Tuesday, 15 November 2016

DIY Bookkeeping

We offer bookkeeping as well as accounting and business services at Vivid, but we also understand that some small business owners like to keep costs down and take a hands-on approach to bookkeeping. So, we’ve put together some tips for those of you who are already, or are thinking about, Doing It Yourself:

    1.  Start with user-friendly accounting software that meets your needs. We use Xero – it is user-friendly and cloud-based, so you can access up-to-date information from any device, anywhere there is an internet connection. Xero also has an add-on market place, so if Xero doesn’t do exactly what you want, someone else has probably already built an add-on that does.
          2.  Set up a bank feed. Setting up a bank feed to your accounting software means that bank statement information is automatically imported each night, making reconciliation easy and giving you up-to-date information.
          3.  Bank reconciliation. We’ve heard of businesses not doing this, and it’s really important. You can do it daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly, but we recommend doing it at least monthly. Reconciling your bank statement allows you to see exactly who has and hasn’t paid, make sure you have recorded all your expenses, and identify any unauthorised transactions. Xero makes this really easy; click on the bank account from the dashboard to see options for reconciling your bank statement.

    Image result for xero dashboard

          4.  Chase your debtors. If you’ve done the work, you need to get paid to keep your business profitable. Keep an eye on outstanding invoices and follow up any that are overdue. Sometimes customers just forget, and a quick reminder makes the difference between getting paid, and working for free. Xero’s dashboard makes it easy to keep an eye on overdue debtors, and can send automatic email reminders, or there are add-ons that go the extra mile and can even call debtors for you.

          5.  Check if you need to register for GST. If your business has a GST turnover of $75,000 per year or more ($150,000 for a non-profit), or you provide taxi or limousine services (including Uber), you need to register for GST. Once your GST turnover exceeds the threshold, you have 21 days to register for GST, so it’s important to keep an eye on your turnover. If you don’t register for GST when required, you may have to pay GST on sales from the time you were required to register, plus possible penalties and interest. See the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information.

          6.  Submit your Activity Statements. If the ATO has sent you a Business Activity Statement (BAS) or Instalment Activity Statement (IAS) to complete, make sure you do this and make any resulting payment by the due date to avoid penalties. If you need help with completing your BAS or IAS, please don’t hesitate to contact the ATO, or Vivid Chartered Accountants, for assistance.

          7.  Payroll. This is a complicated area that small business owners often find tricky. If you have staff, make yourself familiar with the ATO and Fair Work Australia websites. If you can’t find the information you need, don’t hesitate to call the contact numbers on those websites for advice. We also offer payroll services at Vivid Chartered Accountants.

          We hope these tips help you with DIYing your bookkeeping, but if you would like our assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our bookkeepers are qualified, Xero Certified, and work closely with our accountants. They can assist you with setting up Xero, full on-going bookkeeping, BAS/IAS preparation only, payroll, and one-off clean-ups or advice.

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