New year bookkeeping tips by The Bookkeeping Store
With the start of the new year, it’s a great time to get organised with your bookkeeping and change some of those bad habits with our top 5 bookkeeping tips. If you’ve struggled to close off the 2016 / 2017 tax year or still working out payment summaries, you’ll know exactly what we mean.
Bookkeeping is not just about getting everything done just in time for tax and BAS, it’s about keeping you informed of the financial health of your business on a regular basis throughout the year.
#1 Allocate time
Ideally each week, but monthly at an absolute minimum, update your books. If you found yourself in a bit of a flap at June 30 this year, facing the harsh reality of doing 12 months’ worth of bookkeeping, you can ensure you are not in the same position next year.
It’s easiest to complete when the transactions are fresh in your mind and you don’t have to play the guessing game of “what was that expense for again?” Be sure to include any cash expenses that may have occurred as well. Whether you’re using the latest cloud based software, desktop software or spreadsheets, there is still time required to input and reconcile all transactions.
#2 Invoice your customers on time
Preferably as soon as possible after the job is completed. This seems to be the number one task that gets missed as soon as a business owner gets busy. Your customer is more likely to pay you on time if the job you did for them is still fresh in their minds. To receive an invoice some months down the track is not only annoying, but can upset your client’s cashflow. They may also take the point of view that getting paid is not a priority for you – why else would you take 3 months to invoice?
#3 Scan all receipts
You can throw away the paper receipts once you have a soft copy. The ATO does not require paper copies of receipts to be maintained.
#4 Quarterly checks
At the end of each quarter, do a “status check” on your business. Balance up all cash in and cash out; ensure GST allocations are correct and determine your profit or loss for the quarter. Once this is finalised you can “lock off” that quarter and there is no need to revisit it at the end of the year. That way if you do fall behind at any time, you only have one quarter at the most to cover, not an entire year.
#5 Store your data securely
Your data is your business and you need to treat it with care. Don’t rely on your laptops hard drive to store your bookkeeping data. There are a multitude of cloud based services that are safe and secure to use, like Dropbox or Onedrive. Other cloud platforms can save you time by automating some of your manual processes, scan your receipts and extract information from them or automatically add them to your expenses. There are an overwhelming number of these services but some research time with Google can help find the solution that’s right for your business.
At The Bookkeeping Store, we naturally do this for all of our clients among the many other standard practices we follow. Keep an eye on our blog for more great tips including ‘What is a vehicle log book?‘ or head over to Lawbase for their top 5 legal tips.