Questions

How to find a competitive advantage as an accountant?

Jevaillier Jefferson
Jevaillier JeffersonConsultant at Valuable Media Group
Hi, James. Here are three ways to set your brand apart from others. 1. Employ a customer-driven approach -- instead of a money-driven approach -- to all aspects of your business, including problem-solving. Understand that you're in business to enhance customers' lives in order for them to assist others. The money will come. 2. Know that an editorial team should intensify your product's visual appeal. Not worsen it.A product may have all the features that your prospective customers desire. But, misspellings, poor grammar and punctuation accompanying its packaging, advertisements, websites and social media pages may cause customers to question what your company values. Does the company spend equal time developing all of its products' components? If not, will the product last? 3. Ensure your teams understand how and why they link. Encourage them to guide each other.When I wrote for a syndicated radio show, a producer talked to me about a word I'd used in a script: abovementioned. My print media background had appeared at the wrong time.He reminded me that I was writing for the ear, not the eyes. His advice sharpened my writing and logic. He kept the show's brand identity intact. Abovementioned could have cost us listeners, radio stations and advertisers.James, we hope this helps.
Madeleine Davis
Madeleine DavisMom, Founder at The Parenting System
Hi James, you might consider positioning yourself as an expert in a particular niche. For example, you might specialize in accounting for divorced women, or children as they graduate college, or for self employed individuals. That would allow you to target to your ideal market as well. Your differentiation and competitive advantage would be your specialization. For example, I work with moms to help them create functional stress free homes. But my SPECIALTY could be that I work with entrepeneurial moms........mompreneurs. So my competitive advantage is entrepreneurial moms and my messaging speaks to my competitive advantage. I work with moms to help them create functional stress free homes so they can focus their time, energy and attention on building the business they love and making more money. I hope that's helpful.
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Questions

What are the best free accounting apps or tools?

I have a small handyman business and I am pretty hopeless when it comes up to preparing for tax... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
well, I'm not sure if it is available in the Australian market, but Wave Apps has a great suite of free accounting and invoicing tools.Also, Manager.io is a free cross platform (works on Windows, Mac and Linux) software (for desktop or laptop) I don't think they have a mobile app version.
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Questions

Do I need a bookkeeper?

I am a sole trader with my own small business. Can I do my own books or will I need a bookkeeper or... read more

Asked by:
Marcus TjenOwner at Rugged Computing
If you are a sole trader, you do not have to have a book keeper or an accountant. You can keep track of your income and expenses in a spreadsheet and file your own personal tax return at the end of the financial year. No need to file a business tax return.If however you do a lot of small transactions (debit and credit) in your business, you might want to consider using a book keeper to help you keep track and save you time.If you also want to have a financial statements at the end of financial year (balance sheet, profit and loss and cash flow statement) then you need to get an accountant.
Understand from your query that you are a small business owner having a sole trader business model.If you have prior experience maintaining your books of accounts as well as dealing with ATO you may not need book keeper to start with In case if your business grows and do not find time and energy to do the book keeping as well as meeting GST compliance , you may need the assitance of the book keeper as well as Tax Accountant or Tax Agent . Many of the Tax Agents provide the services of Book keeping, Accounting & Tax Compliance services and the cost varies depending on the nature and number of transactions, For complex tax advisory matters the cost is fixed depending on the time spent by the Tax Agent or Advisor.You may please feel free to contact me at Taxfin Business services if you need further clarification or informartion in this regard. My name is Sathyanarayanan Srinivas and my contact number is 0424419130.Please visit www.taxfinservices.com.au for detailes on services provided.
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Questions

Do you have your bookkeeping and accounting done by the same company?

