Bookkeeper and Accountant Working Well Together

Why Accountants Love It If You Have A Bookkeeper

Do I need an accountant or a bookkeeper? Do they do the same thing? Don’t they work in competition with each other?

These are questions that we get asked all the time.

To be perfectly honest, accountants love it when you have a bookkeeper. The jobs each profession do are completely different, but do work in synergy with each other.

Bookkeeping is important for any business, regardless of the industry or size. It keeps all of your financial records in top shape, which makes all aspects of your accounting a lot easier.

Let’s take a look at the role of a bookkeeper and the difference they can make to your business.

The Role Of Accountants v. Bookkeepers

Sometimes the roles of accounting and bookkeeping can overlap, or the names may be used interchangeably. But there are some distinct differences between the two. The role of a bookkeeper is to have everything prepared for your accountant when it comes to analysis, auditing, or tax time.

Bookkeeping refers to the recording and maintenance of day-to-day financial transactions. This includes all purchases, sales, payments, and receipts. A bookkeeper often also produces weekly or monthly reports and account reconciliations.

This keeps everything in order for the accountant to come in and take care of data analysis, auditing, and filing tax returns. Having a great bookkeeper who is efficiently managing the day-to-day work makes an accountant’s job easier and saves you money on your accounting fees.

Below are some of the top benefits of having a bookkeeper:

Cash Flow

Your bookkeeper can track ingoing and outgoing payments – making sure that you are paying bills on time and your clients are paying you on time. This is important for making sure you have money coming in when it is supposed to, and keeping you out of bad credit with suppliers.

Matching Transactions To Correct Accounts

Businesses often have multiple accounts and things can get messy if they aren’t monitored properly. A bookkeeper can make sure money is put in the right place or quickly remedy it if it isn’t. This can be especially crucial around end-of-year accounts and tax time.

Regular Account Reconciliation

You don’t want to get to the end of the financial year and find out that you will be paying an accountant overtime to correct mistakes in your financials. Regular bookkeeping can ensure your accounts are reconciled on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis depending on how many transactions you have per day.

This means the records will all be correct when the accountant needs them.

Required Reporting Completed

Profit and loss statements or reporting to investors can all be taken care of by your bookkeeper. This means that you can check up on the financial health of your business easily by looking at these records. Also, it is one less thing that your accountant will have to worry about.

Expenses Tracked

Having a dedicated eye on your day-to-day expenses is very important. A bookkeeper will be paying close attention to outgoing costs like company credit cards, company vehicle use, and supply costs. They can also alert you to any red flags in these areas, like sudden increases in costs or suspicious activity with company money.

Everybody Wins

When it boils down to it, your accountant is not the only one who wins from having a bookkeeper – you benefit too! You will get more time for business operations (and some well deserved time off) by leaving the finances to a professional.

Got the bookkeeper but not the accountant? Or maybe you are looking for a great accountant who can work in with your existing financial team? Then get in touch with us here at Accountants Plus today.

File Tax Return

Why You Shouldn’t DIY Your Tax Return

Does anyone really love doing their tax returns? If you are self-employed or running a small business (or planning to in the future), you have no doubt considered whether you should outsource your tax returns.

Surely it can’t be too hard right? It’s just one little form…

Wrong!

A quick online search or a chat to Inland Revenue will confirm that taxes are a lot more than simply filing a form once a year. It is actually about keeping an accurate set of financial records that spell out how your business is performing.

Here are the main reasons why you should leave your tax return to the professionals:

Submitting A Tax Return Is A Complex Process

The Inland Revenue is currently undergoing huge changes to become a more customer centred business. This will make interacting with the agency more efficient and pleasant. But, it doesn’t change the inherently complicated regulations involved in income and business tax.

You can certainly find a lot of information about how to handle your finances online. But, the internet is not a complete resource. It often contains inaccurate or out-of-date information. And it is certainly no replacement for the years of practical experience an accountant has.

Engaging a professional to deal with your taxes will ensure that the correct processes are followed and that you will receive accurate, appropriate advice. This is especially helpful for staying up to date on any changes to tax laws, or simply being reminded when certain things are due.

There can be some pretty hefty penalties for underpaying taxes or failing to keep your records as required. So, it’s not something you want to take a chance on!

You Might Save More Money

A tax accountant is going to know all of the exceptions as well as the rules! That means they may be able to save you money on your tax return bills by making sure you are getting all of your entitlements, like tax credits and deductions.

If you work for yourself or from home, a lot of your expenses can be either fully or partially deductible. Your tax professional can ensure you don’t miss out on anything you might be owed.

Any Income Related Lifestyle Changes

If you have recently experienced a significant increase or decrease in income, had a baby, or started a hobby business – your tax obligations might have changed, too.

If you have an accountant taking care of your taxes, you just have to inform them and they can take care of the rest! Otherwise you would have to wade through the complicated (and sometimes confusing) mass of information out there. After hours of reading, you still might not have the answer!

Peace Of Mind

This reason might appeal to you the most – you simply don’t have to worry about it anymore! Dealing with taxes can be frustrating and stressful. Most of us understand the dangers of messing up your tax return. We just aren’t completely sure how to avoid it. It also means that you won’t miss any, all important deadlines and receive penalty fees.

Outsourcing your tax related tasks frees up time and helps you rest easier, knowing that your obligations are properly taken care of. This is not only beneficial for the short term. In the event that you are the subject of an audit further down the line, all of your tax ducks will be neatly in a row – prepared and assured by the experts. 

Here at Accountants Plus we have a full range of accounting, taxation, and business advisory services.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your tax obligations.

Profit and Loss

How To Read Your Profit and Loss Statement Correctly

Financial reports can be a bit overwhelming. With columns of numbers everywhere, coding, and subtotals, it is hard to decipher what they all mean.

But your profit and loss statement is a pretty key report to understand. If you only learn about one aspect of financial reporting, then your P&L is a good place to start!

A profit and loss (P&L) statement (also known as an income statement) summarises the costs and expenses of your business, incurred during a particular period. It basically shows the money that comes in and the money that goes out.

With accounting software you can easily and regularly produce these reports to help you see revenue trends in your business. Or of course, your accountant can do it for you.

Let’s look at this vital report in a bit more detail.

Why is a profit and loss statement important?

Your P&L statement is an essential business tool. It helps you to keep an eye on your finances and to address any issues if they arise. For example, you might notice that certain expenses are increasing significantly each month or quarter. This may highlight to you that you need to look at new providers or suppliers.

This statement is also going to show your company’s ability or inability to generate profit. It shows you a total of all expenses and all income sources. This will display your total net profit. You will be able to see immediately if your business is spending too much money to be viable.

This will be a true indicator of whether you need to reduce costs, increase sales, increase marketing, or a combination of these things.

Your P&L statement helps you to monitor any changes you are making to your income and expenses monthly or quarterly (or however often you decide to run the reports). This allows you to easily compare statements from different periods, which shows you your progress over time.

How To Read Your P&L

The P&L/income statement is fairly easy to read and understand once you know what you are looking at. They will differ slightly between different accounting programmes, but will follow a general format. Below is a quick guide to the main parts of the statement and what they mean.

  • The report begins with your revenue entries from all sources of income. This will be your income from sales, interest, and any other avenues.
  • It will then list the various business costs underneath the income. These are sometimes separated into two types – fixed costs and cost of sales. Fixed costs are things like rent, Internet, or power bills. Cost of sales is the money you spend on things like materials and/or stock. These costs can be quite variable month-to-month.
  • If the expenses are not split into these categories they will just be listed as separate lines. They will include operating expenses, cost of goods sold, taxes, interest expenses, and any miscellaneous expenses. 
  • At the end of the statement it will give you your net profit. That is your total profit (including interest received) minus all of your expenses.

There are a couple of other key points to note about your P&L:

  • It is accrual based – which means it includes all income and expenses, regardless of whether they have been paid yet.
  • It does not include personal items, capital items, owner drawings, or any business loans (or repayments against loan principal).
  • It will include interest on loans, as this is an expense. It will also include depreciation on capital items.

So there you go, your P&L in a nutshell. Once you know what you are looking at, it is a reasonably easy report to understand. If you do need some help understanding the intricate ins and outs of it, then get in touch with us here at Accountants Plus.

We can help your small to medium-sized business in all aspects of business performance. Talk to us today!

Summer and quiet seasons coming

Summer & A Traditional Quiet Period Is Coming… Are You Ready?

With summer settling in and the new year around the corner, many businesses may be facing their slump season. Cash flow can slow down over the warmer months while people are on holiday or facing empty wallets after a Christmas blow out.

With the right planning, foresight and management, the quiet season doesn’t have to be a stressful time for your business.

