I think you’ll find that most of us involved in the Bookkeeping Industry are well and truly aboard the cloud “train.” The cloud has many great benefits relating to scalability, access and security (although some also perceive this as a risk). One of the reasons that we have clients interested in taking their bookkeeping to the cloud is for the automation benefits derived from being able to setup an automatic bank feed from you bank and credit card accounts. There are definitely some time efficiencies to be achieved from this but just how much time depends on the size and type of business you are running and may not be a reason in itself for switching your bookkeeping on the cloud.
The main benefits of bank feed automation are to gained if you are a small business with a small number of suppliers and customers and you have regular monthly transactions. The automatic bank feed can be setup to remember how these transactions were previously handled and therefore create the bank entry with general ledger coding based on the previous transaction. This can definitely save your bookkeeper an hour or two a week on data entry time.
As the size of your business increases so too does the complexity of your transactions such as the following:
- Paying multiple supplier invoices and credit notes with one supplier
- Complex payroll to take account of leave and entitlements
- Customer deposits paying multiple invoices
The automated bank feed can still assist in matching these payments if they have already been entered however the automatic entry benefits may be reduced due to the manual input required.
Bank Feeds are a great feature of cloud based software and are available with MYOB, XERO, QuickBooks and SAASU but may not be a reason in itself for choosing a particular software.
There’s been a couple of horrific examples of employee fraud over the past couple of years. I was blown away when I read details of the cases involving Clive Peeters Electrical and Hastie Engineering. I think they are worth considering further as the technique used by the employee involved was similar and both involved amounts over $20M!!
There is a weak link within the Australian Banking system which allows you to pay someone by eft without the correct “Account Name.” In these cases supplier or wage payments were setup with the correct payee name but the bsb and account details were actually those of the fraudulent staff member. Having 2 signatories will not pick this up unless the 2nd signatory independently checks the bank details of the payee.
We recommend never using EFT payments. There is no need to as there are so many other secure methods of payment available these days with built in security utilised by bookkeeping software such as MYOB, QuickBooks and Xero.
While unreconciled bank accounts or suspense accounts are a red flag to an accountant, at a recent CPA conference a Scotland Yard Fraud Investigator talked about some more subjective warning signs to watch out for if you suspect employee fraud. Be wary if you have a staff member who never wants to take holidays or sick leave. Taking a holiday may mean that someone else will have to do their job while they are away and come across what they have been up to. Another sign is that the staff member may show no interest in promotion or pay rises- they prefer to stay where they are. These are simplistic indicators and can obviously be quite innocent, but if there are other warning signs it may be worth digging a bit deeper.
Outsourcing your accounts and bookkeeping to a member of a CPA Australia will ensure that you are covered up to a limit by their compulsory Professional Indemnity Insurance.
As your business grows, it’s important to have a point of difference and make sure you stand out from your competitors. Your brand is an asset to your business and is a major factor in valueing your business if you ever choose to sell it so it’s crucial to get this right from the start!
Little Birdy Graphics are a design agency experienced in both traditional and new media with a strategic focus on separating their clients from the competition. They provide an overall branding scheme uniquely tailored to your target market. Specialising in, but not limited to – corporate branding solutions, graphic design, 3D animation, web design, web hosting and management, advertising, corporate signage, packaging, marketing and all things print. No job is too small or too big! They can also integrate marketing strategies and communication initiatives in conjunction with marketing plans, research and database development, goal setting, budgeting, evaluations and measuring and testing, to deliver high-performing, strategy-based campaigns.
After a couple of years delay, myob are nearly ready to go live with their full cloud product. MYOB have taken a different cloud strategy to it’s competitors which you need to comprehend when comparing the different cloud options. Below is a summary of the price and feature differentials for the main cloud based accounting software products.
Quickbooks Hosted, Xero and Saasu are a fully cloud based product. This means that your data file is stored securely and fully encrypted on the cloud and you can only work on the file while you have the internet connected. MYOB AccountRight Live enables you to have the data file stored both online and locally at the same time. If the internet goes down or if you want to work on the file on a plane for example, you just work on the local file and the cloud version will be updated when you next go online. Here’s the basic monthly fees including GST for each of the cloud based bookkeeping software :
|Bookkeeping Software||MYOB AccountRight Live||QuickBooks Hosted||XERO||SAASU|
|Basic monthly Package (No Payroll)||$23||$25.83||$29||$20|
|Medium monthly Package||$59.50||$36.25||$49||$35|
|Advanced monthly Package||$59.50||$36.25||$64||$60|
|Detailed job costing options||Y||Y||Y||N|
|Pay suppliers and payroll directly from software||Y||N||N||N|
As you can the features offered by each product vary across the range. I think Xero has the edge in terms of functionality and ease to work with- it is just not as powerful as some of the other providers. One big advantage with MYOB AccountRight Live is the ability to pay your suppliers and staff directly through the software. This is a great advantage if you choose to outsource your bookkeeping because it means your bookkeeper can set up all of your payments without having to access your online banking system. You just have to login and complete a simple one step authorisation process to approve the payments. Price is just one factor to consider when deciding which bookkeeping software to go with. Each has it’s own functionality and user interface which you can sample by signing up to a free trial or just give us a call to discuss.
Jet Bookkeeping offers online outsourced bookkeeping services for small to medium businesses. They use cloud-hosted advanced software, and fast turnaround, businesses can have real-time 24/7 access to cashflow and business performance reports to make accurate decisions and plan for their future. Jet Bookkeeping has fully qualified staff and is a BAS registered agent. Jet Bookkeeping is a Xero Silver Partner and Saasu Certified Gold Partner, and are Registered Members of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers in Australia. I highly reccomend these guys if you need someone to look after your accounts with Xero.
Some small and medium business (SME) owners try to do their own accounts or they may employee a bookkeeper directly. This can be fine if you are lucky enough to recruit a good bookkeeper directly, however unless you have an accounting background and a thorough understanding of the accounting software involved, it can be difficult to know what questions to ask at the interview process. Read more
If you are considering outsourcing your bookkeeping needs to a professional, it is important to have a firm understanding of what you should look for before making a hire. There are key skill sets, and characteristics that every bookkeeper should possess. Read more
The process of keeping accurate business records, also known as bookkeeping, is very important for a variety of reasons. Not only are you able to track all of the business transactions that occur within a specific period of time, you will also be able to use this information to create useful bookkeeping reports to help further examine the health and profitability of your company. Read more
When setting up a new business you are faced with a wide variety of decisions. One such decision is how you will be keeping your books. Deciding if you should keep a cash accounting system, or an accrual accounting system depends a great deal on what type of business you run. In order to choose the best method you must take into consideration the current size of your business, your plans for the future, and if third parties (such as shareholders, or lenders) will be involved. This being said, you may still be left wondering which system is right for you. Read more
Anyone running a small business knows just how much effort it takes to keep things running smoothly, and just how many hours must be invested each day. Entrepreneurs often tend to try to do everything themselves, which can lead to one portion of the business being neglected. After all, if you are spending hours of your time performing bookkeeping tasks or other administrative duties for your business, you are probably not able to invest as much time as you would like or need to the actual service you offer. Read more