At present we have a bookkeeper and and accountant. The reason is mainly that I figure if one... read more

Steve Osborne
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
Like Steven, I see nothing intrinsically wrong with having one company handling both aspects; a case could easily be made for the advantages. A client of mine does exactly that–she runs the bookkeeping business and her partner the accounting business. The businesses are separate but linked. They would claim their clients enjoy: 1. faster processing times; 2. more knowledgeable consultancy; 3. greater contribution to business growth.For myself, I have two separate firms performing these functions. And I run Xero myself, doing basic data entry which the bookkeeper checks each quarter and prepares the BAS. The books are then handed to the accountant each EOFY.I suspect a majority of small businesses run this way. It's cost efficient, timely and accountable.
I would have two different people performing the jobs. Bookkeeprs are generally cheaper too. I do all my bookkeeping and hand it over the final figures to my accountant
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Questions

How to find the right accountant?

Jinendra Shah
Jinendra ShahOwner at Rayvat Outsourcing
Accounting helps you keep a track of your transactions. Maintaining accurate books of accounts is crucial to your business as it helps you make important business decisions. There are some mistakes that business owners need to avoid when Hire an accountant, whether hiring an in house accountant or hiring or Choosing an accountant services firm. if any requirement send email:- accounts@rayvat.com
Kirsty Fox
Kirsty FoxPrincipal at Spitfire Solutions
Have a chat with them to start with, and see if you feel comfortable with them and what they offer. Generally you'll be speaking with the principal or a partner, but they won't be doing the work, their staff will.A couple of things to think about -- are they a CA (Chartered Accountant) or CPA? They are the 2 major industry bodies that require completion of a course plus continual professional learning. If they are doing BAS or tax, they need to be a Registered BAS Agent or a Registered Tax Agent. You can also check this on the Tax Practitioners Board website www.tpb.gov.au. It will also tell you how long they have been registered for.- do they charge by the hour or give you a fixed price for an agreed upon amount (scope) of work. - what do they require from you? How much work do you have to do (or are willing to do), and what systems do they have I'm place to make things easy for you?At the end of the day, it comes down to who you feel comfortable with to do what you want/need, and (hopefully) that extra step for you.
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Questions

Has anyone had to deal with this? Not sure what step to take next?

So I have a business about an hour away from me who has copied my homepage copy, two of my blogs... read more

Che CooperOwner at Ready2Launch
Hi Monica,Its bad news for them on Google, especially if they are copying your content word for word. Legally I am not sure what can be done, but if I was you I would drop them an email letting them know that you are aware of them copying your content.You could take a look here > http://www.copyright.org.au/acc_prod/ACC/Legal_Adv...Regards Che
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Questions

Does anyone have any recommendations for accountants?

Hi Guys, Happy Wednesday! I wanted to see if you would happen to know any wiz accountants who... read more

Asked by:
Sarah Harding
Sarah Harding at WY Advice
George Grimekis CPA
George Grimekis CPAAccountant at Alpha Omega Accounting & Business Solutions
Hi Sarah,It's not Wednesday anymore...so Happy Long Weekend!!! :)I just happen to work in a smaller practice accounting firm in Burwood in the inner west of Sydney, and although i wouldn't describe myself as a wiz due to my humble nature, i'm sure i can assist your clients with their personal tax and business related concerns.You can look me up on linkedin and connect with me should you wish, and we can proceed from there.George.
Hi Sarah,I work with the newly-established Virtual CFO Association (http://www.vcfoassociation.com.au/), whose exec and / or members could well have various suggestions to help you. I'll forward your details on but you may wish to connect with the Association online (https://www.linkedin.com/company/association-of-vi...Cheers, Simon
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Questions

To what extent does a proper accounting system help reduce my accounting fees?

