & uploading receipts to my software. It’s surprising how much work you can power through when you have music to boost your mood and it’s almost like a reward for getting through your tougher work earlier on.

Use online invoicing software

Is this how you prepare Invoices? Open up a Word document, change the Invoice number (after checking it’s the next number), add the customer name and details, save it, attach it to an email, type up a professional-sounding email message, send. Oh and remember to back-up all your Word documents in case your laptop fails, etc? Well you have probably already guessed what I’m going to say. Of course there are much more efficient, hassle-free ways to do your invoicing and this includes using online invoicing software. Using your mobile or iPad you can send an invoice to your customer whilst you are right there with them and you know they’ve received it. If you send the same invoices to customers every month, you can set up recurring invoices to go out in a fraction of the time than if you had to do it manually each month…

Do the difficult tasks first

This is a gem of a tip that has really helped me in my business and in life overall actually. It sounds so simple, yet it can have huge productivity benefits. When the weight of a difficult task is lifted off of your shoulders you really do fly through the rest of your day feeling confident and able to tackle anything. I’ve come to believe that success comes to those willing to do the difficult things others put off doing. Pick up the phone and make those difficult phone calls first thing in the morning before you have too much time to think about it. Head out the door and introduce yourself to potential clients. Leave the fun stuff like updating social media until after the uncomfortable stuff is out the way. I tend to overthink things and before I know it part of my day is gone whilst I wait for myself to “feel like” doing the tough stuff. Since adopting the habit of doing the difficult tasks first I wouldn’t do things any other way.

So for me being productive is all about working smarter and not harder, embracing technology and remembering to reward myself. Not all of my days are productive ones, and that’s okay. As a bookkeeper sometimes I get weighed down with the numbers and just need a good break so I can come back and tackle my work another day with fresh eyes!

I think Sarina has great tips – so true!
Especially the tip to do the difficult tasks first – sometimes I just say to myself – JUST DO IT! But I still have days I put off the call or the hard item…

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Business Tax Tips – GST and Hire Purchase

Business Tax Tips – GST and Hire Purchase

GST and Hire Purchase

Many businesses acquire assets such as equipment by entering into hire purchase or leasing agreements to pay for and use the equipment over a period of time rather than paying the full cost up front. Then also they need to know how GST applies. Here is some information from the ATO website to explain –

How does hire purchase work?

Under a hire purchase agreement, you:

  • Purchase goods through instalment payments;
  • Use the goods while paying for them;
  • Do not own the goods until you have paid the final instalment.

Where the supply of goods to you under a hire purchase agreement is a taxable supply, the price you pay for the goods includes GST. If you use the goods in your business, you can generally claim a GST credit.

You treat a hire purchase agreement as a stand-alone sale or purchase in a tax period – that is, the same rules apply as they would for any sale and purchase of goods under an ordinary sale agreement. A hire purchase agreement is not treated as a sale or purchase made on a progressive or periodic basis.

Paying GST on hire purchases

If you enter into a hire purchase agreement on or after 1 July 2012, all components of the supply made under the agreement are taxable, whether or not the credit component is separately disclosed. Any associated fees and charges, such as late payment fees incurred under the terms of the hire purchase arrangement, are also subject to GST.

If you enter a hire purchase agreement before 1 July 2012, and the supplier:

  • Separately identifies and discloses the interest charge to you, you don’t have to pay GST on the interest as it is a financial supply;
  • Doesn’t separately identify and disclose the interest charge to you, you must pay GST on the total amount payable under the contract.

The interest charge is ‘disclosed‘ to you if the supplier tells you any of the following in the hire purchase agreement:

  • The dollar amount of the credit charge;
  • The interest rate;
  • The formula or formulas used to work out the credit charge amount;
  • Any other information sufficient to work out the credit charge amount.

A hire purchase agreement entered into before 1 July 2012 continues to be treated in this way even if there’s a subsequent change to the agreement, provided the change doesn’t result in a new agreement. That is, the supply of a separately disclosed credit component will continue to be an input taxed financial supply.

Claiming GST credits on hire purchases

If you account for GST on a NON-CASH (accruals) basis

You can claim the full GST credit on your hire purchase agreement in the tax period when either:

  • You make your first payment;
  • A tax invoice is issued to you, provided you haven’t already made your first payment.

For agreements entered into before 1 July 2012, you claim a GST credit only for the principal component of the agreement, not the credit component.

If you account for GST on a CASH basis

For hire purchase agreements entered into on or after 1 July 2012, you can claim input tax credits up front instead of waiting until each instalment is paid, in the same way as you would if you accounted for GST on a non-cash basis. As all components of a hire purchase agreement entered into on or after 1 July 2012 are subject to GST, you can claim one-eleventh of all components, including the credit component and any associated fees and charges that have been subject to GST under the agreement.

For hire purchase agreements entered into before 1 July 2012 you can claim one-eleventh of the principal component of each instalment in the period you pay it. If the supplier provides regular accounts or statements that show the principal and interest components for each instalment, you must use that information to work out GST credits in the relevant tax period. If you don’t know the principal component for each instalment, you need to take reasonable steps to find out from the supplier.

