Ringing in the new financial year may come without fireworks or champagne, but it is a great opportunity to reflect on the present and what lies ahead. It can be a moment to pause and take note of where your business currently is and how it operates – as well as where you want to be.
It’s also a useful time to make changes or upgrades, especially to systems and processes, so things will be smooth-running well into the future. It may seem like more effort upfront, but taking the time now can save you considerably more in the long run.
So, what processes can you make even better in FY23? Here’s a few we suggest:
1. Say goodbye to your shoebox of receipts forever
Pristine record keeping makes life easier for you – and your advisor. Yet, all too often, this goes out the window and you end up with an avalanche of paper receipts. If your inbox is overflowing with expense bills, you can email them directly into Xero with the email-to-bills feature – and ditch the shoebox full of receipts forever.
In your Bills page, find your business’s unique email address and save it as a contact in your email program. You can then forward PDFs on to automatically generate a bill in Xero. If you have a physical receipt, either use a scanner or simply snap a photo with your phone and forward it on. If you have a lot of expenses or are looking for more advanced functionality, a tool like Hubdoc can make this a whole lot easier, and it’s free for Xero users.
2. Give invoicing and billing a refresh
Managing invoices and bills is essential to running a business. However, a new government initiative can make this whole process easier: eInvoicing. It’s not only faster, but a more efficient and secure way to manage invoices and bills – and each time an eInvoice replaces a PDF or paper invoice it can save up to $20 for those involved.
eInvoicing exchanges invoices directly between accounting software so incoming eInvoices show up as a draft bill waiting to be paid, saving you time on data entry. It’s a standard inclusion in Xero plans and takes just a few quick steps to register to receive eInvoices. The more businesses that use it the more we’ll see the benefits. So if you’re part of the 90 per cent of Australian small businesses that still send PDF or paper invoices, it’s time to get on board.
3. Keep customer and supplier details all in one place
Did you know Xero Contacts also acts as a mini-CRM? If your business isn’t big enough to warrant a dedicated CRM of its own, you can keep track of what’s going on with customers or suppliers in one place. From the All Contacts screen you see a quick overview of what each contact owes you or what you owe them, or click into a specific contact to see an overview of your relationship – including sales and payments.
It’s also easy to connect to Gmail or Office365 and directly import email correspondence with contacts. This means everyone in your team (or advisor) can be on the same page, especially if someone is off sick or leaves the business.
4. Use data to inform business decisions
Having the right information at hand can help you and your advisor make better decisions for your business. Once you have enough information in Xero – like bills, invoices and expenses – Xero Analytics shows a full snapshot of your profitability and efficiency, displayed in an easy-to-understand graph. It can show an overview of the year and compare previous periods to identify any financial trends.
The short term cash flow feature indicates your cash position for the next seven or 30 days – as well as other useful insights. With ever-changing external factors (like supplier costs or interest rates), having a clear view into your business will help you and your advisor be on the same page. Get set up now to make data a foundational part of your operations.
If an existing process works fine we’re often hesitant to change it. However, making small adjustments can help keep things running smoothly as well as save you (and your team) precious time. As we kick off the new financial year, set aside a moment to review and refresh your processes to start FY23 on the right foot.