Ever wondered how to reduce the time you spend on bookkeeping or the time your bookkeeper spends on your books?
Whether new to business or an old hand, it is also important to review what is going through your business bank accounts to make sure you are not paying unnecessarily for processing of personal transactions that do not need to be processed.
Most bookkeepers work by the hour or by the number of transactions. So ask yourself “should I really be putting this private transaction through the business bank account?”
Otherwise, you will either pay extra in bookkeeping fees or spend more time than you nee doing your own books.
Here are some tips to reduce the work load and unnecessary processing.
Review Your Business Banking Setup Basics
I’ve prepared the “10 Commandments” with some rule-of-thumb withholding rates, to help people new to business or startups reduce their bookkeeping costs.
These tips, however, also serve well as a checklist for existing businesses, no matter how long you have been operating.
Our “10 Commandments” to Business Banking
1. Set up 3 bank accounts – this is best practice for Improving Cash Flow
- a dedicated bank account for business use only preferably with a debit card attached
- a business Taxes account, and, for extra marks,
- an Accumulation account to start a savings plan for wealth creation activities (it’s always a good idea to start good habits early).
2. Bank ALL sales to the BUSINESS account
3. Transfer the following % of the value of each invoice payment to the Taxes Account
- 20% where Turnover less the $100k
- 25% where Turnover between $100 & $200
- If your turnover is greater than $200k, seek advice from your accountant
4. If you are registered for GST…
- in a services based business, transfer 8.5% GST of the value of each invoice payment to the Taxes Account
- if you are trading stock, talk to your accountant for a ballpark figure
5. Never touch the Taxes account is unless paying tax or GST
6. Set up Standing Transfer or Direct Debits for regular business commitments such as phone, tolls, car payment etc. from your business account. This reduces or eliminates paper handling and manual online bill payments
7. If you need money from the company…
- work out how much your monthly bills are at home,
- divide by 4.33 (weekly) /8.66 (fortnightly) /1 (monthly)
- set weekly, fortnightly or monthly (as cash flow allows) automatic online Standing Transfer from business account to personal account. This amount to serve as “Pocket Money” or ”Wage” for yourself. After all, it’s a very good habit to learn to pay yourself first!
8. Only use Business Account OR Business Debit Card for BUSINESS EXPENSES or to transfer bulk amounts to your personal account
9. Use Personal Account OR Personal Debit Card for PERSONAL EXPENSES
10. It’s a good idea to aim to pay off and cancel the Personal credit card, if you have one.
Other tips for reducing Bookkeeping include:
XERO Automation Rules
- Set up automatic allocation rules in your XERO accounting software for unique transactions that repeat often. For example, Telephone Expenses, ATM Drawings, etc.
- Use the “Discuss” tab in XERO to leave detailed notes about the transaction OR Set up an Account called “Too Hard Basket” to post transactions where you are not sure about the correct allocation, so you can discuss them with your accountant.
Motor Vehicle Expenses
- If you have not kept a log book, then do not process car expenses through the business except Tolls and Parking incurred on behalf of the business. A “cent per km” allowance can be picked up in your personal tax return.
- Only Business Overhead insurance is claimable, Income Protection will be picked up in your personal tax return.
Home Office Rent and Mortgage
- Only include if you have a dedicated work space and home is your only place of business. Best Practice is to draft a floor plan and show the percentage of the home used for business. Keep a record and see your accountant for processing instructions
Home Office Running Costs
- Keep a record and see your accountant for processing instructions
As you can see, there are some very simple strategies you can put in place, then set and forget, which will save you time and money again and again.