Accounting

How Do I Set Up Xero Accounting Software?

So you've done your research on Xero, and want to get started on the amazing piece of bookkeeping software that can revolutionise the way you conduct your business. But how do you set up your Xero accounting software? You visit your accountant.The setup is crucial, as any mistakes made here may flow on for over a year before the errors are identified, so taking the time to do it right becomes of utmost importance in the running of your business.

Questions you need to be asking yourself, before you set it up include;
1. What do I want my invoices to look like?
2. What expenses am I likely to have in running the business, and do they have GST?
3. How do I set up my employees, so their payments can be tracked, and superannuation paid?
4. How do I set up customers, and suppliers?
5. How do I chase money outstanding to the business?
6. How do I link everything to my bank accounts?
7. How do I access reports?
8. Who is going to be responsible for updating bookkeeping records?

Xero’s business help centre, have very useful data on all of the above, and as long as you are willing to watch, and take notes, you can get through all of the above. If you feel comfortable going down that path, you can find what you need by starting here.

It’s very important to gather everything that Xero asks for, before you start, as the process cannot be completed without all information.

We also strongly suggest that either just before you set it all up, you consult your accountant to go through the setup of GST, to eliminate errors on your quarterly BAS.

If you have any problems with setting up your Xero account, Carbon have a team of accountants here to assist you and are able to ensure you are set up and ready to go from day 1. Click here to see what Carbon and Xero can do.

What Makes A Good Accountant For A Small Business

The role of an accountant for your business is one of the most important. While on this subject, it is important that an accountants role is defined as it has unfortunately changed significantly over time and not necessarily for the best. Back in the early days, the accountant was everything for your business. He understood your business completely and was involved in a lot of your day to day decisions that helped shape the future look and feel of your business. Discussions around cashflow, potential acquisitions & even new product/service lines that your business was looking at would not happen without the accountant being present and offering some input into the discussion.

Unfortunately, today’s accountant has turned into a “compliance officer” who seems to be purely there to lodge your end of year tax returns and speak to you once a year. Further to this, most business owners are too scared to talk to their accountant in fear of being hit with a bill for a phone call or simply just not being able to get hold of them when they need to with return calls happening up to three weeks after the request was put through.

What should you expect from your accountant:
Timely lodgement of your end of year financials and tax returns are unfortunately a necessary evil and even if you think you don’t need an accountant, the benefits of having a professional take care of all this for you can significantly improve the tax result as well as take the stresses away from tax time.

On top of this, there are lots of areas that your accountant should be able to help with when required. That isn’t to suggest you need to use them all, but ideally have them available for when your business needs them:
• Structure planning & setup (including helping to build a business plan)
• Internal system processes
• Bookkeeping and tracking day to day data
• Tax Planning
• Business advisory (this can take many forms)

How To Evaluate An Accountant
Your business will go through many phases and a good accountant can help you steer through these phases. So what should you look for?

Someone you can relate to:

  • If you don’t feel a connection to your accountant, then they aren’t for you
  • You need to be able to speak to them confidently & openly, so if you don’t have this relationship straight away then it is likely not to happen.

Business Advisory:

  • If you are expecting that they will help take you to the next level, ask for a resume.
  • If they have never been involved in a company that has done this (either their own OR at a board style level) then they may night bring the value you need.

Someone You Understand:

  • Tax & Accounting is already complicated enough, the last thing you need is someone that makes it more complicated.
  • If you find someone that can put your accounting requirements into words you understand, then you are onto a winner.
Where To Find The Right Accountant

There are multiple avenues to find the right accountant, but like anything sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Here are some of the most common areas and how successful it is likely to be:

Google searches & reviews:

  • The plus side to finding an accountant online shows that they have an online presence & they are proactive in growing their image
  • A lot of accountants (even still) don’t have an online presence & if you are wanting advice to grow your business, would this person suit you.

Referrals from colleagues whose business has done what you want to do:

  • There is a lot to be said about this as the accountant has typically just been on this journey will the business owner.
  • Typically, people don’t share who their advisors are, so you might need to ask this one on one to get the information you want from them.

Accountants who are changing with the environment:

  • Platforms such as Xero (bookkeeping software) have “accounting partners” for accountants who are familiar with their products and even rank them into silver, gold and Platinum.
  • If you are wanting to use a certain type of software, it always makes sense to use this to “shortlist” some of your options.

