2 must-dos to get the most out of this financial year
There’s never a better time to review your business than at the start of a new financial year. Below, we outline two solid strategies every business owner should implement in 2017/2018.
1. Allocate more time for your bookkeeper
Your bookkeeper is likely to know your numbers better than you do. So why not make the most of your relationship and work more closely together? Matthew Addison, Executive Director of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, says most business owners don’t allocate ample time (if at all) to check in with their bookkeepers to discuss how their businesses are performing day-to-day.
Matthew says, “The best bookkeeping happens when time is allowed for communication. Whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour, it should be a part of your monthly routine. This keeps the bookkeeper accountable for reviewing outcomes by a given date, and encourages the business owner to think more diligently about what could be done differently.”
At the very least, Matthew suggests kicking off this financial year by asking your bookkeeper, ‘If we had the same year again, would the business be winning or losing? What would we improve?’ For example, Matthew recommends investigating:
- Has there been any change in the business that is showing in the financial results (anomaly or positive).
- Is there anything we are doing (record keeping, documentation, systems) that could be improved?
- Are all compliance matters and all required payments under control (BAS, GST, PAYG, superannuation, ATO, payroll tax, FairWork HR matters)?
If you’ve already incorporated regular catch-ups with your bookkeeper but they’re slow to respond, this could be a sign they’re not coping. Has your business grown? Do you need to increase your bookkeeper’s hours? “Freeing up your bookkeeper’s time to ensure systems are improving will lead to more streamlined and efficient processes (pending they have the capacity).”
“The best bookkeeping happens when technology is up-to-date. It’s incumbent on the business owner to embrace innovation and empower their bookkeeper to use the latest software – such as online bank feeds, payment gateways, electronic invoicing, and internet-enabled interactions,” says Matthew.
So when working with your bookkeeper this year, ensure you have a conversation about what new tools they could be using to make their job easier, and therefore your business more efficient.
2. Get paid faster
One of the constant challenges small business owners face is managing cashflow. If you want more control of your finances you may wish to consider providing online and mobile payment methods (if you’re not already using them) that can make getting paid by customers faster, such as:
- direct debits for ongoing or recurring payments (subject to being approved by ANZ);
- services like ANZ FastPay® Next Generation¹ that enable you to securely accept certain card payments while you are mobile²; and
- BPAY: BPAY offers many features and benefits like easier reconciliations, overnight clearing of funds and 24/7 access from anywhere around the world. For your customers BPAY is a bill payment service that they already know and trust.
Cash flow: To better understand your cash flow position you can also download and populate ANZ’s cash flow forecast template.
Image: Matthew Addison, Executive Director, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers