How to improve your efficiency at tax time

Guide

Why switching to the cloud is the answer

As 30 June approaches, so does a seemingly infinite list of end of financial year tasks. But where pressure and stress levels have typically been at peak-level at this time, things are looking up – to the cloud. If your business is yet to make the switch to more efficient financial and reporting systems, it’s time to act now so you can begin the new financial year with a clean slate. 


Out with the old

Changing systems may seem daunting, but think of it as short-term pain for long-term gain. As with any change management, look within first to identify any bottlenecks or inefficiencies.

Are you attached to a reliable but clunky old system? Or do your admin staff distrust new technology because they’re so used to entering data manually?

Mindset can be one of the biggest roadblocks when you’re disrupting the system, but it’s quite simple: if your staff can see the benefits of the change, then they will adapt and the business will thrive.1


In with the new

According to global accounting community Panalitix, by the end of 2017 more than 90% of small and medium sized businesses will be using cloud-based accounting systems.2 And over 90% of accounting firms will be using cloud-based practice management systems.

So if you aren’t already underway with those systems, this end of financial year really is crunch-time.

According to Receiptbank, Xero and Quickbooks Online are leading the way globally.3 Along with MYOB Essentials, they automate many of the manual processes, from bank feeds and reconciliation to payroll and accounts payable.

Once your business has streamlined these processes, your team will have much more time to focus on the important things that can increase your bottom line.


Cloud control

Another clear advantage of implementing one of these systems is the flexibility that comes with it. As long as you’re connected to the internet, you can effectively manage your business including sending invoices, accessing payroll and tracking your cash flow from any device at any time.

Accessing real time cash flow is invaluable for day-to-day financial management and saves you from potential surprises at end of the month. It also allows you to make more effective business decisions on the go.

Plus, your relationship with your adviser will never be easier. When it comes to tax time (and throughout the year) they can access all of your streamlined data through the cloud, making the entire end of financial year process immeasurably simpler.


Short-term pain, long-term gain

Moving to the cloud takes a little bit of looking within to move forward. With the help of an adviser, and depending on the size of your business, it can take between a few hours to a few days to on-board to the cloud.

However, the time and resources invested to make the switch will ensure your transition is seamless – and you’ll quickly see the pay off in time saved. 

An investment in financial systems is the most important thing you can do before 30 June if you want to start the new financial year afresh.


Customising your cloud

Once you’ve made the move, there are hundreds of time-saving apps that will integrate with your system. One of the most popular apps to alleviate the tax-time crunch is Receipt Bank (which can also be used as an independent tool).

Staff can mail or send photos of their receipts, which will then be uploaded through an automated process to their cloud-based system, ensuring there is no duplication or human error. Other useful apps include Expensify and Squirrel Street.

A few other apps to consider include Fathom, for management reporting and financial analysis, TSheets for time sheet automation, Float or Spotlight for cash flow forecasting and Chaser for invoice chasing. They typically come with free trial periods, so now’s the time to work out which elements will make your systems work more smoothly.

You or your adviser can also customise your system to allow for annual ATO changes relating to SuperStream or CGT. For example, Xero has an inbuilt capability to handle this year’s SuperStream reform, turning these previously painful detours into manageable speed bumps. 


Future planning

The online accounting revolution is here to stay, so it’s time to catch up.

With less than two months to the end of the financial year, now is the time to set the wheels in motion – and make streamlining your finance with technology a top priority.

An investment in financial systems is the most important thing you can do before 30 June if you want to start the new financial year afresh.

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Unless stated otherwise, this information has been prepared by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 AFSL & Australian Credit Licence 237502 and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making any financial investment decision or a decision about whether to acquire a credit or lending product, a person should obtain and review the terms and conditions relating to that product and also seek independent financial, legal and taxation advice. All applications are subject to Macquarie’s standard credit approval criteria.