At Walsh Accountants, our team are committed to elevating your understanding of numbers to help you manage and grow your business. Use these 8 practical accounting tips to run your business seamlessly.
8 top tips to understand and connect with your numbers
Using reporting tools (such as Xero, MYOB, etc. or Business Insights and Dashboard reporting tools) will enable you to get a full financial picture of your business.
Here are our 8 top tips to help you connect with your numbers
- You don’t know what you don’t know
Break down perceptions of how your business is performing and go digging – the numbers don’t lie.
Questions to ask:
‘Do you have all your expenses in the correct section to give you a clear and accurate picture?’ After all, your profit and loss is there to help you interpret what is happening, so consider adjusting so you see what speaks to you.
‘Is your business structure still the most appropriate for your business?’
- Be realistic and build out contingency
Many business owners don’t account for things taking longer and costing more than anticipated. Building in contingency ensures you’re prepared for delays in time and going over budget.
- Use your numbers to have honest conversations with your key stakeholders and your team
You need to have robust and honest conversations about the performance of your business. Using the numbers helps ground these conversations in truth
- Get your costing and pricing right, and measure it
Have you costed your products effectively and in line with your business’ needs – and overheads?
- Be ruthless with your margins and know the details
Understand your profit and loss margins – when new business presents itself, you’re not fooled by top-line revenue.
- Ask WHY
It’s always important to ask why you are doing something. What is your responsibility and what can you outsource? Does this deal make sense to your business? Don’t forget to ask why!
- Remember your levers
In every business, there are levers that create and relieve pressure. Understanding these different levers ensures you can recognise when you need to pull back or push ahead.
- Keep objectives and key results front of mind
Using objectives and key results (OKR) as a collaborative way to engage in your business and keep it on track. Communicate the goals to your whole team and be sure to track them and seek buy-in. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be considered as business metrics, whereas OKRs is the goal setting of the business.
Use the tools you already have within your accounting suite OR speak with our team about a tailored approach (Business Insights / Dashboard reporting) to give you more information and clarity for the numbers of your business.
Planning and strategy sessions – with your team
The beginning of the year is a great time for you and your team to set aside time for offsite planning and strategy sessions. Communication and collaboration are key to buy in, so ensure you have your key players involved in the strategy planning for your business.
Sessions should focus on answering the following:
- Define your purpose, mission, and values
- Determine your strengths and opportunities
- Understand your target audience and how to build a client profile
Having accountability to follow through with established goals is key to following a clear and purposeful trajectory. Take a disciplined and measured approach to ensure you stay on track.
Another question you may like to ask yourself… ‘what is your exit strategy?’. Whilst you may not be thinking of selling your business, operating with an end in mind tends to create a roadmap of where you want your business to go.
If you need help with your planning – our 4 Pillars of Business Growth may help you. Packed full of downloadable checklists and resources, this guide will help you with the four main areas of business growth – People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash.
To ensure the best laid plans can be actioned, other planning approaches you may need to consider:
- Business plan: What makes you different from everyone else?
- Resource plan: What resources do you need to execute your strategy?
- Focus on costing: How much is this going to cost you?
- Target liquidity aspects: How do I finance this to ensure I made my targets?
Use a Tech Stack to streamline and improve your business operation
Looking for some apps to help you streamline your business operation? Here’s what we recommend:
- Accounting and reporting system: Xero, MYOB
- CRM: HubSpot, Pipedrive, Zoho
- Financial transactions and Expenses: Hubdoc
- Engagement and invoicing: Fee Synergy and Qwilr
- Cyber security: LastPass, 2 Factor Authentication
- Communication: Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams
- Training: Loom
- Document management: Dropbox, Office 365 / SharePoint
- Project management: Streamtime, com, Asana
- Lead generation tools: Zoom Info, Rocket Reach, Lusha, Io
- Social Media Scheduling/Management: Hootsuite, Later
- Synchronicity to automate and bring everything together: Zapier
The key to your tech stack is integration! Find ways to automate processes to eliminate double data entry, and find what software best suits your needs but ensure it integrates with your accounting and reporting software.
You may find a Xero/MYOB certified application more suitable in its inclusions and connectivity capability than the programs listed above.
How can Walsh Accountants help?
If you would like to better understand your numbers to improve your business operation, business strategy, and execution of goals and plans, we can help.
Our team of advisors are in the business of business – we live it, breath it, and love it! We are passionate about improvement. We can work with you to better understand your numbers to help manage and grow your business.
Contact us today for a discussion pursuant to your personal circumstances.