why-do-some-businesses-stop-growing-Carbon Group Perth

Why Do Some Businesses Stop Growing?

The goal of most businesses is to grow, whether that be in terms of sales, profit, number of locations/sites, or client base. Whilst some businesses are quick to blame the current economic situation for a slowdown in growth, there are several other factors that should be assessed first. Below we’ve highlighted three reasons why some businesses stop growing.

How Much Do You Value Your Customers?

Customers should always be the number one priority, but as your business grows, it’s often the case that business owners lose focus on their customers. Whether that’s servicing existing ones or finding new ones. Too many businesses get caught in the day-to-day routine and forget that without customers their business wouldn’t exist.

A great way to keep in touch with clients is to offer them the opportunity to give you feedback on a regular basis. This helps business owners and management to keep a check-in with the services they’re providing, making sure it’s in-line with expectations. Add short surveys to your monthly emails, or even better, set-up monthly or quarterly face-to-face meetings. Although technology has replaced the need for some personal interaction, it’s still important to meet in person where possible. After all, you’re not the only business that provides the service/product that you offer, so personal interactions help to differentiate you from your competitors. Another great way to assess the service you offer is to do a mystery shop. Call your office and see how the phone is answered, or get a friend to visit your store and see how they’re greeted.

High Overheads and Manual Processes

When was the last time you assessed the systems you use within your business? What may have worked fine when you were small won’t necessarily work, or be the most efficient method, as you expand. It is quite common to see admin staff support sales, with the salesperson generating an order and manually typing it up, only for admin to re-type the same information into the accounting software to generate an invoice. This makes it hard for growth as every new sales person needs a new admin assistant. A small business may think they don’t have the funds for technology that automates these processes, and the team may have the capacity to be doing tasks manually. However, with the influx of cloud applications, an online system is more affordable than you think. The time saved by removing the manual tasks can be better spent elsewhere, or even save expenses by reducing the number of administration staff required. Get started with making your business run more efficiently, by speaking to a cloud integrator about integrated business management solutions. Imagine telling your admin staff they no longer need to manually re-enter 100 sales invoices every day. Sensational for morale!

It Takes Money to Make Money

How is your cash flow looking? Whilst you’re growing your business, it’s crucial to keep on top of getting paid, so that you have the cash to make investments and action opportunities as and when they arise. The way money flows through a business can make or break growth. You need money coming in on time to pay for outgoings. There will always be a lag between being paid and paying but a successful business controls this. No matter what payment terms your suppliers issue, such as cash on delivery (COD) or 180 day pay cycles, the core principle remains the same. The earlier you are paid, the greater your cash flow. The more cash you have on hand, the easier it is to invest in expanding your business. A major challenge for businesses when they become larger is the volume of invoices and debts as well as the manual work involved in collating the information.

Our advice? Consider better software to control and automate invoicing and debtor management. Not only will this cut-out hours of manual administration work as previously outlined, but you’ll have access to sophisticated dashboards and reports that help to understand your business performance. Reports are great for identifying areas of weakness that can be resolved before they cause too much of a barrier to growth for your business.

what-is-invoice-financing Carbon Group Perth

What Is Invoice Financing

Should you be using invoice financing as part of your business operations? Read on to find out more about invoice financing and how it can drive your business forward.

Invoice financing describes the process of asset based lending, giving companies finance while they wait for slow-paying receivables. Invoice finance allows businesses to borrow money based on sales assets, creating a revolving line of credit. This credit helps business owners to keep on top of cash flow, pay employees and reinvest in company operations without adding any extra liabilities. You are also able to reduce finance costs quickly and easily by making a payment and re-drawing money as and when your business needs it.

Put simply, invoice financing uses the money owed to you to finance your business in between client payments. There are many great reasons to use invoice financing, such as:

  • Your credit line is tied to your sales, meaning you won’t add any extra debts to your account
  • You won’t need to offer any property as security to finance your business
  • Your personal assets are separated from your business
  • No weekly/monthly repayments
  • Your line of credit grows as your business does, allowing you to do more when the time is right

As well as being tailored to your business needs, invoice financing gives your business greater flexibility and allows you to manage your cash flow more effectively.

Invoice Financing in a Digital Space

As technology has advanced there has been a rise in the use of cloud accounting and online invoice financing. With helpful features and real time data, cloud-based technology has revolutionised how businesses manage their accounts and finance.

Now that we are all better connected, it is much easier to keep on top of payments and payees using apps and cloud storage online. Working in real-time, these types of online accounting software programs, such as Waddle, Xero and MYOB allow you access to automated funding that instantly updates your line of credit and live bookkeeping that keeps an account of your transactions.

