Taking away the hassle of keeping the books

Paperwork – Aaaaarghhhh…

Every business owner hates bookkeeping and paperwork.  Unfortunately, it has to be done.  And it has to be done in a prescribed format… otherwise the Tax Man will be on your back.  And when done accurately it provides critical financial information, key performance indicators and aids decision making.

It’s also difficult.  That’s why there are bookkeeping exams.  That’s why there is a professional Australian Bookkeepers Network.

And because everyone hates bookkeeping – you’d much rather be out there making money from your business – most people end up doing it in the evening or at weekends.  Yet, shouldn’t evenings and weekends be spent playing with the kids, spending time with your friends and loved ones, or out on the golf course?

A far better option is to employ a bookkeeper to get the job done properly.  Unfortunately full time qualified bookkeepers typically cost $60,000 (source: PayScale.com), together with all the other associated costs and hassles of employing someone.

So why not let us take away all that hassle so you can spend your time with the people you love and doing the things you love.

We also take things a step further; we don’t just do the bookkeeping; we offer a cloud accounting service with access to our real time information system.

The benefit of our real time information system

We use an industry-leading cloud accounting system giving you instant access to information in real time.  This means you benefit from:

  • 24/7 access to up-to-date financial information and reports from any device with an internet connection (you can access your numbers with your smartphone or tablet),
  • Being able to sleep at night knowing your sensitive financial data is always secure and backed-up automatically,
  • No system downtime because all software upgrades are automatically installed. This worry-free maintenance saves you time and hassle,
  • reduced accountancy fees because it makes it easier for us to produce end of year accounts, and
  • Since we can access your data 24/7 you get more value from us – we can help you run and grow your business rather than just adding up the numbers.

FREE ACCOUNTS: For business owners who hate bookkeeping…

One of the things our clients love about our “Full” and “Premium” cloud accounting service is this; once we’ve completed your bookkeeping and paperwork for the year we prepare your end of year statutory accounts completely free of charge.

So what does it all cost?

Much, much less than the $60,000 you would pay for a full-time bookkeeper.

A silly way to price

Most self-employed bookkeepers will quote you an hourly rate.  In fact, the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers reportedly recommends $55 per hour.

We think that’s unfair.

Firstly, an hourly rate means you have no idea how long the job will take and therefore how much it will cost you until after the work is completed.  Secondly, if we make mistakes or take longer you pay more.  That doesn’t seem right to us… it’s certainly not fair.

So what we do is give a fixed price (based on your particular circumstances and what you want).  That way you can budget and plan.  And if we are slow and the work takes longer that’s our problem not yours.

Setting up your cloud accounting system

A cloud accounting system will make your life so much easier.  If you do not currently have a cloud accounting system, there is a one off payment from as little as $499 plus GST to get your system set up.

Your options at a glance

The table below summarises what is included within each of our cloud accounting service levels.  To help you identify the best option for you here is a quick overview:

Premium package –   This is the best option for busy business owners who want the maximum out of their cloud accounting system and get access to the key metrics so they can make the best business decisions based on the best quality information.

Full package –   This is our most popular option because you get valuable monthly reports to help you manage your business, general advice and we’ll even produce your year-end accounts for free.

Entry package –   This option is best for those business owners who are simply looking to get the basic entries done to ensure being compliant with the Australian Taxation Office.

 

Entry Package

Full Package

Premium Package

Supply of your paperless expense and receipt processing system
Pure Bookkeeping System
Posting all business bank transactions
Completing the monthly bank reconciliations
Posting purchase invoices, expenses and cash transactions
Credit card transactions and reconciliations
Completing the monthly sales and purchase ledger reconciliations
Completing the monthly GST reconciliation
Completing payroll journals
Making adjustments for any foreign currency transactions
Maximise your tax deductions*
Unlimited email and telephone support
Basic management reporting every quarter
Expense monitoring and advice 5 key expenses Unlimited
Precision accounting with accruals and prepayments
Maintaining your fixed asset register
Full management reporting every month
Debtor monitoring
Completion of BAS/IAS returns
Completion of Superannuation obligations
Completion of annual accounts Free Free
Enhanced credit control
Weekly reports on your key numbers
Quarterly online (‘virtual’) business review meeting
Your holistic cloud financial system
Supply of cloud accounting software – typically retails at $600 per annum Free Free Free

*    For most businesses we usually identify at least $1,500 of additional allowable business expenses that often lie unclaimed. 

