Why bookkeeping is essential for your small business

Why bookkeeping is essential for your small business  

A Bookkeeper deals with the organisation, the recording and the reporting of financial transactions of a small business. But most importantly, a Bookkeeper clears the way for the accountant to work with your business strategically.

As a small business owner, do you need a Bookkeeper, an Accountant, or both? Bookkeepers can seem a little mysterious. In fact, they deal with the organisation, the recording and the reporting of financial transactions of a small business.

Simply put, a Bookkeeper clears the way for the accountant to work with your business strategically. This means: keeping track of daily transactions, sending and managing invoices, handling the accounts payable ledger, keeping an eye on cash flow, and preparing the books for the Accountant.

When you’re hiring, make sure you ask whether a Bookkeeper has an area of specialisation. Some Bookkeepers may be able to help train staff in using online accounting or POS systems or give you advice on business processes.

If you need a hand with your bookkeeping, click on this link to find out more. 

External Solutions for Inside Opportunities

External Solutions for Inside Opportunities

Outsourcing is where a business contracts out a business process to a third party. Often though, outsourcing is simply thought of as a way to save costs – that is, outsourcing allows us to produce a good or service cheaper than we can produce it ourselves. However, that is not the ONLY value, or opportunity you can tap into, that outsourcing provides.

Outsourcing is not a new solution, but it is one that is either not used due to fear the job will not be done right, or is used with overseas suppliers as they charge $2 an hour. However, higher outsourcing costs are still far cheaper than employee costs (which we will discuss in more detail later) and, you pay for what you get. So, make sure you research local New Zealand outsourcing providers first who, yes, do charge more than overseas suppliers, but will provide a much superior result – and to a standard which meets New Zealand laws and regulations.

At GoFi8ure, instead of offering “outsourcing”, we offer “External Solutions for Inside Opportunities”. Why? Because it really highlights the services and value that we can add for a business from the outside in “external solutions”, AND we work alongside our clients “inside” their business to drive best results and open the door to many new “opportunities” for their business.

When you and your current employees are unable to manage the day-to-day business of your company, whilst still working on building the business satisfactorily, it may be time to consider finding an external solution for your accounting functions. So, let’s look at the real benefits an external solution can provide.

The right company can offer you:

Expertise at your side. External solution providers give you full-time knowledge on your team without having to pay for a full-time employee.  By putting your books into the hands of highly-skilled external providers, who understand the best practices and how to properly staff for certain tasks, your job becomes a whole lot easier – and more effective.

Focus on your business. Delegating your business’s accounting functions frees up valuable time that can be put into building and bettering the company.  Back-end office functions can be a heavy distraction from the day-to-day running of things, and having your bookkeeping in-house can lead to a conflict of interests.  Hence, the time-wasters and distractions need to go – out of sight, out of mind.

Reduce the risk of fraud. Most external providers have two sets of eyes reviewing each step, with different levels of staff working on one account. There are steps taken for one employee to review the others work to ensure there are no discrepancies or errors. This also means proper internal controls are set-up to ensure that the flow of information into the accounting system is accurate, timely, classified correctly, and entered into the right accounting period. It also provides a series of checks and balances that help reduce the risk of getting ripped-off.

Quality and efficiency. Efficiency plays a key role in making a great impression towards your clients. Efficiency should be so sharp that your clients should never hesitate to assign major projects to you, as they know the project will be completed to the highest level, but also with a short turn-around. Remember, when it comes to getting an external solution provider on board it is important to remember that quality is always a winner; without quality, good accounting work is never possible.

Save money. The bottom line is that by delegating your accounting operations to a company that lives and breathes those services, you save money, as you are only paying for what you need and the company will not take a week to do the work like an employee might, simply because they are on the payroll and do not want to have nothing to do by having finished the task too quickly! Also, by not using an employee for the job, you will save on paying full-time or part-time wages, as well as save on the lost productivity costs that come along with hiring employees onto the payroll.

And last but not least… Save time! If you are thinking it is time to get an external provider to help with your accounts, it is fair to say accounting probably is not your business’s strength. Any time spent working out the finances could be better spent working on improving your products or services, and whatever it is that YOU do best. Good business people know that time is an asset, and it can be a scarce one for somebody trying to run a successful business. So, it is worth investing your time in doing the things you do well.

Making consistent improvements to make your business better is a conscious choice. Not only must you balance your time, but you must also choose the right area of business – the one which will make the biggest impact – to spend this time working on. If you would like GoFi8ure to help your business run more efficiently, send us an email or call us on 0800 463 488.

