Organising Your Business Information For Your Accountant

I often have new business clients which are not sure what information to give me as their accountant or bookkeeper in order to prepare Australian Accounting and Tax returns, or Financial statements. So I have put together a brief explanation of a simple method of getting it all together. If you use this simple method you will not only look professional to your accountants but save them time (by doing some of the legwork and having all of the relevant information available) getting you a cheaper accounting invoice by saving accounting time and you money. This is a process primarily for businesses which, do not have an internal accounts or bookkeeper person and simply provide information to accountants to prepare returns.

I want to stress that all good businesses know how well they are doing. In fact many businesses fail because of a lack of current financial information. It is vital you know your current financial position and profit or loss statement ideally monthly or at least quarterly if the business is well established with comfortable cash flow. If you are a business who only reviews their financial position annually, I strongly recommend you consider obtaining more regular financial information. This is so you have relevant information to manage your business and profitability. This can easily be done by engaging in a bookkeeper or accountant who can also come to your office. However if you wish to prepare information for the accountant and bring it to their office here is a quick process for you to complete.

The starting point of accounting is that it is based on recording all transactions from bank statements of all relevant bank accounts including cheque accounts, investments,credit cards and loans. For this reason, businesses should aim to track all business transactions through one of their bank accounts and hence have little or no cash transactions. If you have cash transactions you may need to provide additional information.

Step one
The first simple step is to collate all your bank statements of all business accounts, credit cards and loans for the period you need to report on. Some examples to illustrate the periods involved for a tax return 2010 you’ll need to gather statements from 1st of July 2009 to 30th of June 2010, or for a BAS return March 2010 you will need to gather statements from 1 January 2010 to 31 March 2010. You should receive all statements from your bank, if any are lost or misplaced your need to reorder from your bank incurring normally a bank fee. Sort this out before you provide the accountant your information. Better still accountants love to get electronic files of your bank statements as they are quick and easier to data entry, contact your bank to do this.

Step two
Once you have collated all bank statements review all individual lines and code them with relevant information (write a relevant description of them if not obvious from the bank statement line entry). For example all credit entries all money going into your accounts, you should indicate if they are income or sometimes they are owner contributions. With all money expended (money out) from accounts, you should also be describing relevant details especially cheque numbers and EFT transfers. Remember any additional information may be useful to your accountant such as asset detail so they can process specific taxation rules. If you are GST registered, you should also indicate whether the transaction involved GST or was GST free. The more you code the more you make your financial reports accurate and speed up things for your accountants processing which will lead to cheaper fees.

Step three
If you have coded all bank statements as for step two and have made sure all relevant bank statements have been collated. You may provide this to the accountant so that the financial report can be prepared. However, as tax law requires substantiation of your transactions and keeping these records, I would also suggest, attaching all relevant invoices relating to transactions on each bank statement. There may be a few transactions which do not have invoices such as bank charges and direct debit all regular charges loan payments etc. You may have other ways of filing invoices which are also acceptable.

This has been a quick outline of how to provide information to your accountant to prepare your financial or taxation reports. It is advisable eventually for a business to take the next step and to complete it’s bookkeeping internally which may result in even greater savings. I recommend this is done with the combination of internal resources, suitable accounting software and professional accounting involvement to control and develop the financial information further. Speak to an accountant or business adviser on this issue or to discuss installing an accounting software and training you to do some of the work. Often this will streamline some of your other administration tasks such as payroll, quoting and invoicing customers, knowing which debtor accounts are due or to facilitate a purchase ordering system, and to better track creditors or cash flow.

However, if you know book work is not an optimal use of your time and do not have internal resources, please do use a professional registered BAS agent, TAX agent (in Australia) or registered accountant in your country. But, perhaps consider updating your financial information on a more regular basis. I also had a recent experience with a client who did not wish to prepare their accounts themselves, but is available when I am coding their transactions; they were also able to see how the financial report is put together giving them a better understanding of the financial information. I also recommend that you do query, and get involved with the information provided to you at a summarized level so that you are sure that it is correct.

Overall, the key to book work is to do it regularly to stay on top of it and to complete while many transactions are fresh in your memory. Having up-to-date financial reports will give you a greater sense of pride in knowing how your business is tracking. By having current financial information you are in the much more informed position to make better business management as against having only annual and lagged financial information from your accountant.

Legitimate Home Based Internet Business Information

Are you someone that wants to find a legitimate home based Internet business? Well, for those that need help to learn what to look for, you should know you have come to the right article. Before you get started with your home based business, there is some information you will need to know:

You need to figure out what business you will be doing online in order to determine if you need a website or not. Virtual assistants and stuff like that will not require a website. However, if you are selling stuff from your home, then you may want to create a blog or website. Affiliate marketing will definitely require a website. You may say that there are online auctions you can sell your products. However, the only problem with those websites is the fees they take out for selling. Of course, you’re paying for them advertising your products on their website.

When you want to sell products online, there are a lot of things you will need to do if you want to do it from your own website. Those things would be promoting, advertising, and adding article content on the website that contains SEO. If you want to know another legit business, you may find article marketing or video marketing to be a good business. Video marketing takes skills in editing videos and promoting clients in videos.

The article content marketing can be a very good business; all you need is a team of writers and a good website that can pull traffic everyday. You will find that most businesses do start from scratch and can be shaky through the first few years, but once you get established, you will do fantastic.

