Category Archives for "QuickBooks"

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

QBConnect Sydney is Almost Here!

qbconnectI’m super excited to have QBConnect staged in my hometown of Sydney on 18 May 2017 at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground.

You see, last October I was extremely fortunate to experience my first QBConnect Conference in San Jose, California as one of the invited international VIP contingents (that’s me pictured above with Bill Rancic who was the MC) who will Sydney have is the biggest question on everyone’s lips?

Looking back it was a surreal and very humbling feeling when I arrived at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. This was going to be my home for the next 5 days. I kept asking myself

“How did a Sydney girl like me who’s only desire was to help and educate as many small business owners become financially fit using QuickBooks Online end up here in the US”

Intuit don’t do things in halves and QBConnect is an excellent example of this, with a star-studded line-up of celebrity keynote guest speakers including Basketballer, Shaquille O’Neil, Fitness Guru, Jillian Michaels and Skateboard legend, Tony Hawkes plus the list goes on. One might be right to think what can celebrities share with us over two days that will impact our thoughts and thinking.

Let’s just say the biggest highlight for me was listening to all these amazing speakers share with us their journey in the business world, something you don’t read about online or in the glossy magazines. They all had an honest and raw story to tell, but the one thing that was unanimous amongst them all was their success continues due to the trusted team that support them – including their accountants and bookkeepers.

I walked away feeling more confident in what I do and that yes, I do make a difference, and our clients who choose to work with us and value our skills must feel the same which is why they can focus on what they do best like our celebrity friends.

The breakout sessions I attended were educational and inspiring. The hardest thing was deciding which one to attend. My inner voice again started saying

“Wow, when I grow up I want to be one of those speakers presenting at QBConnect one day.”

So, when I wasn’t listening to speakers or attending breakout sessions, I was mixing it up with the hundreds of exhibitors spread out across two exhibitor halls. My strategic plan was to connect with a handful of essential apps that would add value to my client base back home, and this is where I soon realised to my disappointment that most of the apps only worked with the US version of QuickBooks and not the Australian version.

Which is another reason why I’m super excited that Australia finally has QBConnect because all the exhibitor’s products will work with our very own Australian version of QuickBooks Online.

Did I also mention that I will also be one of the speakers at QBConnect? It seems I have grown up and the beautiful people at Inuit US & Australia think so too …. Lol

I couldn’t think of a more suitable agenda for me to lead: Using QuickBooks as a Small Business Owner – after all this is what I do every day educating clients and small business owners on how to simplify, automate and integrate their processes using QuickBooks Online.

It’s not unusual for me to make customers cry tears of joy when I show them how we do this – so I will attempt to do my best to repeat this on the day.

Just in case I haven’t convinced you enough why you should register to attend QBConnect as a small business owner below are my 3 top reasons why you should:

1.     Celebrity Speakers – you will walk away feeling more inspired and pumped to smash out more goals in your business

2.     Exhibitors – there could be that one app/solution that changes the way you do business which will allow you to scale and grow without investing too much in resources

3.     Come and hear me speak – you will walk away with real solutions/processes that you can implement in your business that will simplify your life and give you more financial control even if you don’t use QuickBooks Online.

You can register on this link https://quickbooksconnect.com/au/

Look forward to meeting many of you there!

Lielette 🙂

Follow me @lieletteATC

Below are some pics of my amazing time in San Jose last year! I’m sure we will create just as many great memories in #QBConnect Sydney

Our Top 5 Tips to Hitch That Ride to The Cloud

hitch your rideIf you’re a small to medium sized business (SMB) now is the time to finally move your financial accounting software from your office server to the cloud.

Successful migrations can be made easy with the help of an experienced cloud accounting specialist.

There’s not a singular method for migration. Each business must deal with a unique set of circumstances. The key is to understand your situation and identify a strategy that allows you to transition while causing the least amount of disturbance and down time.

An experienced cloud accounting specialist will be able to identify the correct approach for your business.

When you’re using in-house servers, you are forced to be physically present in the office or restricted to a specific computer to access files and tools. All of this goes away with the cloud.

Are you ready to start doing business on the road, at home or in the office?

