freelance

5 great business blogs you should be following

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In the 4 years I’ve been writing about bookkeeping on my website The Savvy Bookkeeping Blog I’ve learned a lot from reading other people’s posts on small business.

Here are some of my favourites that I’d recommend having a look at if you’re needing inspiration or tips to run a successful business.

 

Insanely Clever Marketing

https://insanelyclevermarketing.com/

Penelope is a fellow Adelaidian whose blog covers not only marketing, but also office design and style, as well as office fashion.

One of my favourite posts: Where the heck is your branding? Get it recognised now

 

Cath Cox

https://cathcox.com/

Cath runs her own massage practice in the U.S and I love this blog because it’s such an honest insight into running a business and what has and hasn’t worked well for her. Cath’s blog has tips on such things as handling your small business taxes, getting new customers and much more.

One of my favourite posts: How to show clients you love them

 

Adventures of a QBO Bookkeeper

https://qboadventures.com/

Jennie is a Canadian bookkeeper and has a tonne of great stuff on her blog including articles, small business app reviews and videos.   Jennie manages to make bookkeeping fun (what??).

One of her short videos:  What is cloud accounting Jennie – I don’t get it.

 

Steve J Bicknell

https://stevejbicknell.com/

Steve Bicknell is an accountant based in the U.K. and is very generous in the free content he makes available for readers.  If you are a business owner based in the U.K. you are going to get a lot out of this blog.

One of my favourites posts: Do you want to work for yourself?

 

Colin Sander

https://colinsander.wordpress.com/

Colin is based in New Zealand and is the founder of Top Performers.  His focus is to “find ways for people and businesses to achieve more from less.” I particularly learn a lot from his sales-focused posts but there are lots of other areas he covers as well, including:  5 Tips to manage overload

 

All these bloggers regularly post content so you’ll always have something new to read – and in the true spirit of blogging they are extremely generous in the professional advice they give for free via their posts.

 

Happy reading…

 

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Xero – One of the features that saves me time

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There are a lot of features Xero has that save me time whilst I’m wading through merrily singing my way through my bookkeeping.

One of my favourites, though, is one of the most simple and basic features that Xero offers. The feature I’m talking about is copying transactions.

To give you an example, I do very similar work for a client each month, with a few changes here and there.  Because I like to be transparent in how I charge I include extra detail so that clients can see exactly what I’m charging them for – therefore my Invoices can sometimes be lengthy.  I wrote about this in my previous post 3 Simple Tips to Improve Cashflow.   I don’t invoice at the same time of the month every time, so automatically repeating Invoices isn’t the best option in this case.

When I’m ready to charge those clients I simply search for that client’s name in Xero, click on the last Invoice and copy that Invoice.  I copy by selecting Options then Copy in the top right hand corner.  I can then tweak it with any adjustments needed, but the bulk of the information is already there and my wording is consistent from one Invoice to the next.

Copying also works for transactions like Spend Money and Receive Money as well.

I try to remember to work smarter and not harder and this is one of those simple things that makes a difference when it comes to the sometimes very time consuming task of small business bookkeeping.

What is one way you work smarter and not harder?

Other tips on working smarter, not harder:

 

 Happy bookkeeping…

 

3 simple steps to getting your bookkeeping sorted

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If you have just started a business you may be stressing about whether you are on the right track with your accounts.  If you have been in business a little while you may be wondering if there is an easier way to keep on top of your accounts.

Once you start looking into the various accounting software options out there, unless you are in the business of bookkeeping or accounting, it’s not uncommon to become overwhelmed or confused.

I like to keep things simple, so I’ve come up with 3 simple steps to help you out and get you started.  These are 3 steps I’ve used to get clients up and running with accounting software.

3 simple steps to getting your bookkeeping sorted (Video)

Importantly, don’t forget to try your software out for free first.  Get a feel for it and make sure you can easily get answers to any questions you may have via their help centres, forums, videos, email support etc.

Happy bookkeeping…

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New rules for claiming car expenses

Car Expenses

From the 2016 financial year and onwards, the Australian Taxation Office have changed the way that businesses can claim deductions for their car expenses.

The ATO website has more information:  New rules for claiming car expenses

Happy bookkeeping…

So I attended a training workshop yesterday

Adults in trainingIn the morning I tell myself to just be cool and relax – enjoy the opportunity to be out and about rather than at work doing my usual thing. Lunch and snacks were included, which is always nice!

