why having-a-bookkeeper-is-important-in the-current-environment

Why Having A Bookkeeper Is Important In The Current Environment

Bookkeeping is an essential aspect of business. Accounting records are needed for calculating a company’s obligations and its receivables, to look at its history and plan for the future. A  bookkeeper’s role is to help you organise and manage your books and maintain proper and accurate financial records.

In the current economic climate, resulting in no small measure from the series of lockdowns in the UK, a bookkeeper is more important than ever, to help your business navigate the myriad rules and changes, manage compliance, assets, liabilities, and taxes without errors or miscalculation. The bookkeeper’s role is thus vital to the overall functioning of any business. 

We discuss here some crucial issues for you to consider as you make this decision.

1. Focus on your Core Business

Bookkeepers ensure that financial records are correct and up-to-date. This allows you to focus on your business’s core activities. A bookkeeper can help you grow your business faster by providing reports that analyse business and growth trends, especially in today’s COVID19 affected economy. Cash and accounts forecasts made by your bookkeeper, studied with market movements, help you plan for the future.

2. Profitability Analysis

Bookkeepers track your income and expenditure and inform you about where you should or can cut costs and where you must increase your revenue to ensure you have sufficient funds available for your business. Complete access to the financial records of your business allows the bookkeeper to monitor profits or losses at all stages. As the economy recovers slowly, after several waves of coronavirus, the regular updates you receive from your bookkeeper about your assets and liabilities enable smart changes in real-time. Hiring a bookkeeper brings you a great return on your investment.

3. Finance management

The company’s efficiency depends highly on the precision of bookkeeping. Business owners may fail to observe how they’re spending their money, but a bookkeeper’s job is to point out where it is going and whether or not it will generate profit. An efficient bookkeeping service provides correct and accurate data in real-time helping SMEs to grow and flourish. Corient can help you manage your finances better and eliminate unnecessary expenses.

4. Manage compliances

Your bookkeeper ensures that the business’s financial records are kept in order, accurate and updated as per the government’s rules and regulations. They alert you to changes in the regulations and update the records accordingly. They ensure that all tax compliances are timely, filing returns and reminding you to pay the liabilities.

5. Grants and schemes from HMRC

SMEs have constantly been on the lookout over the past year for financial support in a halting economy. Various grants, loans and Government schemes are keeping many businesses afloat. Your bookkeeper would have helped you with the eligibility criteria, the documentation and the numbers to apply for the relevant grants, loans and/or schemes. They would have, and continue to, help you manage monthly compliance and eventual repayment where necessary. They calculate future cash flows to suggest the loan repayment best suited to your business.


Six Ways For Entrepreneurs To Manage Their Books

Every successful entrepreneur will tell you that a very significant part of their success depends on the ability to manage their books effectively. But, the primary challenge for an entrepreneur lies in learning how to manage their books and bookkeeping records with minimal effort.

Bookkeeping can be a very tedious and time-consuming task for an entrepreneur. This is because bookkeeping is not just about being organized but, more importantly, about being effective.

We explore in this article the six best ways for entrepreneurs to manage their books and bookkeeping records effectively.

1. Get The Perfect Accounting Software

There is no one “perfect” accounting package or software. A full-function accounting software, which meets your current needs and will expand to meet your future ones, though, is a hidden asset. It allows you to easily handle the accounts help you manage your business proactively.

With the variety of accounting software in the market, however, there are certain questions you need to ask before choosing the one best suited for your business:

●  Is it compatible with your other systems?

●  Can the software import and edit existing documents?

●  What features does it have?

●  What is your budget & plan, and what is the price & availability of the software?

Once you have the answers to the above, your choice of accounting software becomes easier.

2. Equip Your System With Additional Software

The next thing that an entrepreneur should do for managing their books properly is to use the right business management software package. Although this may seem like a daunting task and heavy on the pocket it is quite easy and many packages are affordable. A complete business management package will take up all the manual work of your accounting, financial transactions tracking, and back-office tasks. This software package when integrated with the accounting software will bring significant automation to the system. It will allow you to focus on the core business activities instead of worrying about the books and accounts.

3. Integrate Bank Feeds

Bank feeds directly import transactions from your bank or financial institution into your software spreadsheet. This process eliminates the need to import transactions manually. Bank feeds bring the advantage of easy and straightforward automatic data entry, avoiding any manual errors in the process. With integrated bank feeds, you will be able to manage your books and your bookkeeping very effectively in a very short period. 

4. Set up invoice schedule 

The demands on a solopreneur or an entrepreneur’s time might lead to loopholes in billing their customers. This will affect their cash flow due to delays in receiving client payments and there will be a knock-on effect on the business. Setting up an automatic invoice generating software to raise and send clients’ invoices in line with their billing cycle will prevent this to a large extent. You can also use the software to follow a standard monthly billing cycle for clients. 

5. Follow Bookkeeping Rules 

Many entrepreneurs may not know how to set up their companies’ accounting systems properly. Ensuring that bookkeeping rules are followed will minimise chaos in managing the books. These rules allow one to track essentials and make it much easier for the entrepreneur to evaluate business progress using up-to-date books.

6. Diarize bookkeeping 

Another strategy for managing the books is to create a weekly bookkeeping calendar. This diary should not only list the clients and updates, but also important financial and compliance dates. You might even need to diarize the availability of your bookkeeper! There are several business bookkeeping software packages available that can make the process of managing your books a breeze.

