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Here’s a bright idea – why not enhance the functionality of your accounting software!

How you may ask? By adding an app.

So what is an app?  An app is the abbreviation for the word “application” and is defined as  “a self-contained program or piece of software designed to fulfil a particular purpose”.

So what is the purpose of an app when working in conjunction with your favourite accounting software?

It’s purpose is to provide enhanced and additional features that enhance your accounting software. This in turn can then provide greater insight into the business and it’s operations, as well as streamlining processes and savings in both time and costs.

Examples of where and when an “app” could be utilised.

  • Firstly  the documentation that is required to be kept for tax purposes such as receipts and invoices.  There are many time savings that can be achieved through the automation of coding with programs such as Shoeboxed or Receipt Bank. Using OCR technology the information on the documents can be extracted and a preview of the document available so that coding can be quickly and efficiently done within the app itself and pushed into the Accounting software.  The use of rules to automate further can also speed up the process.  The time savings in terms of data entry are substantial.  Additionally you now have an electronic filing cabinet for your documents, removing the need to retain the paper copy and the space that all those documents normally take up in storage.  Not just a time savings but also a cost savings to the business

shoeboxedreceipt-bank

  • What about enhanced Inventory – Unleashed or Dear Inventory  can take the basic inventory provided in most accounting software and take it to the next level in terms of purchasing and reporting

dear-inventory unleashed

  • Importantly, what about payment systems so that the business get’s paid more quickly – Square - this small device and it’s associated dashboard, allows you to take credit card payments without the need to set up a merchant facility.  Or alternatively perhaps Stripe.  Both these payment methods will allow for seamless integration of the payment into your accounting software, keeping your aged receivables up to date at all times.  Greater visibility into who owes you money at any point in time and offering options for customers to pay more promptly.

square

  • What about Shopify,  Big Commerce  or Neto for your e-commerce needs.  Not only having your data feed directly into your accounting software but also the reporting functionality within each of the platforms enhances the level of information at the business’ fingertips.big-commerce shopify neto
  • How about Time Management and the ability to for employees to be able to manage their times online, as well as visibility for the employer, all integrating into the Accounting software for processing of payroll

tsheets

Some of the  examples I’ve given above are ones that I am already working with on a daily basis,  but they are just a handful of the many options available to businesses today, with the  list continuing to grow daily.  The number of apps to choose from can seem daunting.

What next?

Do you have to have an “app” for everything – not necessarily so here are my tips for your next steps

  • Work out what additional functionality it is that you are looking for – what are you trying to achieve, what are the gaps you want to fill in your information, reporting or time savings
  • As a first step, take a look at your Accounting Software’s website  to look at the add-ons available to you. Investigate those options available to find your best fit – one app at a time
  • Seek testimonials/Talk to other users of the app to gauge their feedback on it’s effectiveness, the benefits they have gained by using the app, their support experience
  • Look at the Support available – do they support your region and timezone – if not – how do you contact them, do they have local partners who are experienced in the integration with the accounting software or who can provide additional assistance and training
  • Look at the cost/benefit of the app – what benefits will you get in terms of cost savings/time savings, additional information and reporting tools  vs the cost of the app.  Evaluate whether the benefits derived (not just monetary benefits) are of greater value than the cost of the app?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I found this useful article on 5 Must Know Excel Macros  in PC World.

These macros are a time saver in so many ways.

The article takes you through step by step how to set up these Macros in Excel.

I hope you enjoy it

security-in-cloud-mobile

Are you worried about losing your Cloud ?  Why not just get insurance!

This article is a re-post of an article posted by Sholto Macpherson on Digital First.

The North American arm of financial services giant Zurich is the latest insurer to introduce a plan for companies that use cloud computing services. The property coverage for mid-market companies protected against business interruption or extra expense in the case of a cloud computing service failing.

Niche insurers have popped up targeting risks in cloud computing, including local providers in Australia. An alliance of cloud computing providers launched an insurance package to provide protection for cloud services providers in April last year, but insurers had dragged their heels on releasing plans for business customers.

Under Zurich’s plan, it accepted liability for a suspended or inoperable cloud service caused by fire, wind, vandalism, sprinkler leakage or other physical peril. Zurich gave the example of “superstorm Sandy” which shut down data centres in New York, forcing some popular media outlets to temporarily disable their websites, as a scenario which would be covered.

The insurance included risks to the provision of the cloud services as well as consequential lost business revenue.