The meet and greet:

  • Typically, you would have used the above to short list a handful of potential candidates.
  • The next step is to meet with them and start the evaluation process (above) to find who is the right one for you.

Carbon have a dedicated team of accountants ready to assist you with your business needs. Why not give us a call to see if we'd be a good fit? Call Carbon on (08) 9446 8588

What Do I Need To Know About Hiring An Accountant?

Size of Accounting Business - There really isn’t a preference on the size of an accounting firm as there are pros and cons for both. The type of experience they have in the industry is just one of a myriad of factors that is considered when hiring a new accountant.

Accessibility - When taking on an accountant to assist your business, it is important to make sure there is always a point of contact to answer any queries in a timely manner. At Carbon, we have a large team of accountants, who are supported by client liaison managers to ensure queries can be dealt with in times when accountants are in meetings. We use online accounting software Xero, plus have a dedicated client portal, which allows clients to access their account data anytime, on any device, in any location.

Experience - How long has the accountant been successfully operating?

Qualifications - Aside from this tertiary qualifications in accounting and tax as a bare minimum, you should look for an accountant who has developed their skills by gaining either a CA (chartered accountant) or CPA (certified practicing accountant). With the ever-changing landscape of the legislation in accounting and tax, it is important that accountants are willing to keep abreast of the changes that are made every year.

Personality - Finally the last aspect of hiring an accountant will be based on their personality and their fit within the organisation. Are they a good fit for your business and can you work with them to increase the success of your business? It's best to talk to a couple of accountants to see who would be most suitable for your business.

Cost - The cost of an accountant can vary significantly depending on what services you require them to carry out. It's a good idea to speak to several to get an idea of pricing. Don't always go for the cheapest; the advice and work done by accountant can have a huge affect on the performance of your business. An upfront saving of $1000 could result in missing out on $10,000 if you are not given the right advice. At Carbon, we discuss all of our fees upfront, so there are no surprises.

Seven Qualities You Want In Your Accountant

It’s a question often asked, do I need to have a specific tax accountant?

A good accountant should be able to answer your questions, and guide you throughout the course of your business’ life. So picking the right one is just as important as picking the right business partner.

A good accountant:

  1. Doesn’t need to have all the answers on hand. However, they should know where to look. They should be able to tell you tax or other government incentives, that could allow your business to thrive.
  2. Be completely transparent. You understand your fee structure, and never feel surprised by an accounting bill.
  3. Act in your best interests, even when you don’t always like the answers.
  4. Explain to you why you can, and why you can’t do certain things when submitting paperwork to the ATO, or ASIC.
  5. Be available when you need them. Everyone gets busy, but a good accountant will at least be able to get back to you in a timely manner (not weeks later)
  6. Has the ability to do more than lodge a tax return. Can advise you on how to grow your business, or achieve your goals.
  7. Promotes, and engages in conversation more than once a year, therefore understanding you and your goals in life.

But why settle for a good accountant, when you can have a great one. Contact Carbon to find one that will work with you.

Where Do I Go For Support About Xero Accounting Software?

Being relatively new and innovative, users of Xero will have queries from time to time as they get acclimated to the software. It is a game changer within the accounting/bookkeeping software space and looks to create efficiencies where older, dated accounting packages have failed to deliver. However once the resistance to change subsides users will see a vast improvement on the processes with this accounting package.
Advantages such as:

  • Real Time Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet
  • Accessibility from any device that has internet - unlike older packages which require you to be in front of a computer
  • Invoicing and Bank reconciliations from the palm of your hand

Xero also provides a tremendous amount of support which can be found on the following link https://www.xero.com/au/support/

If your queries cannot be answered on this page – you can contact our office on (08) 9446 8588.
Our office is one of a handful of platinum partners within Australia so we are best placed to help you with any of your Xero accounting queries.

What Are The Advantages Of Being A Sole Trader?

Self-employed vs  Employee

People often ask, “what are the advantages of being a sole trader?” Is it worth it to be your own boss?

When comparing it to being an employee, some of the benefits include;

  • Relative easy to set up and run for smaller business owners
  • Set up costs are very low (when compared to other structures)
  • Likely to be eligible to small business tax concessions.
  • You control of your day to day affairs.
  • Increased ability to claim business related deductions for business related items.