As we enter a new financial year, now is the perfect opportunity to spend time reviewing your business plan. Carbon Group Perth.

Get Your Business Off To A Great Start This New Financial Year

The 2016-17 financial year seemed to have been and gone before we knew it. How did your business perform? Did you reach your targets? Now that we’ve started a fresh year, it provides the perfect opportunity to dedicate time to reviewing your business plan and performance. Below we’ve highlighted just a few topics to get you started. Spend time on these now for the best possible financial year ahead!

Help With Cash Flow Forecasting

It’s important to plan the year ahead to ensure that your business has the cash to sustain it throughout the course of the year. A cash flow forecast can give you a bit of insight into where you think your business can be, whilst giving you an idea of when those big bills (BAS payments, insurance renewals, tax payments etc) are coming. With that information, you can have an idea of what your business can potentially spend money on in the new year, whilst giving you an idea of how profitable you will be. Online accounting software such as Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks provide a great basis for a cash flow forecast, since data is based on actual figures, available in real-time.

What Is The Ideal Structure

You have so many options as a business owner, with regards to the right business structure for you. The start of the new year presents a great time to reassess your goals, and see if the structure you are currently in is still appropriate for you. Throughout the lifespan of a business, there is often a need to move from one structure (such a sole trader business setup) to another (like a company). This is especially important now, as recent changes to tax legislation has made it less costly to move between structures. Often these changes lead to protection of your personal assets, as well as reduced tax obligations so it’s worth considering your options.

Re-Address/Write Your Business Plan

Every business owner should have goals. Your business plan can help you map a path to achieving those goals. Your goals don’t all have to be financial in nature. Maybe you are looking to spend more time at home, or even exit the business in the near future. A good business plan will not only address your goals, but also give you guidance when making big decisions throughout the course of the year. Assess what’s worked this past year, and what could do with some attention going forward.

We hope that’s got you thinking about your business plan, and given you a few topics to consider straight away. Spend time with your team to gain insights from difference perspectives on your business performance and what you’d like to achieve going forward. If you need any assistance, our accounting team are just a phone call away. Contact them for a complimentary consultation today, on (08) 9446 8588.

Gay pay gap Carbon Group

The Gay Pay Gap

You’ve heard of the gender pay gap, but what about the gay pay gap?

While the phrase ‘end of financial year’ has a variety of meanings for those in the financial services industry, it has only one for those in HR – salary reviews. There is much to consider when reviewing the remuneration of your employees including performance, skills, experience and the market.

It has also been well publicised in recent years that there is a significant gender pay gap in the workforce. The current pay gap sits at 16% and has been hovering between 15% and 19% over the past 20 years. But perhaps less publicised is what is referred to as the ‘gay pay gap’.

Haven’t heard of the gay pay gap? Here’s a rundown.

A 2015 study by the University of Melbourne found that sexual orientation affects wages in the workplace with homosexual men being paid up to 18% less than their heterosexual equivalents. However, when looking at the gay pay gap in women, the findings showed that homosexual women were the ones to earn a higher wage. More specifically, lesbians earned at least 33% more than their heterosexual counterparts. The gay pay gap is not an issue isolated to Australia with studies conducted in Europe and the US finding similar results.

In summary, the studies found that if you are a heterosexual male then you will be paid the highest wages, followed by homosexual males and homosexual females, with heterosexual females sitting in at last place with the lowest wages.

So, what does the gender pay gap and the gay pay gap have to do with remuneration reviews? Unfortunately, the evidence is clear that there is a bias in the workplace (whether it is unconscious or not) in relation to employees based on their gender and sexual orientation. It is important for HR and management to consider this when undertaking salary reviews and to do their part in bringing about equity to the workplace.

Further, if this wasn’t reason enough, discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is unlawful in Australia and no organisation wants a messy discrimination case on their hands!

Carbon Bookkeeping's EOFY tips to get your bookkeeping in order

EOFY Tips To Get Your Bookkeeping In Order

In most cases the financial year runs 1st July to 30th June the following year. This is the time when the businesses close their books for the year and then start afresh for the new financial year. To enable the business to close their books, most bookkeepers have the unenviable task of dotting all the Is and crossing all the Ts. Each business needs to have their books reflect the exact financial position at year end.

