Nicolette answers QuickBooks' frequently asked questions

Nicolette Maury from Intuit QuickBooks answers three frequently asked questions about cashflow, accounting and managing finances for a small business or contractor.

14 May 2018

As a small business how can I better manage my cash flow?
Cash flow is a major concern for many small businesses, but there are a few thing you can do to make it easier on yourself. The main one is automate your processes wherever possible. The best way to do this is with cloud accounting software. You’ll save time on data entry and you’ll be much better at producing and monitoring your invoices. It also means you’ll have a clear and accurate picture of your finances whenever you need it. Our small business customers have suggested some other tips worth considering. Firstly, make sure you set up a good invoicing policy: define your terms and conditions, set a sensible schedule for sending them out, think about how you can streamline the approach for regular customers. Secondly, offer more ways for your customers to pay their invoices eg PayPal, EFT and credit card. The easier it is to pay an invoice, the quicker you’ll be paid. And finally, give some thought to incentivising on-time and early payment. A small discount for good behaviour can go a long way to getting money into your account sooner rather than later.

What are the advantages of having an accountant or bookkeeper?
Even if you’re already using cloud accounting software, it pays to have a highly trained eye overseeing your finances. Accountants are in a position to not only guide you on compliance to keep you on the right side of the ATO, they can also provide valuable insights into your business. By tracking your performance over time, they can advise on where you can cut costs, or improve efficiencies. Traditionally, bookkeepers have helped small businesses with data entry. With the arrival of the cloud, many of these processes have been automated. So you’ll find more bookkeepers offering to help small businesses choose suitable cloud accounting software and then get them setup and running. We strongly encourage all small businesses to enlist the help of either an accountant or bookkeeper to set you up for financial success.

I’m a contractor, any suggestions on how to manage my finances?
Get your finances in the cloud! It’s the easiest way to manage your cash flow, monitor your expenses, and get insights on your financial performance on the go. If you’re out on the road, you may want to consider QuickBooks Self Employed. It’s a cloud-based accounting solution tailored for sole traders, freelancers and contractors, like yourself. You can get paid faster because you can send an invoice the moment a job is complete. And you can manage your expenses better by tracking your mileage through the app, as well as being able to snap and store your receipts. For more information, visit our website here.