Posted on

The Secret to an Error-Free BAS Report

What To Do So You Don’t Lose Money When Doing Your BAS

lodging correct business activity statements
Why pay more money to the ATO at your expense? A good bookkeeper may save you money when it comes time to lodge your BAS.

If your business is registered for GST, it means you have to file regular activity statements with the ATO, usually each quarter. A lot of business owners export their Business Activity Statement (BAS) data straight from their accounting software, like MYOB or QuickBooks, and quickly prepare their BAS’ that way. But this is an imprecise method, and one that could be costing you money.

Tracey Marino, an experienced bookkeeper based in Rockingham, WA, knows how important it is that businesses of all sizes keep their Business Activity Statements error-free so as not to end up costing business owners money. 

An Error-Free BAS in 6 Steps

Here’s six steps you can take for an accurate BAS:

  1. Check to ensure all bank, credit card, overdraft, loan, and petty cash accounts are reconciled with the original bank statements at the end of every BAS quarter.
  2. Print your monthly profit and loss (P&L) report for the respective BAS quarter, and check for abnormalities in income or expenditure over the three months. You should also compare this quarter’s P&L report with the P&L report from the previous quarter (in the same financial year), as well as the P&L report from the same quarter in the previous financial year to detect any unexpected transactions.
  3. Print out the balance sheet as at the end of the BAS quarter. Note the balances for the wage and salary, payroll, payable, super expense and payable, and PAYG and GST accounts, and investigate any abnormalities.
  4. Generate the general ledger exceptions report to review any abnormal transactions. This report will indicate any differences in the GST codes for the same types of purchases or sales by comparing the current transactions with previous transactions.
  5. Print your BAS and compare with it with last quarter’s BAS, as well as the BAS from the same quarter of the previous year, and ensure that your GST, PAYG, sales, and purchases are consistent across all three BAS’.
  6. Lodge and pay your BAS on time to avoid penalties, and remember to record the BAS payment in your accounting software.

Although this may appear to be ‘double handling’, in fact, it eliminates double handling by ensuring that the activity statements you lodge with the ATO are correct and error-free. Typically, the mistakes this method turns up are ones that would be of benefit to the ATO and not to the business owner. So rather than give the ATO more money than you need to, make sure you follow this method for an error-free BAS lodgment.

An Experienced Bookkeeper in WA

bookkeeper-rockingham-wa
Tracey Marino is available to provide bookkeeping services in the Rockingham area of WA.

Looking for a reliable and accurate bookkeeper to manage your business’ daily or weekly bookkeeping and accounts, either in the cloud (remotely) or in-person?

Tracey Marino is available to service businesses located in Port Kennedy, Warnbro, Baldivis, Secret Harbour, Golden Bay, Safety Bay, Shoalwater, Rockingham and Cooloongup, WA. Tracey is a an expert in MYOB AccountRight, QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel and can prepare and lodge your company’s BAS, set up credit management systems, along with carrying out all manner of day-to-day accounting functions for small to medium businesses. Find out more about Tracey’s experience at her profile page.

Our National Bookkeeping website has recently undergone a significant upgrade so keep a look out for more stories about featured bookkeepers in forthcoming blogs. Join now and we can feature YOU in our articles too.

Posted on

What if a Credit Check Comes Back Negative?

Do You Have to Drop a Client Because of a Bad Credit Check?

customer-with-bad-credit-rating
It’s only business: but sometimes a bad credit rating doesn’t mean you have to end the working relationship.

A Credit Check is one of the most important first steps of good credit and debt management but you can still do business if the check comes back negative.

In our previous post on credit and debt management, we recommended that all businesses — regardless of whether they offer credit to customers on a 30-day account or not — perform a credit check on any new client who will spend more than $1000 on goods or services in one sale, on an ongoing basis. But what should you do if the credit check comes back negative, and shows that the potential customer is guilty of late payments, pending legal action or already carries a significant level of debt?

