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3 Tips to Reduce the Cashflow Risk of Hackers

Nov 14, 2019

More and more your cashflow is at the risk of hackers. It may be money that’s due to you being redirected into a different bank account. Or, it could be you paying bills owing to your suppliers into the wrong bank account.

I’ve recently had the situation with a client where they received emails purporting to be from a supplier. The emails advised details of a new bank account. The challenge was that the emails looked legit.

I think the challenge as small business owners, is we’re so busy that we don’t stop and think. We accept the email from the hackers as real and act on it without considering whether it makes sense.

The last thing you want is to pay your hard-earned money to the wrong bank account. When you’re believing that you’re paying your supplier, only to find out you haven’t. This creates a whole rigmarole of contacting banks to get your money back. 

Not only is this a nuisance, frustrating and time wasting for you, but...

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Instant Gratification is Being Fuelled by Afterpay

Nov 07, 2019

What has society come to? Are we so caught up in our need for instant gratification that we can’t wait two months to buy what we want?

Seriously, if a customer can pay off their purchase in four fortnightly payments, surely they could have been saving the same amount for two months prior and have the money to pay immediately.

Or decide what they want and then save for two months to get it. 

FROM THE BUSINESS OWNER’S PERSPECTIVE.

From the business owner’s perspective, I understand that you’re offering a service to your customers. 

The benefit for your business is making that sale or bringing it forward, which improves your cash flow, and that is always a good thing. The quicker you can turn around your stock and make your sales, the better your cash flow will be.

I get it, it’s an added service to your customers to encourage instant gratification, and when other retailers are offering the service, you’re crazy if you don’t too.

But...

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Are you too Busy to Look at the Numbers?

Oct 31, 2019

Does your business keep you too busy to look at the numbers? Busyness is a part of business until you have systems and processes in place that allow you to concentrate on running the business rather than doing the busyness.

If you’re like me, I seem to do even more now than I’ve ever done before, cramming writing, podcasts, videos and marketing into my working week. But the one thing I always make time for is the numbers.

I know, I’m an accountant, so logically I’ll look at the numbers, but I’ll let you in on a secret, it hasn’t always been that way.

There was a time in one of my prior businesses where I knew the numbers were bad. I was too busy to look at them for many months; too afraid of what they would say, too scared that they would show me up for the failure I was feeling deep down inside.

When I eventually did look at them, they were even worse than I thought. By looking at them, I was able to identify my course of action. This...

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Do you Freak out about your Cash Flow

Oct 24, 2019

Are there times when you don’t have enough money in the bank account to pay the bills, wages or the ATO? Does this cause you to freak out about your cash flow?

There are several times during the business lifecycle when cash flow challenges will arise unless you have a sufficient buffer of funds in the bank to carry you through these times.

One circumstance is during periods of growth when you’re required to pay out costs before the higher revenue is received into your bank account. This could be the need to pay additional wages when the income from their work isn’t received until 30 or 60 days later.

Another circumstance is when your clients or customers delay paying their invoices to you. This frequently happens in the construction industry but can happen to anyone.

Let’s face it, cash flow challenges are part of doing business. It’s a struggle during those time periods but there are 3 steps you can take to minimise the impact of a shortage of money.

...
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Are your Numbers like the Elephant in the Room?

Oct 17, 2019

I may not be the first person to call the elephant in the room. But I am the first person to call the numbers.

Are you treating numbers like elephants in the room, where they are looking at you while you try your best to ignore them?

What is it about the numbers that freaks you out? 

I’ve found the top 7 reasons why people don’t look at the numbers

1. IS IT THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE NUMBERS ARE? 

This usually arises when you’re struggling; cash flow is a challenge, you’re stressed out, losing sleep at night and worrying about how to pay the wages, the rent, the bills and taxes. When times are tough, and you already know that, the last thing you want to do is look at the numbers and make yourself even more depressed when you see just how bad the situation is.

2. IS IT THAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE REPORTS MEAN?

A lack of knowledge is the cause of many a case of numbers being ignored. The reality is that the vast majority...

