Accounting in Small Business
Understanding accounting in small business is one of the make-or-break business management skills that many small business owners overlook.
One of the biggest reasons for small business failure in Australia is their failure to follow correct accounting principles and practices. Long gone are the days when a small business like a trade business, could keep all their receipts in a shoe box and take them to their accountant every year to do their tax return.
In Australia, the implementation of the GST and monthly, quarterly or bi-annual BAS statements took care of that practice. Now every business who wants to survive has to follow correct accounting practices and do up their books on a regular basis.
One of the biggest accounting software packages to do this is the MYOB accounting package because it looks after inventory, invoicing, BAS, Journals and Ledgers and everything else in one package, which makes it particularly easy for anyone to be able to use.
The other popular accounting package in Australia is called Quick-books and it has a loyal following although MYOB seems to have captured the lions share of the market. Obviously there are many other accounting packages available on the market or individually written for specific industries but the more common accounting package used in Australian small businesses today is MYOB. This is a very Aussie name which can be a bit off-putting because it stands for Mind Your Own Business (MYOB) It sounds as if you are being very rude when someone asks you which accounting software package you use, but as a marketing name, its brilliant. People do remember the name.
The other accounting mistake in small businesses many people make, is employing a bookkeeper when they don’t understand the basics of bookkeeping themselves. If you don’t understand these basic principles and methods, then it is vital that you learn if you wish to stay in business and not become one of the statistics.
Also, if you just ‘trust’ a bookkeeper to do up your books for you on a regular basis without understanding what the books and the bookkeeper are telling you about your business, you can’t make good decisions simply because you are missing facts about the health or otherwise of your business.
The other thing is, how do you know whether or not your bookkeeper or accountant is doing everything right? If they aren’t keeping your books correctly and you as the business owner, sign off on them as being correct; guess who the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is going to come looking for with a hefty fine tucked away in their arsenal of deterrents for recalcitrant small business owners? That’s right, it will be you because you are the owner of your business and they expect you to know exactly what is going on in your business.
There is one thing most countries have in common and that is Tax Collectors and Taxation Departments. Whichever country you are in, if you are in small business, you will need to account to them and they will expect you to be keeping accurate accounts; so you would be well- advised not to disappoint them.