But, there are limitations to going down this path. If you are trying to build more than just a replacement for the income you would have earned as an employee, you would need to be open to other structures. Whilst the cost of setting up and maintaining other structures would be higher, the tax benefit often outweighs that cost.

If you would like to know more, contact our specialists at Carbon to have a free consultation with regard to setting you up for business success.

How Much Will An Accountant Cost?

This is a tricky question as the services that you demand from your accountant (or even the services that they might offer) will be different from accountant to accountant.  What you really want:

  • Fixed fee service where you know what you’re paying well before you receive the bill
  • No surprise bills randomly during the year for simple discussions or queries
  • An understanding of what work fits outside the scope of your normal fee
  • The opportunity to add more services to your fee when you need them, not before
  • The opportunity to “dial down” services when you don’t need them

The above sounds very much like common sense, but unfortunately it isn’t always & the industry has been built on time sheet billing rather than fixed fees.  It should be the requirement of the accountant to increase efficiencies internally in order to keep your accounting work on budget, not the other way around.

 

I Want To Set Up My Own Business. What Should I Do?

Your first point of call before setting up a business should be to find an accountant that can help you.  They will be your “go to” person to make sure you have set things up correctly and have engaged the right people along your journey.  Things to take into consideration:

  • Getting setup in the right trading structure from day 1.  You don’t want to have to worry about this again once you are up and running
  • Setting up your internal systems and accounting package based on the business you want be in the future, not the business you are now
  • Make sure your insurances are all in place & you are covered for the industry you are in
  • Build your business plan.  This doesn’t need to be a huge document, a 1 page document of what you want to achieve is good enough for a lot of people
  • Make small goals that will help you achieve the big goals.  Without them, the big goals appear too far away and you don’t have anything to guide you
What is Capital Gains Tax (CGT)?

A capital gain or loss is the difference between the cost of an asset and the sales proceeds you received when you dispose or sell the asset. You pay tax on your capital gains as it forms part of your income in your tax return. If you make a capital loss, you can’t claim it against your other income but you can use it to reduce a capital gain in the same year. If your capital losses exceed your capital gains in an income year, you can generally carry forward the loss and deduct it against capital gains made in future years. All assets acquired acquired from the 20th of September 1985 are subject to CGT unless specifically excluded. Most personal assets are exempt from CGT including your home, car and most personal use assets such as furniture. CGT also doesn’t apply to depreciating assets  such as business equipment.

What Is A Company Tax Return?

As business’ grow, individuals often look to set up various structures to own the business. A company is often setup for your larger business’. With a company comes a few more responsibilities. As a company is separate from its owners, there is the need to lodge a separate return for the company.

Income and expenses are calculated for the company, with the major difference being the tax rates applied.

They are taxed at flat rates:-

  • 28.5% for your smaller trading companies
  • 30% for any other company

This is all calculated through the submission of your company tax return. The degree of separation between the owners of the company, and the company itself does have other advantages, such as a layer of protection between the personal assets of the owners, and the dealings of the company itself. If you would like to know more about whether a company is right for you, contact our team at Carbon Accountants, where we tailor business structures to your needs.

I Want To Close My Business: What Should I Do?

Depending on your trading structure will depend on the steps required in order to close your business.  Some of the key things to remember when closing down a business are:

  • Irrelevant of how far into the tax year you are, you will still need to lodge a tax return (final return) for the business after 30 June. This means keep your records in good order even after you have closed the business.
  • You should cancel your tax registrations (GST, PAYG, etc) straight away once you have stopped trading so you don’t keep having BAS’s issued from the tax office.
  • Structures such as companies are registered with ASIC as well, so until they are formally closed, you may still be incurring ASIC fees.
  • NOTE: your structure may have benefits such as tax losses in it which will be completely lost if closed, it is worth checking with your accountant prior to closing to make sure there is not a better use for this tax entity.  

 

Bookkeeping

What Does Hiring a Bookkeeper Cost?

The cost of hiring a bookkeeper is not such a straight forward question. There are many factors that can influence this, such as size of the team and frequency of the pay cycle. Although it may seem to be a big cost to outsource bookkeeping, it’s not always the case. Having a qualified bookkeeper taking care of your payroll has many advantages.

