4 Reasons Business Owners Can Benefit From Hiring A Bookkeeper

Business owners do everything to save money and generate profit. If you ever know about a business owner who skimps on bookkeeping, it should not come as a surprise because this is part of their cost-cutting measures.
DIY bookkeeping is a common practice among small business owners. Since running a small business means less obligations, they can dedicate most of their time to monitor their income and expenses. However, things can get unpredictable especially when you plan to grow your business. At a glance, your financial performance may be doing well, but scratching beneath the surface will reveal the small cracks.

A bookkeeper should be treated as an investment rather than an extra expense. In the long run, you will realise that your cash flow is intact because your bookkeeper sees to it that you have enough money for future investments and monthly expenses. There are many reasons a bookkeeper is essential regardless of the size of your business.

Errors are minimised

A simple oversight can result in committing costly mistakes. When generating financial reports, your business can be at stake if you miss out on ensuring that the numbers are accurate. Bookkeeping reduces these errors by checking every detail on the report. Bookkeeper’s full attention ensures that major errors are not registered.

Bills are paid

Proper bill handling is important to prevent penalties and extra fees. Late payments affect your cash flow because you need to pay for the penalties, which is an additional expense. A bookkeeper can take care of this essential task so you minimise the risk of penalties.

A clearer view of your finances

Although you already know the financial standing of your business, it does not give you an assurance you have a much deeper understanding of your business performance. A bookkeeper can explain what is going on by giving you a detailed account of your finances.

Faster and smoother invoicing

Chasing after clients can be time consuming. A business owner does not have all the time in the world to take care of this essential aspect. Hiring a bookkeeper provides better invoicing by checking who has already made a payment. Reminders will also be sent to customers and clients who have not yet made a payment while you take care of business obligations essential to growing your business. A bookkeeper who prepares the books for you will give you stress-free and smoother transactions.

Save Time, Automate Bookkeeping Processes

The past years have introduced automation to small businesses. Although there are still a few companies embracing traditional processes, 2016 has been a year of bookkeeping automation. Aside from saving time, you can also reduce stress with automation. You reduce manual processes and keep human errors to a minimum. If you used to spend hundreds of grueling hours for doing tasks such as tax preparation and expense reports generation, these tasks will no longer be such a pain. Babysitting your books to ensure that the information is accurate will be history. However, you need to take note of the essential tasks that should be part of the automation bandwagon.

Payroll

Small business owners consider payroll taxes as administrative burden. This is because the staff has to spend 10 hours per month managing payroll. That is 120 hours or even more a year. When your system has the ability to calculate payroll taxes, you create paychecks instantly and avoid tax penalties. You can even set Payroll up so you can integrate it with your bookkeeping software.

Inventory

Taking inventory consumes a large chunk of your time. All of the wasted time can be corrected by automating inventory management. Automating this task can help you generate invoices, pack list, minimise inventory errors, speed up the order process and create sales reports.

Expense Reporting

Submitting reports on time is essential to every small business owner because missing out on generating expense report can result in creating tax and bookkeeping problems. Automation streamlines the process of expense reporting as employees are given the ability to use mobile devices so receipts are recorded in just a snap. Automation is a time-saver because you can generate reports automatically and even integrate them with your travel booking so you can ensure that your travel expenses comply with your company policy.

Invoicing

If you rely on making a mental note when keeping track of customers who has and has not paid you, oversights can happen. It will result in cash flow problems, which will eventually pose a threat to the company’s financial stability. Keep in mind that cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. If you keep on losing track of your invoices, your company will run the risk of bankruptcy. An automated bookkeeping system enables you to sustain sufficient cash flow. You will also have a detailed record of your invoices so you will know the customers who have already made a payment.

Bad Bookkeeping Habits And Their Impact On Your Business

Habitual neglect of bookkeeping duties eventually affect the overall performance and condition of your business. One neglect can form into a habit, which triggers red flag.

1. Not Setting Due Dates and Deadlines

Every business needs to get detailed information about monthly reports. If your bookkeeping is late and inaccurate, the negative result will no longer come as a surprise because you failed to set due dates and deadlines. You need to know when reports will be delivered. You do not want to take a wild guess which direction your business is going don’t you? Plus, ATO can chase you for all your late payments.

2. Not Organising Receipts

A piece of paper can turn into one of your worst nightmares when the ATO comes knocking on your door. It is highly recommended that you organise and keep receipts for up to 5 years. If you have stacks of invoices on your desk, not knowing what to make of them, you need to start including ‘organise’ in your vocabulary.

3. Not Managing Payroll Taxes

The world of payroll management can be complicated that you might find yourself completely alienated by the process. Get someone to manage your payroll taxes to spare yourself form the headache of dealing with it. However, do not go totally hands-off as you still need to check if your bookkeeper is doing things right.