Of course I didn’t really relax as I was focusing so hard and trying to retain all the new information and make extra notes. Making sure I didn’t miss an opportunity to ask questions along the way. Never mind…that’s just the nerd in me. Maybe next time I will relax more!

But really the point of my post is to remind everyone of the importance of attending training. Here are some of my top reasons:

Knowledge is power
I enjoy study – whether it be classroom based, online, webinars, reading books or blogs. Even if study wasn’t your thing when you were younger you now have so many opportunities to extend your skills and don’t have to face assessments or assignments if you don’t want to. Day workshops such as the one I attended yesterday are a great opportunity to take your business to the next level or to give yourself that extra bit of confidence to take the next step in your business or career. If your workplace aren’t willing to pay for your course then still be sure to let them know you are taking the initiative to further your skills and knowledge on your own, which will no doubt benefit them as well.

Challenging yourself
It is easy to stay in your comfort zone as you go about your day to day work. But if you want to progress in your work or business life then inevitably you will have to start taking on little challenges. You may do your job really well and the thought of having to be taught something new can make people feel a little uncomfortable and worried that they will say or do something silly. However the fact that you have acknowledged there is plenty more out there to learn and you don’t know everything can be liberating!

Motivation and Inspiration
If you are a freelancer, work from home or are a solo business owner you may spend a lot of your time without the company of others around you. When times get tough and you are wondering whether you would be better off just clocking in and out of a 9-5 “regular” job it can be hard to keep that motivation going. Just the act of getting out and amongst other people with similar interests to you can spur you on and help bring back the spark. Lunch breaks give you a great opportunity to talk to new people…you can make new business contacts, discuss problems you are facing or share things that work well for you. Often the trainers have many years of experience in their field and their enthusiasm for their subject alone can have you walking out the door brimming with new ideas and motivation.

So I hope I have convinced you to book that workshop you have been thinking about, or signing up for that new online course.

Happy bookkeeping…

3 ways a budget can help your business

Maybe you are a smamoney jar budgetll business owner or freelancer and you feel that you don’t really have control over your finances. You are just focusing on doing your thing and money is coming in and going out.

It could be that you are aware that big businesses use budgets, however you are unsure if it’s something you should be doing in your business.

Here are some reasons I think budgets could help your business.

Goal setting
We are all aware of the benefits of setting and working towards goals in our personal life.We set goals so that we don’t float aimlessly through life, so that we can stay focused and for the increased confidence and motivation that comes from achieving our goals. Think of budgets as an integral part of the goal setting process of your business.

Stay in control of expenditure
Preparing a budget makes you stop and look at where your money has gone in the past and enables you to prioritise where your hard earned money goes in the future.

Obtain finance
Show the banks that you take your finances seriously. Having a budget to present to potential lenders or investors demonstrates that you are planning for business success and that you are in control of your finances.

Budgeting can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. I do the bookkeeping for a not-for-profit organisation that has many cost centres, and the budget was a bit daunting to deal with in the beginning.  The more exposure you have to budgeting though, the easier it gets.

A good idea is to start simple and add to it as you gain confidence. The important thing is to do it in the first place and to keep doing it on a regular basis.

Do you prepare budgets for your business or in your workplace? Has the above list inspired you to look into preparing a budget for your business? Love to hear from you.

Have you heard about cashflow forecasting?

Have you comColourful building block graphe across the term cashflow forecasting whilst skimming through business material? Maybe you have heard about it and thought to yourself that it’s pretty important but I don’t have time to look into it now?

Typically, a cashflow forecast shows your bank balance at the beginning of the period, the money you expect to come in, the money you expect to go out and then your final bank balance at the end of the period.

It gives you a chance to see periods in the year ahead where cash may be tight and periods where you may have extra cash on hand. Instead of flying by the seat of your pants, you can make more informed decisions about when to make your more expensive purchases or when you may need to look for additional finance.

For example – maybe you have kept an eye on your Profit & Loss Statement and your business is making a profit, however you don’t seem to have much cash on hand to pay your bills. You may have been spending money on capital items, have had to pay GST owed to the ATO or have large amounts of outstanding customer invoices – these transactions aren’t reported on your Profit & Loss Statement and are easily overlooked when trying to figure out where your money is going!

Reckon and MYOB both have cashflow forecasting tools. Otherwise a spreadsheet will also do the job. If you have been in business for a while you can use figures from the previous year and build on those.

If you would like to read more cashflow tips, click on the link to my previous article 14 Cashflow tips for small business.

Do you use some form of cashflow forecasting in your business – maybe the MYOB or Reckon tools? What do you think of them – I’d love to hear your thoughts.