It may not be a case of having to turn a potential customer away. You may still be able to offer services to the customer without the risk that they won’t pay by trying the following approach, before refusing them entirely:

Advise the Client of the Bad Credit Rating

If the client filled out your credit application or work authorisation form, which should have stated that you were collecting their information for the purpose of credit check, there may be a good chance they filled it out in good faith and they’re unaware of their bad credit rating. There may be a reason for the rating, like, for instance, that the business was recently sold. It may even, potentially, stem from an ongoing dispute with another supplier over the standard of their goods or services (although proceed with caution here, as this, too, throws up a few red flags).

Look a Little Closer

When you search deeper, you might discover that the customer experiences predictable fluctuations in trading conditions which render them more vulnerable to being cash flow poor at certain times of the year. You may be able to accommodate this in how you design your credit terms with this customer. You might also ask for a list of suppliers (ensure you get a complete list, not one that has been hand-picked by the customer to only show them in a positive light) who you can call and verify as to their likely credit risk for future.

Request Payment in Advance

This said, a bad credit rating is a bad credit rating, even if the client has a perfectly good and reasonable explanation for you. You have the upper hand here, so you’re well within your rights to only agree to do business with this client so long as they pay for your goods or services in advance.

If you’re a supplier, say, of goods and your delivery driver has the capacity to accept cash payments on delivery, you may accept COD, however it’s not recommended. If the client is unwilling to prepay for your goods or services, then there’s a good chance they’re not acting in good faith, and so you’re best to avoid doing business with them.

Need a Bookkeeper? Sydney’s North Shore

good-qualified-bookkeeper
We have qualified, professional bookkeepers available Australia-wide.

If you’re in need of some help with your own business’ credit and debt management and are seeking a reliable bookkeeper to manage your daily or weekly bookkeeping and accounts, either remotely or in-person, we are pleased to recommend Roz, qualified bookkeeper based at St Ives, with tertiary qualifications in accounting. She is a National Bookkeeping member and comes to us with the practical experience of having operated her own business and proficient in the day-to-day accounting functions of a small business. Visit her profile page and Request a Quote for Bookkeeping Services.

Our National Bookkeeping website has recently gone through a significant upgrade so keep a look out for more stories about featured bookkeepers in forthcoming blogs. If you’re a bookkeeper why not join and we can feature YOU in our articles too.

Posted on 3 Comments

QuickBooks and PayPal Want To Help You Get Paid QUICKER!

Quickbooks is stealthily forming partnerships to fight MYOB and Xero

Quickbooks Online is back and they want to beat MYOB and Xero

Small business owners know better than anyone the difference an an invoice paid on time (or early) can make to their cashflow. Yet, getting paid on time, never mind early, remains as elusive as a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. A new union between PayPal and QuickBooks Online hopes to change that.

Since PayPal officially divorced from its parent company, eBay, earlier this year, the company has been edging closer and closer to the small business finance market, with products and services specifically aimed at small businesses that derive a good proportion of their business through online sales.

PayPal also seems to be fighting MYOB and Xero

In recent months, Paypal has started offering small business loans to businesses with an existing PayPal sales history, which serves to complement other, already existing services, such as PayPal Invoicing, PayPal’s Merchant Services, the PayPal Here card reader, and now the union with QuickBooks Online.

PayPal Invoicing vs. Quickbooks + PayPal

Item invoicing for free accounting using Paypal invoices, how will MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks Compete with freeIf you already use PayPal to accept payments from your customers, then you’re probably already familiar with PayPal’s invoicing service, which charges a small fee per invoice for the use of its service, rather than a monthly fee like most other accounting and invoicing packages do.

Until recently, PayPal’s invoicing service, as well as its card reader, has been of benefit to businesses that primarily sell goods on e-commerce sites like eBay, and don’t regularly invoice or accept payments in-person. The union with QuickBooks, however, changes that.

Now, businesses that primarily invoice their customers for good and services have access to the best of both worlds: an accounting package that’s inexpensive and the ability to allow customers to pay their invoices in just a few clicks using a credit card, debit card or PayPal.

How QuickBooks + PayPal works

Setting up a PayPal payment gateway within your invoicing or accounting software isn’t new; Zoho has been offering automatic payment gateways – using PayPal, Stripe or any other online payment service – for ages. But the QuickBooks union allows PayPal data to be automatically synced with QuickBooks, reducing all of the data entry associated with accepting payments with PayPal. In essence, it’s bank feeds for PayPal.

