Category Archives for "Apps"

The self-employed and the gig economy

The self-employed and the gig economy

You would be forgiven for thinking that not so long ago, the “gig economy” was a space for musicians and freelance designers to bid for their next piece of short-term work. Software enabled programs like ELance and Upwork were the minority, with most Australians in the dark about using the internet for work and new gigs, and focusing on the nine-to-five. All this has changed. Welcome to the gig economy!

The gig economy is now a prominent and lucrative business that is here to stay. It is a wide-spread global industry that promises a future of vested entrepreneurs and unlimited innovation.

Platforms such as Airtasker, Freelancer, and Speedlancer have opened the doors for many corporate high flyers. It is no surprise to see that many are now leaving their fixed hours and suit for a flexible work life balance, giving them the opportunity to start up a business where they can follow their passion and provide a host of consumer-to-consumer services.

This has turned the rules of business upside down, and for those of us moving over to the gig economy, there are new skills to learn.

In the traditional world of business, finding clients means a lot of networking, including self-promotion via social media. In the gig world, finding new business comes from mobile apps and online platforms that instantly pair both parties, based on the skills needed to get the job done – the real challenge is maintaining finances, and adjusting to the new working landscape.

If you want to give your gig business a chance to grow legs and succeed, we should look at what the successful people in this space are doing when starting out.

  1. Start lean

Lean, small, nimble and flexible are good things. It means you don’t need to outlay vast amounts, and in turn don’t need to make huge amount of revenue. Starting out lean means it’s hard to fail, and easy to succeed.

Many business owners try to cut costs by doing their accounting themselves. If done poorly, however, this can cause you a lot of headaches, unnecessary costs, and put your business at risk. Consult with a professional to determine the best structure for your business, and what level of reporting requirements you need to satisfy the ATO.

  1. Online and mobile accounting

No matter how small you are, there is no excuse or reason to keep track of your finances in a spreadsheet. QuickBooks Self-Employed (QBSE) accounting app is ideal for businesses that are not registered for GST but need to invoice on the go, track expenses and track mileage. Leaving the heavy lifting to your app means you can spend more time on your business.

  1. Track your expenses on the go

One of my all-time favourites.  It means I can forego the wad of receipts that are exploding in my purse, in between my car seats, on my dashboard, et cetera.… you get the drift!

With apps like QuickBooks, you just snap a photo of the expense on the go. No need to look at that receipt again!

  1. Separate personal and business

Always keep your personal and business finances separate, for both bank and credit card accounts. While it may be convenient at the time to buy your groceries on your business card, don’t make it a regular habit. Your business account is for business use. Applying this practice will save you a lot of time, and a lot of hassle!

By following these best practices, you’ll be putting your new gig economy business in good standing for the future, and keeping track of all that counts.

Lielette Calleja, Director, All That Counts

How to Run Your Business with Apps

   Apps That Count

Did you know that the majority of Australian small business owners are lagging well behind their Asia-Pacific competitors when it comes to innovation and automation, according to research recently published by CPA Australia?

Strangely though, Australia is also renowned for being at the forefront and one of the most advanced countries in online accounting technology which clearly highlights that small business owners are not taking advantage or sourcing the right talent pool.

Are you one of those businesses who would like to explore the world of online applications, also known as apps?  Would you like to know what some of the benefits are by introducing online apps that could potentially increase your productivity?

One of Australia’s leading small business online accounting specialists and Intuit ProAdvisor, All That Counts, believes that Australian business owners are just unaware and not informed of the tools that are available to them to help build, grow and automate their business. Many business owners still believe that growth equals increased headcount, and are reluctant to grow.

All That Counts uses its expertise to clearly identify the pain points that small business owners experience and go about to address those pain points by matching the right applications (apps) that will improve their client’s business operations. It’s not just about the numbers and the accounting system. People drive the numbers and people require the right tools to keep the heart and soul of a business pumping.

