Switching to Accounting on the Cloud

Ahhhh ‘the Cloud’… where is it and what does it do!? You may be unaware but you probably already adopt a number of cloud technologies in your business today – these are systems where you can access your data remotely. Dropbox, Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office 365 or even a Google App… these are all on ‘the Cloud’, and as you would have noticed they are greatly beneficial to your business.

Here at Bilanz, we work with a number of Cloud Accounting Softwares. But what is Cloud Accounting you ask? Well, the good news is that it works in a similar way to the other cloud systems. You use it the same as normal accounting software however the data isn’t stored on your own computer, instead the data is stored remotely on secure severs. The benefit to using cloud-based accounting software is that it eliminates the threat of vital data being deleted, corrupted, stolen or lost. This means that you can access your information anytime from anywhere, whether it be from your laptop, phone or tablet. Information is readily available, reducing your IT costs and giving you, as a busy small business owner, an all access pass to your accounts, bookkeeping and invoices.  

So what is the Cloud?!

Walk in to any small, medium or large business a few years ago (and some still today) and you’d see some type of IT server. This server device might have sat under a desk, or in a bigger business there would be a dedicated room in the corner of the building full of them. Unless you were the IT person this was strictly forbidden territory. Fast forward to now and many businesses no longer need this infrastructure on their premise. Whether or not they realise it, they’ve moved to storing and accessing information using the internet, and so we have the Cloud.

How does Cloud Accounting fit into all of this and is it easy to convert to the cloud?

Just like other cloud based applications, Cloud Accounting has really taken off in the last few years and for good reason. Transparency, ease of use and latest accounting tools are allowing businesses to spend less time worrying about their books and more time focused on optimising their business in other areas, such as selling more goods, delivering quality service or managing their general operations more efficiently. Bilanz CPA Accounting Manager: Andi Moneta enjoys using Cloud Accounting because of the “flexibility and efficiency that Cloud accounting allows. Cloud software offers the latest in powerful accounting tools and applications while allowing for the convenience of being able to work from anywhere with an internet connection”. 

Cloud conversion easy as 1,2,3.. and we can show you how!

Although it is possible to convert to cloud accounting at any point, most business owners find it easy to start fresh with a new accounting system by converting at the beginning of a fiscal year (new *fiscal year, new me.. right?!). Now is the best time to start using a cloud based accounting system and we are showing you how easy it is to set up at our Bookkeeping Basics & Software Set up Workshop on July 25th, 2019 (4-6pm) at our fun office in North Fremantle. Check out our Workshops/Training page for more information or get FREE tickets now at Eventbrite!  

Marketing … or anything else?

I don’t know about you, but as a small business trying to grow, marketing has always taken a back seat to other demands within the business.  What an oxymoron!  Imagine trying to grow your business without considering marketing at all… yet we all do it.

I suspect much of the resistance to progressing our focus onto this simply stems from the fact that we are in the business of running our own business and for most of us, our business is not in digital or print marketing.  So what do we do when we aren’t confident in a task?  Procrastinate.  Obviously.  We use any spare time we may find to review important topics such as; ‘cute animals doing cute things’, watch national yoga and spend countless hours formatting that spreadsheet you’re not being paid to format.  Although to be fair, a poorly formatted spreadsheet is sacrilege.  I like to call this marketing for small business, Phase One.

Once we have finally woken up to the inevitable, we seek the advise of our modern day oracle – google.  This search leads to a plethora of advise – all a little different from one another.  Congratulations, you have now progressed to Phase Two of small business marketing attempts.  Otherwise known as the ‘bugger this’ phase (go straight back to Phase One, do not pass go and do not collect more business along the way).

Lucky for most entrepreneurs I know, we do have one very handy skill.  We have a relatively short attention span to attempts of trial and error (read an ability to move on very quickly from what doesn’t work).  We are able to blindly follow our nose to the next brainwave of success which visibly (yet precariously) balances on the horizon.  Phase three, we usually also have absolutely no qualms in asking for advice from fellow business owners (or anyone who looks vaguely like they might know something).  I was lucky enough to be able to come across some excellent advise which has sent me on a path of totalsuccess (note positivity noted above).

Phase Four – I simply had to accept that this process was not going to be much fun and much like algebra in year 12, I just had to do it…

The ‘Good News’

The small business development corporation has a great 8 step process for starting up.  Yes, some of them you’ve seen before, however these are the steps which you simply have to take.  Jumping into digital or other marketing avenues without going through these steps is more than likely going to lead to an unsuccessful marketing campaign which will leave you with a sour taste in your mouth and a bank account to match.  Sorry.

Step 1: Conduct your market research.  Identify your top 3 competitors and have a look at what they are doing.  Talk to existing customers, as them what they needed or still need.

Step 2: Profile your target markets.  This was a tricky one for me.  My answer to this was … all of them!  The advise was, choose.  They don’t have to be the target forever, but you need to choose.  A broad brush simply doesn’t produce results.  Consider geography, demographics, behavior and lifestyle.

Step 3:  Identify your unique selling proposition.  Even if you have hundreds of competitors, you went into business for a reason – you wanted to provide goods or services and produce results for your customers.  Every business has a uniqueness of service.  You need to find yours.

Step 4:  Develop your business brand.  Whether we like it or not, our brand is important.  It needs to talk to people, it needs to encourage people to want to engage with you, it needs to be consistent and it needs to look good.

Step 5:  Choose your marketing avenues.  There are so many ways we can go with this, try to work with a professional who can give you the best result for the least investment, particularly early on.  Website, SEO, promotional material, advertising, donation & sponsorships… the list goes on.

Step 6:  Set goals and a budget.  This might be the hardest for small business owners.  Many of us will say ‘what marketing budget?’.  We have not had the experience to know how much we need to spend for the results that we are looking for but we need to be willing to spend for a few months before the results and a return on investment start to show.

Finally – a shameless plug to Angela Han @ Media On Mars (https://www.mediaonmars.com.au).  If you want results, that’s all you’ll get with these guys.

Words of wisdom, over & out!

But seriously, watch National Yoga….

Let The Fun Begin!

Well here we are – 2018! What a year it’s going to be… we wish all of our clients, friends, families and associates a fabulous 2018.

From what we have been hearing, 2017 was a tough year for many, so I think it’s safe to say that we are quite pleased to see the back of it!

A big moment for us – the first blog of 2018 (or ever!) and a website (finally!). Doing business these days, you almost feel as though you don’t actually exist until you have made your mark in the digital sphere. Glad to be catching up!

We have a lot to look forward to this year, namely Single-Tax Payroll as well as many changes to small business tax legislation and implementation….

Keep your eyes on this blog – we will aim to update you as regularly as we can!

In the meantime, keep an eye on our facebook page for our upcoming competition which guarantees you a prize completely unrelated to bookkeeping … because lets face it, we all need our books in good working order however a night at gold-class may be just what you need to get your R&R quota for the month!

Thanks for taking the time and have a great rest of the week!

Team Bilanz