With QuickBooks and PayPal, business owners are able to send online invoices to their customers, who can then, with a few clicks of a button, pay them online using a credit card, debit card or PayPal account.

The idea is that businesses will be paid faster, because their customers are able to click a few buttons and pay invoices with greater number of payment methods. Of course, it relies on the customer already having a PayPal account.

What the QuickBooks-PayPal union really means for small business

What the QuickBooks and PayPal alliance really represents, however, is QuickBooks’s continued push into the accounting software market in this country, by aligning itself with a key player in the online payments space, which also happens to be going after small businesses with its own range of small business-centric services.

Currently, there are no other online payment services available in Australia (in the US there are a handful of alternatives, with Stripe being PayPal’s biggest competitor), so the QuickBooks-PayPal alliance gives the former a leg up over already-established competitors in the Australian marketplace, like MYOB and Xero.

Now that accounting software has entered the cloud, the marketplace has become a fairly crowded, cutthroat world, as the recent shuttering of Reach Accounting and the sudden introduction of Reckon One, by the very company that used to licence QuickBooks in Australia, has shown.

For small businesses, the Quickbooks-PayPal union may not mean getting paid faster, but it does represent a promise of continued flexibility in the way small businesses interact with their customers, whether it’s mostly in the form of regular online purchases, casual in-person payments, or mostly by invoicing for goods and services.

What’s your plan for 2016?

As 2015 comes to a close, you’re probably giving a lot of thought to your plans for next year and beyond. If those plans involve starting your own business and working from home, then start putting the wheels in motion NOW by enroling in our small business StartUp course or by visiting the StartUp Academy website and browsing the current business opportunities available.

EzyLearn partnered with StartUp Academy earlier this year to give our students and readers the opportunity to start their own business, while also having access to the training and guidance needed to make a new business a success. There are currently a number of business opportunities available across an array of different industries. Visit the website for more information and to register your interest.

Posted on 2 Comments

Zoho Books, You don’t want to be a high risk do you?

There’s always Zoho Books

Zoho Books and Bank FeedsYou may have a different opinion when it comes to paying your suppliers but I believe you should pay quickly. I’m talking mainly about service providers rather that product suppliers, but I think in small business it doesn’t matter.

Everyone loves to be paid on time and if you can get paid earlier, even better. It once took me 16 minutes to pay a supplier – OK, I was making other payments at the time, but still, it looked impressive.

I mention it today because one of my team told me that I was categorised by their accounting software as “high risk” and I wasn’t too happy – they use Zoho Books and it’s been recommended around here to team members who are just starting their own businesses as independent consultants. When I delved a little deeper I discovered that they offer automated bank feeds.

Zoho Books + Bank Feeds = Faster Reconciliation

We’re written about Zoho Books in several different blog posts about their free version which is ideal for virtual assistants, Zoho’s huge range of other cloud based software tools, and their fantastic automated tools to help you get paid faster and this time I was fascinated to learn about their banks feeds.

Zoho uses a company called Yodlee to enable Zoho Books users to get their bank feeds and they boast that “Zoho Books does not store any of your bank login credentials.“. This is a comforting feature in the cloud accounting wars that have erupted since MYOB started facing stiff competition online against SAASU, Xero and Quickbooks.

bank feeds in Xero and MYOB for faster bank reconciliationI wrote about the time saving features of bank feeds and showcased some of the training videos in our online MYOB Training Course. If you are interested there are two free training videos to help you understand bank feeds in MYOB as an overview and how to setup bank feeds in MYOB.

I discovered a great article by “Cloud Commentator” Sholto Macpherson at his Digital First blog where he wrote about all the different perspectives of modern day bank feeds and the opinions of ICB, Accountants and the software companies themselves. If you’re interested it’s an interesting and objective read.

Zoho Books is in the Clouds

Either way you look at it, the new online cloud based accounting programs give you the power to work from anywhere, the tools to get paid faster and the connectivity to complete your bookkeeping in much less time.

We offer bookkeeping training in our MYOB Courses, Xero Courses and Reach Accounting so please enrol with us, take advantage of our lifetime course access feature and 30-Day money back guarantee.