CASE STUDIES

The following case studies provide descriptions of some typical ways that Nifty Bookkeeping helps small business owners to take better control of their businesses. Although there are similarities between most businesses it is our ability to adjust our service to the differences between businesses, and the differences between owners and what they want from their business, that makes all the difference.

Computerising a Manual Office

Our client was running a very busy small business in the legal field. This business required the processing of dozens of documents and invoices every day. She also had to track debtors for up to 4 months.

The client had never had time to assess her own bookkeeping practices and was maintaining all her bookkeeping using a typewriter and a manual filing system. The system was becoming unmanageable and severely restricting the growth of the business. The stress levels she was experiencing were enormous.

The introduction of the changes requirements of the ATO in relation to GST and BAS regulations – plus the recommendation of a friend – prompted her to seek the advice of Nifty Bookkeeping.

Janice Marken, the manager of Nifty Bookkeeping, visited the client’s office and after reviewing her daily and weekly workflow was able to recommend a software package, a computer system, a new filing system and a new workflow incorporating a weekly visit from a Nifty Bookkeeping staff member.

The client purchased the computer herself from her preferred supplier. Nifty Bookkeeping assisted in the purchase of the appropriate version of the software and a new filing system was created. A routine was established whereby the client would maintain the vast majority of the work while a Nifty Bookkeeping staff member would come in once a week, for 6 hours, to take care of some key aspects of the bookkeeping including the bank reconciliation, the payroll, and filling in and submitting the BAS. We also liaised with the ATO and accountant as necessary.

This client has gone from strength to strength since the change. The efficiency of the new workflow enabled her to take on a new very large contract. She has also hired an assistant and purchased a second computer.

The stress levels for the client have been reduced and she is now confident of her capacity to take on many new clients in the future due to the fact that her business practices now support her in the things she is trying to achieve.

Bringing Overdue Books Up to Date

There are many small business owners who are worried that their book work is in such a state of neglect that it cannot be recovered and brought up to date. Many are also just embarrassed that they have let their books get into such a state.
The fact is that many business owners have been so busy keeping the business running and/or helping it grow that they have not had time to keep an eye on the book work. When this realization comes it is time to contact a bookkeeper.
One Nifty Bookkeeping client is a good example of this situation. He is a self-employed builder. He had neglected his book work for over three years and knew that he would have to eventually clear up his tax obligations.
He contacted Nifty Bookkeeping and said that he wanted everything caught up to date so that he could put it behind him and move on. He had most of his receipts and documents kept from over the years.
He brought his paperwork to Nifty Bookkeeping’s office in Beaconsfield and a staff member went through what he had and identified any missing documents. About a year’s worth of bank statements was missing.
The statements were ordered from the bank and the book work was commenced while waiting for the statements to arrive. Once they arrived the bookkeeping was completed. The client did not have an accountant. The staff member was able to recommend one of the many accountants that Nifty Bookkeeping has dealings with.
Once everything was finalized the client made arrangements with the ATO to pay off his obligations. This was a great relief for the client and he was able to move confidently into the future knowing there was no need to get into the same state again.
He now simply sends his bank statements and receipts to Nifty Bookkeeping once a month. Once the book work is done it is sent to the client’s new accountant. The client can now concentrate on his own business.

