Posts tagged ‘Bookkeeping’

To many small business owners, administration and bookkeeping are a necessary evil of being self-employed.  Often managed simply to keep HMRC away from their door, the bank manager happy and accountancy fees at a palatable level, bookkeeping can be a time consuming and often monotonous chore, that steals time away from servicing client’s needs and therefore earning profit.

Have you considered using the results of your bookkeeping efforts to drive your business forward?

There are many ways that management information can help you to manage your business as well as complete your VAT return and keep an eye on cash flow.

  • It can assist the business owner in making good quality decisions
  • It can monitor performance indicators such as turnover against budget or prior year
  • It can help ensure you get paid for the work you do and manage financial commitments
  • It can highlight more profitable areas of the business, or potential to cut costs

Let me illustrate with an example.

A well maintained sales ledger, in a well constructed spread sheet or using software such as Kashflow or Sage, can improve cash flow, increase profitability and grow your business.

How?

  • By reporting customers in order of money spent, you can focus on providing your best customers with the best customer service, reducing the chance of them looking for alternatives or being as price sensitive.  This will also encourage advocates of your business, which will provide the best quality advertising at no cost.
  • Analysing debt by age can highlight poor paying customers who may indicate the need to improve the way you do business or highlight the need for more robust credit control.
  • You may decide that poor value customers or late payers are costing you too much in time and cash flow, so refuse to accept
    their future business or at least renegotiate terms.
  • Incorporating a little CRM (customer relationship management) data such as the source of the customer (e.g. advert, referral etc) can help you calculate the cost of acquiring new business and give you clues regarding your marketing spend.
  • Looking at accounts that have not been active for some time could highlight missed opportunities.
  • By improving the amount of cash flowing in to your business you can reduce the cost of finance and perhaps have more
    negotiating power when purchasing.

Not for you?

If the thought of devoting more management time generating information turns you cold, then outsourcing is probably your best option.  Many small business owners feel the need to control every element of their business and often consider cost to be a barrier, but in most cases outsourcing bookkeeping will pay for itself; by freeing up time to focus on the performance of the business or indeed to do more business.

To find out more about getting a return from your investment in bookkeeping, give me a call on 01480 426500 or Skype chat with tonimhunter.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

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I am regularly contacted by people who are new to business, or at least considering starting their own business.

Excited

Naturally, they are all really excited about the prospect of working for themselves, being their own boss, making the decisions and being able to directly enjoy the results of their efforts.

Apprehensive

However, I find that when I start to talk them through the statutory accounting and taxation requirements, it becomes obvious that they are worried and some even start to question if they are doing the right thing.  Despite assuring them that my team will handle 

  • Companies House administration anc correspondence,
  • Preparation and submission of statutory accounts,
  • Corporation Tax computations and returns,
  • PAYE administration and National Insurance,
  • VAT reporting,
  • Returns of benefits and expenses and other HMRC returns,
  • Construction industry scheme online monthly filing
  • Potential HMRC visits

and provide ongoing bookkeeping support, it is understandable that the overwhelming sense of responsibility causes concern for those who have been in the relative ‘safety’ of employment or education.

Discouraged?

I think it is a shame that budding entrepreneurs can be stopped in their tracks by all the bureaucracy that surrounds a business, and I would urge any aspiring business owners not to be discouraged, it sounds a lot worse than it really is.

Get support

If you are thinking about starting up your own business, you should really go and talk to an accountant who can explain what is required, help you understand your duties and responsibilities and then take away as much of the fear and worry from you so that you can get on with the exciting bit!

It is also a good idea to join a networking group.  They not only provide you with valuable contacts, they are full of potential friends and peers who can guide and support you with first hand experience.

Find someone you can trust

For some people starting up their own business isn’t a big deal, but remember that the best entrepreneurs are surrounded by the best people for each and every part of their business, so do your new business a favour and find someone who can be the best for you.

Outsource

Delegate the ‘red tape’ of administering your business, and non-essential or non-profit making tasks to a team of carefully selected professionals so that you can make the most of your time and  simply…

…..enjoy running your own business!


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

I am delighted to announce that George Hay are now using revolutionary online accounting software in order to help our clients more easily manage their bookkeeping and keep a better track of their financial position.

Columnar padNew Service

We believe we have future-proofed our bookkeeping offering for clients by moving to an award winning online accounting software package.  The company will now be using KashFlow, which enables accountants and their clients to easily access their own financial records at any time, whenever they have access to the internet. 

Online accounting software is considered by many to be the way that the industry is heading because it enables businesses to keep a constant eye on their company’s financial position without having to install and regularly update costly and bulky software direct onto their computers.  This recent additon to our service portfolio is further evidence that George Hay is a forward thinking and dynamic organisation that puts it’s clients’ needs first.  We are very aware that accountants are generally Sage lovers, and Quickbooks has tried to make bookkeeping more exciting and user friendly, but neither are considered easy or ‘beneficial’ to small business owners who have no bookeeping experience.