Monthly Procedures that can help at EOFY

With the end of financial year nearly upon us, planning ahead can assist with completing all the tasks required. When you have great procedures already in place at the end of the month and end of quarter, this really helps burden the load throughout the year rather than have it all to be completed at once. By introducing these procedures monthly, it means that a lot of items have already been checked come end of year. Here is a list of some items to check on a monthly basis so there are no surprises that pop-up end of year:

• Statement Balances – All bank accounts can be checked every month, including credit cards, back to the physical statement. Online accounting software with bank feeds is fantastic, but it’s still worth double-checking.
• Wages Payable – Confirming wages paid every month matches with payrolls generated in the online system.
• General Ledger – Ensure all transactions have been coded to the correct account along with the correct GST Coding.
• Manual Journals – Complete all end of month journals as required including accruals and prepayments.
• Review Balance Sheet – Look for any movements and ensure all items are coded correctly.
• Profit and Loss – Check through the report to notice any consistent patterns. Any significant variances are to be checked and corrected if necessary.
• Inter Entity Accounts – Ensure these are reconciled and match in both bookkeeping software accounts.
• ATO Liabilities – check the amounts agree with the ATO Portal.

Procedures for EOFY

Once a final check as above has been completed on a monthly basis, the task of finishing the end of year checks becomes a bit easier. All of the above need to be checked over again for the entire financial year as well as the following:

• Confirm that the trial balance from the last financial year matches with the year-end balance per your accountant as they will often make minor adjustments to your file.
• Acquire the bank statements so they can be added to the work papers to show all bank balances and credit cards are correct, allowing easy verification for your accountant
• Ensure the payment summaries match up with the wages figures on the profit and loss and the monthly/quarterly activity statements during the year.
• GST Reconciliation – ensure that this is all matched up and reconciled for the year, matching the monthly/quarterly activity statements and reconciling with any adjustment between cash and accrual accounting.
• Have all invoices and bills been entered so a list can be completed to see how much money is owed to creditors and how much is still to be received from debtors.
• Confirm all current year activity statements are completed and lodged in order to ensure that any necessary adjustments are included in the final BAS
Once these checks have all been completed, the work papers are compiled which confirms all balances at the end of the financial year.

This saves time for your accountant as the checks have already been completed for them and they can concentrate their efforts on proactive advice for your business. Happy accountants + happy bookkeepers = happy businesses. Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Contact Carbon Bookkeeping if you need assistance, on (08) 9446 8588.

Carbon group bogan bingo 2017 raising funds for Vinnies WA CEO Sleepout

Carbon Goes Bogan To Raise Funds For Homelessness

In the busy and stressful time of EOFY, many business owners and workers need an excuse to let their hair down and have a laugh, and that’s exactly what they did at our annual Bogan Bingo charity night on Friday!

Half game show, half party, this is the third year that Carbon have hosted the event. And it gets bigger and better each year! We had 150 bogans join us at The Rise in Maylands for a night full of laughs, jokes, air guitar competitions, biggest bogan competitions, and of course, some bingo. Jokes aside, there was a serious side to the night, since the purpose was to raise funds for Vinnie’s CEO Sleepout. Carbon’s co-founders, Jamie Davison and Nathan Hood are due to sleep outdoors on 22nd June with other CEOs in Perth, to raise awareness of homelessness; an initiative run by Vinnies since 2006. It will be the third year the guys have participated, and they have raised a total of $26,422 between them to date.

Friday’s event is about to boost that up massively, since we raised more than $9,000 on the night, through ticket sales, drink and food sales, raffles, auctions and door games. Big thanks to our clients who donated gifts as prizes for our raffle: Grazie Gifts, Life Ready Physio, Pigeonhole, House of Honey and Viva Photography.

Vinnie’s spokesperson Stephanie Rullo started the night by reminding the bogans of the work that Vinnies do, and how their donations would help.

“Vinnies was absolutely overwhelmed by the support of the community that attended the Bogan Bingo night put on by Carbon Group. Both Jamie and Nathan have been supporting Vinnies and the CEO Sleepout, with this being their 3rd year.”

On any given night in WA over 9,500 people are experiencing homelessness. Of these people, 25% are under the age of 18 – an alarming statistic! Growing unemployment , domestic violence, family breakdown and housing stress are major causes, proving that homelessness can happen to anyone at any time. “Support from leaders like Jamie and Nathan is truly vital in ensuring we can turn the light on homelessness and continue to help people experiencing homelessness in our community.”

Carbon’s Nathan Hood acknowledged the support the community showed on the night. “It’s fantastic that we are able to leverage from our clients, family and wider networks to promote these events and make them so successful. Without their support, we wouldn’t have so many people attending our events and therefore raising the amount we have reached.”

Thank you to everyone who attended for making it such a great night, we really value you supporting Carbon’s events and making them a success. If you couldn’t make the night, there is still chance to donate through the donation’s page on the CEO Sleepout website. Our Bogan Bingo night will return next year so keep an eye out for information on Carbon’s event page early next year!

