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  • #997025
    bana
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    Hi all.

    We’re a small business, operating the office from home, and with a warehouse/depot offsite. We’re at the point where I’m drowning in the administrative work and I need help. I’m looking to hire someone part time to start with, just to keep up with data entry.

    BUT at the moment, I can’t carve out ‘professional’ office space at the warehouse. I only have my home office, which is a desk island in the loungeroom, and can set up another PC on dining room table.

    I’ve held off hiring someone as I dont want to seem unprofessional or have someone at home. It will be too hard to set up all infrastructure at the warehouse to house 2 of us as office workers.

    But if I don’t hire someone, I won’t ever have the time to get onto the business development stuff, which will allow us to redevelop and get set up more ‘professionally’ at the depot.

    Have you hired people in your home office? Can it be done professionally? Would I need to deck out my home with all the office-y paraphernalia like exit signs, an evacuation plan etc? Or could I just hire someone a bit more relaxed like and have them come in 2/3 days a week to power through paperwork?

    Any advice/stories where ppl have done the same as hirer/hiree would be appreciated?

    #1210038
    Precise Tax Solutions
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    • Total posts: 172
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    Are you already outsourcing your bookkeeping/compliance work?

    If not, that would be an immediate time saver, and most can do that work remotely.

    What sort of paperwork needs to be done, and could it be done remotely?

    Cheers

    #1210039
    bana
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    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for your reply.

    The field workers write invoices for customers then bring them back to the office. Each customer is saved into Xero, and the invoice copied online, and the receipts reconciled via Xero. (I know I could get workers to enter invoices on a tablet remotely; that will be a big change to tackle and I will need time to baby them into it *eyeroll*).

    So that’s invoice entry. Then I have the expenditure receipts (fuel, bunnings receipts etc) that I scan, add as expense/cash payment in Xero. (again, Ideal is they scan them on the run. not happening soon).

    I dont think it could be a remotely done thing, unless I find a local office maybe where I drop off the invoices/receipts in a box once a week? I dunno if there are businesses that do that kind of thing?

    (another issue is that one of the workers writes so messy it’s like trying to decipher hieroglyphics…I’ve learned to translate but someone not in this industry might not be able to).

    And the other thing I wanted the admin person to do was answer the phones, take appointments etc, slowly learning all the admin functions like ordering etc.

    Volumes of invoices etc are not huge; so again not sure if there’d be a business out there to outsource small regular volumes to. It’s just that I’ve got so much other stuff on, I’m drowning.

    Cheers.

    #1210040
    Precise Tax Solutions
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    Hi

    Most suburban accounting firms could handle the invoice and expense entry, including my business :)

    We utilise a Xero plug-in called Receipt Bank, where entering an expense is almost as simple as taking a photo with your phone, so can 100% be done remotely.

    You can also outsource the phone answering and appointment taking to Virtual PA’s, although I don’t think their services would extend to something more complicated like ordering.

    Anyway, happy to have a chat or for you to drop me an email to steer you in the right direction, my details are below.

    Cheers

    #1210041
    PowerofWords
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    Hi Ben, sounds not so fun drowning in paperwork!

    Sounds like you need to be a firm hand in your business as well as a support person. It looks fairly simple to use the Xero app, which means no more messy handwriting. When you are trying to make changes, try to think of some reason that it would make their lives easier to get the buy-in. Perhaps you can even work out how many minutes a day it will save them.
    See mid-way down: https://www.xero.com/au/features-and-tools/mobile/xero-touch/

    If you do decide to hire someone, you probably need to go over a few regulations, like: Workcover levy, OHS understanding, a first aid kit on-site (even at home), pay slips, Super law if over $450 p/m, an understanding of hiring casuals (e.g, the minimum is 3 hours per day) and their awards, etc.
    And then there is the desk, chair and PC! Perhaps a close-by VA would be able to help for non-bookkeeping tasks and they only charge for what they do and nothing more. Good luck!

    #1210042
    bb1
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    bana, post: 250677, member: 88920 wrote:
    The field workers write invoices for customers then bring them back to the office. Each customer is saved into Xero, and the invoice copied online, and the receipts reconciled via Xero. (I know I could get workers to enter invoices on a tablet remotely; that will be a big change to tackle and I will need time to baby them into it *eyeroll*).

    So that’s invoice entry. Then I have the expenditure receipts (fuel, bunnings receipts etc) that I scan, add as expense/cash payment in Xero. (again, Ideal is they scan them on the run. not happening soon).
    .

    Have you actually spoken to them about doing the entry in the field, instead of making an assumption that you need to baby them, maybe they are hanging out for it. Speak to your people, don’t go and spend many employing a VA or other help when the solution may already be available.

    To get a VA or worse still a Book keeper to do what your field staff could do is adding additional time and cost which may not be necessary.

    #1210043
    Adam Martelletti
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    • Total posts: 47
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    With the right systems in place and a bit of technology (cheap if not free), it sounds like you could outsource a lot of that work locally or offshore no need to be in the same room.

    I have a trade based business practically running on autopilot and have helped many others automate and outsource their office task.

    I have a team in the Philippines that handle
    – Incoming + outbound calls
    – Booking of Jobs + site inspections
    – Organising materials
    – Organising contractors
    – Sends quotes & Invoices
    – Xero recons, match receipts (accountant does the quarterly BAS)

    It all runs smoothly, easier than you think.

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