Creating Excellence in Business

Excellence in Business

 

 

 

 

 

It is very easy to get comfortable with just being good in the business world. Being good at what you do means all is well – things are moving the way they are supposed to, and everything is under control. The financial equivalent of this, known as “treading water”, does not equate to success but rather, stagnation. In business, just as in nature, it is always better to be proactive then reactive when striving for excellence. By focusing on constantly pushing yourself and your business to be in a constant state of growth, both yourself and the company you lead will be constantly evolving and improving ahead of your competitors.

Here are some thoughts to keep in mind for yourself and your business as you strive for business excellence:

1. Realise that there is always room for improvement
It is very easy to say “I’m good” and leave it at that. Google is famed for saying “We are Always in Beta”, and Business Insider once published an article “Always Be in Beta or You’ll Never Learn Anything New”.  The article mentions the value of learning, as learning keeps stagnation at bay. It also states, “in the early stages of learning a new subject, people feel as though they have nothing to lose, which makes them more likely to accept failure as part of the process.” This mentality will enable you as a business owner to add more power and range to your skill set, as well as become more comfortable with the risk that comes with learning curves.

2. Do not get too comfortable
Ignorance is bliss, but it is also dangerous, which is exactly what getting comfortable in the business world defines as. While you are sitting back being comfortable, others are advancing, strategising and closing in on any distance you have put between yourself and your competition. Strive to stay relevant and vigilant, and remember that success is not a destination, but rather a goal which constantly evolves and manifests with the company’s growth itself. Think of your business as an athlete; there is no such thing as a comfortable and effective workout.

3.  Do not give your clients a reason to go elsewhere
We are all human, and sometimes mistakes are made. However, there is no reason why you cannot apologise, provide feedback and agree on a solution to fix these mistakes with your clients to retain their business, and look for ways to improve. At the very least, you should make sure that you are doing a better job than your competitors. Even if you feel you are already doing this, it is worth asking yourself a couple of times a year, “if a competing company opened tomorrow, would I have any reason to be worried?”

If you would like to talk to GoFi8ure about how we can make your business more excellent send us an email.

Creating More Effectiveness in your Business

Effectiveness in Business

 

 

 

 

 

Do you consider yourself to be effective at work? Although many of us like to think that we are 100% effective, the truth is that most of us have unrecognised weaknesses that impact our effectiveness.

Some businesses seem to barely keep afloat, fumbling from one day’s challenges to the next, whereas other businesses seem to crackle with energy, efficiency and vision. This is no accident – effective businesses use and rely on organisation, oversight and planning to minimise minor disruptions which reduce a company’s ability to grow and prosper.

To improve effectiveness in a company, a business needs to conduct regular performance reviews of both their employees and managers to determine if their methods and techniques are effective and producing results. Ineffective results could easily impact the quality of a company’s services or products, so it is important for any business to make sure that all of their employees and managers are filling their roles effectively.

So, what can you do to help your business run more effectively?

1. Use your time more effectively
In a nutshell, time is money – or the potential to make money. The more time you waste on inefficient activities, the less free time you have to spend doing productive activities that will help your business grow.

Michael Gerber, in his world-famous book ‘The E-myth revisited – Why most small businesses fail and what to do about it’, stresses that one of the reasons businesses fail is that the owners spend too much time on day to day tasks. So if you are a business owner, it is vitally important to spend enough time steering your ship in the right direction.

2. Consolidate tasks and remain focused
It is scientifically proven that you are more productive when you focus for an extended period on completing one task instead of multiple activities and tasks, as the “white noise” of a large number of tasks overlapping and interrupting each other is distracting. An easy way for business owners to accomplish this strategy is by consolidating, or batching, tasks that require similar processes and invest all their focus on this one consolidated task.

3. Automate processes and workflows
Small businesses often get bogged down with repetitive tasks. Did you know that you can likely automate many of your frequent tasks? Many small businesses fear automation because of the upfront expense or its possible effect on employee jobs. However, automating repetitive steps in your sales, production or distribution process can increase your bottom line and free up your employees to work on other, more critical areas.

Successfully running a business requires a great deal of time, energy, money, and other resources. If you want to increase your chances for success, focus on being as efficient as possible. If you would like to find out how GoFi8ure can help your business run more effectively, send us a message today.

