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Assessing Your Accounting Software Options

Every business needs a good accounting system in place. This is the only way you can truly understand where your business has come from, and where it is heading. It’s your early warning system and overall health check, for any problems that may be on the horizon, such as cash flow issues or under-performing product areas.

Accounting Software Options

Assessing your accounting software options can be challenging, with so many factors to consider. There are some great accounting software solutions on the market, which depending on your business requirements, can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, to give you a clear, transparent view of your business.

Every business is different, when it comes to your accounting software needs, and there is a lot to consider. For most growing Perth businesses, you have three main options, when it comes to assessing your accounting software:

1.      Stick with What You Have

Wherever you are on your journey, it may not be the right time to change your current accounting process. This could be for many reasons, including the time of year, financial cost or other changes within the business. When you speak with a professional consultant about your current accounting solution, they may recommend you stick with your current process, until other factors in your business are resolved.

2.      Purchase Add-Ons for Your Existing Software

A lot of software solutions can be upgraded with specific add-ons, tailored to your specific requirements. These can fill and immediate hole in your process, and are a great short-term solution, to a lot of accounting software shortfalls.

3.      Invest in a New Accounting System

If your business has outgrown your current software, it is probably time to invest in an accounting solution to help your business continue to grow. Many owners fear a large, upfront cost, but consider all the cost saving benefits, and long-term efficiencies. Make sure you speak to a professional consultant about all your options, to ensure you choose the right solution for your business.

So how do you know which option is best for you? Start by analysing your business process. Most businesses come down to three main aspects:

People

Your team play a crucial role in the success of your business. From an accounting software solution standpoint, there are a few things to consider when it comes to your team:

  • Payroll – If you are managing a team, then you need an accounting solution which can help you calculate payroll requirements and correct reporting to the ATO.
  • Managing Teams – If you are managing multiple teams, such as sales, manufacturing, delivery etc, then you need an accounting solution which will help you keep on top of this.
  • Multiple Locations – if you have multiple staff across different offices or regions, then your accounting software should help you keep track of cross regional data, preferably in real time.
  • Management – give them the tools to get a transparent view of the business, so they can proactively react to any changes in stock levels or sales areas.
  • User Access – you may need multiple users to access the system across locations.

A lot of these requirements can be answered by choosing a cloud-based solution, which allows you to access the software anywhere, anytime, with multiple user functionality.

Business Process

Your business process is the sequence of tasks or events, that result in your finished product or service, delivered to your clients. No matter your industry, it is essential you have a clear view of your business process, from start to finish, for your organisation to succeed. Your accounting software should assist you with some or all the following:

  • Tracking Orders – can you your accounting software should help you manage your business process, from stock control, inventory, ordering and other processes.
  • Supply Chain Visibility – knowing what stock you have on hand, and where orders are at, will help you provide a better customer service.
  • Payments – how do your customers pay you? Does your accounting software integrate with your payment system? Can the system handle multiple payment types / foreign currency?
  • Cash Management – if you have accurate sales information, you can best manage your cash flow.

Products & Services

The nature of your products and services will also impact your decision-making process. How can your accounting software help you best deliver your products and services? Some things to consider include:

  • Automation – can a lot of your processes be automated through your software?
  • Invoices & Quotes – Can the system create quotes and invoices for you? This will improve efficiency within the business.
  • Real Time Reporting – getting information about your product or services being ordered can help you ensure the best product or service delivery to your client.
  • Customer Relationship Management System – can you keep track of your customers / their purchase history and other valuable information?

Get Expert Advice

No matter what stage you are with the assessment of your business accounting system, you don’t have to make any decisions on your own. Horizon Business Systems can help. Our business consultants will meet with you to do a complete audit of your business and its accounting software processes. From there, we will make recommendations for the best way forward, be it with an upgrade or add on to your existing accounting software, or a tailored new solution. Contact our expert team today, to get you business moving forward, with the right accounting tools.

Tips for Running a Successful Not for Profit in WA

Not for profit and charitable businesses make up an important part of the economy.

If you have a drive for helping vulnerable and disadvantaged people, running a not for profit can be an inspiring way to give back to your community and make a difference.

But to be successful and cut through the competition, it must nurture the core practices of a successful and purposeful not for profit business.

In Australia, there are over 54,000 registered charities. Yet the impact, value and effectiveness of these organisations create a positive effect on a global scale.

There’s no denying the world still needs not for profits. Like most small businesses, not for profits are born out of passion and a strong desire to make a difference. If you run a not for profit business, here are the top tips to fuel its success.