Kashflow is extremely easy to use, with continuous functionality development led by user feedback.  We can now talk to clients and update records in real time without having to wait for them to send in reams of paper-work or email back-ups.  This also means we can be even more proactive with our traditional advice and support.

All the records held on the system are stored behind a state of the art encryption system that prevents data from being accessed or passed on without the user’s permission.

The options

I researched the market intently, including taking time to demo Xero and FreeAgent and speaking with representatives from all three.

My brief was clear, I wanted a solution that filled the gap for clients who were outgrowing their spreadsheets but didn’t really have the inclination to learn to use Sage.  I strongly believe Sage is a great package if used properly, but in the hands of an inexperienced, busy business owner, it can be a devil.  Many clients in the past have started using Sage or Quickbooks believing it will save them and us time, thus reducing fees, to be disappointed when I show them the amount of ‘unpicking’ and reconciling we have had to do.

Kashflow won my vote with unprecedented numbers of great testimonials from end users and practicing accountants.  Their helpline and support offering appeared to be excellent and the MD‘s constant involvement with social media platforms such as Twitter gave me confidence that he cares very much about his brand and his customers’ thoughts.

A new beginningNext Dimension

Managing Director of KashFlow, Duane Jackson said, “George Hay Chartered Accountants have shown that they’re forward-thinking by being early adopters of online software. We’re looking forward to working with them the help small business and start ups in Huntingdon and the surrounding areas.” Jackson continues, “Our software is going to help George Hay to deliver on their aims of offering a high-level of service to all of their clients.”

KashFlow launched its flagship product, an online tool specifically designed to help owner-managers in small businesses manage their accounts, in mid 2005.  Since that time it has quickly won a significant share of the valuable accounting software market along with launching a new direct-to-accountant division in late 2006.  In late 2007 KashFlow won a Business Software Satisfaction Award, judged entirely by customer feedback, for the category of web-based accounting, beating the likes of Sage and Netsuite.

Free, No obligation trial

If you would like to discuss this offering or register for a completely free 30-day trial of the software please email toni.hunter@georgehay.co.uk or call me on 01480 426500 and I will send you a link by return.


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

are you sure?

Lots of small business owners seem shocked that anyone would suggest they outsource any of their work.  “I don’t outsource”, “I don’t need to outsource” are just some of the responses (the polite ones anyway!).

But were you to look at your every day circumstances I am sure you would be surprised to know that you do outsource already.

So what is outsourcing?

I perceive outsourcing to be: a system where you pass on to someone else work, projects or tasks that you are unskilled for, doing tasks that don’t move your company forward or bring in more money.

Are you outsourcing?

Have you ever ordered your grocery shopping online? Given someone else your ironing to do? Gone to the dentist for a filling? Paid a hairdresser? Used a cleaner?  These are all examples of outsourcing.

I practice what I preach; I do my weekly shop online. It saves me an awful lot of time and it saves me money, no more temptations from those ends of aisle offers. I also use an ironing lady, she does a better job than I would, in less time than I would, and I make more money using my time elsewhere than the cost of the ironing. It just makes sense to me. It also saves me the stress of performing a task I abhor.

Value yourself and your time

What value is there in you doing the task yourself?  Because you feel you have to, because you feel you can’t afford not to, or because you don’t like to let go.  Look at things a different way.  If you concentrate on your core business how much can you earn in an hour?  If you do certain tasks yourself is that common sense?  Should you do your own admin or accounts?  If bookkeeping takes you an hour then it has cost you your hourly rate.  However, should you outsource, it could cost you a lot less, it could take a lot less time than it would have taken you, and in that time you could have won a new contract or client.

Buying expertise

There are many experts out there who can make a huge difference to your business, you can outsource your bookkeeping, admin, website design and management, SEO, social media marketing, telemarketing, IT management and even personal tasks such as managing your diary or email, answering your calls, doing your shopping, or even walking your dog.  Remember, it’s all about outsourcing tasks that someone else can do in less time, to a higher level or just tasks you don’t enjoy or have the time for.  It could also enable you to move your business forward.  Working as one man you can only ever achieve a certain amount of work.  By working with an outsourced team or individual you can accomplish so much more.

Leverage

Maximise your potential, by leveraging time and opportunity.

Open yourself up to the possibilities of outsourcing, and move your business on to the next level.

 

 

Guest author:   Helen Stothard is a valuable Twitterbuddy of mine who is successfully growing her outsourcing business while raising a family.

For more information about the services offered by Helen and her team please visit HLS Business Solutions

Multi-millionaire and CEO of ActionCoach  Bradley J Sugarssays  

“STOP IT … stop doing things like cleaning the house, washing the car, mowing the lawn … pay someone to do it and put that time into planning your business … remember, poor people spend time to save money, rich people spend money to save time …”

A relevant blog post from the one and only, Jim Connolly :  4 Secrets of the world’s most successful businesses!

This post from the reverent Ann Hawkins made me smile (keep shouting Ann!)