 

 

Tips for Efficiency in your Business

Efficiency in Business

 

 

 

 

 

 

Efficiency in a business refers to how long it takes for a task to get completed. An employee may be effective at completing a task to a high level, but may take way longer than needed to complete the task, which is inefficient. 

Check out these top tips and techniques to make your business more efficient.

1. Set shorter time limits
The shorter the amount of time you allow yourself, the more you will get done. This is because when we know we do not have time to pause, wander around the office or stare into space and must use every second of the time we have, we do so because we do not want to fail. So, make sure the first 90 minutes of your day is focused on growing your business. Turn off your email and phones and concentrate only on that. Also, divide your working day into 45- or 30-minute chunks (use a timer to ensure you stick to this time limit!) and during that time think of doing (and do!) only that task.

2. Figure out how much money you are throwing away, then find a way to reduce it
How often do you lose money because of simple mistakes, like missing a job or sending out an invoice with incorrect details? How often are your invoices delayed or forgotten, and how often do you spend hours searching for information to answer a complaint from a customer?

Even if you accept that a certain amount of waste is inevitable, the fact is that lots of small costs can add up over the year, potentially taking a large chunk out of your profits. Take time out each month to analyse your business; look at your accounts to see what money is being spent and what costs could be reduced. Also, keep a note of mistakes you notice being made and jot down ideas on how to stop or limit these mistakes being made. Review these notes monthly also, and if the mistakes are still occurring at the same or similar rate, reevaluate your ideas on how to stop and/or limit these. With perseverance comes success, and with frequent review you will see your systems becoming more effective and your profit level rising. 

3. Use technology to speed up workflow
Technology plays an essential role in the efficiency and effectiveness of a company nowadays. Make use of computers, tablets or smartphones to improve the efficiency of the company, by using software or sharing tools for things like keeping different members of a team up-to-date with client and project information accessible anywhere, anytime. Look at areas of your business that are still being done manually (which is time consuming), and contact a professional who can help provide you with technology solutions to solve your day-to-day inconveniences.

Accounting software can be a business owner’s smartest investment. Software lets you easily manage your business data. One software example is Xero, which looks after your accounts receivable, expenses and taxes, and allows access to these anytime, anywhere, stored together all in one place – and with easy access to reporting tools for this data. Because most  business owners are not qualified accountants, finding the right tool that ensures your accounting is done effectively can save you valuable time, while also improving your financial visibility. It also alleviates a lot of headaches when it comes to looking at financial information to help identify areas in your business that needs assessing with features such as in-built reports which are easy to generate, understand and use.
 
As the great Bill Gates once said, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is the automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”. 

Making consistent improvements to make your business better is a conscious choice. Not only must you balance your time, but you must also choose the right area of business, the one which will make the biggest impact, to spend this time working on. If you would like GoFi8ure to help your business run more efficiently, send us an email or call us on 0800 463 488.

 

 

Chasing debtors – 3 easy strategies that will help you get paid quicker

Chasing debtors – 3 easy strategies that will help you get paid quicker

Getting paid is always an exciting part of running a business. What is not as exciting however, is keeping on top of clients when they do not pay their invoices. According to the Commercial Collection Agency Association, after 30 days past due, the chances of being paid drop to 89.9%; after six months, there is only a 52.1% chance of being paid.

Below GoFi8ure has listed some simple strategies that can help bring payments in on time, whilst maintaining good relationships with your clients.

1) Regularly review your Aged Receivables detail report

Your Aged Receivables detail report should be your “go-to” credit control report for checking the total amount of outstanding invoices per each client and totals. Make sure to keep an eye on anything that is showing as 30+ days overdue. The longer you leave it, the easier it is for your client to forget or ignore your invoice.

Tip: Keep your bank accounts reconciled and up-to-date so that your debtor reporting is current and accurate. By following the steps below, you will see each invoice per client and how overdue it really is.

Go to Reports > Aged Receivables > Click on Show Invoices > Update

 

2) Save time by emailing all your client statements in one go

Statements are a great way to prompt your clients to pay you. By sending a statement your clients can see their outstanding invoices and payment history at a glance.

Go to Accounts > Send Statements > Select the “Activity” statement type > Choose the first day of the month prior to the current date > Update > Select the clients who have a balance owing

 

 

The great thing about Xero is you can send up to 50 client statements at a time. You can also customise your statement template should you wish to do so.

Tip: When sending bulk statements make sure to untick any contacts with a $0.00 balance. It is also important to ensure that all contact details are correct for each client. A statement can not be sent without an email address.