Not for Profit Volunteers

Treat it Like a Business

The key to running a successful NFP in Western Australia is to treat it like a business.

The fundamentals of for-profit businesses and not for profits are the same. What makes an organisation NFP has to do with its purpose, public support and income.

Start by implementing the right systems, such as good management, accountability and a concise business plan to help you gain industry respect, public support and donor confidence. Other essentials that lead to business success include:

  • Task management
  • Transparent accounting system, bookkeeping and invoicing – the MYOB range has the best solutions to help shape your business’s future
  • Productivity suite – Microsoft Office is usually ideal
  • Public relations team to communicate brand effectively
  • Fundraising team
  • Marketing and branding materials including a website optimised for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Budget – NFPs still have financial objectives which need to be managed accordingly

Meet NFP Requirements

Not every organisation ticks all the boxes. Does yours?

To be defined as NFP, your business must operate for a purpose and not for the profit or gain (either direct or indirect).

To run a successful NFP:

  • Register with Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) for charity concessions and income/fringe benefits tax rebate and exemptions
  • Comply with the state fundraising requirements and not for profit laws
  • Comply with standard business laws
  • Choose the right legal structure
  • Ensure its registered with the ATO
  • Define the type of NFP you’re running
  • Include clauses in legal and governing documents, for example: the not-for-profit clause or the dissolution clause, which sets out what happens with assets if it closes down

Demonstrate Your NFP’s Mission and Purpose

One of the key factors that sets NFPs apart from profitable businesses is its mission and purpose.

It’s all very well defining this in the early stages. But to truly pursue its purpose and make your NFP sustainable, the key mission must be continually demonstrated across the board.

Mission statements crafted for NFPs must communicate its purpose, what groups it serves and how it’ll serve them. Every decision, action and funding campaign need to support what you’re working towards.

The NFP’s target audience, main business activities and donation programs should be reviewed annually to ensure they meet the mission and purpose.

Choose People Relevant to the Cause

Every successful NFP has a driven, passionate and skilled team behind it.

Staff is your biggest brand ambassador. Attract, recruit and retain the right people for fundraising, marketing and communication teams. These people should be relevant and supportive to the cause.

Use systematic approaches to also develop the right board. Provide key members with orientation, regular training and evaluation to ensure long-term success.

Foster Collaboration

Fostering collaboration is critical for all businesses but NFPs rely heavily on corporate community partnerships and working relationships to drive results.

Benefit from collaborations with other organisations aligned with your cause to increase overall business effectiveness, drive broader changes and boost efficiency.

To effectively foster collaboration, not for profit leaders should be clear on limits, value-add and the organisation’s ‘why’.

Focus on the Mission, Not the Money

The most successful NFP businesses continually plan for their future through evaluation and the flexibility to embrace potential changes.

They also focus on the mission, rather than the money. Knowing how to generate revenue and control costs is important, but if the focus shifts from mission to money, the NFP’s core values can be debated.

Running a successful NFP business, while potentially very rewarding, can be challenging. At Horizon Business Systems, we understand the needs of NFPs and have fully scalable accounting platforms to assist with efficient bookkeeping and invoicing. Contact our staff for more information.

 

Single Touch Payroll and How to Get Your Business Ready

If you run a small business with 20 or more staff, you should be preparing for the Single Touch Payroll initiative.

From 1st July 2018, the Australian Taxation Office’s Single Touch Payroll (STP) rollover begins. The new system, which changes the way employers report to the ATO, will require small business owners with 20 or more staff to upgrade or replace current payroll systems.

Business payroll solutions, man writing on screen which reads payroll

What is Single Touch Payroll

Single Touch Payroll is ATO’s latest compliance regulation. It offers a more streamlined reporting system, which enables you to track costs and analyse trends.

All employee tax, super, wage and PAYG withholding information will be reported to the ATO through the new software. This will be a significant change from the current system, which is lodged through paper or manual submissions.

What’s in it for You

To be eligible for the transition, your small business must have more than 20 staff (headcount, not full-time equivalent) as of 1st April 2018.

Once the new system is fully rolled over in 2019, the information you report on over the next financial year will be pre-filled into future activity statements.

This data will also be pre-filled into myTax, resulting in an easier process for anyone who prepares their own returns. Businesses will have real-time access to payments to allow for a smoother and more efficient reporting processes.