Read on to discover some useful strategies that can get you through the quiet periods until business picks up.

Dealing With The Summer Quiet Period

Fine Tune Your Annual Budget

Planning ahead is everything. Instead of waiting until the quiet season is looming, take these seasonal fluctuations into account when doing your yearly budget. Put away some of the extra cash you earn during busy times to get by during the troughs.

Knowledge is power. The more information you have, the more prepared you will be. Calculate your bare minimum operating expenses every month and ensure there is enough to see you through even in times of reduced income. Also, have a look back on your financials to discover exactly when those quiet periods are.

Cut Down On Costs

Once you have figured out your essential spending, it is time to look at where you can tighten the purse strings. Perhaps you can reduce business hours or staffing, go easy on the advertising, chat to suppliers about renegotiating contracts, or cut out the complimentary office snacks for a few months.

However, try not to go overboard and downsize too much without really considering the implications for your business. Too many cutbacks could make it difficult to pick up again when the quiet period comes to an end. Talk to your accountant for advice on where you can afford to cut back and what you need to keep up.

Perfect Your Timing

Planning to survive, and even thrive during slow season requires some creative thinking and attention to timing. Before the lull arrives, put in some extra effort to sell and create revenue that will keep you afloat.

Leverage your existing clients by offering exclusive deals and promotions for them to take advantage of during those months. As the quiet season draws to an end, consider an aggressive, early marketing campaign to beat the competition and draw in new customers. Offer promos for early sign-up and emerge from the slow season with some forward momentum.

Expand Your Products And Services

Not all businesses have to experience a slow down over the summer months. Is there a way you can broaden or diversify your products and services to avoid a slump? Though it may not be appropriate for all business types, utilise some creative thinking to identify what complementary services you can introduce that will be in demand at this time of year.

Get Strategic

Quiet season is the perfect time to get to all those things you never find time to do when it is busy. Use the time wisely to evaluate your business plan, review processes, see what is working and what needs improving, research innovations in the industry, look at your branding and marketing strategies – all those juicy things that are essential to growing your business.

You can also use the time to tidy things up from a busy year. Finish off any filing, tidy out the office and organise your desk. Get ahead on that pesky admin work and come up with an awesome plan of action for the year ahead.

If you would like to know how you can prepare for quiet seasons in your business, then get in touch with us here at Accountants Plus. We will be able to provide you with lots of great advice to get through and strengthen your business for when things pick back up again.

Company Vehicle

Financial Considerations For Having A Company Vehicle

Financial Considerations For Having A Company Vehicle

Love the idea of having a shiny new company car or van to cruise around town in but not quite sure how it works and what you need to consider? As much as the idea is appealing and you might think you can write off all the expenses at tax time, it isn’t quite that straightforward.

The financial rules for vehicles can be quite complicated. There are actually different rules for sole traders and companies, variations that depend on whether the vehicle is exclusively used for business or also allows personal usage, and a slew of other considerations.

In some cases, it may be more prudent to maintain your own personal vehicle and claim back expenses such as mileage and maintenance.

Let’s have a look at some of the financial considerations to take into account if you have a company vehicle.

Financial Considerations For Having A Company Vehicle

Is It Viable?

Before you start looking at all the shiny new cars on the lot or deciding whether to go petrol or electric, you need to know if it is a viable choice for your business.

First and foremost, you need to figure out if you have enough financial stability to make such a sizeable investment up front. It is not just the cost of the vehicle to consider, insurance and other associated costs add up. Although you can write off a substantial amount, you still need the money upfront.

If you don’t have the funds upfront, you may decide to take out a loan to purchase a company vehicle. In some cases, the interest on the loan may be tax-deductible. But, don’t bank on that fact. It pays to check with your accountant before making any financial commitments. They will have the right advice for your individual situation and advise whether or not it is a good investment for your business.

Ongoing Costs

Cars and vans are not a one-time purchase. You will need to have the budget to maintain a WOF and registration, make repairs, pay road user charges (if applicable) and cover insurance for all employees who use the vehicle. Again, most of these expenses are deductible, but your bank account needs to be healthy enough to sustain unexpected costs.

Although it is possible to claim back all the running costs, petrol, insurance and even depreciation of the car, bear in mind that you are likely to be required to pay fringe benefits tax (FBT). This is tax your business is liable for if the company car is made available for staff for any form of private use. Even travelling from home to work is considered to be personal use – unless you are a sole trader and using a truck or van as your company vehicle.

