Bookkeeping Business Secrets For Goal-Setting Success

Goal setting is crucial to the success of any business, but is particularly important for entrepreneurs in the bookkeeping service business who can become distracted with multiple priorities. Goal setting allows us to be proactive, instead of just being reactive. We’ve all had days where we leap from one crisis to another, but we know that’s not a preferred mode of operation for our bookkeeping services! Goals direct actions, give us something to aim for, and serve as a yardstick for measuring our bookkeeping business’s success.

When setting business goals, I use a successful goal-setting formula that a business coach
mentor taught me. The formula incorporates a strategy or strategies for accomplishing the goal: “I will (goal + performance measure) by (specific actions).”

For example, suppose that you want to increase revenue. First specify the goal: “I will increase revenue this month by twenty-five percent.” Setting a specific goal builds in the criteria you will use to evaluate your success.

In this case, at the end of the month, you’ll either have increased sales by twenty-five percent compared to the previous month or not. Then, specify the strategy that you will use to work towards accomplishing the goal: “I will increase sales this month by twenty-five percent by offering a ten-percent-off sale on all inventory and advertising this sale in the local newspapers.”

This makes evaluating your success or failure easy because your goal is specific rather than general. Suddenly, instead of just having a goal that you may or may not achieve, you have a specific plan to follow to achieve the goal you have set.

If you avoid setting goals, here are a few bookkeeping business secrets for goal-setting success:

Bookkeeping Business Secret #1: Have Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

The first thing I do when setting goals is to consider where I would like to be five years from now. Once I have determined my long-term goal or ideal scene, I work backwards by breaking this ideal scene down into short-term goals and specifying milestones that need to be achieved along the way.

If the task seems too daunting with a five-year plan, establish 90-day goals. Limit goals to three specific things that you want to accomplish. Write out each goal and put a due date next to it. Then write out each step that needs to be taken, by when, and what type of support you need to accomplish that goal. Then schedule in your calendar time to honor the commitment you just made to yourself.

Bookkeeping Business Secret #2: Be Relevant

Goals should help you attain a specific aim. Beware of goals that keep you busy but do not contribute directly to the overall goal you have set for yourself and the success of your bookkeeping business. If you don’t believe your goals are worthwhile, you won’t make the necessary effort to achieve them. For example, several years ago I wanted to work a four-day work week. I set the goal, but did not really believe that I could or should work only four days a week. Guess what? It never happened because I was not truly aligned with the goal.

Bookkeeping Business Secret #3: Review Your Goals Constantly

Review your goals daily. Keep them in plain view – by your desk or next to your computer. Goals are not something that you write down and file in a drawer. The more you embody your goals, the more real they become and the more aware you are of opportunities that cross your path to help you achieve those goals.

I write my goals on colorful 4×6 index cards and keep them by my bedside. I read them first thing each morning and then again before I go to sleep at night. This keeps me focused and moving toward my goals.

Bookkeeping Business Secret #4: Stay on Track

Once you establish clear goals you will begin to notice that opportunities begin to present themselves. When this happens, I ask myself a very important question which helps me to decide whether I should look further into the opportunity or let it go – “Does this opportunity bring me closer to my goal or further away from it?”

By asking yourself this simple question, you’ll be able to take decisive action towards accomplishing your goals. For example, a lovely salesperson from ADP has been calling me to schedule a meeting to show me their services and how they have changed. By asking myself, “Does this opportunity bring me closer to my goal or further away from it?” I have no problem deciding whether or not I should schedule the meeting.

BAS Agent Registration & Your Bookkeeping Business

Anyone who has a bookkeeping business or is thinking about starting their own bookkeeping business in Australia needs to be aware of the changes to legislation to have registered BAS Agents who are then eligible to provide Business Activity Statement (BAS) services for a fee. The legislation is in the final stages and once it has been passed it will mean any bookkeeper wanting to provide BAS services for a fee, must be registered as a BAS agent or working under the supervision of a tax or BAS agent. This is causing some concern for bookkeepers who want to include BAS services as part of their standard bookkeeping services as most small business owners expect the bookkeeper to do all BAS related functions.

To comply with the legislation changes and become a registered BAS agent, a bookkeeper who has 1400 hours experience and a minimum qualification of a certificate IV Financial Services (Accounting) or a certificate IV Financial Services (Bookkeeping) can apply for registration.

For a bookkeeper in public practice, this is not a very high level of experience required to become registered. I also feel the added requirements of registration will improve the industry and make it more regulated to ensure a more professional standard of service to clients.

If you are a bookkeeper who does not meet the education requirements, do not be worried. There are other avenues for you to consider enabling your BAS agent registration. If you have your own bookkeeping business and do not have the minimum education qualification, there is a service provided by educational institutions and also the National Institute of Accountants which may be of use to you.

