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Newsletter November 2013

NOVEMBER 2013 – Issue 3

A Message from Susan:

October has now come to a close, which means we have just finished the first quarter for the current financial year.  We have been working hard on completing the first quarter’s BAS and look forward to completing the final one so we can officially be in “BAS –off Mode”.

A lot has been happening at About Bookkeeping since the last newsletter.

You’ll start to notice our logo has been rebranded and will start appearing on all our correspondence.  We are extremely proud of the new design and hope that it catches your eye.

ABLogo

 

 

We have launched our new website, so we would love to have some feedback from everyone.  It is a work in progress though, so please keep that in mind.  Click on the new logo above to visit our website.

Along with the new website, I have finally succumbed to the need to have and utilise “social media”.  I am sure you will find at least one way you can connect with us.  Click on the logo below to visit our page.

Facebook

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Linkedin

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We have welcomed two new staff members to our family – Liesl and Joanne.  When phoning or calling into the office, you may get the opportunity to meet one or both of them and say hello.  You can see all about both of them on our new website.

I’ve decided to focus this month’s newsletter on software.  Let’s face it, we hate to pay for it and the updates are a never-ending drain on our cashflow.  But if we are completely honest, we can’t live without out or better yet your business cannot function at 100% without software.  However, it has to be the right program for your business requirements.

Let’s take a closer look at this dilemma…..

ARE YOU MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE?

 Did you buy your accounting software 5 years ago, and it suited your needs then, but, you’re just not sure if you are getting all you can from it now?

My theory is that most of us buy the software with the intentions of using it to better our business or lives in some way.  But then our business or lives get in the way and we only learn enough to make it do what we require and not find out what else the software can do for us. I am guilty of it as well, it does what I need so what else should I expect?

Then you are often faced with a few questions

“should I upgrade to the latest version”

“do I really use the software enough to justify the price of the upgrade”

“I’ve never really learnt all that it can do, should I persevere because one day I will get around to utilising it fully”

I am often asked “What will the upgrade do for me?” I know that we don’t want to pay for ongoing upgrades, however I have always advised that if your software has payroll, then you need to be up-to-date. I have also noted that often when we upgrade we only learn the new parts of what we have traditionally used and not anything that makes us change. I know – who likes Change!!

At what point do you cut your losses with your current software and look at something new?

Then sometimes the software just doesn’t do what we really wanted it to, or it’s not as easy as they made it seem in the demo….

 Recently the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers released an article on the functionality that is available in today’s “modern software”.

1. Emailing Invoices. Software that will allow easy creation of invoices and easy transmission. Or even a customer portal where the client can access their invoices.

2. Customized Invoices that include payment options. (The more ways they have to pay, hopefully the quicker we get the money).

3. Integrate payroll system. Emailing payslips, Superannuation, Payment Summaries etc.

4. Bankfeeds – latest inclusion in software is the direct electronic transmission of the bank transactions from the bank into the software to enable streamlined processing.

5. Or using ‘qif’ & ‘aba’ files to get information into and out of banking software.

6. Ease of adjusting transactions.

7. Processing and Data Entry speed. The program should enhance the speed with which information can be entered and then process quickly.

8. Good Reporting.

9. Record keeping functionality.

10. Good support systems: website, email, phone, relevant & accessible

In the not too distant future we may be able to lodge through the software, directly with government.

If you were to go shopping for software today, what would your requirements be?  I am sure we would expect a lot more from our software than we use to.  We want it to do everything at the click of the button….. and make our morning coffee as well.

As a small business owner, one of our most precious resources is time.

So why don’t you grab yourself a coffee and take a little time out of your schedule and review what your current software can do for you, maybe it might be time to upgrade or change to something new.

If you want to set down with me and discuss what your requirements are, you buy the coffee and I will supply the expertise and sit down and discuss this with you.

HELP ME SUSAN . . .

This months “Help Me” question from Stephanie…..

 I am currently using QuickBooks, but have always found it a bit hard to navigate and use effectively, I have heard a lot about “in the cloud” programs, would you recommend switching to an online bookkeeping program?

 After pondering this question recently for my own needs, I have completed a fair bit of research on the different programs available and in all honesty have been very pleasantly surprised with what XERO has to offer.  There will be a little bit of initial set up transferring from any software program, but the initial pain is well worth the ease of use and reward in time saving further down the track.

ATO Key Lodgement Dates

These dates are from the ATO website & do not take into account possible extensions.  Contact us to establish when your information is required for lodgement. You remain responsible for ensuring that the necessary information is with us in time.

Monthly BAS or IAS Lodgement

October Activity Statement:

Due – 21st November 2013

(final date for lodgement & payment)

1st Quarter of FY2014:

BAS lodgement –Sept 2013 Quarter (including PAYGI)

28th October 2013

(if you lodge a paper activity statement)

25th November 2013

(if About Bookkeeping lodges electronically for you)

When you do your BAS this first quarter remember to select the appropriate option for GST and pay as you go (PAYG) instalments. Your options will be highlighted in your BAS.  Whatever you select in the 1st quarter, will be how you’ll lodge for subsequent quarters of the year.

Disclaimer: All or any advice contained in this newsletter is of a general nature only & may not apply to your individual business circumstances.  For specific advice relating to your specific situation, please contact your accountant or contact me for further discussion.