The amount of FBT you pay depends on how much the car is worth and how much your company earns. If you are a sole trader, you won’t need to pay FBT on your business vehicle – instead, your accountant will make other tax and GST adjustments.

If your company vehicle is a non-passenger vehicle and is only ever used for work-related tasks, you are exempt from FBT. As a general rule, if you are more likely to use the vehicle for personal use, it makes more financial sense to pay FBT.

Do You Need It?

Probably the biggest consideration is whether or not your business needs a company vehicle? Because it makes your financials a lot more complicated, you should carefully consider if you are buying the vehicle for the right reasons or for vanity’s sake.

Deciding whether or not to invest in a company vehicle is no small decision. You need to discuss your current business requirements and finances with an experienced accountant who can advise you of your options and help you save money in the long term.

If you are considering buying a company vehicle and need to understand how it could impact your business, then get in touch with us here at Accountants Plus today. We can advise you on the best way to handle the vehicle situation specific to your business.

Tasks to make your accounting easier

Tasks You Can Do To Make Your Accounting Easier

One of the biggest time suckers for a small business is trying to maintain your finances. That is why hiring an accountant to manage them for you is a smart move. You give yourself extra time and energy to focus on the important aspects of growing your business.

However, if you don’t utilise or support your accountant, you are not doing yourself or your business any favours.

With any outsourcing you choose to do, you want to ensure that your money is well spent and the service adds value to your business. Because accountants need to charge for their time, it is in your best interest to make sure you have all your ducks in a row. That way, they can get straight to the grunt work without having to chase you for more information.

Here are some key tasks you should be doing to help your accountant do their job effectively and efficiently.

 

Tasks To Make Your Accounting Easier

Organise Your Receipts

In this age of advanced apps and software, there is no excuse for keeping a shoebox piled full of receipts under your desk. Grab an app or use the capabilities of accounting software like Xero to save all your electronic receipts and organise them into categories.

Photograph hard copy receipts and add them to the folder, or assign them to your entries in Xero. You will save your accountant the hassle of endless hours of sorting and cut down on the billable hours you have to pay.

Meet Deadlines

A good accountant will give you plenty of warning in advance of tax time. They will tell you what they need from you to file your tax returns. Help them out by getting them what they need, when they need it. They have many clients and can’t receive everybody’s info back at the last minute. Plus, a late tax return can incur fines and fees which you don’t want to deal with!

Bill Efficiently

Talk to your accountant about the best-invoicing cycle to stay in the black and make sure you chase clients who are late to pay. Your finances can get out of whack if you have already paid for stock and employee wages, but then have to wait another month for the invoices to be paid by clients.

If you struggle to find time for this, consider an automated invoicing system that will remind you of any outstanding invoices and send reminders to clients on your behalf. Most online accounting programs have this function built in.

Communicate

Always keep your accountant up to date on any changes to your personal or business circumstances. They can anticipate problems or challenges that you weren’t aware of and assist you in coming up with solutions.

It is far better to be proactive than reactive. Also, discuss with them if you are intending to make any big financial moves in your business like buying a new significant asset or borrowing funds. Your accountant will be able to advise on the best way to handle it and if it is a smart financial move to make.

Manage Your Books Regularly

Set aside time every day to reconcile your Xero accounts, update your spreadsheets and records, produce your invoices and pay any bills that are due. Delaying these tasks for days or even weeks can lead to gaps or inconsistencies that will cause problems for your accountant and potentially your cash flow. Getting into the habit of dealing with this daily means there is less of a chance you will forget something important down the line.

Using cloud-based accounting software makes this part easy. You can create rules to reconcile transactions so that it would be a 5-minute job to get everything up to date. Plus, your accountant can log in any time to get an accurate snapshot of your finances.

Help Your Accountant To Help You!

If you have a scheduled catch up with your accountant, take the time beforehand to write down a list of questions or outline any plans you have for your business. Send this list to them ahead of the meeting, so they have time to get any information or documents ready for you.

Your accountant has a wealth of knowledge in many areas of business. That means they can provide you with sound advice on how to scale or grow your business. More than just numbers, they cover all the important parts of business.

If you would love to work with an Accountant that loves to work with you, then get in touch with us here at Accountants Plus. We make a point of getting to know your business so that we can always work in your best interests. Get in touch today.