Don't underestimate the value of skilled, diligent bookkeeper. Bookkeeping may seem easy, but wait until you make a mess of your books. It can cause troubles for years.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping can be considerably cheaper than hiring an employee internally to carry out bookkeeping tasks. Fixed fee bookkeeping is a good way to ensure your costs don’t blow out come end of year, end of quarter or end of month processing. See how Carbon can help here.

To put this in perspective, let’s use payroll to illustrate. What is the hourly rate of hiring someone internally to process your payroll? Normally an hourly rate of around $30. But what if that person takes a long time to do something say four hours one week? Costs blow out to $120 just to process a pay run. All these unexpected costs add up quickly.

Consider outsourcing your bookkeeping to keep costs fixed, helping with cash flow and to fend off those surprising bills. An all-inclusive payroll package can cost as little as $50 per pay cycle, processing this internally could be considerably more than. Carbon Bookkeeping offer a fixed-fee structure, click here to check out our pricing.

What is a Bookkeepers Role?

Business owners use information processed by bookkeepers to evaluate the performance of their business. Therefore, it is a bookkeepers primary responsibility to ensure 100% of a business’ transactions have been picked up and recorded accurately. Now-a-days, being a bookkeeper is more than just processing transactions. Having sound knowledge of accounting and tax concepts is critical in enhancing a bookkeepers’ output. It is essential for all businesses to engage a bookkeeper with professional training and qualifications in the area of accounting to ensure there is reliable data to gauge a business’ performance. The Carbon Bookkeeping team is run and managed by a team of qualified accountants (CPA and CA), ensuring your business data is relevant and reliable. Click here to check out our team.

What Is Good Bookkeeping Software?

Good bookkeeping software is invaluable to businesses of all sizes. You can have a manual system, electronic (spreadsheets) or use bookkeeping software which would be the most efficient method. Each business has their own unique requirements for bookkeeping software and there are many to choose from. In this day and age, so many more bookkeeping software has become available to use in the cloud. There is no better way to be able to access it from anywhere in the world. Gone are the days when everything is stuck on your desktop and only one person can use it at the one time when making important changes. People can now have a business without an office and travel the world while they run their business.

When choosing the bookkeeping software, you need to make sure that it will do what your company requires. Ensuring also that if the bookkeeping software does not do what you require, that there are possible add-ons so it will make everything work smoothly and you can ensure the correct figures are being accounted. Each feature has an important role to play and can help with the smooth running of your business. Some features that you need to look for in bookkeeping software can include:

  •  Affordability and accessibility
  •  Ease of use
  • Time saving features
  • Ease of bank reconciliation
  • Multiple bank accounts - foreign currency
  • Chart of accounts – ability to have sub groups or tracking systems
  • Automated entries
  • Invoicing and quoting online with multiple software options (ipads, iphones )
  • Purchase orders which switch easily to bills for payment
  • Manage your cash flow with scheduling of payments
  • Inventory
  • Payroll
  • Expense reports, financial reports
  • Customer service – tutorial videos
  • Integration with other apps or systems
  • Amount of Users – unlimited?

Online accounting software, Xero, is capable of doing all of these features. Being cloud-based, it allows the user to access information anywhere, on any device, at any time, meaning you don't have to be in your office to access your information! Carbon Bookkeeping at Xero's only platinum partner in WA. Give us a call to see how we can get you started on Xero!

 

What Are The Benefits of Hiring An Off-Site Bookkeeping Company?

If your business is currently doing its bookkeeping internally, why not consider outsourcing? Below are the top benefits of hiring qualified bookkeepers to take care of your accounts.

More Time - It frees up your time so that you can focus on dollar productive activities. If you are not skilled in this area then the time it takes to enter transaction is much higher then necessary. Think about cost not just in terms of the dollar amount you can save by doing it yourself but also the amount you could earn for your business in the same time.

Saving Money - You do not have to employ someone who you pay regardless of what they do, so you are only paying for what you need. You also avoid all the hidden costs like super, worker compensation insurance, annual leave, sick leave, training, providing equipment, consumables, etc, etc.

Expertise - You have access to experts on a fulltime basis without having to pay for it around the clock. Putting your accounts into the hands of highly skilled staff who understand industry leading best practice and technology your job becomes a whole lot easier and effective.