 

How you benefit

For a small fixed monthly payment, you will benefit from each of the following:

Your free real time information system

This is one of the features our clients find most valuable.  We will set you up and support you every month with our real time accounting system.  This system will put you in complete control of your numbers.  Cloud accounting software companies charge a monthly subscription for using their system (for example, an annual subscription to the premium version of Xero is $600).  But as part of our cloud accounting packages we pay this on your behalf, which means you get all these benefits of a real time accounting system for free:

  1. 24/7 access to up-to-date financial information and reports from any device with an internet connection (you can access your numbers with your smartphone or tablet).
  2. Up to date – Real time accounting means your records are always completely up to date making it easier for you to make the right decisions.
  3. Business support – Since we can access your data 24/7 you get more value from us – we can help you run and grow your business rather than just add up the numbers. We can support you with your key decisions.
  4. Easier invoicing – Fast, simple customised sales invoicing will make your life simpler. And the facility for emailing of invoices, with the option to attach a statement at the same time makes it so easy to manage your sales and get paid quicker.
  5. Quicker cash collection – The system allows you to embody payment methods into your invoicing. For example, click and pay to drive quick collection of your debts.  It makes it so much easier for you to get paid, reducing bad debts and slow payers and putting more cash in your bank account.  You can also chase debtors whilst you’re on the go.
  6. Automatic processing – Your bank accounts can feed directly into the system, which keeps your accounts up to date and fully reconciled to the bank… this feature will save you a significant amount of time.
  7. Financial dashboard – One of the most popular features is the “Financial Dashboard”; a fully customisable screen showing you the key financial information you need to run your business. You’ll come to rely on this Financial Dashboard just as much as you rely on the dashboard in your car when driving.
  8. Instant reports – At the touch of a button you can get instant reports on your business.
  9. Security – Being able to sleep at night knowing your sensitive financial data is always secure and backed-up automatically.
  10. Maintenance free – No system downtime because all software upgrades are automatically installed. This worry-free maintenance saves you time and hassle.
  11. Lower professional fees – Reduced accountancy fees because it makes it easier for us to produce end of year accounts.
  12. Free software – As well as helping you, this system makes our life much easier and that means we can pass this onto you in the form of cost savings, i.e. we will pay the monthly fee for the system on your behalf.

Posting of all financial transactions

We will post all of the following financial transactions on a weekly basis:

  • Posting all business bank transactions – we will post all receipts and payments for all business bank accounts including any PayPal accounts.
  • Posting purchase invoices and expenses – we will post expenses to the correct expense codes enabling you to obtain relevant financial information and comply with ATO’s requirements.
  • Recording cash transactions – we will post all cash transactions where you have proper cash receipts
  • Credit card transactions and reconciliations – we will post all transactions on your business credit card and reconcile the closing balance each month
  • Completing payroll journals – if you run a payroll we will reconcile each month.
  • Making adjustments for any foreign currency transactions – Foreign transactions are complicated because you either have to deal with exchange rate conversions or accounting for finance fees on each foreign currency receipt or expense. But don’t worry; we’ll sort that out for you.

These postings will ensure that everything is posted to the correct place, which means your financial records will always be accurate enabling you to make important financial decisions about your business.  And of course, you can sleep at night knowing your financial records comply with ATO’s requirements.

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can charge you a penalty if your records aren’t accurate, complete and readable.  You may have to pay interest and penalties if your figures turn out to be wrong and you haven’t paid enough tax.  ATO may check your records to make sure you’re paying the right amount of tax.

Carrying out monthly reconciliations

Reconciling your bank account on a regular basis is critical.  When you get to the year-end, if this doesn’t reconcile your accounts will be wrong.  You could end up paying too much tax because you’ve missed allowable expenses.  Or you risk fines and penalties from the ATO because you’ve missed taxable income.  Or you have to pay higher accountancy fees for the accountant to sort it out.

So what we do is reconcile your bank account every month.  We will also carry out the following reconciliations for you every month to make sure everything is accurate:

  • Your monthly purchase ledger reconciliation so you know exactly what you owe at any point in time to your suppliers.
  • Your monthly sales ledger reconciliation so you know exactly who owes you and how much they owe you at any point in time.
  • Your monthly GST reconciliation to make sure your GST records are compliant.

