Making time to look over your financial reports each month is an important task for any business owner. If you are not taking the time to do this, either because you’re too busy or perhaps you don’t really understand what you’re looking at and it doesn’t make sense to you, then here are six reasons we recommend that you should start to.
- Understand your business better – by looking at your Profit and Loss (“P&L”) report monthly you will get a good picture of how your business is performing month by month and it will provide a better understanding of what makes up your profit. Looking at revenue and expenses clearly on one page in a monthly P&L or comparing periods, this will help to identify trends in your data and may also help to highlight anomalies in coding/categorising.
- Accurate information for lending purposes – if you are applying for a loan or an overdraft, the bank or financial institution will look closely at both your Profit and Loss report and the Balance Sheet as a lot can be learned about a business by looking at these reports together. If you are unsure what some of your balances are in your accounts, get in touch and we can explain them further.
- Get paid quicker and reduce bad debts – by looking at your Accounts Receivable Aged Summary each month you can follow up with overdue accounts promptly which often results in getting paid quicker. The longer an overdue amount is left unpaid the higher the risk of it not being paid at all, so it is important to keep on top of this.
- Better relationships with your suppliers – assuming you are entering your supplier bills into your accounting software (recommended for most businesses to get an accurate profitability figure) your Aged Payables report will alert you to any unpaid or overdue amounts. Supplier relationships are an important aspect of your business and paying on time is crucial to maintaining those relationships.
- Better cashflow – having an accurate understanding of how much money the business is owed and how much money the business owes, can help with cashflow planning to ensure that there is enough money when needed. Additionally, understanding the trends of your business, its profitability drivers, expenses, etc., can help to plan sales and marketing campaigns so that the revenue keeps coming in.
- Better business decision making – your financial reports tell the story of your business and it’s important that you understand the story that they are telling you. The better you understand what’s going on in your business the stronger position you will be in to make better business decisions that affect the profitability of your business and its financial viability.
Depending on the complexity of your business, at a bare minimum you should be looking at the following reports:
- The Statement of Financial Performance, also known as the Profit and Loss report (P&L) or the Income Statement. As the name suggests, it’s how your business is performing over a period of time, such as a month or a financial year. In broad terms it shows the revenue that your business has generated, less the expenses for that same period. In other words, it shows how profitable your business is.
- The Statement of Financial Position, also known as the Balance Sheet. This shows the value of the business’s Assets, Liabilities and Equity.
- Assets include things like money in bank accounts, Plant and Equipment, Accounts Receivable balances
- Liabilities include things like Bank loans and credit cards, Accounts Payable, and Hire Purchase balances
- Equity is the difference between your Assets and Liabilities and includes Retained Earnings and Owner Funds Introduced
- Accounts Receivable Ageing report (Aged Receivables) shows how much money is still owed to the business as at a certain date in time, and is usually segmented as to how overdue they are or sometimes by how far past the invoice date they are. Generally you will have Current, 30, 60 and 90 days columns.
- Accounts Payable Ageing Report (Aged Payables) shows who the business owes money to as at a certain date in time and, like the Accounts Receivable Ageing report, is usually segmented by overdue period.
So why bother?
If you would like to know which reports are relevant to your business and you want to better understand what’s going on in your business, then get in touch so we can make a time to go through them with you.
Your business success is important to us and we are here to help you.
Did you know that government agencies use Australian Business Number (ABN) details to identify individuals and businesses in communities affected by emergencies or natural disasters?
This can happen any time and any season, so we encourage you to keep your Australian Business Register (ABR) details up-to-date. This enables immediate emergency services assistance and ensures affected businesses are contacted in the event of crisis.
Details to Update
- Check that your recorded names are correct – If you have legally changed your name, you should update that with the ATO so that the correct legal name is linked to your ABN.
- Email address – This should be one that you can easily access from your phone or other means during an emergency.
- ANZSIC code – It’s a good idea to check that this is correct for your business type in case your business services have changed since you registered your ABN.