4. Skipping Regular Bookkeeping Training

The only thing constant in this world is change and keeping up with the changes in technology is the only way to stay relevant. Your bookkeeper may still be spending hours burying their heads in stacks of papers when there are easier and faster techniques to run a report. It could have been done better, had you thought about giving your bookkeeper a regular training on the latest bookkeeping regulations and cloud software.

5. Not Integrating Data

What better way to manage data than utilising cloud technology? Business owners are plagued by financial reports because the process that running them entails can be quite tiring. This is where data synchronisation becomes necessary because it reduces error and even improve your time management. What’s not to love?

6. Not Standardising Monthly Financial Reports

The reason for standardising your financial report processes every month is to ensure that you run the same reportĀ  on a monthly basis. Standardised reports ensure you track your financial data effectively.

7. Not Keeping Track of the Invoices You Sent

Your business may generate profit, but without a steady flow of cash, the money in your business is still not enough to shoulder monthly expenses. You should know when you will get paid because monthly expenses do not have a ‘pause’ button. You will continue to pay for them regardless of your financial condition.

What Happens To Non-GST Registered Businesses?

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is usually part and parcel of running a business. However, there is one lingering question that most business owners often ask: does my business need to register for GST?

A business with an annual turnover of $75,000 or more needs to register for GST and if it is less than that, you can choose to not register. The registration must be made within 21 days.

For ride-sharing drivers and taxi drivers, GST registration will be required regardless of the annual turnover. On the other hand, non-profit organisations have the option to not register even if they reach up to $150,000 turnover.

The registration process can be done online via Australian Business Register (ABR) website. The ATO website also provides you an option to register for GST.

The Implication of GST Registration

If you are going to register for GST, there will be an additional 10% charge which should be paid to the ATO. For example, if you charge $50 for your goods or services, the customer will be charged $55. You pay the additional $5 to the ATO.

If you make a purchase of business supplies, you will also be charged 10% in GST. This can be claimed back as a credit. It is important to note that you need to account for the GST, you have collected on your sales, minus the credits on your purchases. Your transactions must reflect on a business activity statement.

If your business has a turnover of less than $75,000, you will given a choice of registering for GST. This is applicable for business spending extensively on supplies. This enables the business to claim the GST credits back.

What happens to non-GST registered businesses?

Businesses that are not required to register for GST should not collect GST on sales or claim GST credits on the goods that have been purchased. Since you have not registered for GST, your business should only issue normal invoices. Unlike invoices issued by GST registered businesses, normal invoices do not include tax invoice. It does not also indicate that the invoiced amount includes GST.

As a non-GST registered business, you can also claim the full cost of your business purchases. This already includes any GST. It will be a tax deduction on your income tax return.

You cannot claim a GST credit if you receive an invoice for goods or services you have purchased from a non-GST registered business. This is because the invoice will not be considered a tax invoice.

How Is Your Relationship With Your Bookkeeper?

If you want to have a productive experience with a bookkeeper, you need to start with establishing a long-term relationship. It is essential for a bookkeeper and business owner to have a good relationship because a bookkeeper holds a long-term role. If you are not meeting half way, your bookkeeper can jeopardise your business. Here are five ways you can build a great relationship with your bookkeeper:

Communicate what you need with your bookkeeper

Whether you just need someone to help you with compliance or a person more familiar with your industry, it is important that your bookkeeper knows what you expect from them. If you want growth opportunities and potential partnerships, it should start with knowing what you need. Be clear with your bookkeeper so they have an idea how you are going to work together.

Create a business plan

You cannot expect your bookkeeper to know what goes on inside your head. You need to create a business plan as this will serve as your bookkeeper’s guide. A business plan also serves as an exercise that will help you anticipate problems and get the right solution. When you make it a habit to regularly discuss your business plan with your bookkeeper, you will keep yourself accountable and focused on your company’s key drivers.

Share your vision with your bookkeeper

If you are planning to expand your business or make a big purchase, do not let your bookkeeper be the last to know. Your bookkeeper should be involved when you are making decisions because they can recommend some great practices that can help you maximise your profit and take your business in the right direction. Your bookkeeper can also provide you some money-saving practices that can help you avoid tax penalties.

Collaborate with your bookkeeper in real time

How can your bookkeeper help you if they do not know your numbers? Real-time collaboration must be kept in mind because your bookkeeper also needs to know how your business is doing. Data-sharing and online collaboration tools are important for this process. These tools enable your bookkeeper to analyse data and provide helpful recommendations when needed.

Organise receipts and invoices

Organising your files enable a bookkeeper to know what is going on with your business. Your bookkeeper will be able to work efficiently if the paperwork they need is available. They will also have an idea how they are going to take care of your daily transactions and may remind you of your payment schedule to avoid penalties.