At the end of your financial year, as soon as we have completed your reconciliations we will provide you with an annual trial balance, which can then be exported and used to complete your year-end financial statements.

Paperless expense and receipt processing system

We recommend a system that will remove the admin burden that bills, invoices and receipts place on small businesses.  It makes the gathering, storage and processing of receipts and invoices as easy and cost effective as possible.  The system will make your life easier and remove clutter by filing paperwork in the cloud.  Let me explain one of the most popular features of this system…

Every time you get an invoice or cash receipts (for example, a car park ticket or train ticket) all you need to do is take a photo with your smartphone.  You can then throw that piece of paper away!  The system will store the image of your invoice and, when you’re connected to the Internet, it will be sent from the system into our cloud accounting system for us to post it to the correct place.

And best of all, we will supply you with the software free of charge and show you how to use it.

Maximise your tax deductions

As part of your cloud accounting we will take you through a list of some of the most common tax-deductible expenses.  This means you will be able to claim every penny possible against your tax bills and have more money in your pocket.  Many of these tax-deductible expenses are often overlooked which means many business owners end up paying unnecessary amounts of tax (for example, use of home as office and mileage allowances).

EXAMPLE:    It’s not uncommon to justify home office expenses at 15% of household bills and not uncommon for allowable household bills to add up to $10,000.  So the amount of money at stake when not properly claiming this expense could easily be $1,500.

Unlimited email and telephone support

Your fixed price is fully inclusive of unlimited email and telephone support for advice on ad-hoc matters.

This means that you can call on us at any time knowing that you will never be charged for our time or advice.  So I hope you will feel free to speak to us whenever you need to, without ever having to worry about the cost.

Of course, if the issues raised at any of these unlimited free consultations (or anywhere else) require research or analysis beyond the consultation, we will give you a fixed price quotation for that extra work before any additional work is started.  This means you will NEVER get an unexpected bill.

Basic management reporting every quarter

The real power of a cloud accounting system is having important management information to hand.  Information such as, who owes me money, what are my sales this month and am I making a profit?  As part of our cloud accounting service we will help you set up the key reports you need so that the most important information is always a click away.  Having your finger on the pulse of your business is critical for making the right business decisions.  You need to know the key numbers.  Each quarter we will supply you with:

  • A quarterly view of your reconciled account summary that will include a year to date total for each category of income and expense, and most importantly, your profit for the year to date.
  • A quarterly sales ledger report showing you exactly how much money your customers owe you and how long those debts have been outstanding. This report will help you to keep on top of your debtors and put more cash into your bank account.
  • A quarterly purchase ledger report showing you how much money you owe to your suppliers.

—– The following additional benefits are included within the full cloud bookkeeping package —–

Expense monitoring and advice

Managing costs for any business is so important.  We will work with you to identify the 5 most critical costs in your business (for many business owners these include people costs, travel expenses and marketing spend).

Once we have agreed which are your most critical costs to keep under control we will monitor them on your behalf.  And whenever we notice a sudden change we will contact you so you are immediately aware.  As part of this service we will also advise you on how to keep costs under control.

Maintaining your fixed asset register

A fixed asset register is an accounting method used for major assets (e.g. cars, office equipment, machinery and property).  Maintaining a register means you can keep track of your major assets, keep track of their value and makes the production of end of year financial statements much easier. For example, as part of this service we will calculate your depreciation and enter the appropriate journals into your cloud accounting system.

Precision accounting with accruals and prepayments

Accruals are adjustments for revenues that have been earned but are not yet recorded in your accounting records and expenses that have been incurred but are not yet recorded in the accounts.  Prepayments are when you have paid for something that relates to a later period.

Accruals and prepayments need to be added via adjusting journal entries so that the financial statements report these amounts.

Why is this important?

If you do not adjust for accruals and prepayments your income, expenses and profit for any given period will be distorted and inaccurate.  Here is an example…

If your rent is paid quarterly, then every third month you have a big expense in your accounts but then no charge in the second and third month.  So we need to spread this cost across each of the 3 months it relates to get a true and accurate picture.

Full management reporting every month

Because it is so important to know how your business is performing we will produce a full report every month, which will include:

  • Your profit for the month together with comparisons against previous months, which means you see at a glance if your business is heading in the right direction.
  • A detailed breakdown of each category of sales and expenses together with the corresponding figures for previous months so you can see at a glance the key trends in your sales and your costs.
  • Your sales ledger report showing you exactly how much money your customers owe you and how long those debts have been outstanding. This report will help you to keep on top of your debtors and put more cash into your bank account.
  • Your purchase ledger report showing you how much money you owe to your suppliers.