- Business address – This is essential to update, so that if an emergency or natural disaster affects your area you are contacted.
- Telephone number
- Postal address
- Additional business locations – You can add multiple locations if your business operates from more than one premises.
- Authorised contacts for the business – Consider adding more than one contact for the business.
Business, Individual and Company Names
Name changes can’t be updated on the Australian Business Register. If you need to update a business name, a legal individual name or a legal company name talk to us about liaising with the ATO or ASIC on your behalf to update your details.
Update Your ABN Details Now
Changes made to the ABR reflect immediately. It is always important to keep ABN details up to date, but for businesses in disaster prone areas, it is especially crucial as this can make all the difference with getting help quickly. Emergency services can access contact details from the ABR, which means affected businesses can get important updates and assistance from emergency services without delay.
Visit ABR to update your ABN Details or let us submit these details on your behalf.
If you’re looking to scale your business, you’ll need to spend more time working on it than in it. Finding ways to leverage your time is critical, and outsourcing your least favourite tasks is a great way to do this.
Things you should consider outsourcing in your business:
- Digital marketing.
From your content strategy to your social media accounts, if this is not a strength of yours, outsource it! There are many freelancers who have multiple clients at this level, who’ll likely be more knowledgeable regarding SEO and much more effective and efficient in general.
- Graphic design.
Your brand is a key reflection of your product offering. If you don’t have the skill, software and time to do this well, you’ll potentially damage your brand.
- Scheduling and administrative tasks.
A Virtual Assistant can help you manage anything from your appointments to flights, emails and beyond (virtually anything admin). At a lower level, consider adopting software that’ll automate or minimise processes, such as self-booking appointment apps where your clients can schedule a meeting with you, e.g. Calendly.
- Customer feedback.
Many businesses miss this valuable opportunity to connect with customers and improve their experience. A Virtual Assistant can help, but there are also apps (such as Ask Nicely) that automate the process of asking for feedback; directing happy responses to leave you Google reviews and negative responses back to you to quickly resolve!
- Inventory management.
Too much stock can cause cashflow issues and affect sales price (due to resulting discounting), but not enough equals lost sales. Outsourcing inventory management can help you minimise stock-carrying costs and allow you to focus on more important things.
This task is best left to the professionals. Outsourcing payroll will minimise the risk of inadvertently getting it wrong, while saving you time and, most likely, reducing the cost of this task. Utilising a payroll product is another great option.
Do bookkeeping tasks often infiltrate your evenings or weekends? Does the stress of these tasks piling up occupy your mind? Outsourcing these tasks (and the stress) to someone else can be liberating and cost-effective.
- Virtual CFO.
If you find budgeting and forecasting a struggle, a virtual CFO can wear this important hat for you. They’ll monitor the financial health of your business and provide a fresh perspective which will help you make better strategic decisions and improve your results.
Tempted to start outsourcing some of your tasks to free up your time? We can help by taking the last three roles off your hands! We work with a number of our clients in this way, allowing them to focus on what they do best.
While outsourcing takes a little bit of setting up, it’s worth the short-lived pain for massive gain. We don’t have to be jacks of all trades. In fact, this thinking often leads to begrudgingly doing many things poorly rather than doing a few things really well – and enjoying doing them.
Work to your strengths, outsource the rest! Need help? Get in touch.
Like it or not, all companies have a culture.
While it might be easy to define culture in nice words, it can be much harder to grab hold of in daily business, especially when times get tough.
A strong company culture is a driving force, underpinning a successful, resilient team. It shouldn’t be ignored, especially during testing times.
But what are the best ways to develop and manage a good company culture? Here are some top tips:
- Get the basics right – sorting out the basics is critical to establishing solid employment relationships and building credibility, which become the foundation of your company culture. All your people processes are important, from the beginning of employment until its end.
- Be human – once the compliance work is complete, treat people fairly, listen and seek to understand. There’s little to be gained by approaching every situation like it’s a courtroom drama or your company is an army.
