Category Archives: Bookkeeping

Your ATO need to know for 2019

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We thought it would be a good idea to make sure that you are aware of some key dates on the ATO calendar for 2019, so that the big bad tax man doesn’t sneak up on you!

So to start you off, your December 2018 Qtr BAS is due by the 28th February 2019, along with your PAYG, see below or click here for ATO calendar. Remember with the Tax man it’s better to ask for permission than forgiveness!

All the best for 2019, keep listing and selling!

Running a Family Business? Here’s a Tip

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The real estate industry abounds in Family businesses, particularly husband and wife teams, and it is one of the enjoyable aspects of the industry for employees to work closely with the owner operators but beware of forgetting that employees are not family members.

Familiarity and time can blur the lines for owners when speaking to their staff, especially when providing instructions to employees for particular tasks. So here is a list for family business owners to work towards.

1. Agree on your roles.
2. Have formal meetings together in a closed room, and sign off on plans, agreeing; what is to be done and, who communicates it to the employees, ideally it should be written down.
3. The chosen owner should inform the relevant employees of the strategy and be clear.
4. The other family owner should remain out of the discussion and agree with the written or spoken instructions of the chosen owner.
5. Review the success or failure of each decision in private

The following list of don’ts can make employees feel awkward or uncomfortable

1. Arguing about the decision made, and saying it was wrong of the other family member to instruct the employee the way they were.
2. Confiding in the employee that you cannot express how exhausting it is dealing with business matters.
3. Being unpredictable in your decision making, which can cause employees to be confused.
4. Bringing other family matters into the conversation unnecessarily.

In short you have to get your communication right and remember to be clear when you are making business decisions, and when you are making family ones. Employees thrive in an environment of great leadership, they wilt in the face of division, they certainly don’t want to feel they have to pick sides.

10 Actions Points for your Business to be the Big Fish in your Real Estate Market?

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Want to be the dominant business in your market and have a profit to show for it? Here’s a word of advice, don’t rely how today’s successful businesses got there, that can’t be replicated ever again, but if you have the ambition to match them, if not topple them, then adopt these action points and if you want it bad enough, there is nothing stopping you. 

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I am currently working on my book, and in preparation for its completion I was asked how I would run an agency if I was to do so. It got me to think about what I have learned from successful businesses I have analysed from the inside out, across all markets.

So here are the actions points you must complete if you are to become the market leading agency no matter where you are.

  1. Work hard! Your best competitors are. If you want to be the best business, you have to beat the best business.
  2. Focus on innovative ways to get an edge, but on the important factors first. Which ones you might ask? no surprise here: “LISTINGS , LISTINGS, LISTINGS” or “PRODUCTIVE AGENTS, PRODUCTIVE AGENTS…..!
  3. You can’t become invincible in your first year, but you can become insolvent. Keep cash flow flowing.
  4. You can always pay your best agents more, if they do more.
  5. If a good business in your market comes up for sale, buy it, but do your homework
  6. Property Management is small in cash flow, but big in value. It’s not a complaint line, it’s a golden egg.
  7. Profit is the goal, not income. Business is about spending a $1.00 to make $1.16, not 85c. Income is great, but margin is what you keep.
  8. Measure everything and review it. Learn from your successes and failures.
  9. Don’t limit your potential, but minimise your risks. Always know when to stop a bad decision and don’t apologise.
  10. Listen to experts, not naysayers. If you have good people, your business will fly and remember to look after them.

If you are thinking about getting into agency business and want to know how it all works, speak to people you either trust or who you know have had success in real estate business. It makes it so much easier when you get things right from the start, rather than the all to familiar “learning the hard way” mentality.

We are always available to help any agent who wants to get their books in order and their business plan finished, just contact us at info@liverealestateaccounts.com.au . The rest is all about hard work and results.

Happy listing and selling,

Chris

EOFY Tip #5 – Make Changes To Your Financial Accounts

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The most commonly neglected aspect of business management in my opinion is the state of the financial chart of accounts.

Ask yourself this question, if I asked you to print off a profit and loss report from your accounting software, how much confidence would you have that you could lay your hands on it within one day?

If your answer is yes, then that’s a good start, but I would add, when you read the report does it offer any critical insight other than your total income, or bottom line result? For those of you that answer no, how can you run a professional business and not have access to the ultimate financial result?

It is understandable that this is not an area of strength that all business owners have. But whether it is getting a process and system in place that produces these reports on a monthly basis, or making changes to the chart of accounts for a better breakdown of financial information – these changes are well placed to happen from the first month of every new financial year in July because accounting software rolls forward on the 1st, and provides a clean slate.

Don’t make changes without consulting a suitable professional advisor, or qualified Bookkeeper. Live Bookkeeping can help you whether it is by providing the template to change or outsourced bookkeeping services to implement the changes. If you are serious about your business, you need to get serious about your financial scoreboard and reporting.

5 Things To Kick Off The End Of The Financial Year

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It’s the end of financial year (EOFY) and for many of you the challenge of finishing the current year is enough of a task, let alone looking at the next financial year.

Over the next few weeks give yourself some time to undertake 5 simple tasks any business should conduct at this important time of year.

So what are the 5 simple ideas? These ideas relate to the financial management of your business, and while there are many more that could be completed, I believe all of the following actions should be addressed over the coming months, June, July and August.

  • Speak to your Tax Accountant
  • Finalise your financial budget completely
  • Address agent and staff packages
  • Initiate supplier reviews and cost control systems
  • Make changes to your financial accounts As I mentioned before, these can be all actioned after the 30 June, but ideally you should speak to your tax account before the EOFY.

I hope you can all action at least one or two of these initiatives over the coming months, and to help you, I will post 5 more detailed explanations of what each idea contains.

Are All Bookkeepers The Same? Definitely Not!

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Bookkeepers are all the same – they make sure the numbers add up and the petty cash balances, right? Wrong.


Bookkeeping is a skill beyond being able to turn a calculator on – and real estate bookkeeping is more specialised again. The average real estate business owner is more than likely a great sales person, not an experienced bookkeeper. So it makes sense for them to spend their time driving new business and leave the accounting and reconciliation to business professionals.
 
 
Live Bookkeeping was born to provide a solution to this problem for Real Estate business owners across Australia. I have seen and heard almost every scenario, from the bare basics of bookkeeping to a highly qualified accountant on-site full-time. Like any business decision, your individual agencies needs must be met. It can seem costly to pay this “backoffice” task, when you are trying to build a business, but be wary of unwittingly walking into a disaster because you wished away responsibility for your accounts.
 
A qualified bookkeeper will tell you how to organize your financial accounts, and keep on top of BAS, Superannuation and PAYG requirements. They will reconcile your accounts and provide peace of mind.  But that is where bookkeeping ends, bookkeepers are not accountants.  
 
Preparing profit and losses, making changes to your chart of accounts, preparing budgets are not the mandate of bookkeepers. Running your trust account and settling property sales and property management accounts are also not bookkeeping skill sets. If you want these to be combined, you are looking for industry experience and expertise, and they are both scarce and costly.
Outsourcing is a sound option, and can provide solutions to all of the above tasks, and even better provide greater capacity for the same overall costs.
 
If you need to review how you currently operate your “back-office”, contact Live Bookkeeping to have a free assessment done, today.