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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 Tax Tips – Research shows how to increase revenue for small business especially start-ups

Business Tax Tips – Research shows how to increase revenue for small business especially start-ups

Research shows how to increase revenue for small business especially start-ups

If a 21% chance of increasing revenue / sales was possible by working with your accountant / advisor – would you do it?  Rose Powell reports on a survey in SMEs can make better use of their accountant to boost their bottom line“For the third of business owners who worked with an accountant as an advisor, one in five (21%) saw a rise in their revenue over the last year”.

Rose wrote – “Small business operators who used their accountant as a business advisor last year were 31% more likely to see an earning uplift, according to … research from the 2013 MYOB Business Monitor.

The vast majority of the 1005 business owners surveyed, 89% used an accountant last year.

Only 32% of owners reported having an advisory or consultative relationship with their accountant, compared with the 57% whose relationships were for compliance only, such as tax return completion or GST reporting.

Just 11% did not have an accountant.

For the third of business owners who worked with an accountant as an advisor, one in five (21%) saw a rise in their revenue over the last year.

Adam Ferguson, general manager of the accountants division at MYOB, told StartupSmart that using an accountant as an advisor was especially valuable for start-up companies.

‘The start-up phase of a business is very different to when it’s up and running. In that phase, your accountant can help with things like creating a business plan, applying for business loans, building out your business case,’ says Ferguson.

For start-ups who are already in operational phase, the increasing use of cloud accounting systems enables accountants to provide feedback and ask the right questions about compliance and cash flow.

Ferguson says cloud accounting means compliance is no longer a year-end process, and increasingly a monthly one. This makes them well placed to advise on cashflow questions.

‘An accountant can play a key role in helping a start-up, reporting on cash flow on a more regular basis, and understanding the dynamics that drive cashflow,’ says Ferguson.

The report found companies that worked with an accountant as an advisor were less concerned about attracting and retaining customers, and were more likely to increase their overall investment in their business strategies.

‘Once you’ve got your cash flow healthy, it becomes a question of how to use that and where to invest that to grow my business,’ says Ferguson.

Over half, 53%, said they found their accountant advisor provided useful advice on how best to manage the money that flows through their businesses.”

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 – 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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Cash flow Tips – How a focus on Key KPI can impact growth – how we help our clients

Cash flow Tips – How a focus on Key KPI can impact growth – how we help our clients

Cash flow Tips – How a focus on Key KPI can impact growth – how we help our clients

Account Keeping Plus has seen real-life examples of results when you focus on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to impact your business growth, but coming up with which KPI numbers can seem difficult.

In fact it’s as simple as this: start with a pool of numbers that seem as though they could be important to your overall success, then rule them out one by one until the pool is small enough to count on one hand. Those are your KPIs, or critical numbers.

Here are some ways to generate a pool of possible KPI or “right numbers”:

  • Start with your top-level financial goals and targets such as the specific numbers that define success for your company.
  • Look at the things going on in your market and industry. What are the trends for the last few years? What are your customers and employees saying?
  • Look at your financial statements. Often times, the “right numbers” will include sales, gross profit and net profit from the income statement. Balance sheet numbers might include level of cash, accounts receivable, debt and equity. You may also calculate various ratios such as gross margin percent and current ratio.
  • List all the vital areas of focus – customer service, marketing, sales, products and services, production and quality – then drill deeper into each of them. These may be your various departments or they may be workflow functions independent of the department.
  • Don’t focus only on just financial measures. Operational numbers (i.e. web hits, turnaround time, customer satisfaction, etc.) can be especially helpful in analysing the progress toward your most important goals and growth.
  • Ask yourself these two questions: What numbers do you and your people currently monitor on a regular basis? How did you choose those numbers?

Now that you have a BUNCH of numbers, start the elimination game, as here is my final piece of advice for determining the metrics you’re going to track:

  • Keep the amount of information to a handful of KPI critical numbers so your attention isn’t spread. Just because you CAN measure something doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Sometimes, Less is more. Consider also having key managers taking on some of the KPIs that relate to their area – finance, production, operations, sales, marketing, etc.