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9 Tips to Spring Clean your Business

Oct 10, 2019

It’s time to spring clean your business by reviewing your goals for the future. Consider what impact it has on your budget and financial results.

Spring is in the air; the early flowering trees are putting on their beautiful display and the days are getting longer and warmer. In the natural world, spring is a time of new beginnings, deciduous trees come to life with green shoots and many animals give birth to their young.

Growing up in Canada, spring was a special time when the snow melted, the temperature climbed above freezing and it was time to get the bicycle out again. Spring felt like a release. both a release from winter and from school, even though I loved school. It meant freedom was around the corner, long summer days, bike riding on the prairies, and exploring the world around where we lived.

It was a truly magical time.

Whilst as an accountant I tend to work in financial years and quarters, I still do whatever I can to recapture that sense of freedom when spring...

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3 Tips to Ensure Accurate Reports when Dealing with Inventory

Oct 03, 2019

Dealing with inventory is the trickiest part of accounting. It is imperative that you match the sales revenue with the purchase costs that relate to those specific sales for your accounting reports to be accurate.

If you have an accounting system that handles inventory you’re well on the way to accurate reports, but I’ve found that many businesses don’t have this and as a result, their accounting reports are not showing their true gross profit and net profit.

My top 3 tips for dealing with inventory are:

1. DO A MONTHLY STOCKTAKE 

Add doing a stocktake to your end of month checklist and do it without fail. Create a list of your inventory items and manually count how many you have on your premises on the last day of the month. Ideally, create this in a spreadsheet so you can enter the inventory count. This will then automatically calculate the value of your inventory.

The reason for this is that if you’ve purchased stock in a...

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Why you need to follow the dots

Sep 26, 2019

I often use the phrase “follow the dots” about accounting processes. Bookkeeping processes were designed many years ago and while the systems we use have changed, the fundamentals haven’t. 

Once you have your accounting system set up and running for a few months, it’s mostly just doing the same as the transactions previously; hence “follow the dots”.

When you have procedures documented, your team and new team members can undertake the task by following the procedure.

THE SAME APPLIES WHEN WORKING WITH SPREADSHEETS.

Yes. There are times when they are necessary for showing information in a different way. However, they shouldn’t be used to replace your accounting system; rather as an addition to it. 

I’ve recently been working with a client who has a number of extensive spreadsheets that they maintain. A new team member had been updating them and adding in new information. When reviewing the data and ensuring the numbers...

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Do you know what a Deadline really is?

Sep 19, 2019

My work has historically consisted of one deadline after another. Mostly imposed by the government, but some imposed by clients.

I was looking at my “to do” list for today which is mostly made up of items that have to be done by a certain date, and it got me thinking about the origin of the word “deadline”.

So, I did what we all do in today’s’ world. I Googled it and got quite a surprise for my efforts.

It appears that the derivation may have come from the American Civil War. In the prisons, there would be a line or boundary called the deadline. If a prisoner went beyond it, they would be shot dead.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Deadline.

According to Wikipedia, the word deadline was used in the early 1900s in the printing industry as the line in a printing press that delineated the end of the area that would print. 

It was also used at that time in the publishing industry for the time by which material had to be submitted to make it...

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How to React when Life Throws you a Curveball

Sep 12, 2019

A curveball can come in all shapes and sizes. There are the small ones that just throw you off track a little bit, and then there are big ones that come out of nowhere that rock you to your core. 

As business owners, we’re on the receiving end of a curveball all the time.

A CURVEBALL COULD BE:

  • the client who doesn’t pay your invoice on time, 
  • a client who promises to pay your invoice on a particular date and doesn’t
  • the employee who demands a pay increase
  • an employee who resigns unexpectedly
  • notice from your landlord to vacate the premises or not extend your lease
  • major price increase from a supplier
  • a significant change in the exchange rate that impacts your purchases
  • your bookkeeper disappears without a trace 
  • a major client doesn’t renew their contract
  • you lose your biggest customer or client

SWOT ANALYSIS.

In reality, we should be ready for curveballs. We should have thought about the various possibilities of what could go wrong and...

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