3) Use Automated Reminders

At times, even though invoices get earmarked for payment, they can still slip to the bottom of the to-do pile. Automated reminders may be the cure. They act as a gentle nudge that will help your chronic late-payers remember to pay the due invoice.

Xero has a feature that allows you to send automated invoice reminders, all you have to decide is when and how often the reminders are sent out.

Go to Accounts > Sales > Awaiting Payments > Click on the Invoice Reminders Off > Set up the reminder template and frequency

 

With Xero’s automated reminders you can customise the tone and timing of when the email will be sent. It can take a small amount of time to set up, but choosing this option will save you hours in the long run. To find out more click here to watch a quick video.

There are so many amazing features available, if you would like a Xero refresher training session please send us an email or call us on 0800 463 488.

 

Is operating more efficiently and having more time to focus on your business one of your 2018 goals?

Is operating more efficiently and having more time to focus on your business one of your 2018 goals?

Trying to run your business using inefficient accounting software is like trying to build a brick wall with inefficient mortar; if there is not enough holding the wall together, bricks will start to loosen and soon, the whole wall will crumble.

Therefore, it is essential to understand how efficient accounting and financial management software will not only hold your business together, but also become the foundation for greater success and profitability.

Keeping “the books” for a business was literally a paper-based process involving a ledger, lots of columns, and a pencil to record the business’ essential financial data. However, times have changed.

In this digital age, even the smallest business can benefit from using accounting software.

Accounting software can not only help you reduce human errors in calculations, but it can help you gain insights into your business that are not always easy to see in paper form. This includes generating sales forecasts for the next 12-months, or using the extensive report range the software provides to determine what are your highest expenses, pinpoint your least profitable service and identify budget blowouts.

What else can accounting software do for your business? Accounting software offers the business owner mobility, flexibility and a better lifestyle, as often the software in the digital age is “Cloud” based.

Cloud based software allows you to see your business account balances, outstanding invoices, overall cash position, and much more – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and from anywhere, provided you can access an internet connection.

These days, you can run your business from your traditional desktop, an iPad or similar tablet device and even your mobile phone. Most cloud based accounting systems have apps you can download to the device.

This translates into allowing you to run your business without sacrificing a flexible, balanced lifestyle. Gone are the days where you must be at the office to run your business. You can have visibility and certainty over your business’s finances with the flexibility to access your business’s financial information even when you are not physically present. Who ever thought accounting software could be so good and provide some much freedom? So, what are you waiting for? We make flying through the cloud easy.

If you would like to learn more about cloud based accounting, integrating software, or customisation of your accounting software, contact the experts at GoFi8ure on 0800 463 488 or email us to find out more.

GoFi8ure – in the business of helping you work smarter with better tools, information and advice when you need it.

 

 

Another GoFi8urine WorkflowMax Certified!

Congratulations to Jamie who has completed his WorkflowMax Certification today – another achievement to add to your growing list!

WorkflowMax is an amazing tool for anyone who sells time and is looking for a tool/system that can do the following:

– Record time-sheets
– Prepare quotes
– Invoice progress and final invoices for jobs
– Enter purchase expenses and on-charge them to the client
– Have the ability to job manage from the beginning to the end
– Connect to Xero

 

There are so many things that WorkflowMax can offer businesses that sell time. To find out more send us a message – we are WorkflowMax Certified Advisors who can talk you through how it can work for your business.

GoFi8ure Dominion Post 11th October 2017 Feature

Wow make sure you check out the Dominion Post (11th October) pages B7 & B8! “Lisa Martin’s business is all about helping businesses with their business accounting”

This is pretty exciting for us to get such a big wide spread feature. Make sure you head to the Career Market section and check out the 2 page feature. Find out how Lisa Martin put her skills and passion into creating a solution every business needs and how GoFi8ure is helping ease SME’s pain points with their business bookkeeping and accounting.

 

 

For all your bookkeeping and accounting needs please contact us for your complimentary assessment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wellington Business Expo 2017

WOW – What an awesome business expo this year! We had so much fun meeting so many new people and getting people to try on our superhero capes. If you are in business then the Business Expo is a must attend.

 

 

On Friday 21st of September Managing Director Tania Hayes gave a free presentation covering “Business Bookkeeping 101 – The basics you need for success in your business”. Participants walked away with important, useful information and tips they can use when starting their new business.

GoFi8ure have been a sponsor since the beginning because we are passionate about helping SME businesses. Did you attend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!