It really depends what sort of business you have and the amount of transactions you have. I'm a sole trader. I'm quite proficient in Excel so I do all the tracking of my finances in Excel. I find it gives me great flexibility. Because I record everything, there is little work for my accountant to do as I have all the figures for her. Once I start getting more work, I will start to look at ways of reducing the time it takes to record my finances. I may buy an off the shelf system or utilise an accountant or bookkeeper. Whatever is going to show a cost benefit. Feel free to contact me if you need some help with working out what would be your best way forward melanie@mycl.com.au
Ian Harris
Ian HarrisDirector at B+I Lockwood Accountants
This is not 'rocket-science'!Accountants hourly rates range from $100 to say $400 depending on their experience.A proper accounting system means that your accountant can get to the answer with the least amount of time and effort.If a good accounting system reduces his/her time by say 20 hours and they have a charge rate of $150 then you have saved $3000 theoretically.But there is more!A proper accounting system allows your accountant to focus on value-added services.Say tax planning. Or profit analysis. Or other pro-active services!Which is where you may be able to really gain benefit from the fees you pay your accountant.Otherwise you will condemn your accountant to doing the crappy unsatisfying work of cleaning up your records. This is low value work at a high cost.
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Questions

How do I determine best accounting and payroll software?

Marcus TjenOwner at Rugged Computing
By trying them out. All of the popular accounting software gives you 14 to 30 days trial period. Download them and use them and compare which one works best with your business. Each business is different, each person is different on how they managed their business, find the one that works for you.
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Questions

How do I determine best accounting and payroll software?

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I would also add a different perspective. I think there are 3 things that help boil down a choice for this decision.Cost - are you looking for free (there are options), low cost, high cost. Obviously high cost solutions usually have much more flexibility and can be custom fit to your needs. However, if you are just starting out you may not have a large budget. Do you want to be a 1-time license or are you okay with a host option that has a recurring monthly fee?Integration - not all products are equal if you need your accounting system to integrate with your CRM or your e-commerce system or HR. Consider what you really need to make your operations seamless. A system with integration flexibility can definitely save you time and double entry.Bookkeeper or Account - if you already have a trusted accountant what software are they familiar with? Which do they prefer to use and why? How will it fit your business? If you have a trusted person in mind, it may be easier to use what they already know, but still ask about options. Hopefully they can guide you to the right solution if you are unsure.
The bigger the business, the bigger the task.If you have minimal transactions, off-the-shelf systems designed for small businesses will do the job. If you are savvy with Microsoft Excel, I recommend to use that so you have a lot of flexibility with running your accounts and payroll.If you are a medium sized business, it might be worthwhile investing some time in a Business Analyst that can help guide you in the right directionIf your business is large enough, it is definitely worthwhile engaging a Business Analyst first to help you define what problems you are solving and help with defining a solution. During this initial phase, start to create a project team with external people to help choose the best way forward and implement the new systemIt is important to understand that an off-the-shelf accounting and payroll system is not going to do exactly what you want it to do because all businesses run differently. This is more of a problem as a businesses grows. The only way you will get exactly what you want is by having it built custom for your business. For larger businesses, off-the-shelf systems can cost just as much, if not more than having it custom built.
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Questions

What should everyone in business know about accounting?

Starting out in business - from a non-finance/accounting background, what do I need to be aware of?... read more

George Grimekis CPA
George Grimekis CPAAccountant at Alpha Omega Accounting & Business Solutions
That's a very general question Daniel. Can you be more specific?
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Questions

What is the relationship between marketing and accounting?

Steven Freeman
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
Among many relationships your marketing spend needs to be viable enough to return a justifiable accountable profit. By keeping a close eye of the two, can help you stay on track.
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Questions

What is the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper?

 What are the benefits of using each one?  Is one better? read more

Hitesh Mohanlal
Hitesh MohanlalDirector at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants
LindsyAs Lauren said bookkeepers deal with the day to day accounts processing. They process all receipts,expenses and reconcile you bank account.They might prepare your monthly or quarterly submissions to the tax authorities too. Generally bookkeepers give basic GST and payroll advice but they cannot give tax advice in Australia unless they are a registered tax agent. An accountant will generally reviews the work of bookkeepers and prepare year end taxes.If the accountant is good they will also provide tax minimisation advice and also business advice too.
Lauren June
Lauren JuneBusiness Development Strategist at Lauren June
The easiest answer if the accountant details with your whole company tax and financial requirements.A bookkeeper details with the day to day accounts processing.There is also a BAS Agent who deals with BAS related processing eg GST. In Australia you are not allowed to complete BAS work as unless you are a employee without a BAS Registration.
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Questions

Is it Illegal to not pay super ?