We all know that many legitimate home based Internet businesses have a slow start off, but that depends on what route you go. You may find that many people do make a living off home businesses, why cant you?

Finding a legit home based business may seem like such an obsticle to find, but it really isn’t.

The answer to finding a true legit home business is right in front of you. The internet is full of unlimited resouces to find a business that fits your personality and interest.

You can go on the search engine and look up scam reports, user reviews, success stories and so forth. The key is to get legit information from real people who have already tried your prospective home business.

Your Goal is to find those who have already test driven your prospective home business before you gamble any of your own money into it.

Catering Business Information – An Ideal Venture for You

Do you want to earn extra income? Then start a catering business now. Creating a catering business might not be too hard but it is definitely risky. Venturing in this kind of business needs your skills to capture the taste of countless people and discovering the fine art of preparing food. Like any other types of business, of course where you invest your hard earned money, you hope to make the business grow. It is indeed necessary that you got to be prepared and wise from the very beginning of the business venture. You cannot just go through the business venture lacking any preparations and knowledge of being a caterer.

There are some things that need to be considered in opening a catering business so that it will succeed in the long run. Besides hiring a caterer, you must device a business plan to be your guide. It would be better to put into writing the ideas which are playing in your mind the moment you think of opening a catering business. This business plan must include goals classified into short term and long term and also the activities and plans that you want to carry out.

The business plan must also have manpower, investment needed as the marketing initiatives. This will be your reference and guide in making your catering business successful. Whatever plans you have for the business, it would be of help if you include the feasibility and profitability of your plans. The initial cost should be taken into consideration before putting up the catering business. The costs include salaries for the chef and first few employees; cost for the utensils and the industrialized kitchen you will work with. The next thing to focus is the definite regulations and rules of the local health department.

It is important to check the local health department and check the regulations that apply to you. You might need to check out laws governing your business and might need to get permits. This might save you from any problems that may occur later on. It might be of help if you will hire an expert to manage legal matters. Aside from the business plan, marketing strategy is a must for the business. You must know how to capture the taste of the potential customers with no spending lavishly on the ingredients. It is also to think of ways on how to reach the target market. In addition, you have to make a way in keeping a good business relationship with them.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to market and promote your catering business. Therefore, you have to make it a point to make a goof impression on every customer that comes to your business. Another thing to promote your business is through networking. Never miscalculate the power of having connections. Other people go for charity and volunteer works or organize fund raising events. Clients will come to your business and there is a possibility that they will be your regular customers. Printed coupons and flyers can also be effective in promoting your catering business. In the opening, discount can be given to the first few customers so they can become loyal customers.

In opening a catering business, one must be ready for all the risks since all business ventures come with risks so make sure to be well-prepared when starting your business. Being ready and prepared increase your opportunity of creating a profitable business. Business people know that it’s hard to gain potential customers but it is even harder to keep the loyal customers to continue and stay to support you. However, these risks can turn into something profitable as long as you have expert and friendly caterer and the business plan and marketing strategy are prepared well.

Small Business Information

So you have had it with the 9 to 5, your sick of your boss always looking over your shoulder, and the idea of you doing all the work so the executives can reap all the benefits makes you sick to your stomach. So you have decided to go out on your own and start a new business. That is a great idea and I am here to help you with some of the tougher questions that may come to mind.

What’s next? Well you need to decide how you will structure your business for tax and liability purposes. If you do nothing, and start the business alone, you are considered a sole proprietor. If you do nothing and start the business with someone else, that business will be considered a partnership. You can also form a corporation or limited liability company (LLC). The last two options are a bit harder to set up, but the liability is passed on to the business and not yourself or your partners. You should seek the advice of an accounting expert before making this decision; once the decision is made it is difficult to change the company type and it’s an accounting nightmare.

Sole proprietorship and partnerships are taxed on your normal 1040. You figure out how much money the business brought in and how much was spent on the business. This is the number you add to your 1040. This option is very easy for taxes very easy to run. The main problem with sole proprietors and partnerships is you can become personally responsible for all debt and damages. For example, if you run into credit problems with your suppliers they can come after you and your partners for payment. Also, any damage that your company may cause and is unable to make restitution for could become your personal financial obligation. This includes liens on personal property.

To distance yourself from personal liability you need to form a corporation (INC, C, or Corp) or a limited liability company (LLC). Both of these allow the business to become a separate entity for tax purposes and liability. The downside to these types of businesses is the extra paperwork needed to stay compliant and start up costs. You can search the internet for companies that will form your corporation or LLC, but you need to make sure they are reputable and not online scams.

If you start a corporation or LLC you will need a tax expert that specializes in small business and good accounting software. The government will send you an Employer Identification Number. This is the company’s unique id number, think of it like your social security number. This number needs to be used on all documents pertaining to the company, as well as all tax forms.

All parts of the business must to be kept separate from your personal life. You need different bank accounts, different phone numbers, and different credit cards. Next to making a profit this will be your biggest and most important challenge. If you mix funds or you are sloppy with book keeping, the corporate veil can be pierced and that means you can become personally liable for the company and its actions.

I recommend a good CPA and a lawyer. These can be found online within your area and are well worth the upfront money. After you are set up it is possible to do all the taxes and accounting yourself with powerful accounting software, but this is time consuming and may not be worth it to some. Remember starting a new business can be fun and rewarding; just stick to the rules and laws.