Doctor Digital, what can I do for my business to get EoFY ready?
Doctor Digital Says
EoFY is hurtling towards Tasmanian small businesses, which means different things for different organisations. For some it's sheer panic with a mixed box of paper receipts, for some sweet cloud-based capture and digitised order, for others it is a chance to spend a few dollars on devices to get some tax breaks. While of course your bookkeeper and accountant are the ultimate authority this time of year, here are some innovative ways to make EoFY a time for celebrating - the Digital Ready way.
Head to the Cloud
Accounting has transformed over the last decade. Digital accounting tools have come a long way from the pricey desktop software that required a download to your computer. Now, most use cloud computing, so you can securely access your finances from anywhere, at any time. From Xero to MYOB, QuickBooks to Rounded, each tool has different features, plans and prices - ranging from cheap to expensive. If you aren't using some kind of cloud based accounting system, perhaps this is the year to make the move. Cloud-based software offers many benefits over on-premises solutions, including allowing users to work from anywhere, at any time, automation of time-consuming manual processes, improved accuracy and compliance and the ability to accelerate financial close processes with less effort.
Depending on the software, companies can gain additional benefits, such as more predictable software costs, less spending on hardware, lower IT overhead, better disaster recovery, sophisticated threat and security monitoring, higher levels of availability, greater performance and scalability. With multiple people able to use your account you can share information across your business and finance team. With the cloud offering a real time single source of truth, everyone in the organization works from exactly the same information - simples!
Tech development never stops, and while cutting edge devices and software across all areas of your business might be an ideal wish list purchase, it’s worth considering where improvements can be made now. One area where efficiency can (almost always) be improved is how you manage data and information. So, consider where cloud services or software can smooth out any data and information speed bumps. Then, think hardware: is it time to invest in upgraded mobile devices and tablets? If so, this could work as a tax write-off – make sure you ask your tax adviser. Have you upgraded your operating systems to the latest update? Have you looked into digitisation of your workflows? It’s a good idea to ask yourself is there a digital solution to this paper problem? Outdated processes could be costing you time and money. It’s worth doing your research and investing in digital solutions that could help you be more efficient, achieve more and help manage your work-life balance. EoFY could be a good time to consider purchasing or upgrading your devices, items for your home office, or purchasing software, programs or subscriptions to improve your productivity and start the new financial year fresh and connected.
For as long as businesses are connected online, digital security should continue to be one of their highest priorities. And as we continue to experience the changes brought about by COVID-19, it’s essential to keep on top of the latest updates and tools – and not just for the sake of your business’s bottom line. Digital security is a major gap for many businesses. If a cyber security event strikes, it has major revenue and cost implications. Not to mention the legal issues and added stress.
With hybrid working set to stay, businesses need to think holistically about digital security, across all settings and devices. Think about where you can invest, especially if you or your staff are using personal tech for business purposes. Would buying smartphones or laptops for your staff help you safeguard your sensitive business data? Would a virtual private network (VPN) help remote workers avoid connecting to a public or untrusted network? It’s also worth investing in an SSL certificate to show that you prioritise customer data protection.
Around tax time there is usually a flurry of scams from malicious agents pretending to represent the tax office. Monitor carefully any emails that claim to come from the tax office or their representatives and know that the ATO will NEVER ask for details online or through an email. If in doubt, call or check Scamwatch.
There's an App for that Receipt
Digitizing your receipts removes a lot of the hassle involved in your recordkeeping operation. Regularly scanning and storing your receipts means that when tax time comes, you won’t spend hours sorting through a pile of crumpled receipts wondering whether that $13 parking charge was for a client meeting or a date. It also means you won’t miss any valuable tax write-off and you’ll know exactly where your money is going every month—so you can cut spending where it’s getting out of hand.
Digitizing your records is also a great way to avoid accidentally tossing them in a move or an overzealous fit of spring cleaning. Plus, let’s not forget that paper records can fade, and are susceptible to damage. Telling the ATO that the dog ate my tax records simply won’t fly, so why not download an app and instantly upload a receipt. Many of the cloud-based accounting apps mentioned earlier have in-house or preferred suppliers, including popular apps like Expensify and Dext (formerly receipt bank) to make the upload and integration to your business spreadsheets seamless.
These are a few suggestions to maximise that most sacred time of year for financial services people, EoFY. And don't forget as we are nearly half way through the calendar year, there are only 6 months left for you to take advantage of the allocation of 4 hours free coaching by the awesome Digital Ready coaching team who can give you and your business all kinds of digital support and advice. Book a session here.