Organising Your Business Information For Your Accountant

I often have new business clients which are not sure what information to give me as their accountant or bookkeeper in order to prepare Australian Accounting and Tax returns, or Financial statements. So I have put together a brief explanation of a simple method of getting it all together. If you use this simple method you will not only look professional to your accountants but save them time (by doing some of the legwork and having all of the relevant information available) getting you a cheaper accounting invoice by saving accounting time and you money. This is a process primarily for businesses which, do not have an internal accounts or bookkeeper person and simply provide information to accountants to prepare returns.

I want to stress that all good businesses know how well they are doing. In fact many businesses fail because of a lack of current financial information. It is vital you know your current financial position and profit or loss statement ideally monthly or at least quarterly if the business is well established with comfortable cash flow. If you are a business who only reviews their financial position annually, I strongly recommend you consider obtaining more regular financial information. This is so you have relevant information to manage your business and profitability. This can easily be done by engaging in a bookkeeper or accountant who can also come to your office. However if you wish to prepare information for the accountant and bring it to their office here is a quick process for you to complete.

The starting point of accounting is that it is based on recording all transactions from bank statements of all relevant bank accounts including cheque accounts, investments,credit cards and loans. For this reason, businesses should aim to track all business transactions through one of their bank accounts and hence have little or no cash transactions. If you have cash transactions you may need to provide additional information.

Step one
The first simple step is to collate all your bank statements of all business accounts, credit cards and loans for the period you need to report on. Some examples to illustrate the periods involved for a tax return 2010 you’ll need to gather statements from 1st of July 2009 to 30th of June 2010, or for a BAS return March 2010 you will need to gather statements from 1 January 2010 to 31 March 2010. You should receive all statements from your bank, if any are lost or misplaced your need to reorder from your bank incurring normally a bank fee. Sort this out before you provide the accountant your information. Better still accountants love to get electronic files of your bank statements as they are quick and easier to data entry, contact your bank to do this.

Step two
Once you have collated all bank statements review all individual lines and code them with relevant information (write a relevant description of them if not obvious from the bank statement line entry). For example all credit entries all money going into your accounts, you should indicate if they are income or sometimes they are owner contributions. With all money expended (money out) from accounts, you should also be describing relevant details especially cheque numbers and EFT transfers. Remember any additional information may be useful to your accountant such as asset detail so they can process specific taxation rules. If you are GST registered, you should also indicate whether the transaction involved GST or was GST free. The more you code the more you make your financial reports accurate and speed up things for your accountants processing which will lead to cheaper fees.

Step three
If you have coded all bank statements as for step two and have made sure all relevant bank statements have been collated. You may provide this to the accountant so that the financial report can be prepared. However, as tax law requires substantiation of your transactions and keeping these records, I would also suggest, attaching all relevant invoices relating to transactions on each bank statement. There may be a few transactions which do not have invoices such as bank charges and direct debit all regular charges loan payments etc. You may have other ways of filing invoices which are also acceptable.

This has been a quick outline of how to provide information to your accountant to prepare your financial or taxation reports. It is advisable eventually for a business to take the next step and to complete it’s bookkeeping internally which may result in even greater savings. I recommend this is done with the combination of internal resources, suitable accounting software and professional accounting involvement to control and develop the financial information further. Speak to an accountant or business adviser on this issue or to discuss installing an accounting software and training you to do some of the work. Often this will streamline some of your other administration tasks such as payroll, quoting and invoicing customers, knowing which debtor accounts are due or to facilitate a purchase ordering system, and to better track creditors or cash flow.

However, if you know book work is not an optimal use of your time and do not have internal resources, please do use a professional registered BAS agent, TAX agent (in Australia) or registered accountant in your country. But, perhaps consider updating your financial information on a more regular basis. I also had a recent experience with a client who did not wish to prepare their accounts themselves, but is available when I am coding their transactions; they were also able to see how the financial report is put together giving them a better understanding of the financial information. I also recommend that you do query, and get involved with the information provided to you at a summarized level so that you are sure that it is correct.

Overall, the key to book work is to do it regularly to stay on top of it and to complete while many transactions are fresh in your memory. Having up-to-date financial reports will give you a greater sense of pride in knowing how your business is tracking. By having current financial information you are in the much more informed position to make better business management as against having only annual and lagged financial information from your accountant.

Put Business Information on Top With Promotional Baseball Caps

Wearing caps has been a craze among people of all ages since their inception. There are different types of caps available, but baseball caps have been hot favorite because of various reasons. These caps are not only popular in the Brazil, Japan or United States, but also in almost all parts of the world. Because of their popularity and wide use, they have also gained popularity as one of the very much preferred promotional advertising gift items. Now, all types of organisations give preference to these caps because they have hot favorite of people of all ages.

No doubt, these caps are the common form of promotional apparel that every entrepreneur wants to present his existing customers, potential clients, employees and anyone related to business. In order to increase the sale of the products or services, these caps are the right promotional tool. Why these caps are preferred very much? Reason is simple as they have enough space on the front to imprint company name, logo, message or website address. In addition to the front, they have also enough space on various other sides to imprint something. At the working places like in retail stores, workshops, these caps are distributed frequently among the workers.

Distribution of these caps not only promotes your business, but also helps in making a unique working environment. Talking about the baseball caps, they are not only associated with those who participate in the game of baseball, but also it is worn as a fashion accessory or semi-practical headgear. They are like the soft caps with long, stiff brim that may either be curved or flat. Plastic or elastic adjusters are used in the back of these caps in order to quickly adjust to fit different wearers.