Small Business, Big Benefits

Single Touch Payroll reporting will enable everyone within the business to see more up-to-date tax, pay and super information. Making the switch comes with big benefits for small business owners and staff. Some of these include:

Employers

  • No need for payment summaries: STP makes all information easily accessible online via myGov, eliminating the need for pay summaries to be generated and distributed to staff.
  • No double handling or potential errors: ATO will pre-fill fields W1 & W2 in your BAS, eliminating the headaches of double handling.
  • Streamlined reporting: Payroll is combined with your pay run process, offering valuable time savings come the new financial year. STP includes up to 50 management and accounting reports. These reports can be exported to compatible accounting systems.
  • Automatic reporting: Accumulated leave is worked out automatically and payments are handled in accordance with legislation. New employees have access to quicker online commencement forms, including Tax File Number declaration. As a result, compliance efficiencies will increase.
  • Interactive: STP links with electronic banking and tax office so all numbers add up.
  • No extra cost.

Employees

  • Efficient tax returns: All payroll information is pre-filled into your tax return and you won’t have to wait for a payment summary to complete.
  • Real-time access: Easily view your superannuation, income and tax via myGov.
  • Electronic commencement forms: Having quick and easy access to all online forms makes starting a new job easier.

Getting Your Business STP Ready

On April 1st, 2018 the ATO warned small business owners to do a headcount of staff to determine whether the new systems applied.

For small businesses with 19 staff or less, switching over to the Single Touch Payroll system is voluntary. However, the transition is scheduled for 1st July 2019 which is subject to the passage of legislation in Federal Parliament.

For everyone else, getting your business STP ready is mandatory this year. Here’s what you can start doing now:

  1. If you already use a MYOB payroll solution, you can update to the STP system. No matter what product you use (MYOB Advance or MYOB Exo), MYOB will have you covered from 1st
  2. Check with your accounting software provider whether your current payroll systems will support the changes.
  3. Make sure payroll staff are advised about the changes.
  4. Review old payroll systems and update employee information before 1st Check you’re paying staff correctly including super entitlements.
  5. If you need more time or your software provider isn’t ready, contact the ATO today to apply for a deferral.

Free STP checklists can be downloaded from the ATO website.

Horizon Business Systems is Perth’s leading business accounting software solution provider. We pride ourselves on our tailored customisation of products to suit all business requirements, with superior ongoing support for our clients. Contact us today for more information.

Tips to Increase Profits without Increasing Prices

We hear it all time – “work smarter, not harder”, but what does it really mean? With more competition than ever, businesses are finding smarter ways to grow their profits, without increasing their prices. The smartest way to increase profits is to look at your bottom line and find a way to cut costs, but before you start streamlining your business you need to know exactly where to start.

Having an accurate and transparent way to assess and report on exactly where your business is now, will help you find those essential (and sometimes hidden) cost savings. Here are few tips on places you can begin, when assessing the best ways to grow your business, without increasing prices.

close up of employees sitting around desk

Manage Your Costs Accurately

Start by looking at your profit margins to see what works and what doesn’t. Focus on the products or activities that are the most profitable, and minimise the ones that aren’t.

Try to cut any expenses that don’t add value to your company or customers. Consider what can be done without, for example selling off old inventory that’s just taking up space.

Stabilising your production system can help you to reduce your amount of surplus stock. Often there are cost savings to purchasing stock in bulk, so look at where and how you can make long term savings with your stock control. This will then free up your cash flow and profit margins. There may also be benefits to ordering more frequently, so make sure you do your research with suppliers. Having an accurate stock control will also help to avoid losses from expired or discontinued inventory.

Grow Existing Customers

Focus on supporting existing customers, and set yourself apart by competing in areas other than price. Maybe your business can beat the competition by speeding up its processes, or offering an additional value add service. If you identify your customer’s pain points, you may find a way to offer value beyond the product and price.

Helping customers to learn about your products or services, and what sets them apart, will improve their experience and ensure they’re getting the best value possible from their purchase. There is nothing worse than losing a customer to a competitor, for a product or service you offer, but they didn’t know about.

Standardise Your Procedures

Standardising your procedures across multiple business sites or teams helps to ensure there is no wastage or inconsistent procedures followed, be it anything from stock control to sales. For example, using less energy when not required, or helping to improve staff productivity by omitting redundant procedures or upgrading technology.

Business management software such as MYOB helps give you a holistic view of all aspects of your business to ensure correct procedures are in place and omits costly errors.

Empower Your Team

Utilise your workforce’s full potential by creating channels for feedback and suggestions. If your whole team understand the company goals and aims, they can all contribute to ways to increase profits.