Focused - It is hard for a bookkeeper to do their job around the hustle and bustle of a business tucked away in the corner, having them offsite allows them to focus on your business

Team vs Individual - Unfortunately one bookkeeper is often not enough to effectively cope with everything that occurs within a modern business. When you go offsite you place your financial records in the hands of staff that thrive on teamwork.

Scalability - Allows you to expand or cutback in the blink of an eye. Whether you are looking to grow your business or cut down on spending, having an offsite team gives you the flexibility that in-house bookkeepeers can’t provide.

Accuracy - When you hire a bookkeeping service you are engaging experts who know how to enter and classify your transactions.

Lower Turnover - Many internal bookkeeper simply leave a business due to boredom, a better opportunity comes along or they feel underappreciated by the business sooner. No matter what the reason the absence of a bookkeeper it causes major financial turmoil for your business. If you engage an offsite company then you never have to hire again.

What’s The Difference Between A Bookkeeper And An Accountant?

A bookkeeper is predominantly responsible for recording the day to day transactions of a business.  Generally an accountant is engaged to provide a business advice at a higher level, such as structuring, tax planning and compliance.

Where a business engages their accountant on a proactive basis, it is beneficial if the bookkeeper works alongside with the accountant to ensure all the business’ transactions are recorded and transacted in accordance with the accountant’s advice. Carbon have divisions in both bookkeeping and accounting, with qualified specialists in each team. Contact us to see how we can help.

How Do I Hire A Good Bookkeeper?

Many small businesses don’t have enough work for a full time finance officer and so it is more beneficial for them to outsource their bookkeeping services until they grow large enough to warrant hiring someone for the job.  How do you know that you are hiring a good bookkeeper?  Will my bookkeeper do a good job?  Where should I look to find a good bookkeeper?  See how Carbon can help here.

It is important to ensure you can rely and trust your bookkeeper to handle your books efficiently.  Hiring a good bookkeeper, is like hiring a staff member, so treat it the same.  Remember to review their background, achievements, find out what other people think about them by asking around for their references and whether they get the job done. 

When you know that your bookkeeper comes highly recommended, it takes the stress away from the transition period.  Once you have chosen your bookkeeper, ensure you are clear with them from the start what your expectations are and keep the communication up so that no unexpected issues arise. 

When Is Superannuation Due?

Superannuation is due quarterly, 28 days after the end of the quarter for exact dates of the quarters and their relevant due date see below table:

Super Quarters & Due Date

1st July – 30th September: 28th October

1st October – 31st December: 28th January

1st January – 31st March: 28th April

1st April – 30th June: 28th July

It is extremely important superannuation payments are made on time as you can face severe penalties and interest for late or missing payments.

How Much Do I Need To Contribute For Superannuation?

The minimum super you must pay each quarter is called the Super Guarantee (SG) current SG contribution rate is 9.5% on ordinary earnings.

Ordinary earnings is the amount your employee earns for their ordinary hours of work. It includes things like commissions, shift loadings and allowances, but not overtime payments.

To calculate supers contributions simply multiply your employee’s ordinary earnings for the period by the current rate of 9.5%.

Do I Need To Clean My Books Before I Hand Them Over?

Not at all. We can assure you that you are not alone and we see this all the time. We know how busy life can get sometimes and often compliance is not your number one priority but we can absolutely get you up to date and keep you up to date. We find its easier, quicker and more efficient for us to start with the source data and enter it rather than trying to interpret and fix incomplete and missing entries.

Do not worry whatever state your accounts are currently in we can guarantee we have seen and fixed a lot worse.

I Am Behind In My BAS And Tax; How Do I Get Up To Date?

You are probably aware that it is compulsory to lodge a business activity statement at least quarterly. But maybe you have been a bit “naughty” and you have some overdue. You might have been too busy, the forms might have looked too complicated or there may have been legitimate reasons (like health or relationship issues) that stopped you from lodging. Do not worry, it is very common, and (with the right help) the problem is easily fixed. Whatever the reason you fell behind, you need to get up to date. And once you do, you’ll get a better night’s sleep as well.

