Bookkeeping Tips for Australian Small Businesses

Do you ever feel like your business bookkeeping is taking up way to much of your time? Well you are not alone.

According to the MYOB Business Monitor GST & BAS Special Report* (a survey of nearly 4000 small to medium businesses throughout Australia) most businesses are spending 10 hours per month on preparing data for the BAS which equates to a whopping 15 days a year! Just think of the extra investment you could be putting into your business if you could reclaim that time and work in your business rather than on it.

Not surprisingly the survey also revealed that small businesses would would like the GST to be simpler, and the BAS form not quite so complicated. However until we can change the mind of the Government on that one we are stuck with the current situation. So what can we do to make our own lives easier?

  1. Make sure your business bookkeeping is up-to-date. It’s like the filing. Before you know it you have a massive pile of paper that is out of control and needs a complete sort through before you can start to make sense of it all. But resist the temptation to let it pile up. Attend to the receipts and record keeping whilst it is fresh in your mind and you will be able to get it done in half the time – and without being overwhelmed.
  2. Put aside the GST you owe ahead of time. We all know that managing cash flow is one of the pain points of managing your business, but keeping on top of your tax obligations by putting aside your GST ahead of time will help take the pressure off when it comes to pay those bills. Rather than spending time freeing up the cash flow, you can easily meet your obligations and move on to making your business more productive.
  3. Make sure you have bookkeeping software that works for you. There are a myriad of solutions out there to help you manage your business bookkeeping. The big players of MYOB, Quickbooks and Xero are worth checking out and and while you’re there take a look at their online bookkeeping options as well. Remember to start with what your business needs are. There is no point in investing in a complex system only to find that you are wasting too much time with complex processes. Look for the solution that will streamline and rationlise.
  4. Finally, find a bookkeeper who can provide the bookkeeping services that you need. There are a range of bookkeeping services available. When engaging a bookkeeper make sure you find someone with a great track record and a high level of service. If they set themselves high standards they will do the same for your business.

As they say, when all is said and done, it is a lot easier said than done. But think about the benefit to your business and what you can do with 15 extra days!

*MYOB Business MonitorGST & BAS Special Report, September 2011, MYOB Limited

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Dionne Nancarrow

Dionne Nancarrow

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