All That Counts Director, Lielette Calleja, stated, “I understand that online technology is an opportunity for SMB’s to embrace, and an opportunity for bookkeepers and accountants to take the client relationship to the next level. It’s about providing value and not just have them look at us as the person that tells them how much BAS or Tax they need to pay. We want them to look at us as a trusted source who understands the big picture of their business and that we are in a position to influence, guide and educate them on the world of apps that will improve their business operations – automation must become the rule rather than the exception”

Online technology may replace data entry and some compliance related activities, but it’s no replacement for the relationship a client builds with a trusted business advisor.

Let’s say a business is experiencing difficulty in their collections process, an automated collections app like AR Collect, Debtor Daddy or IODM would be ideal to address their cash flow problem. In the old world you would need to hire a collections person to email statements, copy invoices and make phone calls.  In the new world with apps you can set your statements to be automatically emailed, reminder letter, legal action and SMS reminders – some of the systems can be customised to suit your needs.

Now, what if you had a business that billed out time and required staff to submit timesheets? Hello TSheets!! This is an app that allows staff and contractors to submit timesheets via their smartphone which automatically populates the payroll hours in QuickBooks Online as well as creating an unbilled activity for sales.  This app works great for professional services who bill by time.

Let’s look at some real time case studies that All That Counts have undergone with their clients using QuickBooks Online:

Case Study 1

We work with a number of Printing Franchisees doing their bookkeeping using traditional desktop accounting applications.  As part of our roll out to move their accounting to QuickBooks Online we saw an opportunity to automate the data entry for the high volume of supplier invoices. We implemented Receipt Bank which is an app that extracts the key information from their bills and receipts, removing the need for manual data entry. Receipt Bank then publishes the data to QuickBooks Online. Receipt Bank has saved us approx. 8 hours per month for these particular franchisees. The added benefit is when the invoice is published from Receipt Bank to QuickBooks Online it attaches the invoice to the transaction.  Accountants don’t have to ask us for copies of invoices as they can access them directly from the accounting file.

Case Study 2

A few months ago we were approached by the owner of a 30 Childcare Centre location. They were frustrated with how long it took them to do rostering and payroll for their 200 employees.  They had spoken to many other consultants who provided them with industry solutions but none of the systems actually linked to their accounting system.  After conducting our own due diligence on the systems they were trailing we were confident in recommending KeyPays Soft Clock app.  We worked closely with the team from KeyPay as we transferred all 200 employees into the new payroll system that also came with an inbuilt award interpreter for the Childcare Industry.

Within 3 months we had all 30 sites up and running and trained with the Soft Clock app.  Our client has managed to save 2 days per week with the implementation of this app.  This equates to an annual saving of $50K.  We have now been asked to roll it out for any other new centres moving forward.  An app like this means that a business can grow rapidly without having to resource it within. The integration with QuickBooks Online also enables the client to report profit & loss statements by locations for each centre with very little effort.

Case Study 3

This case study is more about our approach and validates when we say the people drive the numbers and what a true trusted advisor is.

We were recently contacted by an Engineering company who was in desperate need for a bookkeeper 2 days per week.  Part of the scope was to move them away from Desktop to QuickBooks Online.  They had approx. 13 accounting data files which were all saved in different locations and different versions.  It was an absolute nightmare!

The client had recently put together a new bonus scheme for his team and we soon realised that there was no way he could honor those bonuses as he didn’t have the reporting tools in place to measure their performance.

Upon further review we found out that they were also using an outdated desktop project management system.  They had no way of identifying if they were making or losing money on jobs and what resources were being utilized.

We quickly put the brakes on the accounting system and suggested we get the operations in order first.  The company is expecting major growth and we believed the priority was to do our research and source a new online workflow management app that would integrate with QuickBooks Online.

Needless to say client was thrilled with our approach.  The bookkeeper role is now 1 day per week and we have since placed an experienced systems accountant to re-engineer the processes around the new technology. This will also eliminate the data entry a typical bookkeeper would do in the old world.

Switching to QuickBooks Online and Apps Is Seriously Easy

If you would like to explore the wonderful world of apps why not take advantage of our free online offer by calling us on 1300 884 722 so we can arrange a free download for you.