Can a small business avoid paying super for say 6 months or so? read more

Not all employees need to pay super.It is illegal not to pay super to those entitled for super in Australiahttps://www.ato.gov.au/business/super-for-employer...
Shaun Farrugia
Shaun FarrugiaDirector at Optimised Accounting
Hi Uttam,Businesses need to pay employees super at least every three months. Whilst you could not physically pay super for 6 months it is against the law.The official time frame is as follows:July - September - Payable by 28 OctoberOctober - December - Payable by 28 JanuaryJanuary - March - Payable by 28 AprilApril - June - Payable by 28 July.The penalties for not paying super by these dates are fairly stiff. With SuperStream becoming mandatory from July 1 I'd be expecting that the ATO will start monitoring this a lot more carefully in the very near future. Hope this helps,Shaun
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Questions

What are your experiences with free accounting software?

Speaking to the business owners and/or managers, what accounting software have you chosen for your... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
There are two free accounting apps that I've tried and liked. Currently using a spreadsheet because one doesn't have integration with my current bank.Wave Apps (https://www.waveapps.com/)More than just accounting is available (invoicing, receipts, payroll [not free], and more) but it is free and very intuitive. Again the only let down with them at the moment is that my current bank (small local/region) isn't supported within their API.Manager (http://www.manager.io/) - the self-hosted (downloadable) version is completely free. Something else that is a nice surprise with this program is that is really is cross platform (available on Windows, Mac and Linux) - great bonus points. They also do offer a cloud version that has some cost associated with it (unless your accountant is already using it).Not sure if either have the needs for the Australian crowd, but if you haven't heard of them before you should at least check out how they stack up against what you currently use.
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Accounting

Small Business Accounting Grows Up … And Other 2016 Trends

Xero U.S. President Russ Fujioka predicts where small business accounting is headed, what to expect...read more

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Questions

Is it legal to pay your employee in crypto currency like Bitcoin?

Crypto currency are popular and easy to manage, but i am not sure, whether it is legal or not to... read more

Asked by:
Rebecca Carroll-Bell
I find BitCoin and other crypto currencies so interesting. From a legal view point I have no idea how to classify them - are they currency? goods? something else? Are they subject to GST? Income tax? FBT (as Katherine mentioned above, in some circumstances, yes). I also find people's motivations for using cryptos intriguing. Personally, I find the wild fluctuations in the 'value' of each unit worrisome and woudl not agree to be paid in BitCoin.
Ananda Raj Pandey
Ananda Raj PandeyCTO at SavvySME
Thank you Katherine. It will help.
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Questions

What accounting paperwork or systems do I need for a startup?

I have started up my business, but I am not sure what sort of accounting paperwork and systems I... read more

Asked by:
Ling Lee
Ling Lee at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding
Tom Radovanic
Having a good set of accounts is a must however; what many SME,'S forget is Cash flow projections! This can be done with a simple spreadsheet and should be updated every six months to project the next twelve months. Having a great business model and increasing sales is great but if you run out of cash its game over
Wendy Huang
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
There are some really affordable accounting alternatives these days so I would check them out :) Otherwise when you start out make sure you keep all your receipts and transactions so you can give them to an accountant when it gets too much for you or at the end of the financial year :) As others have suggested, something like Xero can help you log your transactions easily and keep them neat.
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Questions

Why do people choose BPO outsourcing services from US and India?

Why do people choose BPO outsourcing services from US and India? What are the difference between... read more

Asked by:
Andrew barnes
Andrew barnes at Finance expertise
Wendy Huang
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Hi Andrew, The link doesn't seem to take me anywhere
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Accounting

MYOB narrows full-year loss

MYOB Finance Australia Ltd says it is in an "extraordinarily strong" position to tackle...read more

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