The easiest way is to drop in for an obligation free coffee and we will run through your situation or give us a call if you don’t live locally. We deal with situations like this day in day out and can guarantee we have seen and fixed a lot worse. We will even liase with the Australian Taxation Office and will go into bat for you to see if we can get penalties and interest waived on your behalf (no guarantees but our track record is pretty good).

Stop stressing about it and let us handle it.

Why Do I Need A Bookkeeper

Having a good bookkeeper in Perth will ensure you have efficient accounting systems which helps you manage critical components of your business.

Why Should I Outsource My Bookkeeping?

Most small and medium business owners do not have the knowledge, time or ability to effectively perform their bookkeeping duties. Outsourcing a bookkeeper will provide you with the time required to focus on your business operations. Click here for more information.

How Do We Get Started?

Give us a call or send us an email and we'll arrange for you to come into our office so that we can learn a little more about you and your business, as well as telling you about ourselves and letting you know how we might be able to help. The first meeting is complimentary and obligation free.

I'm Already Set Up With Xero, But I'm Not 100% Sure How To Use It.

Xero is a very user friendly software, but there are still tips and tricks that can make your life easier- even for the savviest of users. The Xero Community has a wealth of information and ‘how to’ manuals for completing different tasks, but if you need a little more hands on and personalised help, Carbon can help with a one-on-one personalised training session, see here for details: http://carbongroup.com.au/pricing-training/

 

I'm Not On Xero, Can I Still Use Your Services?

We generally find that Xero is the most suitable software for the majority of small business owners at the moment. 

However we are not a one size fits all company and our bookkeepers are also accredited in all versions of MYOB and Quickbooks (QBO) as well as various other software packages and programs. At our complimentary initial meeting we will run through what your business does and where you want to get to in the future, and from there we can make recommendations about what software would suit you best. The decision is yours, and we are more then happy to use the software you are most comfortable with. 

 

We Currently Spend Too Much Time On Payroll. Is There A More Streamlined Solution?

Payroll can be a complex area especially for small to medium sized businesses who are not familiar with it.  A simple solution for small to medium sized businesses is to outsource their payroll function.  At Carbon we have a team that specialises in processing payroll.  We understand payroll is an integral part of your business and needs to be completed with accuracy as it can have a significant impact on your employees personal circumstances. We tailor our services to meet your business’ needs whilst ensuring all your compliance needs are met with regard to Tax and Superannuation.  

Business Systems

What Is A Point Of Sale System?

With the enhancements being made in the financial technology industry, cloud applications are becoming more popular amongst small businesses. But what is a cloud point of sale system?

We’ll use the retail and hospitality industry as an example. In basic terms, a point-of-sale is the store or restaurant’s register system used to take orders, send orders to the kitchen and bar, track and process inventory orders and stock counts as well as recording customer payments. Native point-of-sale systems are purchased outright and physically installed onto each computer/device within the store or restaurant. The flaw with this approach is when the software is outdated it needs to be manually updated by purchasing the new software and installing it again.

Secondly, if the business owner has the desire to manage their business from home or simply review a day’s sales performance they need to purchase additional licenses that will need to be installed on the equipment at their home office as well.

A cloud point-of-sale eliminates this, as it allows the user to login from any device in any location.

Since the data is secured online it allows the owner to review any performance or management reports from the convenience of their home office without additional installations, purchases or upgrades.

We all know starting up can be difficult and every small business start-up will be restricted with the amount of capital available. Using a cloud-based application eliminates the need for a complete computer system fitout as you can simply start with the computers or devices (tablet or mobile) you currently own.

Cloud POS…helping you focus on sales…everything else is automated. Carbon have a dedicated team of cloud integrators to get you started. Give them a call to discuss how they can get you started with a customised POS system.

What Is The Price Of A POS System To Buy?

The cost of a POS system is definitely important if you’re just starting up, but it’s not a straight forward answer. There are many factors that can influence the price of your POS system, here’s a few things you should think about:

  • Which software will you use?
  • How many cash register terminals will you require?
  • Will you learn and setup the system yourself, or will you require assistance from an expert?
  • Do you require an electrician or an IT expert to ensure you have the appropriate infrastructure to implement a point of sale system?

With all things being considered, we would highly recommend using the services of a software consultant to ensure you’re setting up the best application for your business.