In addition, we will set up your Financial Dashboard; a fully customisable screen showing you the key financial information you need to run your business.  You’ll come to rely on this Financial Dashboard just as much as you rely on the dashboard in your car when driving.

Debtor monitoring

Cash is so important.  And a key part of cash management is to keep control of debtors (i.e. the amounts of money you are owed by your customers).  One of the most important financial ratios is called debtor days.  It’s a number you should measure and monitor.  We will monitor this for you and if we see a substantial change in the wrong direction we will give you a call to make sure you are aware and offer suggestions for getting this key ratio back under control.

Completion of BAS/IAS returns

If you are GST registered, you will need to complete GST returns.  To make your life easier we will do this for you, which will save you time and give you the peace of mind they are being completed correctly.

Completion of Superannuation returns

If you have employees, you will need to submit Superannuation obligations to your employee’s super accounts.  To make your life easier we will do this for you, which will save you time and give you the peace of mind they are being completed correctly.

Completion of annual accounts

As part of our full and premium cloud accounting packages we will also complete your year-end accounts – consisting of a profit and loss account and balance sheet – completely free of charge.

Note:     You will of course need to complete tax computations and tax returns.  The completion of tax computations, tax returns and full statutory accounts is outside the scope of this service.

— The following additional benefits are included within the premium cloud bookkeeping package —–

Enhanced credit control

Cash is so important.  And one of the big benefits of a cloud accounting system is the ability to keep on top of your cash and bank balances, on top of your debtors (i.e. who owes you money) and get paid easier.  There are now so many easy ways to manage debtors and get paid automatically (e.g. online payments and direct debits) and so many ways to integrate this into your system.

Our Enhanced credit control service will identify all the options available to your business to help you get paid quicker and have more money in your bank account.  We will also review outstanding invoices with you, advise on your terms and conditions of business, advise on your options for recovering outstanding debts, consider the need for write-offs and bad debt provisions and advise on alternative payment options.

This service will help put more money into your bank account.

Weekly reports on your key numbers

In addition to full management report every month we will also supply you with the key numbers every single week (e.g. weekly sales).  This means you always have the very latest financial information to hand.

Quarterly online (‘virtual’) business review meeting

Every three months we will have a 45-minute meeting.  This meeting will take place online (which means there is no need for you to travel).  In this business review meeting we will discuss your latest management information and how you can use the numbers to keep your business going in the right direction.

Your holistic cloud financial system

Many cloud accounting systems integrate with other solutions. There are systems that allow you to photograph receipts with your smart phone and enter them into your bookkeeping system; never worry about losing that parking receipt again!  You can integrate online payment with direct debit systems.  You can integrate with payroll systems.  Stock and inventory systems.  Debtor management.  The list goes on… but we’ll simplify it for you.

You will be amazed at what you can do to run your business more easily, to help you get your cash faster and save you time.  As part of our cloud accounting service we will provide a report setting out the most popular integrations and the best ones for your business.

Popular add-ons

Here are some of the related services that are most popular:

Payroll

If you have employees, you will need to have a PAYG scheme set up and operate payroll.  Many of our clients choose to let us then run the payroll.  Let us know if you’d like us to take away that hassle for you.

Monthly or quarterly cash flow forecasting and budgeting

Forecasting and budgeting helps you plan and will give you an early-warning signal if you are likely to face cash shortages.  Our forecasting service looks at each of your forecast profits, cash and net assets giving you a complete picture of what your business might look like in the future.  In fact, this is such a powerful business planning tool banks very often insist on it as part of raising finance.

On-site support

Everything about our standard cloud accounting packages is online.  But from time-to-time some clients prefer us to carry out the bookkeeping at their premises (typically when a desktop accounting system, such as Sage is used).  If you want us to carry out the bookkeeping at your premises you can choose this as an upgrade.

Stock control

Stock control and inventory management will help you keep track of stock levels to ensure you never hold too much stock (which ties up cash) or run out (and miss out on sales).  We can set up inventory management that simplifies purchase orders, transfers and stock-takes.  It uses automated reordering based on specified stock levels to make sure you never have too much or too little stock on your shelves.