3 basic admin tips that will save you an hour a day

I love a good time-saving tip!  I’ve found these 3 great ideas that anyone can easily implement in their business or at work, from Debbie Eglin over at the Flying Solo website.

Tip 1 especially fits in with my favourite subject at the moment – going paperless.  I hope going paperless is something you are working towards in your business or workplace.  It really is the way forward and makes a lot of sense.

Tip 3 is another great tip because we often find ourselves typing the same words over and over, which is a time-waster.

3 basic admin tips that will save you an hour a day

Happy bookkeeping…


How a Business Plan Can Help You Run Your Business

Source: How a Business Plan Can Help You Run Your Business

I came across this great post from Katiesfavors. It gives a good overview of business plans and how they can be utilised by different types of organisations – including not-for-profits.

Hope you enjoy.


Are you a small business with employees?

small business

The ATO has recently made some changes that might affect you.

Have you hired a new employee recently?

You’ll need to complete a Tax File Number Declaration form and send it in to the ATO within 14 days of the employee’s start date. If you are manually completing the form and posting it to the ATO, don’t forget to keep a copy for your own records and write the date posted on it, as the latest version of this form doesn’t include a copy for employers to keep. From September this year you won’t be able to get these forms from newsagencies anymore – the ATO is very much moving away from paper-based forms and encouraging business to embrace their online services.

There are benefits to lodging forms online, so don’t be afraid to look into the ATO’s Business Portal or Standard Business Reporting (SBR).

Happy bookkeeping.

Common GST Mistakes

Even though we have had the Goods and Services Tax here in Australia since July 2000 there are some GST rules that are harder to remember than others – particularly if we aren’t entering these transactions on a regular basis. Included here are some of the more common errors.

  • Claiming all of the GST of an expense that is part personal – you can only claim that portion of the expense relating to the business.
  • Claiming GST credits for contractors or suppliers not registered for GST
  • Claiming GST credits for residential rental property expenses
  • Claiming GST on the total of business insurance policies – GST cannot be claimed on the stamp duty component of the premium. For more info on GST and stamp duty, click on the link to my previous article Entering Transactions with GST.
  • Claiming GST credits for bank fees and charges.
  • Not claiming GST credits for credit card merchant fees
  • Claiming GST credits for wages and superannuation
  • Claiming GST credits for fines

If in doubt about the way you are entering any of your GST transactions, it is a good idea to speak to a BAS agent, accountant or to refer to the ATO publications on GST, which can be viewed online or sent out to you via post.

Happy bookkeeping…

Credit Applications in 5 Steps

Surely no onChasing paymente enjoys chasing customers that are late in paying their bills?

Don’t extend credit to your customers until you have done a background check – follow these steps and watch your cashflow improve, whilst spending less time chasing customers for payment.

1. Type up a Credit Application template for customers to complete & return.

Include spaces for:

  • Customer Business Name
  • ABN / ACN
  • Directors/Owners Names
  • How long trading?
  • Preferred invoice & statement method: Email / Fax / Post.
  • Preferred contact name & email address for invoices & statements.
  • 3 x Trade References – Business name, email, phone number.

You may wish to include:
“By submitting this application, you authorise (insert your business name) to make inquiries into the business/trade references that you have supplied.”

Lastly, a place for their name, signature, position and date.

2. Once Credit Application completed and returned, contact all referees and ask:

  • How long have they been trading with you?
  • Do they pay you on time?
  • What are your payment terms?
  • What is their monthly spend?

3. If you are comfortable with the response from all 3 referees, go ahead and extend credit to your customer. If the customer has not been in business long consider cash on delivery terms, a low credit limit or 7 days terms until a solid relationship has been established.

4. Inform your customer in writing whether their Credit Application has been accepted, clearly outlining your payment terms.

5. Update your accounting records and file Credit Application away.

If you would like to read further tips on dealing with slow paying customers, refer to my previous post Keeping on top of customer payments. For other tips on improving cashflow, click on the link to 14 Cashflow Tips for Small Business.

Do you do use Credit Applications in your business or workplace? Is it something you can see yourself incorporating into your business procedures?

Not for Profits – 6 ways your bookkeeping differs from other organisations


There are many types of organisations out there (one of the reasons I enjoy bookkeeping), and not-for-profits are one type of organisation in particular that require a special approach to their bookkeeping.

Terminology – Terms such as “profit” and “loss” are usually replaced with “surplus” or “deficit”.

Complex budgets – Broken down into many different departments or auxiliaries. Essential for decision-making and helps keep organisational spending on track.

Asset purchase – Often recorded as an expense, with adjustments made at the end of the financial year to transfer the amounts to the correct asset accounts.

Special tax concessions – Available for some registered charities in Australia. For example, income tax exemption.

Cash handling – A lot of trust put in volunteers, who may be handling large amounts of cash. Do you have good internal control procedures in place to reduce the risk of theft and lost money? For some tips on internal controls, refer to my previous tips in Reducing the risk of fraud and error in small business.

Non-Profit Sub-Entities – Treated separately to the rest of the organisation in relation to GST.

Who said bookkeeping is boring? Always something new to learn, particularly if you are a newly appointed Treasurer or Bookkeeper.

Have I missed something important that you have found to be different with not-for-profits? Please join the conversation and add your comments below.

7 Steps to Effective Administration for the Small Business Owner

This post is courtesy of Virtual Finesse and has some really good all-round tips on effective administration for small business owners. Steps 5 and 6 in particular reinforce the tips in my recent bookkeeping post “The Post in which I mention Bookkeeping and Fun in the same sentence”.

Bernice Crawshaw Business Consultancy

Oh where did I put that note?” “I can’t just lay my hands on it at the moment, can I call you back?” “Where did I put that contract?”

Does this sound familiar? If so, dis-organisation has began to creep into your small business and if you don’t get a handle on it now, it could result in disaster. Dis-organisation and confusion are dangerous to businesses but you can regain control by following these basic office management principles.

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