Reduce your operating costs by ensuring your team is equipped with accurate, up-to-date information. Streamlining the decision-making process will encourage efficient and informed business decisions, saving you time and money in the long run.

Renegotiate Contracts Regularly

Lock in long term contracts which are to your advantage, but regularly renegotiate where possible. Looking at high expenditures, such as your lease or technology provider, can uncover some amazing cost savings. With new competitors or changes in the market place, you might find your existing contract is well above the industry standard.

Keep a close eye on all outgoings, including power and water bills. You might be surprised to find you’ve been overcharged or even incorrectly billed for products or services not received. Have a process in place to regularly review all contracts.

Take Your Business to the Next Level

A well-run business generates higher profits, without having to sacrifice competitive advantage on price. Cut your own time in half, as well as the stress and anxiety of managing your business by implementing business management software.

Horizon Business Systems have been helping businesses perform better for over a decade. Contact us today to see how you can improve your profits, without increasing prices.

Why your Not for Profit needs a smarter business solution

Purchasing an ERP software solution, to streamline your Not for Profit organisation, is a crucial business decision. It offers a tangible return on investment, with time saved and increased accuracy within your business.

For Not for Profit organisations an effective and accountable management system is essential – influencing everything from public confidence in your organisation; to being able to easily manage the requirements for accurate reporting for tax reporting and/or funding with small teams of administrative staff; to managing multiple locations or varied service offerings.

With the NDIS system expanding, your NFP team are supported in streamlining current processes to ensure compliance, with an end to end business management solution, such as MYOB Advanced, to focus on the important work that you are doing, rather than just on your finances.

Not for Profit Volunteers

Our team at Horizon Business Systems are specialists in the Not for Profit space and we have put together some top reasons why other Not for Profits in Western Australia have chosen MYOB Advanced:

It saves time:

Having access to precise, thorough reporting will not only save time, but also allow you to plan ahead to grow your organisation. Having better insight into your business processes, will ultimately save you time, money and headaches going forward.

Manage costs accurately:

Smaller systems often don’t manage purchasing well and have no approval processes which is often needed in Not for Profit. MYOB Advanced allows Management to approve purchase orders prior to committing to the spend against budgets in order to better manage costs.  Not for Profits can need to manage projects with time and cost tracking which can run over many years and that smaller systems (with limitations to one financial year) cannot manage.

A system that can grow with you:

We want your ERP solution to grow with you. MYOB Advanced offers a fully scalable platform, meaning it’s easy to add features that you don’t need now but may do in the future when your organisation or its service offerings expands.

Helps Manage Your Diverse Workforce:

Not for Profits often have a dispersed workforce, perhaps with varied shifts and work hours, week to week or multiple locations. Managing payroll for staff can be quite labour intensive and inaccurate. Having a streamlined software solution, can take the pain out of this process, while ensuring accurate payroll processes.

Allows for Simple Reporting to the Tax Office and other stakeholders:

Not for Profits have a heightened need to report accurately and transparently to the Tax Office and other stakeholders. The MYOB Advanced ERP system allows you to do just that with efficient reporting and customisable templates making it easy to manage your books and report effectively.  Horizon and MYOB Advanced allows your company to build their own Chart of Accounts, cost centres, sub accounts and branches and gives flexibility in reporting for different stakeholders.  Often integration to Government agencies, such as NDIA, is a requirement and, with MYOB Advanced, we can automate these transactions so time is not wasted with keying in or preparing lengthy spreadsheets to upload.

Cloud Technology:

Moving your business to the cloud is not a matter of if, but when. This technology removes the need for expensive servers and allows your staff access to real time information, from anywhere with an internet connection. You can also “Mobile enable” your workforce, giving access to information via their smart phones.   MYOB has an extensive history as an innovator and market leader in management software solutions and Cloud technology.

Customisable to Suit Your Organisation:

The right ERP software can be customised to suit the unique needs of your organisation. Each organisation is different, and you need the flexibility to add in features that suit your unique requirements.  Horizon Business Systems have worked with hundreds of businesses, including many Not for Profit organisations, and we take the time to understand your business needs and aims.

Ongoing, Local Support:

Ongoing training and support is important to ensure a smooth transition and adoption by all staff. It’s important to have a local provider who is there not only for the initial set up, but also for any ongoing training and support you require.

Horizon Business Systems are a locally based Perth business and have provided consultancy, implementation, ongoing support and professional service partnership for over a decade. Horizon are ERP business system experts and have provided a software management solutions for many West Australian based Not for Profit organisations. Contact us today, to see how Horizon can help your Not for Profit achieve it’s business aims into the future.