Review your Goals

Why You Should Review Your Financial Goals

The end of the year is fast approaching, and you know what that means – holidays, Christmas trees and parties, right? Yes, while these things are all on the horizon, it also means the end of the financial year is only a hop, skip and a jump after that!

So, it is time to hit the pause button on all those holiday preparations and put aside some time to review the financial goals that you set for your business at the beginning of the year.

Reviewing your goals is a chance for you to get a snapshot of how your business has performed, allows you to figure out if you are on track, and adjust accordingly. You still have two quarters left to rev up and get those goals met. It also helps you to plan how to do things differently next year.

Let’s look into the review process a little further.

Review Your Financial Goals

Remember those goals that you set way back at the start of the year? The ones you were really enthusiastic about?

As part of your business plan, you should be setting goals, whether they relate to business growth, profits, expansion or other aspects of your business. This you know. But then you have to actually put those goals into action to make them happen.

Hopefully, you didn’t file those goals away and forget about them!

Take a look at the expectations you had for your business and check your progress.

If you met your goals, high five yourself! But then take a more in-depth look into the goals that you set. If you have reached them already, then you might have set a goal that was too easy, now is your opportunity to raise the bar for next year.

If you are miles away from completing your goals, try to figure out why. Were they unreasonable? Did you miss an important aspect of your planning? Is there a way that you can step it up now, to still achieve what you wanted to? Then, ask yourself how you can handle things differently next year to set yourself up for success.

Review Your Profits and Spending

Part of your review process should include looking at your numbers. Spend some time examining your income to see if it was what you expected. Brainstorm some ideas on how you can maintain your momentum, or increase it as we head into the last half of the financial year.

Once you have looked at your income, it is time to look at the outgoings. Try to examine them with an unbiased attitude. Did you spend your money wisely? Are there purchases or investments you regret making? Or, are there subscriptions, courses, or services you have signed up for but aren’t using?

These kinds of reviews clearly help you see where you need to build discipline, and what kind of worthwhile spending you might like to continue with. Be ruthless with your examination and remove anything from your business that you don’t need. If there is less spending happening, then you have more in the pot for investing in your business and paying yourself!

Get To Work

Although it may be tempting to spend the warmer months cruising towards the end of the year, don’t give up yet! You don’t need to write the year off, vowing to improve things next time around with a new set of goals.

Instead, focus on switching your attitude and trying to complete any goals that you didn’t quite get to yet. There is something incredibly satisfying about reaching those targets. After all, you set them for a reason in the first place.

Review Timeline

Instead of waiting for halfway through the financial year, or one week before its end, it can be helpful to review your goals on a more regular basis. That way if you are falling behind on your progress, it is easier to get caught up and on track before it is too late.

It is important to remember; whether you are reviewing your financial goals monthly, quarterly or annually, there is always something to learn from the process. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you haven’t managed to achieve everything you hoped. Use those shortfalls as a lesson, study them closely and come up with ways to do things better.

Financial reviews are an essential part of your business growth, and the perfect opportunity to refresh and empower your business. If you need some help with reviewing your financial goals, then get in touch with us here at Accountants Plus. We are not just accountants; we have plenty of business expertise that will help you to take your business to the place you want it to be.

Happy Accountant on Your Team

Why A Good Accountant Is On Your Team

Why A Good Accountant Is On Your Team

Accountants have a bit of a bad reputation. We aren’t sure why; we are actually a pretty cool bunch here at Accountants Plus! But unfortunately, it seems to be a reputation that comes with the territory.

Accountants really are an essential resource for your small business. That is not just us tooting our own horns. A good accountant can help you keep your business on track, position you for good growth and an even better return!

If you aren’t a money or finance person, it can be a mission to get your head around things like payroll, taxes, and financial reporting. Having a professional and qualified accountant to take care of these important parts of your business can really make all the difference.

We want to change the opinion people have about accountants and prove that we really are an integral part of your team. So let’s dispel some myths and look at how we can help you…

Common Misconceptions About Accountants

They Just Want To Make Money Off Me! Not true! The thought of a big accounting bill is of course intimidating. But before you sign on with someone, do some research into their fee and billing structure. Some accountants even offer a package where you are billed monthly and can spread the cost across the year.

They’re boring! Just because you find finances boring does not mean that we ourselves are boring! In fact, we pride ourselves on our friendly, helpful and personable service.