What-is-cloud-computing. move your business to the cloud with carbon business systems integrators

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing has been a buzz word in the business sector over the last few years, with many businesses moving over to “the cloud”. But what is this cloud that everyone is referring to? In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and program over the internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The “cloud” is just a metaphor for the internet.

Basically it means no longer storing everything on your personal hard drive on your computer. That storage, is called local storage.

Why Should My Business Use Cloud Computing?

Increased security: The first thing people think of when hearing cloud based software, is that their data is at risk of been stolen. You’ll actually find that all cloud based software has stringent security requirements – most are on par with the security levels of bank institutions. The data is also stored in world class secure locations. There is more chance of someone breaking into your own personal building, and downloading everything onto a USB then getting access online.

Low initial costs: No fancy hardware needed, no massive server costs. Most applications operate on a SaaS model where you pay monthly for what you need. Small initial investment with small ongoing costs.

Speed: As your data size grows, any local storage needs to be upgraded to handle the volume. With cloud based software, the providers manage it for you. Your data storage can grow to any size – you probably won’t even be aware of how much you are using.

Reliability: The cloud storage servers, are also backed up to multiple locations, with fall backs, and disaster recovery models in place. The cost to have that internally managed by a business would be extremely costly.

Integrations: Different cloud applications can all be connected together to send data to and from in real time. This means data from your POS, such as Vend, or Kounta can be pushed to your accounting platform like Xero, removing the double entry hassle.

What Are The Disadvantages Associated With Cloud Computing?

Internet connection required: To access your cloud storage you require internet connection. This can be made difficult as internet outages are almost always out of your control. This has been mitigated recently by most cloud services, as they download a local cached copy that can be worked on short term, and your data can be pushed back up to the cloud once you are back connected.

Technical Issue: If there is an issue with the cloud provider’s servers, it’s also out of your hands to try and rectify.
Somewhat limited flexibility: Cloud software and storage, is generally catered to the majority. Small custom tweaks are generally not available.

The low costs of moving to cloud systems means that small businesses can now take advantage of the productivity gains previously only achieved by large corporations with bigger budgets. So if you’re still sat on the fence when it comes to switching to the cloud, now is the time to take the step forward. Start with a complimentary consultation with the cloud integrators at Carbon Business Systems to see how your business will benefit. Call us to get started, on (08) 9446 8588.

Carbon Group Accounting Perth - last minute tips to maximise your tax deductions

Last Minute Tips to Maximise Tax Deductions

It’s that time again. We have a new budget to consider, and the end of the year is fast approaching. So below we’ve highlighted a few tips that could help maximise your tax deductions, and you still have time to implement them!

Bring forward your expenses

If you know you are going to have to spend money on tax deductible items in the near future, it may be an idea to spend that money now as opposed to waiting until the new year. Bringing forward your expenses means you get that tax benefit immediately, rather than waiting another year to take advantage of spending money on disposables, consultants and various other expenses.
If you are in a small company, then the benefit is even greater, as the tax rates drop as of 1st July 2017. This means that if you spend now, the benefit of that tax deduction is greater this year, than it will be next year. You get your benefit sooner, and it’s a little bigger.

Capital Purchases

Before the budget announcements in early May, it was expected that small business owners would no longer be eligible to write off equipment purchases over $1,000 as of 1st July 2017. That has since been extended, meaning there is less need to rush, but if you are close to making a decision on buying plant and equipment, it may still be worth it to buy now. Again, if you are in a small company, there are extra cash benefits to spending in this financial year as opposed to next year.

Write off your bad debts

As a business owner, this is an unfortunate part of business. In order to make the best of a bad situation, when you know a debt is bad, you should write it off. If you can do so before the end of the financial year, at least you won’t potentially pay tax on money you are unlikely to receive. Reduce the pain by writing off that debt.

Restructuring your business

Whilst not necessarily saving you tax, restructuring at this time could save you administration and accounting costs. A change in the middle of a financial year doubles the work you will need to do at the end of the year to lodge your returns. If your accountant has been telling you that will need to eventually change structures, now may be the most cost effective time to do so.

Superannuation

Moving funds into superannuation is starting to become harder. Deductible contributions are reducing, and over the last year there has been a lot of debate about how much you can get into superannuation over your working life. Rules may change further soon. If you have plans to utilise super, you don’t have long before new rules will affect long term plans. It may be time to talk to your advisor/accountant.