Recognition of prior Learning (RPL) is the process where by you submit examples of you work to meet the specific outcomes of a course. If you can prove with the examples that you have sufficient knowledge of the subject matter and meet the course outcomes, you can be awarded the qualification.

The RPL process means many bookkeepers in public practice with BAS and bookkeeping experience can apply for recognition of prior learning for the entire Certificate IV Financial Services (Accounting) or (Bookkeeping). If you can meet the course requirements you can gain the qualification without needing to undertake any study.

If you have your own bookkeeping business and do not have the relevant qualifications, utilizing this process can give you the qualification you need to become a registered BAS agent, which will ultimately assist you in running and growing your bookkeeping business.

7 Best Bookkeeping Business Services

If you’re a small business owner considering outsourcing your bookkeeping, keep in mind that bookkeeping business services include much more than just keeping track of your finances. If you hook up with a true professional service they can become much more than an accounting service, they can become important partners helping you optimize not only your cash flow but planning your financial strategies. Here’s a short list of benefits and services you can expect from a full service bookkeeper.

1. Time

Actually this may be the most productive benefit of all the services an outsourced bookkeeper can provide. By taking over the responsibility of accounting, the bookkeeper service effectively gives you more time to do what you do best and that’s run the business. Accounting is an absolutely necessary part of a business but it is not a profit center and it plays no part in driving sales and revenue. Any time you devote to that function is time taken from engaging in an activity that can generate sales or profit.

2. Financial forecasting

Using your firm’s financial history an experienced bookkeeping service can develop financial models that will allow you to play “what if” games that can predict your financial performance in the future. For example a business owner can ask what if sales increase 8% in the next quarter or what if the marketing budget is increased by 10% what kind of sales can be expected. This is a complex model that requires the knowledge of experts and would not be readily available to the owner unless he outsourced the function.

3. Tax planning

Running your business to take advantage of opportunity to minimize tax liability can be the difference between taking a loss and making a profit. The same goes for licensing and other local fees. A knowledgeable service will not only prepare your returns but show you ways to reduce your tax bill.

4. Real time reporting

Gone are the days of receiving monthly reports from your accounting service. In today’s business environment you need to know where you are financially right now and that’s what a professional bookkeeping service can provide. Thanks to ASP technology you can log onto your account using an ultra secure server and access all of your reports at any time and from any where you have an internet connection.

5. Customized reports

Your bookkeeping service will work with you to build reports that make sense for your particular business. Profit and loss statements, sales reports, receivables reports, all can be designed so they present the information in a way that you can best evaluate your position.

6. Assistance with lenders

A sign of just how tough and competitive the economic times are is the expansion of bookkeeping business services into areas that they previously did not participate in. Assistance with loan applications or even introductions to lenders is an example of the “new” services being offered by many firms. Loan applications can be intimidating and confusing to many business owners and the accounting service can offer valuable assistance in insuring that the right, and best, financial information is included in the application.

7. QuickBooks Consulting

Even if you don’t hire a bookkeeping service and you use QuickBooks in house to do your bookkeeping, you may find that the service can help you do it better. QuickBooks has added so many features and has become so much more than an accounting platform that it has created an entirely new support industry. If a QuickBooks customer wants optimal performance from his system, it’s likely he or she will need the advice of a certified QuickBooks consultant and the bookkeeping service is a ready, qualified resource.

A combination of rapidly improving technology along with an increasingly competitive market has caused bookkeeping business services to evolve into something greater than the traditional accounting services. Smart businesses will take advantage of these services to remain competitive and optimize earnings.

Small Business Marketing

The term market refers to the aggregate of all demand for a particular product or service arising from the aggregate of all consumers – both existing and potential for the product. Markets vary widely from one another since the consumers who constitute the markets vary widely in their characteristics. Even a specific market for a given product is not totally homogeneous.

In small business marketing, a market is split up into several smaller units, each with homogeneous characteristics; it facilitates the effective tapping of the market. Market segmentation is the process of disaggregating the total market for a given product into a number of sub-markets. The heterogeneous market is broken up in the process into a number of relatively homogeneous units.

The process is based on the recognition that any given market or consumer group is made up of a number of subgroups distinguished by varying needs and buying behavior. Also, it is feasible to disaggregate the consumers into suitable segments in such a manner that the characteristics of the segmented groups would vary significantly among segments but would also be identical within segments.

Market segmentation confers several benefits on the marketing man. In the first place, it helps him distinguish one customer group from another within a given market and thereby enables him to decide which segment of the market should form his target market. It also enables the effective crystallization of the specific needs of the buyers in the target market and facilitates an in-depth study of the characteristics of the buyers.

When the buyers are approached after careful segmentation, responses that are predictable would be forthcoming from them. This would help the marketing person develop his marketing program on a predictable and reliable basis. When the needs and characteristics of the customer group have been brought into a clearer focus, marketing offers that are most suited to the particular customer group can be easily developed.