Bookkeeping Is Simple. I Don’t Need Any Help! Bookkeeping and accounting are very different things. It is not just a matter of tracking ingoing and outgoing money. You might do your own bookkeeping, and that’s great! But an accountant does far more. They take that day to day information and turn it into a regular financial statement report. That contains important data about your profitability and assets. They are also available on hand to help with any accounts, tax or payroll advice. While only 14% of small businesses outsource bookkeeping, 71% outsource the more complex tasks such as tax preparation.

They Only Do Taxes: While taxes and GST are some of the main roles an Accountant performs, they actually do far more than that. Their extensive knowledge in a wide range of areas means they can give practical and valuable advice. They can identify areas of weakness in your business and help you turn them into a strength.

Ways A Good Accountant Can Help Your Business

Help With Your Startup: There are a lot of crucial things to consider when starting up a business and if you haven’t done it before, you might miss something. Accountants can help with pretty much everything, including determining your business structure, creating business plans, designing processes to comply with industry regulations, even giving advice on which bookkeeping software to use.

Save You Time And Money: Your time should be spent on what you do best – delivering your products and services. Having someone else crunch the numbers and take care of financial obligations gives you back the time you need to do your job. Getting it right the first time can also help you avoid fines and penalties if you submit things late or incorrectly.

Help Grow Your Business. Over time, your accountant will come to know your business inside and out. They can be an excellent source of objective advice for important business decisions. When the time comes to grow and expand, an accountant who knows your business well is a vital resource.

Are you ready to have a good accountant in your corner? Then we are ready to be on your team! Give us a call today to see how we can help you and your business with more than just your taxes!

Embracing Cloud Accounting

Why You Should Embrace Cloud-Based Accounting

What do clouds, rainbows and accounting have in common?

Normally those are three things that you wouldn’t necessarily hear in a sentence together. But cloud-based accounting really can make rainbows appear in your business. And that is why we think you should embrace it wholeheartedly!

Let’s face it; if you are self-employed or running your own business, your bookkeeping obligations can be a bit of a drag. You got into this to do what you love and be your own boss – not to spend hours at a computer screen trying to make sense of invoices, transactions and tax.

But then, cloud-based accounting entered the market. Many small business owners are choosing to move to the cloud due to the increased ease and efficiency. So if you are still doing your accounting the old-fashioned way, it might be time for a change!

What does it mean to be cloud-based?

Is my information literally floating in the sky?

Kind of! Cloud-based software gives users access to accounting technology on a subscription basis. You pay a monthly or annual fee, and the provider remotely and securely hosts the databases and servers. You can easily access your data from anywhere at any time by simply going online.

Let’s explore why cloud-based accounting is so much better than the old traditional paper methods!

Problems with traditional accounting systems

  • It’s inflexible – Older accounting software is installed on your computer and is usually limited to exactly that – your one Data cannot be securely transferred from one place to another, it often requires the use of a USB drive or something similar. That jeopardises the security of your information and limits where you can do your work (hint – that means you can’t sneak in cafe working hours!)
  • It’s risky – It’s also common to only have one account or user login, because buying additional licences for other users is very expensive. This means if your computer is lost, stolen, or has a virus – you’re up the proverbial creek. Computers can be vulnerable to viruses, and if all of your data is stored on one PC, you could lose it in one hit.
  • It’s outdated – As the software gets older, it gets more out of date and inefficient for your growing business needs. It can be an expensive process to upgrade existing software and keep access to your old data.
  • It’s unreliable – Speaking of data, some older systems do not have the capacity to back it up at all. We’ve all accidentally deleted something that we really shouldn’t have. Not being able to get it back is a less than ideal situation.
  • You’re on your own – It’s almost impossible to get help or support when something is going wrong with your old accounting software. There is usually a customer support phone number, which is either never answered or it’s disconnected.

Benefits of cloud-based accounting systems

  • It’s accessible – Wherever you have Internet or mobile data, you can access your business information. This is essential for meetings on the go or for work trips where you can’t be at your desk, but need to be able to see or edit your data. It also means that your accountants have a clear and up-to-date overview at all times. No more frantic searching for receipts and invoices at tax time!
  • It’s streamlined – Cloud-based accounting systems are relatively new and have been designed to be user-friendly and largely automated. This cuts out a lot of the administrative work for you, giving you more time for other things.
  • It’s really smart – Most cloud-based systems are sophisticated and go way beyond basic spreadsheets and calculations. They feature detailed budgeting and financial analysis and come with heaps of other features to help you run your business better.
  • It Saves You Time – Systems like Xero offer one-click reconciliations, tax and GST reporting (with a direct link to upload to IRD), the ability to set up repeating invoices, automatic invoice reminders and so much more. That means it saves you hours of time completing these tasks manually.