“A growing number of companies serve their customers through cloud-based platforms,” said Jim Charron, technology practice leader for Zurich North America, in a press release. “It’s important to not only have insurance protection against cyber-attacks like hacking and data breaches, but also be safeguarded against income loss from a business interruption caused by property damage at the cloud facility.”

bully free zone

The First Quarterly Anti-Bullying results are in… and the results are encouraging.

Speaking on an Australian Payroll Asscoation newsletter, Athena Koelmeyer, Workplace Law specialist says the following

“The first Quarterly Report of the Fair Work Commission’s (the Commission’s) new anti-bullying jurisdiction has been released and provides some insight in the applications received by the Commission to date.

Although the jurisdiction only commenced on 1 January 2014, there has been a total 151 applications for a “stop bullying order” to the period ending 31 March 2014.  Of these, only eight have been finalised by a decision of the Commission, with only one resulting in the Commission issuing orders, as previously reported by us in Issue 217 of Australian Payroll Association’s newsletter.

Encouragingly, a number of the applications were resolved or withdrawn early.  The Commission’s case management process resulted in 23 applications being withdrawn.  A further 16 applications were resolved during the course of proceedings.

The majority of the applications received during the period were from employees (133 applications).  A total of 109 of these applications alleged that the employee’s manager was engaging in the unreasonable behaviour.

While the commencement of the new jurisdiction was expected to have a flood of applications, many applications have been finalised early through the Commission’s review process or are resolved before or during a Commission Conference or Hearing”

 

 

Light bulb with drawing graph inside isolated on white backgroun

“It’s the light we want – not the light bulb” is just one of the examples given in this article which explores how new technology succeeds best when it’s invisible.

Siting examples such as Thomas Edison’s light bulb and the Lumière brothers cinema projection the gist of this article can just as easily be applied to Cloud Accounting Solutions.

It’s not the technological side of Cloud Accounting  that has made businesses adopt and move into this sphere, but it’s the outcomes and results achieved from the move. The ability to access information anytime/anywhere, direct bank feeds into the software, increased productivity, more information at your fingertips and so much more.

Take a read and I’m sure you’ll agree with some of the points raised.

Innovation’s best when it’s invisible

 

 

 

 

How will you be getting ahead in 2014 ?

Let 2014 be the year where you made a difference and moved ahead.

These 7 tips to help you get ahead in 2014 are just as applicable to Business as they are to your Personal finances

  1. Take stock – what is your nett worth
  2. Do a budget
  3. Reduce your debts
  4. Build up an emergency fund
  5. Take a close look at your superannuation
  6. Get the best bang for your buck
  7. Review your options every year

 

For further information take a look at ASIC’s MoneySmart.   This information service provides tips, calculators and useful information around managing your money  more effectively.

 

 

Business growth concept.

 

So what do some of the largest world corporations have in common with SME’s.  What do the Apple, Facebook, Virgin, Google and other large multinationals have in common with your SME?

 

 

Well once they were also SME’s

Read this interesting article (from Box Free IT online magazine) on the  highlight of  how small companies with a big vision and good leadership have become the global giants they are today.

 

 

This week I came across an interesting article in the ASIC’s MoneySmart newsletter in regards to Debt Agreements

Put simply – a debt agreement is a binding agreement between you and your creditors. It falls under Part IX of the Bankruptcy Act of  1966

 

This article highlights some important information on debt agreements such as:

  • What are debt agreements
  • What should you consider before entering into a debt agreement
  • How a debt agreement works
  • What debts can’t be covered by a debt agreement
  • What are the disadvantages of a debt agreement

 

It’s always a great idea to be well informed before entering into any agreement, so this information is just one source of information and acts only to make you aware of the arrangements.  You should always seek independent accounting and legal advice before entering into any legally binding agreement.  However if you want to know a little but more, then click on the Debt Agreements hyperlink here.

 

Accounting Software Solutions

The right accounting software can be a valuable, time saving tool. However, choosing the right system for your business can be difficult. Did you know there are more than 60 different options available in Australia?

Our ongoing staff training gives us access to the very latest in accounting software solutions. Let Computer Training & Bookkeeping Solutions provide assistance in helping you choose the software solution best suited to your needs.  A software solution,  that will provide you with valuable, accurate and timely information utilising the latest technologies.

Whether you’ve outgrowing your current setup, merging a new business into your existing system or needing a software health check – Computer Training & Bookkeeping Solutions have the experts to advise you.

Working in the cloud with Xero

Cloud accounting is revolutionising the way businesses do business. And, it’s a really simple way to track your finances. Give your business the head start.