You should also be aware that assistance from an expert will actually reduce the overall time to setup the POS system as well as save you time and money.

The best way to find an expert POS installer is to look for the POS software’s partners page.

What's The Best POS System For My Business?

Choosing the best POS system for your business is absolutely critical. If you’ve looked online you quickly become overwhelmed with the amount of different point of sale systems with differing features out there, as all businesses have different requirements it’s important to get some assistance in finding the best one for your business. This is where a POS expert can help, they’ve already done the leg work to identify the best POS software out there, learn the products and their features.

  • If you’re going it alone, here’s a few tips to find the best POS system
  • Is it easy on the eye? A system that’s easy to understand will be a lot faster to learn
  • Are they a secure company, How long have they been around?
  • Do they have all the features that your business requires?
  • Do they have time-saving features, like;
    • Inventory management?
    • Staff management?
    • Customer information gathering for loyalty and marketing purposes and therefore boost sales?
    • Direct integration into an accounting package like Xero saves a massive amount of double entry?
  • Is it affordable?
  • Does the subscription scale as your business grows?
  • Do they offer 24/7 support?

Carbon Business System are preferred partners for many Xero add-ons. Contact them today to discuss your needs for a point of sale solution for your business. Call (08) 9446 8588.

Insurance

What Kind Of Insurance Do I Need For My Business?

The Insurance that is needed for any business can vary greatly depending on the occupation/industry in question. Typical Business insurance policies may include the following:

  • Public & Products Liability
  • Business Property
  • Business Interruption
  • Theft
  • Money
  • General Property
  • Mechanical Breakdown
  • Commercial Motor Vehicle
  • Management Liability

There are also insurance policies that, in addition to the above, are recommended for businesses that give any sort of professional advice. Examples of this are as follows

  • Professional Indemnity
  • Directors And Officers

Any business that operate using online servers, cloud based programs and or store personal information, are recommended to take out cyber insurance.

The above insurances, while strongly recommended for all business owners, are optional. This is not the case however when it comes to workers compensation Insurance as any business that employs staff must have workers compensation insurance in place as per the respective state legislation.

How Much Would I Insure My Business For?

It is important to ensure your business is adequately insured, and its individual merits as businesses can vary greatly in size, industry, and risk exposure.

When establishing how much to insure your business for, consider things such as turnover, profit, value of property such as the building, contents, stock or tools. It is also important to consider what the potential financial impact could be to the business when you are not able to trade for extended periods due to an insured event, for example fire or machinery breakdown.

Another key point to consider is ensuring that your insurances values/limits are reviewed regularly. Businesses change all the time, and the insurance should be updated accordingly to avoid being under insured.     

Will A Company Vehicle Be Covered With Business Insurance?

In Short – No. A typical Business Insurance Policy will consist of cover for Business Property such as contents and or stock, Business Interruption, Public & Products Liability, Theft, Machinery Breakdown, General Property and Electronic Equipment. Company Vehicles must be insured separately under a Commercial Vehicle Insurance Policy. Depending on the business type, you may also be able to insure them under a Private Motor Insurance Policy but noting the vehicle is for business use.

Some Insures may allow you attach a Commercial Motor Insurance policy to your Business Insurance Policy, however they are insured separately.

What Does An Insurance Broker Do?

An insurance broker is a professional adviser who is an expert in insurance and can also assist with risk management. Insurance can be incredibly complicated to fully understand, and an insurance broker can help you understand the details of a policy and also work out what level of cover you need so that you are adequately covered. Using a broker doesn't necessarily cost more. In most cases, it costs less because brokers have knowledge of the insurance market and the ability to negotiate competitive premiums on your behalf. Insurance brokers deal with a range of insurance companies directly and in some cases they can access policies that are not readily available to most customers. If the worst happens and you do have to make a claim, a broker will act on your behalf, liaising with the insurance company to negotiate the best possible outcome for the client. Speak to the team at Carbon Insurance broker to see how we can help you.

Finance

How To Find A Good Broker

With the many changes taking place within the lending sphere over the past year or two, it is now more important than ever to choose the right broker in order to achieve your desired goal.

Experience and Knowledge:

Experienced brokers have taken years building up knowledge of each lender's specific requirements and understand how to structure a loan application so that it is presented in the best possible light for approval.