You can buy them according to your choice as they are available in a variety of colors, designs, shapes and sizes at easy on the pocket prices. You can also get them made in your desired designs and color. These caps can really increase your sales to a great level because when people see people wearing caps imprinted with your business name or logo, they will attract towards you and prefer to use your services or products.

Selling Your Business – Informing the Employees

When is the best time to inform employees that you are selling your business? Business brokers and merger and acquisition professionals are asked this question all the time.  The short answer is, “Wait until the transaction is completed,” and with good reason.

Most owners understand that much of the value of their business is embodied in their employees. Employees make the company possible, and many owners develop a close relationship with some of their employees.  Those relationships sometimes lead business owners to want to disclose the potential sale of their business to one or more of their employees.  “They deserve to know” is a common refrain.

There is an enormous risk in sharing this ‘inside information’ with employees.  Confidentiality needs to be maintained.  Once it is common knowledge that your company is for sale (and it will become common knowledge once employees know), it loses value: vendors are less like to sell to you or increase credit limits; customers are less likely to buy for fear of a lack of continuity of the relationship; and employees are less likely to stay.  Once the cat is out of the bag, if you are able to get it back in at all, the damage is already done, and it can take years to redevelop those relationships that made your company valuable in the first place.

While change is scary to some people, nothing is scarier than the unknown.  For example, with one or more employees knowing what is ‘in process’ or being considered, at a minimum the information will be shared with a spouse or close friends.  Invariably, their reactions are to share stories of mass layoffs, companies being relocated, wage and bonus reductions, etc.  It is human nature to fear the unknown and to expect (and perhaps plan) for the worst.  Planning for the worst often involves looking for alternative employment, sharing the news with other employees and, perhaps, outright resignations.  Also understand that when a concerned employee interviews within your industry, the first question they are asked is, “Why are you planning on leaving your current employer?” The answer will put an afterburner on the wildfire of rumors within your industry.  Remember, most buyers expect to have key employees on board when they acquire a business: If one or more of them have departed or indicated that they intent to depart, the value and marketability of your business has clearly been damaged.

Therefore, the best time to make announcements concerning the sale is on the afternoon of the day on which the transaction closes, after the closing is complete.  An employee meeting should be pre-planned to ensure 100% employees attendance.   Once everyone is gathered, you explain your reasons for considering a ‘transition of ownership’ (don’t use the word ‘sale’ or ‘sold’), and that, after a diligent search, you have found the perfect new owner(s).  You can also talk about how there will be a transition period where you will be involved in the operation of the business working with the new owners. The new owners should then be introduced to discuss their backgrounds, share their reasons for wanting to own the company and demonstrate their enthusiasm to do whatever is necessary to grow the business and create more opportunities for everyone. Last but not least, the new owners should honestly indicate that they plan no dramatic changes, that they value the current workforce, and that they want to meet individually with each employee (unless the number is just too large) to get their ideas and suggestions on the best way to grow the business.

In general, anyone who buys your company will want to keep your employees since they represent a significant portion of the value (and continuity) of your business. Massive job losses only occur in extremely rare cases where a new owner relocates the company a great distance, and then usually only after a period of transition.  Experience has taught that when the transition is handled well, virtually all employees perform better under the new management, for the simple reason they want to impress and be on good terms with the new owner.  New owners typically arrive with additional capital, new ideas, perhaps a synergy with an existing business and, almost invariably, a desire to grow the business.   Growth spells new opportunities for employees who want to develop their careers and, in almost all cases, they look forward to working with a new owner.

By keeping the sale of the business totally confidential until the transaction is closed, you are able to both preserve the value of your business and greatly reduce the fear of the unknown from your employees, thus making the transition of ownership a more seamless operation.

Catering Business Information and Tips

Does everyone love your food? Do you create mouth-watering dishes that have people talking? Then starting a catering business may be just the breakthrough you needed. Why would a creative person like you who has that kind of talent work for someone else? This is the time to channel all your vigor and ideas into something you really love. Being your own boss can be challenging but running your own catering business will give you the opportunity of a lifetime. The only boundaries that are placed on you are those you place on yourself.

The catering business provides service for small or large parties, weddings, or even private dinner parties. A corporate event such as conferences, meetings, employee morale boosters, and grand openings looks for the services of a catering business.

The most important part of running any business is gaining clients. The ideal thing to do is to hire a sales person with a great personality in the catering business. If you are not the sales type and you are dealing with different clients including corporate executives, party planners, and nervous brides a sale person may very well be accommodating. The main ingredient to close the sale is to convince the client that the occasion will be memorable, the food will be presented appealingly and served quickly and discreetly. Networking with similar business will prove well to create a referral network to increase business. Successful caterers introduce themselves to other people and businesses that are involved in party and event planning as well. Good business in which to network are bridal boutiques, pastry chefs, wedding planners, florists, party supply, card and shop keepers.

Build a relationship with these businesses. Make sure they have your business cards and brochures. Check in with them often by dropping in with some tasty desserts or some hors d’oeuvres. They will remember you for that and may even result in some referrals. Create sales letters and brochure and send them to corporate offices requesting an appointment to talk about your services.

Follow it up with a phone call. Your accomplishment with catering will be directly linked to the strength of your planning, and the execution of that plan. Thirty percent in the catering business is food while the rest goes to delivery, transporting the food, lining up rental equipment, and juggling personnel. You will need to understand exactly, in writing, what your client wants, and deliver that in a way that reflects upon the client positively. Your organizational skills really count here.

To succeed in this business you must prioritize the tasks and devote your best effort to completing each task successfully. Show enthusiasm, discipline, and always aim to keep the clients happy. Have patience and understanding at all times to make the best out of any situation.