As you can see, we are complete cloud advocates here at Accountants Plus. If you are interested in knowing more about how cloud-based accounting can streamline your business, or even how we can help you manage your cloud accounts then get in touch with us today.

Key Metrics In Your Business

Key Business Metrics You Should Be Monitoring

Do you know how healthy your business is? Could you say with confidence how much money is in your surplus budget, that all of your expenses are accounted for, and that there is little chance of a nasty surprise popping up?

If you answered no to any of that, you need to be monitoring aspects of your business more closely.

The secret to success is tracking key business metrics within your operation. Those metrics are…

Your Cashflow

Monitoring your cash flow is Business 101. It means looking at the physical dollars that are coming into your bank accounts, and the ones that are exiting your accounts too. The money that you pay out is known as negative cash flow, and the money that comes into your business is positive cash flow.

If you don’t know what is coming in and going out, then you don’t know if your business is doing well or not. Do you have enough to cover your expenses? Or do you have surplus money that you should be investing into a growth strategy? Remember this one key thing, positive cash flow does not equate to profits, it is simply the money that you have to spend in your business.

Short-Term Debt

Your most common form of short-term debt is your Accounts Payable. That is the bills that your business has received, but hasn’t paid yet. They will show up as a liability in your financial reports and statements. Tracking this metric is important, as you need to know that you have the cash flow to cover these upcoming bills.

You don’t want to fall into the trap of paying bills late as this can result in penalty fees or a black mark against your business’ credit rating. You also don’t want your bills to impact any debt repayments or your ability to pay your payroll. Keep a close eye on your short-term debt and manage it well.

Funds Owed

Generally, the biggest part of funds owed to your business is from your Accounts Receivable. This is generated by invoices you have sent out, or products sold and services completed that you have not yet been paid for. These funds will show as an asset on your financial statements, as they are revenue that you expect to receive in.

You should not recognise your funds owed as money in the bank until it actually hits your account. Encourage your customers to pay on time so that it doesn’t negatively impact your cash flow. If they are late in paying your invoices, make sure you follow up as quickly as possible. The longer a debt is outstanding, the harder it is to collect.

Direct Costs

Direct costs are also known as the cost of goods sold. They are costs directly associated with providing your products or services – wholesale costs, the cost of materials to make your products and even specific labour time specifically dedicated to producing your products. Monitoring your direct costs will show you how much it cost you to provide your products and services. If these costs become too high then you need to consider the viability of your offerings, or if you can make some cost savings.

Direct costs show on your Profit and Loss statements. If you subtract your direct costs from your revenue then you will be able to calculate your gross profit. Your direct costs do NOT include indirect fees like the cost of advertising, marketing, rent, or insurance.

Operating Margin

Your Operating Margin is the money you have left in your business after your income has been generated, and your direct and indirect costs have been paid. It is a good indication of how well your business is performing after you have paid for your products, all of your marketing and general expenses.

If the amount leftover is low then you might not have enough left to pay your taxes. This may mean you need to review your business model or pricing structure. But if you have a lot leftover, then there is potential you can reinvest the funds.

Net Profit

The net profit is the bottom line of your business. It is the money that is left over after you have paid all your costs, as well as Tax and GST. They are the funds that don’t have to be reinvested into your business. Tracking this helps you to establish how much money you have to invest in the growth of your business, or how much you can draw out.

Cash Balance

How quickly do you burn through any funds left in your business? Do you spend it as soon as it comes in, or can you maintain a healthy balance of positive cash flow? You should think long and hard about how you spend your cash balance as it is the funds you have to invest in your business. If you spend everything you have the second it hits your account, then you will have nothing available to support your future business growth.

While it is important to track these metrics in your business, it is not always possible to do it yourself. Financial terms can seem like a foreign language and who has the time to decipher a new language? After all, time is always an issue when it comes to running a business as you want to focus on the things you do best to generate revenue.

So, if you would rather rest easy knowing that your finances are being looked after, consider letting Accountants Plus monitor them for you. We have a team of financial gurus who are experts in measuring the financial health of your business with these metrics. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.