At Carbon, we have a team that can help you take advantage of the end of the financial year, giving you an advantage in the new year.
If you want tailored advice, specific to your circumstances, contact our team for a complimentary chat. There’s still time to make changes that could save you big at the EOFY! Call us on (08) 9446 8588.

Why are some business loans rejected, and how do you ensure yours is approved? Carbon Finance Brokers.

Why Do Some Business Loans Fail?

Access to money is greatly important for all businesses, particularly businesses who are looking to grow and expand. Business owners may be all too familiar with hearing a “no” from the bank, but why? Carbon’s finance experts have put together a few points that may explain why.

The broker hasn’t presented the deal correctly

Based on the fact that only 18% of all commercial lending deals go through brokers, not all brokers have the skill to help you. Now this doesn’t mean dealing direct with the bank is your best option. A good business broker is an amazing asset to you, due to the broker being able to work on your behalf and present your loan to all lenders. They also only get paid when they successfully help you and they’re paid for the help from the banks, not your profits!

There is no security to use

Many business loans are secured via residential property and for business owners, the family home is used as security. When times are good, it’s important to pay down debt on the family home to keep the “jaws” between valuation and amount owing as wide as possible. Having equity can mean purchasing a new business is possible, or refinancing to reduce your instalments and free up capital to invest into your business for a business loan, working capital or purchase equipment. During tougher times, it’s important to be disciplined and ensure you pay slightly more than minimum payments so you have a buffer should times get extra tough.

The numbers just don’t add up!

Many businesses operate profitably but paint a different picture on paper. Having financials that you can use as and when you need them can be important. There are still loan providers in the market who operate using a “low doc” approach, but the rate you end up paying could be significantly higher than compared to the best available. Similarly, some businesses leave getting their figures presented until the very last minute. Whilst that can sometimes be tactical, being organised and having a long term plan that’s well documented can be the difference between a successful application and not.

So what do Carbon Finance recommend?

Carbons Lead Senior Brokers Ryan Eastman and Jacob Reed, apply their experience in the industry to help you and your business. A thorough review of your balance sheet and a conversation about your businesses goals will be enough for them to establish whether they can help and save you money on existing loans or how to structure a new loan so that it works for your business. Ryan and Jacob have a panel of lenders they can call upon to assist you whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a Director of an established business. Contact the Carbon Finance team today, on (08) 9446 8588.

Carbon Bookkeeping were announced as National Bookkeeping Firm of the Year at the Australian Accounting Awards 2017

National Bookkeeping Firm of the Year

Carbon Bookkeeping are extremely proud to have been named as the National Bookkeeping Firm of the Year at Accountant Daily’s annual Australian Accounting Awards, out of over 7,000 bookkeeping firms nationwide. We celebrated on Friday evening at The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, with a room full of 500 other professionals in the accounting and bookkeeping industries. These awards recognise excellence within the accounting industry Australia wide. Head over to accountantsdaily.com.au to see the full list of winners.

We’d like to express our appreciation to our most important stakeholders, our clients. We’re ever-grateful for the support you have all shown during the past three years, and we have enjoyed sharing our journey with you. We take pride in the service our team offer clients, and go above and beyond standard number-crunching. Carbon are here to offer skills and experience to help your business grow, not just to report on day-to-day transactions. We take great pride in seeing each of our clients achieve their individual business and personal goals.

Thank you also goes to Xero who have been one of the building blocks to Carbon Bookkeeping. Their online accounting platform makes data entry tasks easy, quick, and often automated, allowing our bookkeepers to spend their time meeting with clients and offering them strategic advice.

“Congratulations to Carbon Bookkeeping on being named Bookkeeping Firm of the Year. It’s a well-deserved accolade for the company,” Trent Innes, Managing Director of Xero Australia said.

“Bookkeeping is more than just “doing the books” or payroll, it’s part of the foundation of a business. Carbon Bookkeeping is a great example of how cloud accounting is helping businesses to be more effective by implementing efficiencies, so business owners can focus their time on building the business and more importantly have the freedom to do the things they want to do.Well done Team Carbon!”

Carbon Group were finalists in a further five categories:

  • Bookkeeper of the Year – Aimie Wilson
  • Diversified Firm of the Year
  • Fast-Growing Firm of the Year
  • Marketing Program of the Year
  • Boutique Firm of the Year

A huge congratulations to all other individuals and firms who were finalists and winners in this year’s accounting awards. It’s a fantastic achievement and really highlights your contribution to the industry.

Our aim is to constantly review our service offering and build on what we can offer our clients. Although technology is ever-changing and automating our industry, we want to ensure that we still continue to build personal connections with our clients.