‘Working in the Cloud’, Live Accounting’, ‘Cloud Accounting’, ‘Cloud Computing’ are all terms you are starting to hear more and more. We are definitely seeing the momentum grow in the business world as everyone gets a better understanding of the benefits it holds.

Quite simply, cloud computing is the offering of applications and services over the internet, on demand, as if it were installed locally.

What is Xero?

Xero is an easy to use but powerful online accounting system that’s designed specifically for small businesses.

Xero includes a full accrual accounting system with a cashbook, automated daily bank feeds, invoicing, debtors, creditors, GST/BAS and reporting.

Xero is an online accounting system that gives you access to your financial information anytime, anywhere. Xero updates your financial information in real-time.

The privacy and security of your data is taken care of and is stored on Xero’s secure servers, where it’s backed up regularly. This means even if your computer is lost or stolen your data is safe.

Xero automatically imports your bank statements daily so you can keep abreast of your cash flow. Xero has a full suite of accounting features such as invoicing, payables, expense claims, BAS, tax returns, reporting and much more.

The beauty of Xero is you can invite a number of trusted people such as us, your accountants, to collaborate online. No more cumbersome transfer of data that can be corrupted or is out-of-date.

 

BENEFITS OF XERO – Simple. Smart. Secure.

Xero puts you in control of your business. Xero is an online accounting system that gives you and your advisors easy access to your bank transactions, invoices, reports and even your GST.

Real-time view

  • You’ll always be on top of your cash flow. At a glance the Xero dashboard gives you:
  • A summary of all your bank accounts’ details and balances
  • Visibility of how much money you have coming in and going out
  • Outstanding staff expense claims
  • The ability to drill down to see transaction details


Banking and billing with ease

Xero lets you enter your invoices quickly and efficiently, whether you are creating and invoice for one or many items.

  • You can create a schedule to automatically generate invoices on a regular basis, saving you the time and hassle of entering the invoice manually every month.
  • You can email formatted invoices directly to customers from within Xero and you can choose to email a copy to yourself.
  • Xero has made bank reconciliation easy and fun. You can automatically import your bank statements into Xero daily, so you don’t waste time downloading and uploading bank files manually.


Manage your payables

Keeping on top of your payables has never been easier. Xero lets you track where your money is going and why.
You can:

  • See all your outstanding invoices at a glance.
  • Set-up repeating payables invoices for regular suppliers
  • Approve shares workflows to relieve the business owner
  • Enter receipts for your expense claims as you collect the, or all in one go.
  • Choose to pay part of all of a claim. You’ll; have all the information about the claim on hand to help make the decision.
  • Approve or decline each receipt in a submitted expense claim. The entire expense claim can then be authorised.


Anywhere, anytime

Xero is web-based so you can work where you want, when you want.

  • 24/7 access from any internet connection in the world – PC, Mac, iPhone, BlackBerry or other Windows Mobile device.

Xero requires no installation, manual backups, maintenance or additional software. All updates and new features are available to you when you next login. Help is always at hand with free, unlimited email support, a comprehensive online help centre and an expansive library of videos from getting started tours to tips and tricks.

Secure and private

Xero stores all your accounting information on highly secure corporate grade servers that are automatically backed up.
Xero lets you collaborate with your trusted advisors online. You can

  • Control who has access to your data and what they can see, with their user permission levels and records of when a use last logged on.
  • Allow employees to create invoices and expense claims, but not have access to your bank accounts and reports.
  • Lock accounting periods to close off a tax period, and prevent other users from changing your data.
  • Eliminate the need to email or send vital data insecurely by disc
  • Rest assured your data is sage. Unlike desktop applications, data isn’t stored on your computer so it’s not compromised if lost or stolen.

I want to know more? How do I get started?

Computer Training & Bookkeeping Solutions has partnered with Xero, an online accounting software package designed for small business. Xero is a great way to get started in the cloud, with a simple, easy to use, versatile platform.

Check out what Xero looks like and the additional benefits by having a look at this video

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/6r7TJAs1iIU” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

For further information or to arrange a full demonstration talk to Computer Training & Bookkeeping Solutions today!

Roster

Were you aware that on 1st January 2014 there was a change to all Modern Awards?

Were you aware  of the change to Modern Awards that took effect on 1st January 2014?  One of the changes related to making changes to an employee’s roster So what does this mean for employers?

This changes means that you have to consult with employees when a change is made to their regular roster or ordinary working hours. It is unimportant if the changes are only temporary or permanent – if there is a regular roster or ordinary hours – then the consultation must take place.

Fair Work Australia details further information in their February newsletter