Once you’ve narrowed down your KPIs, ask yourself and the team one more question: Are we monitoring the right numbers? Usually time will tell – it sorts out over a period – you’re not going to know your essential and critical numbers right away, and other times you’re spot on.

Finally, it is critical to create a system to organize your numbers. For this, consider starting a dashboard for all to see.

One client of ours, instead of showing the $, prefers to show Quotes and Invoices as Hours, with minimum targets monthly for each. So once we have checked all the accounts receivable is reconciled to deposits in his Xero, we run reports on the previous month total Quotes and total Invoiced. In excel I have created a template to enter this raw data, which is automatically converted to a number called hours (which is derived after financial review of the required $ per hour minimum to cover the business costs and wages and super currently).

I then post the numbers – above or below the Min. target on a white board in the office so all can see.

When targets are met they celebrate, when they aren’t they try to work out what has changed or been missed, and make changes to stop the retreat. And it’s engaging all staff, and creating a team effort! The KPIs are WORKING!

They are part of the AKplus service he receives from us, which includes a Business Health Review of other KPIs – Sales, Gross & Net Profit, Current Ratio. See Services in the Menu, and call to ask us to send a FREE sample of how we help businesses understand the numbers, and GROW!

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

Call 0407 361 596 Aust


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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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Business Tips – Growing – Low cost Marketing with a Lucrative Partner

Business Tips – Growing - Low cost Marketing with a Lucrative Partner

Business Tips – Growing – Low cost Marketing with a Lucrative Partner

Here are some great tips from Bryan Janeczko at Score.com – about finding a partner that can help grow your business.

When I was trying to get noticed after I launched NuKitchen, the online diet service, I tried just about everything to generate sales. One sure technique that I ‘discovered’- which kept a pipeline of new customers coming in the door – was a partnership with a more established business. For us, one of our first partners was Related, a large real estate holding company that owned a string of high rise apartment buildings in New York and the Equinox Fitness chain. Their clients were exactly the same type of customers we were targeting. Establishing a partnership with these folks was one of the best ways for us to get noticed, maintain a continuous flow of potential clients, and ultimately drive sales.

Finding established, recognized names of businesses who are also targeting your customer base, is one of the surest ways to drive your startup sales. Like Related was for me, these businesses already have a customer base that you can tap into. As a startup, however it can be tricky getting them to notice you, let alone partner with you, so I’ve identified 3 tips for landing a lucrative partner:

  1. Identify 5 partners that can drive value for you: Once you’ve identified your target customer, think about established brands in your community who are also targeting your ‘customer’. You’ll want to identify partners in complementary businesses, not necessarily businesses competing directly in your area. Be on the lookout for those potential partners with great reputations. Who would be your ideal partner? Write down the top 5 who you think could most strongly deliver your ideal customers. If you know somebody senior at the business, reach out to that contact but if not, find out who the Director of Business Development is.
  2. Create value for your partner: In order for the partner to listen to you, you’ll need to have a product or service in market (or at least a working prototype). Most businesses won’t risk their reputation if you’ve simply got an ‘idea’. This was actually that case with me when I initially approached Equinox with the NuKitchen concept. I hadn’t yet launched it so they said come back later once you’re in the market. This is exactly what I did- returned a year later as I launched NuKitchen and created a compelling offer for their gym clients. We would provide ‘free’ food tastings at each gym and provide members with a complimentary day of NuKitchen service in exchange for being able to promote our company. They were happy because their members got a valuable benefit. For your own business, what special value add or discount will you offer to your target partner for their clients? Whatever you offer, make sure that you can deliver. Remember, it’s not just your reputation but that of your established partner as well.
  3. Make implementation ‘easy’: Finally, coming up with a compelling offering is great and both parties may get excited. However, the real work is in the execution. Chances are that your Business Development contact is going to be super busy carrying out his or her daily duties. Make it easy on them and do as much of the legwork as possible. Draft an implementation schedule with proposed dates. This may require a little bit of guesswork on your part since you may not have intimate knowledge of their inner workings. My biggest piece of advice is to be flexible since things can take longer than expected or take different twists or turns.

Need help? Not sure?

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