See some working examples further down the page at the ATO site HERE

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MYOB / Reckon / Quickbooks / Xero – Clear / Remove / Delete the “to be printed” items from print queue

MYOB / Reckon / Quickbooks / Xero – Clear / Remove / Delete the “to be printed” items from print queue

MYOB / Reckon / Quickbooks / Xero – Clear / Remove / Delete the “to be printed” items from print queue

A client called and saidWe had ticked in our invoices to be printed and never did the printing. Now when I go to print a batch that I want to print, all these non-printed invoices are highlighted. There are about 400 so it does take some time to scroll to the few I want. Is there any way I can delete this instruction without bringing each invoice up and deleting the instruction?

A good solution 1 – Turn off your printer – go to print all unwanted items, then delete the print job in the queue on the printer (usually the printer status window that opens, or from icon lower RHS in task bar or hidden icon area.

A good solution 2 – Choose a PDF printer to create a file – it may need some time to be left to run.

And sometimes using the Reckon PDF creator may not take them off and they re-appear next time, so try using Cute PDF (download FREE here http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp  and click the top “Free Download” on the right, it will also automatically tell you to download the Ghostscript converter, the second free download on the right, say yes as well) or another PDF software.

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today! 0407 361 596 Aust

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Cashflow Tips – How to Improve Cashflow in 30 days!

Cashflow Tips – Claiming Business expenses – Consider what you want to achieve

Cashflow Tips – How to Improve Cashflow in 30 days!

One of the services we help our clients with is teaching how to improve cashflow – and our aim is 30 days! – mainly how to get paid sooner is the top issue they face! A simple method we found is simply send statements EVERY FORTNIGHT – the majority of busy business owners and accounts people forget – you are not their priority.

Results we achieve –

  • Frequent reminders has cut accounts payable / debtors from 60-90 days to majority 30 days and fewer in 60 days! – nearly halved the average payment time in many cases!
  • Calls have been more than halved!
  • Regular email saves time, stress and cost! – The squeaky wheel gets attention!

But there are always the stragglers or those in financial stress that may not be their fault, and often they are a bit embarrassed to call to explain – so sometimes a follow-up call is needed.
And then there are the down-right determined to string you out (the old-fashioned attitude to lean on creditors (YOU)), or financially tight businesses that are only in to win themselves – sometimes they may become a loss.

Here are 5 other tips from Elan Pamensky at Dynamic Business

Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business and more SMBs have been destroyed through cashflow issues than from any other cause. The last thing you need is to be stressing about whether you have enough cash to pay your own suppliers when you should be running your business

1. Compare Your Budgeted and Actual Cashflow

When you made your realistic budget for this financial year, you predicted  your income and expenses so that you could use those figures in your planning. The purpose of this budget was to check whether your cashflow was on target and take action if it is not.

If you are having cashflow issues, you need to determine what is at the root of the problem – lack of income, out-of-control expenses, or late payment of accounts by customers are the most common causes. Once you identify the cause, you can do something about it, but it all starts with awareness.

2. Be Clear About Your Payment Terms and Follow Up

You’d be surprised how many businesses forget this step, and it’s one of the easiest ways to improve your cashflow. Clearly defining your payment terms at the start of your relationship can transform the speed at which you are paid, and it also gives you a chance to negotiate.

If you are asking for 7 or 14 days payment and your prospect wants 30, 60, or 90 days you have the opportunity to negotiate a higher fee in return for your concession on terms, and you have the opportunity to ask yourself whether this client is going to be worth working for at all. This also puts you in a much stronger position if they are late paying your invoices because you have already had a discussion about the terms.

Once you have established the terms of payment make sure you follow your clients up quickly and professionally when they are overdue. This increases your client’s respect for the value you deliver, and helps you get paid sooner

3. Invoice Immediately

Businesses that invoice weekly or monthly are more likely to have cashflow problems. If you invoice as soon as you complete a job the chances are you will get paid immediately … or at least on time because a client who has just signed off on a job is probably happy to pay (or at least schedule payment) immediately rather than having it hanging over their head as something to do.

Tradies are particularly guilty of waiting days or weeks to invoice, and often only invoice when they have a cashflow crisis, so using an app, or developing a system that allows you to invoice immediately is an excellent way to improve your cashflow.

4. Plan Ahead for Compulsory Payments

Set aside money as it comes into your account to pay your taxes, GST   and superannuation obligations. It’s best to put this into a separate bank account so you are not tempted to think of it as ‘available cash’ because it really isn’t available at all.

I’ve lost count of the number of business owners who thought they were having an incredibly profitable year, but who discovered that they had forgotten to set aside enough cash to pay their legal obligations and were suddenly plunged into a cashflow crisis in June or December.

5. Consider Ways to Reduce your Stock Without Affecting Delivery

While many businesses need to have a certain amount of capital tied up in stock so that they can provide efficient and timely service, it’s always worth revisiting your stock levels. From stationery and office supplies to spare parts and widgets your goal should be to have enough to operate your business without interruption, but not too much.

Holding excess stock has an effect on your cashflow as well as on your expenses (warehouse and office space) so it’s important to determine the right levels for your business, and to control it carefully. Lower stock levels also make stocktake easier to manage.

In summary, if you implement one or more of these cashflow improvement methods you will find that the additional cash you have available at any time will increase, and you will also be able to look ahead and see when cashflow problems are likely to occur so that you can work around them.

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

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