Who owes you what? Debt recovery

One of the major problems faced by small business owners is a high rate of debtors. Many small business owners know they are working hard and also know that they are making a profit yet they despair that they just never seem to have any money available.
This was the case for one of our clients who runs a busy and successful franchise. His business was doing more work than ever. He was picking up new customers all the time and his staff were working efficiently enough.
He sought the services of Nifty Bookkeeping to help him out with his general bookkeeping. After an initial assessment by Nifty Bookkeeping’s manager Janice Marken it was decided that he would need a Nifty Bookkeeping staff member for three days a week to bring things up to date and then for two days a week continually after that.
Within a couple of days, the regular bookkeeping highlighted some key issues within his business operations that were affecting his success and his lifestyle.
The main issue was that he had virtually no procedure in place to track the money that was owed to him by his clients. Not all of his clients paid for his services on the day and some were repeat customers.
After further bookkeeping, it was discovered to his amazement that he was owed thousands of dollars in payments. The first thing that the Nifty Bookkeeping staff member did was to make a list of all money owed, then telephoned each client and requested payment. Almost all were happy to write a cheque right then. Some even said they had been wondering when they were going to be asked to pay for the service.
The client instantly had thousands of dollars available in cash. A new system was designed, implemented and maintained whereby invoices are raised immediately and debtors are tracked and reminded at appropriate times.
This has resulted in a more successful business and a more relaxed and confident owner.

You do most of the bookkeeping yourself

Nifty Bookkeeping’s services can be scaled to meet the needs of both large and small clients.
For example, one client who runs a manufacturing business employing 5 staff was having all their bookkeeping done by Nifty Bookkeeping.
After a while, one of the partners in the business found that she had more time available than before and decided to take a more active role in the administrative side of the business.
The Nifty Bookkeeping staff member who was doing the book work for one day once a week began to scale down her hours as the owner took on more and more of the role.
Now the owner handles almost all of the bookkeeping and calls on Nifty Bookkeeping when she has a problem or comes across something she has not encountered before. A Nifty Bookkeeping staff member still calls in once a month for a couple of hours to help with the important stage of “bank reconciliation”.
The strength of Nifty Bookkeeping is in its flexibility to respond and adapt to the changing needs of its clients.

You want to be trained to do it yourself

Some small business owners want to do the bookkeeping themselves. The nature of their work may afford them the time and/or they have a partner who is happy to assist by taking on the role and provide important support input into the business.
All Nifty Bookkeeping staff are able to teach any client who would like to manage their own bookkeeping. The advantage of this type of training is that it is highly efficient, practical and effective.
Often clients will learn how to do their bookkeeping by working on and bringing their own bookwork up to date.
Training can go to any level that a client requires.
One client, for example, runs a medium sized trade based contracting business. His wife was keeping the books manually but found that the business was growing beyond her capabilities to keep up with the book work.
She contacted Nifty Bookkeeping and a visit was arranged. The client purchased a copy of MYOB and was trained to use the payroll function as this was the area that needed the most attention.
At a later date, she requested to be trained in the other areas of MYOB so that she could use it to maintain the rest of the business’ books.
She is now managing the books efficiently on her own and occasionally calls a Nifty Bookkeeping staff member if she encounters any problems. Most of these are rectified over the phone. The occasional visit is required for more complicated requests.

You have an unconventional style business

Not all businesses are the same and all have their own specialized requirements when it comes to bookkeeping. As well as differences between businesses there are also differences in the way that owners like to run them.
With over 80 clients the Staff at Nifty Bookkeeping are continually exposed to various types of business structures and procedures.
The variety of businesses and types of industries that Nifty Bookkeeping assists is very wide and diverse.
This enables Nifty Bookkeeping staff to assist clients running traditional businesses as well as those with more unconventional types.
An example of this is a client who makes their income through various share trading and property investments. This requires a specific type of management of accounts and is a little more demanding on the software than a manufacturing or trade based business.
Another example is a client who works part-time for an employer and then runs a small business the rest of the time. He needs to consider how his wages are recorded in relation to his business profits.
Yet another example is a client that imports his products from overseas and has to contend with customs and import duties. He needs to continually monitor the value of the Australian dollar to ensure he is making enough profit on his transactions.
No matter what type of business a client operates, simple or complex, small or large, Nifty Bookkeeping’s staff have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to maintain the bookkeeping in a professional manner.

 

Feel free to contact us anytime by email or phone. We’ll be happy to discuss with you the type of service you might need and the ways in which we might help.