If you are looking for the best Bookkeeping Software for your business, Corient can help you! Corient enables you to keep your accounts up to  to date helping you manage and grow your business


Bookkeeping Tips for eCommerce Companies in UK

The shift from brick-and-mortar businesses to eCommerce has been the highlight of the business world over the last two decades. The United Kingdom has the most advanced eCommerce market in Europe with eCommerce revenue in 2019 amounting to 693 billion in GBP. It is also the third-largest market for online retail sales. More and more retailers or product manufacturers are looking for establishing an online presence for retail distribution and sales. While this trend is here to stay, let’s look at some of the bookkeeping tips for setting up a financially stable and viable eCommerce business.

Integration of Amazon/Shopify to Accounting Software.

Managing your Amazon FBA account or Shopify account using google sheets or MS Excel is a daunting task given the different items involved such as Chargebacks, Shipping fees, Promo Rebates, Sales Tax collected, and FBA inventory reimbursement. Listed below are a few of the accounting software tools tailored to be linked with sales channels to make accounting easy and efficient.

Xero: Xero has a great user interface along with a wide selection of add-ons. It can be easily integrated with A2X or Stitch labs for a customized Amazon Seller experience. In addition, it has a mobile app enabling access to it on the move.

A2X Accounting: The A2X app connects the systems to cloud accounting to automate bookkeeping for Amazon Marketplace transactions. When Amazon creates a new settlement file, A2X can generate the summary for the same along with being able to split multiple month settlements on a per-month basis for multiple years. It works great with Xero, QuickBooks, and Shopify.

NetSuite: For accounting software to integrate with Shopify, the use of apps like Zapier and A2X is required to set up the integration. Alternatively one may find an app connector in the Shopify app store. Another way to streamline your operations is to integrate NetSuite with your online Shopify store which offers a scalable solution that seamlessly handles financial data as well as sales channels.

Clarity on Accounting for Sales- One single Invoice per month by sales channel/ Geography.

One of the functions of good bookkeeping is to help with creating projections that predict future business activity. One such area that has a huge bearing on the eCommerce business is sales. A detailed understanding of sales will help to make decisions such as which products to push, when to increase the price of a product, and to understand the seasonal fluctuations per product. Using A2X helps automate eCommerce accounting since it connects your accounting software to your sales channels, helps you track sales basis different tracking categories viz. sales per month, per channel, or sales by country. Example; you are looking for accurate sales data from Amazon but the backend report provided by Amazon will not bifurcate the numbers by categories such as FBA fees, shipping fees, warehouse fees, and chargebacks and it might all get recorded as Sales which will be incorrect. A2X can avoid this problem by automatically updating your books from the backend of Amazon. Similarly, when you want to look at your VAT liability, you can set up the sales tracking category as EU and Non-EU.

Daily bank Reconciliation to identify failed payments.

Ecommerce business is usually characterised by huge volumes and speed of exchange. The fierce competition and marketing inventions have pushed eCommerce business owners to complement their product offers with a number of collateral services such as gift cards, trial periods, flexible payment options and reduced shipping costs. The complexity of completing a transaction multiplies in a digital environment. One single online order requires the action of at least four parties other than the customer and merchants themselves – their banks, the payment processor, and the parcel delivery company. In case of cancellations, refund requests, and glitches down the supply chain, the complexity level becomes 2x. This calls for a 3-way reconciliation between payment processors, banks, and the ERP systems, which is performed in 2 steps viz. processor to bank and processor to the internal system. This will not only reduce any fraud risk but also identify any unauthorised withdrawals or bank errors.

Analytics report- Geography, product, etc.

Using analytics to uncover customer insights is a game-changer for an eCommerce business. Yet, having a very large amount of data to mine is different from having a clear insight into customer preferences. The difference lies in the ability to get the most out of your data. You may choose from different analytics programs such as Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Adobe Analytics, and Statcounter to name a few. In addition to an Overview Dashboard, some valuable analytics reports include:

1.    Sales by Channel. The data in this report will help you identify which channel sources are successful or underperforming.

2.    Sales by billing country. This report helps you identify which countries contribute the most to your revenue so that you can determine where to invest in new markets.

3.    Sales by Product. This report helps you identify the bestselling products by season or time period.

These reports enable you to see margins on an item-by-item basis. When you total the cost of goods sold and link it to relevant suppliers, you can see how much money is being spent on each item and which items you need to focus on. Having this kind of data is a solid negotiating tool.

Portal for suppliers to extract invoices.

Accounts payable automation improves efficiencies thereby helping finance scale and adapt to their business changing needs. Using a suppliers’ portal reduces supplier payment frictions since these are web interfaces for collecting and displaying information pertinent to suppliers. This information includes but is not limited to payment histories, Tax ID’s and invoices. Using a suppliers’ portal reduces data entry errors as well as the dependencies on the accounts payable team. Where a supplier payment system is also a part of the supplier portal, it centralises the supplier management system along with allowing ease of reconciliation and reporting.

Pay invoices of suppliers ahead of time to gain discounts.

Reducing the cost of sales is a sure shot way to increase the profits from your eCommerce business and paying invoices ahead of time to gain a discount helps you achieve that. If your supplier doesn’t offer you any benefits for advance payments, you could work on striking a deal with your supplier’s competitors to get a better rate. While it is obvious that to avail of this benefit, you need to close your own cash flow gaps and increase your own working capital, any gaps in the cash flow can be fixed by using tools such as credit cards, bank loans, and capital advance for eCommerce or marketplace sellers.

By understanding these areas and how they impact your eCommerce business, you can make the best decision about managing the bookkeeping of your eCommerce business and find the bookkeeping software or service that’s right for your business.