Recently one large retailer in Australia has started advertising bookkeeping “packages’ for sole traders. These packages allow, for example, a sole trader to purchase in advance a package which includes bookkeeping services, BAS lodgement, and even a “company tax return” (which is not applicable to sole traders!) and may look at first glance like a good deal.
But are you really getting bang for your buck?
There are a number of problems with this approach to buying bookkeeping services and if you’re not careful you may think you’re paying for a 5-star hotel but end up sleeping in the back seat of a car.
Your business is unique
A good bookkeeper gets to know you and your business. A really good bookkeeper will ask a lot of questions so they understand you, your business and your bookkeeping requirements.
Good working relationships are key to success
Just as importantly, you will want to get to know your bookkeeper because it’s important to have a good working relationship with the person you rely on to help you with your accounts. You want to know that the person on the other end of the phone has the experience you need and can communicate effectively with your customers and suppliers on your behalf.
Bookkeeping is not a “one-size-fits-all” service
An off-the-shelf package provides a one-size-fits-all service. It does not provide you with a personalised service and there is no guarantee that the experience of the person who is actually processing your accounts matches your needs.
Think carefully before you commit to a package. Don’t end up wishing you’d paid that little bit extra for a good night’s sleep.
Processing payroll through Xero is easy but here is a handy tip to make processing payroll even quicker and easier: Use ABA files to make payments.
What is an ABA file?
An ABA file is a special file generated by Xero which can be “read” by your bank. It makes it easy to transfer your information from Xero straight into your bank account without having to retype all the data. In this case, it means you don’t have to retype into your bank account each employee’s pay, you can simply upload the file from Xero. Quicker, easier and less room for error.
How do I make an ABA file in Xero?
Use this feature after you have finished posting your payrun.
- On the Payroll menu, click PayRuns.
- Click on the Payrun you want to process.
- Click Pay Run Options and select Download ABA.
- Save the file (it will automatically name it after the year, month and date and with the file extension “.aba”. For example, 20170414.aba would be an ABA file created on 14 April 2017.
- Open your bank account but instead of choosing “pay anyone” find the option to “import” a file and import the ABA file you have just created.
- Once you have “imported” or “uploaded” the file you can view it to see the individual payments.
What will the payment look like on my bank statement?
Once you have approved the payment it will be made as a “bulk” payment or “batch” deposit. It will look like one big payment on your bank statement. The bank will know from your ABA file how the payment should be split to each of your employees.
How do I reconcile the payment in Xero?
Reconciling the payment is easy! Simply Create a “spend money” payment to Wages and allocate it to your Wages Payable account. In the description it is good to make a note of the payrun week for easy future reference.
Don’t forget it’s the end of the quarter! That means it’s BAS time.
You need to submit your BAS and have it paid by 28th April. You also need to have your Super Guarantee Contributions paid by 28th April or you will have to pay an extra charge.
If you have a monthly instalment activity statement make sure you lodge and pay your February statement by 21st March.
Don’t forget …
If you submit your BAS monthly the due date for the January 2017 statement is Tuesday 21 February 2017.
Your December quarter BAS is due on Tuesday 28 February 2017.
Employers who failed to make super guarantee contributions for October-December 2016 by 28 January 2017 must lodge and pay the super guarantee charge (SGC) statement by 28 February 2017.
Don’t forget …
If you submit your BAS monthly the due date for the December 2016 statement is 21 January 2017.
Employers must make super guarantee contributions for October-December 2016 by 28 January 2017.
Free Your Days from paperwork and focus on what you do best: running your business.
Let us get to know you so we can offer the office support you need. From basic bookkeeping to helping you understand your BAS, from payroll and superannuation to cash flows, our focus is on providing a quality, stress-free service so you can get back enjoying your spare time.
Contact Rosie Day on 0403 211 258 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on services and fees.