Industry Qualifications and Memberships

A Certificate IV in Mortgage Broking is the industry minimum requirement of education for all brokers in Australia. To become a senior broker, brokers must attain a Diploma in Finance and Mortgage Broking Management.

Speak Your Language

Finance is full of industry jargon and terminology. Ensure you choose a broker who is able to speak to you plainly and helps educate you in what these phrases mean and how they affect you.

Referrals From Friends and Family

Nothing beats a referral from someone you trust. Ask around, and contact a few brokers. Ask a lot of questions, brokers expect that of you and are here to help.

 

The best way to know if you have found the right broker is to talk to them face to face and see if you believe they are working in your best interest. Carbon Finance brokers can either visit you in our offices or at your home or work for no charge. Why not give us a call? Dial (08) 9446 8588 and speak to Julia.

What Does A Mortgage Broker Cost Me?

At Carbon Finance, we do not charge any property mortgage clients an upfront brokerage fee – our sole mortgage transaction income is derived from the commissions paid by the lenders as outlined below. As Carbon Finance belongs to the multifaceted Carbon Business Group, we are able to absorb our advisory expenses without the need to charge large upfront fees to compensate.  Our mortgage advisors are highly qualified and knowledgeable; don’t pay unnecessary fees, call Carbon Finance for all your mortgage solutions on (08) 9446 8588.

The cost to you to use a mortgage broker will largely depend on which mortgage broker you choose to do business with.  In Australia, all mortgage brokers are paid a commission by the lenders to act as the intermediary between you and the lender and to facilitate the financial transaction through to settlement. The commissions paid by each lender varies, however these variations tend to me minor. If the loan does not settle, then there is no remuneration paid. There are also instances where a mortgage broker will not be paid anything at all – for instance, where the mortgage is of such a low amount that the lender does not consider it sufficient enough to pay for or where you are simply negotiating a lower interest rate or swapping to another type of loan. In most cases, mortgage brokers also have to pay back some or all of the commissions forwarded if the loan is subsequently paid out within a certain amount of time – usually 12 – 18 months, although the timeframe can be longer.

Due to the large responsibility placed on a mortgage broker with regards to regulatory compliance and the fact that a large portion of the work that a mortgage broker performs does not attract a commission, many mortgage brokers have chosen to charge an actual mortgage broking fee to the client to assist with their finance requirements, much like a financial planner would charge an upfront fee. Any fees charged by a mortgage broker must be fully disclosed via a credit quote to you before you engage their services and you must sign to accept that you are willing to pay these fees.

What Questions Should I Ask My Mortgage Broker?

There are several pertinent questions you should always ask your mortgage broker before you engage them to act on your behalf:

  • How much experience do you have?  Within the industry, brokers with less than 2 years experience are not considered fully qualified independent brokers.
  • How many lenders do you have on your panel?  You want to ensure that your broker has access to a large number of lenders – 25+ is a good figure.
  • How do you get paid?  Find out whether or not the broker charges a brokerage fee on top of the commission they will be paid by the lender.
  • Are you available outside of normal business hours?  At times, you will need to speak to your broker at evenings and weekends, especially if you are wanting to buy a house.  It’s best to check how flexible your broker will be to speak to you at these times.
  • Do you offer a mobile service?  With such busy lives, it is not always possible to meet with a broker in their office.  Find out if your broker can come to you rather than you going to them.

At Carbon Finance, we have experienced mobile mortgage brokers available at the times to suit your needs.  Call us now to speak to one of our qualified people.

What Does A Mortgage Broker Do?

Over the years, I have often asked clients if they know what it is that a mortgage broker actually does.  Usually, they nod in a vague way before admitting that they don’t really quite understand how it all works.

A mortgage broker acts as an advisor to you.  Our job is to ascertain your lending requirements and source suitable options to meet your needs.  The key word here is suitable.  Mortgage brokers are governed by strict compliance rules and must not act to your detriment in order to make a financial gain.  We have a pool of lenders that we are able to go to for your finance - once we have determined your needs and established which lenders will provide the best options for your unique circumstances, we act as a liaison between you and the bank until settlement of the loan.

By using a mortgage broker, you can be sure you will receive tailored advice and choices – something not found when you deal only with one bank.  Call Carbon Finance now to ensure you are getting the best deal.