Here are our (5) five tips on how to seamlessly hitch that ride to the cloud:

  1. Plan the perfect timeline for the migration: Planning the right time of year is critical. You no longer need to stick with a 1 July conversion or migration as historical transactions can be part of your migration process. Determine your own busy periods and avoid them. Ensure your key staff are not on leave as their involvement will be critical for a successful migration and on boarding process.

  2. Pick the right product by asking the right people: Don’t get caught out using the wrong software because your accountant suggested you use the product of their choice with little consideration for what is best for your business. Do yourself a favour and engage with a cloud accounting specialist that works with several accounting solutions not just one. They will be able to provide you with an unbiased recommendation on what will work best for your business. Bookkeepers are generally your best go to people as they are trained to work with different industry types and software. They tend to become your best resource in the cloud accounting space.

  3. Avoid hidden costs and fees: Make sure you clearly understand what you’re paying for. The value of the cloud is that it removes a great deal of costs — hardware, support, maintenance, downtime etc. Often, the biggest problems occur when companies don’t understand a contract or the deliverable’s.

  4. Always review deliverable’s: Be clear about the deliverable’s. Otherwise, you’ll hear this phrase: “That wasn’t included in our estimate. It’s extra.” Therefore, you must demand a fixed price contract and understand what’s not included in the contract is just as important as knowing what’s included.

  5. Don’t undervalue the cloud: Avoid getting hung up on license or monthly subscription fees. Focus on the value that the cloud will bring to your business. Your existing server based financial accounting software solution won’t seem so cheap if you calculate all the costs to maintain and upgrade the system. A cloud accounting system includes all your updates, payroll tax rates, enhancements, tech support, real time numbers and real time collaboration with your accountant & bookkeeper.

If you are thinking about hitching a ride to the cloud or want to know more then contact one of our cloud accounting specialist on 1300 884 722 or email me directly at lielette@allthatcounts.com.au – we would love to chat with you!

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.

Debtors – Let Us Collect Your Money

When should you engage a professional or your bookkeeper to collect your debtors?

If the debt is not recovered after friendly reminders, informal negotiations and a letter of demand, it might be time to decide to engage a debt collection service or a bookkeeping company that specialises in this. Using a debt collection service goes one step further than sending a letter of demand because it signals to the client that you have decided to hand the matter over to professionals. This could further strain your business relationship with the client, however sometimes it may be more important to get the money you are owed.

What methods do we use?

Initially we will send a ‘letter of demand’ to the debtor demanding that the debt is paid by a particular date or legal action may be taken. If necessary, we will issue a second, ‘final’ letter of demand or follow up with a ‘phone demand’. We can also refer legal action on your behalf.

Our collection systems are automated and we can integrate our debtor collection apps onto your accounting system be it MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks Online.

Case Study: What it means to engage us on an annual basis

John is a small business who provides computer services to other small businesses. After losing $11,000 in one year from several unpaid bills from customers, he decided to engage us on an ongoing basis. He paid an annual fee of $3,000 for this service. On all his contracts, quotations and invoices, John now includes terms and conditions of payment provided by us. They state that any costs associated with recovering the debt will be charged to the client.

In some cases, if a bill is not paid on time, John asks us to chase the payment. We do this until the debt is paid. John doesn’t use us for all his unpaid bills because sometimes he wants to maintain the business relationship so he can get more work from the client in the future.

John sees the annual fee as a form of insurance and a way to reduce worry and stress about money.

This is why we love collecting money … it takes away one of the added pressure of running your own business.

Let us help you today.  Call us on 1300 884 722 or info@allthatcounts.com.au

 

Guide to Cloud Accounting

Whether you’re a startup, sole operator or an established company, cloud accounting has the potential to transform your business life.

Intuit QuickBooks Online have done a wonderful job in preparing this guide.  We encourage all business owners to click on the link below and read this guide.

[button link=”http://www.intuit.com.au/showroom_cms/image/content/dam/intuit/quickbooks/i18n/en/Australia/pdf/Intuit_Guide_to_Cloud_Accounting.pdf” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] Read Intuit’s Guide to Cloud Accounting [/button]

Maybe you already use the cloud but haven’t been given all the right tools and necessary training to get the most out of your system.  Our team can help you take your accounting software to the next level so you can be confident that your data is 100% correct.