- Have a clear strategy – when your business strategy is clear, it will shape your culture. You can hire people who support the strategy, team members will know what to expect and what is expected of them, and management can be genuine.
- Manage problems swiftly – allowing behaviour that is at odds with the company’s values and culture is incredibly damaging, no matter how good a person is at their job. Deal with issues quickly and ethically and stay focussed on the wider team.
- Be consistent and stay true – a good culture will help carry the company through tough and turbulent times. Stick to your principles, maintain standards, and resist looking for shortcuts when the pressure is on.
Remember, company culture is organic, built by a team, and influenced by many things, never just one department or individual. Business leaders can seek to influence culture, but they can’t own it.
Podcasts are often on our list of things to do, but for many business owners, there are often not enough hours in the day. The current crisis has challenged normal business activity. It is a stressful time. But it may provide an opportunity to think about where you want your business to head.
Are there opportunities you can grab? These podcasts might provide the inspiration for your business planning or just something interesting to listen to for your walk around the block.
Find them on the author’s website, Spotify or iTunes.
- TED Talks – super popular and there are thousands to choose from. Top picks include Simon Sinek and Brene Brown.
- Lewis Howes School of Greatness – downloaded over four million times a month; hear interviews with world-class game changers in entrepreneurship, health, athletics, mindset and relationships.
- The Bite-Size BizRoom – 15 minute podcasts with business advice you can easily action to grow your business.
- The Mike Dillard Podcast – captivating interviews with inspiring leaders to help you fulfil your potential.
- The Happiness Lab – surprising and inspiring stories based on the latest scientific research that will change the way you think about happiness.
- Building a Storybrand – Donald Miller has helped thousands of businesses grow by getting them to clarify their marketing messages.
- How I Built This – Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. Hear about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists — and the movements they built.
- The Mindset Mentor – 10-20 minute podcasts designed to give small business owners a motivational boost.
- Goal Digger – a live workshop style podcast to help businesspeople redefine success, chase bolder dreams and tackle their biggest goals.
- RISE – this is a series of bold conversations with business powerhouses and personal development leaders that offers real-life valuable takeaways.
Buying an existing business can be a great way to get started as a business owner or to expand operations.
Established businesses have already done the hard work of setting up; so you can get up and running on day one without a lengthy formation process.
Things You’ll Need
- Why is the business for sale – it’s important to understand the motivation for the sale, whether strategic or whether an emergency sale. There may also be hidden reasons for the sale which your research can uncover.
- Research – do more than you think you need to! Market research, investigation, learning and questioning about the potential business, the locale, the industry, the customers, the suppliers, the competitors, the market and the nature of the goods or services being sold will ensure you don’t rush into a decision just because it looks like a good deal.
- Due diligence – you’ll need to see detailed financial records, contracts, licenses, supplier agreements, lists of equipment, assets and inventory, lists of liabilities, loans and debts, and all employee records before making your decision.
- A good business plan – that covers one year, two to three years and possibly five years as well. This will help you to look at the longer term and big picture, assess the potential of the business and give a realistic picture of what you are committing to.
- Independent advice – from your tax agent and other business advisors such as an industry expert, business broker or lawyer. You might think a business looks like a great potential, but objective observers may pick up issues or queries that you have not.
- Finance – whether it’s your own funds, a business loan or short term finance options, you will need to work with your advisors and refer to the business plan to assess how much you will really need for the initial purchase, transition period, and future investment.
- Commitment to the work – Being prepared for responsibility required to run a business. Running a business does require certain skills, as well as time, energy and money. You need to be clear about your reasons for going into business and to be sure you are up for the challenge!
When considering a business, we can help you to analyse the financial reports, activity statements, tax returns and sales and purchases records to give you an independent overview of the financial performance and potential of the business.
We can assist in understanding the financial performance and benchmarks of a business you are considering buying, so that you make the best decision possible!