Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work ON your business rather than IN it.
Small Business Bookkeeping Tips
with Alexi Boyd from Boyd Office Management Services
Date: June 2014
Part 1 – Why is it important to ensure forms are used in your workplace?
- Let me start by letting you all know this program is a follow on from last week’s show in which we discussed Processes and Procedures. You can listen back to last week’s show via the Breakfast Boys Facebook page or the Boyd Office Management FB page – I’d really recommend this as these two shows really go together because the forms you utilize in your business form (haha) the backbone to your business admin.
- In fact, without too much effort and simply by writing a list based on today’s program as to which of these suggested forms would work for you is a great way to get started on a Process Manual for your business and as you remember last wek we talked about these pieces of collateral actually adding value to your business and makes it run more efficiently.
- There are some forms which need to be in place for legal reasons: for instance the proper Work Health and Safety documentation (incident report forms etc) and Tax File Declarations from the ATO but also others which are really important such as emergency contact forms. We’ll cover a number of these this eek. Thanks also to those businesses who contributed by making suggestions of forms they wanted us to discuss.
- I mentioned last week but always ask your staff for their input encourage them to give feedback and perhaps get them to suggest some forms which they use all the time when dealing with clients.
- Brand everything! Your logo should be on all of these forms, even if they are internal. It makes your business look efficient and organised to your staff and to your clients.
Part 2 – Commonly used forms
- Before we look at the more commonly used forms, let me remind everyone how important it is to file all the soft copy documents, ideas etc in a single, accessible file on your desktop and MAKE SURE IT IS BACKED UP
- For WHS you need to have onsite a hazard/incident report form a copy of which is downloadable from the Workcover website. It is a simple single page form where, if an incident such as an injury occurs you complete the form to report on the details of the incident. This actually forms a part of the documentation you MUST submit to Workcover. A good place to keep a hard copy of the form is next to the first aid kit!
- Forms when employees start work:
- Emergency contact/details form – make sure you have 2 contacts listed, you should update these forms annually
- Employees info - contact details, banking details etc
- Superannuation Standard Choice Form – although you don’t need to send this anywhere you do need to prove you’ve asked the employee what they choose and this is a great way to show that.
- TFN form from the ATO
- Remember to file all of these hard copies, along with the employee’s signed employment agreement in their own personnel file.
- Some of you still use faxes out there so have a fax letterhead ready to go with every fax, again branded and again makes you look efficient.
- Some businesses out there have said they have a confidentiality agreement printed and ready to take to client meetings. I do for my business because I like my clients to feel comfortable sharing their sometimes quite confidential info with me.
- Invoice templates are an obvious one, but not something I see a lot of my clients using. Remember all invoices must have:
- The words Tax Invoice written on them
- The seller’s identity and their ABN
- The date it was issued
- A description of the goods and services sold
- The GST amount or a statement such as Total price includes GST
- Plus if the amount is over $1000 then it ALSO has to have:
- The buyer’s identity and their ABN
- There are lots of accounts software packages out there like MYOB and Xero which make this easy but for those of you who create their own invoices make sure you get the elements included, or its not a tax invoice.
- The ATO website has the info you need to make sure you get it right.
- One of my small business partners Kristina Duke who is the Decluttering Diva also said she is currently working on a client profile form. This helps her better understand the needs of her clients and I guess, helps her to standardize the process of understanding exactly how she utilizes their expertise to really meet their needs.
- Mark Wilson from Danette Architecture also suggested that they find having invoice templates very useful as well as well as schedules, quotes, drawings and typical letters ready to go as templates. That’s the hallmark of a successful business in my opinion.
Part 3 –Tips and tricks for making forms easy to use
- Templates, templates, templates. Systemise, Systemise, Systemise. I mentioned this all last week too, take the repetition out of the document you use all the time. Frequently used forms can really easily be created once, and used over and over again.
- Keep all the forms relevant to your business in soft copy in your Admin folder – then have a subfolder called forms. Write them in word if you’re comfortable or get someone like myself to help you write and format them!
- Another great website is business.gov.au and the Welcome to business.gov.au page.
Now everyone always talks about “focussing on what you do best and outsource the rest” (warning shameless plug coming here…) and I seriously love doing this for other businesses. This is my forte. I can listen to and work with businesses from small to big to get them working more efficiently. Boyd Office Management Services conducts an admin audit which, targeting 10 essential criteria, helps you clearly define the areas in your business that need attention and that are limiting your business success.
Looking from the outside in is something you can NOT do when you’re embedded in your own business.
So, if this is all seeming still too daunting and you REALLY don’t have the time, but can now see the benefit, check out my website or contact me through the BBoys FB page.