Home Forums Money matters Newbie seeking start-up bookkeeping programmes and info please

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  • #999923
    PSD
    Member
    • Total posts: 5

    Hi all,

    Just joined today (have already posted a bit about myself and my brand new small business in the introductory section), and now hoping to get your valuable insights in to the financial side of setting up a new small business.

    After being laid off work earlier in year, I’ve recently turned my hobby of making jewellery in to a small business, mostly selling at markets.

    My business turnover (and only income) is very low. I won’t need to register for GST, and I’ll actually be operating at a loss for some time, and can’t yet afford to out-source anything or anybody. But know I need to keep better track of my expenses, COGS, income, and inventory, and my own Excel Spreadsheets aren’t cutting it. My sales are mostly handled by my Square Point Of Sale System, but is very limited when it comes to reports, and my other bookkeeping needs.

    Can you suggest any decent but cheap or even free bookkeeping/accounts software that may suit my basic needs? (No need for Payroll or BAS, and my Square can also cover invoicing if I need to use it).

    I’m also unsure how to treat some of my COGS, expenses and most start-up costs which occurred before or during my transition from hobby to business? Can I include such expenses paid out before getting an ABN and business name?

    Also apprehensive about completing my first sole trader tax return next year, which I may not be able to afford help with. I’ve only done my own simple MyTax ones in the past. Is it an extension of this, which, if I can get my bookkeeping in order, I may be able to manage myself, or is it far more involved and need accountancy services? I’m not sure what the current threshold is, but expect my net income would end up being well below it, and I won’t have much money to spare.

    I’m also wondering if there are any concessions available to new small businesses and how we go about accessing these?

    Sorry for all the questions, I have been trying to research a lot of this myself (and which led me to your forum), but there is so much to find out (and some results are dated such as some software reviews), whilst I’m also so busy trying to make, sell and promote my pieces to make ends meet.

    If you can point me in the right direction, or any info or advice you are able to offer would be very much appreciated.

    Many Thanks :)

    #1221871
    CBFY
    Member
    • Total posts: 2

    Quickbooks might be useful for you but I’m not very familiar with this software.

    MYOB Essentials may be a good fit but I’ve not used this software in a while and may not suit due to inventory.

    Xero starter plan may be sufficient but is quite limited in transactions.

    Both MYOB & Xero have ledger plans available to partners which would also be less expensive.

    DIscosure: I’m a Myob & Xero partner.

    You may be able to get your ABN back-dated to cover off those expenses pre-registering.

    I’d recommend using a tax agent, when I’ve treid Mytax, etc I’ve had to pay thousands extra but my tax agent knows some good stuff!

    #1221872
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    CBFY, post: 268037, member: 116601 wrote:
    I’d recommend using a tax agent, when I’ve treid Mytax, etc I’ve had to pay thousands extra but my tax agent knows some good stuff!

    So are you saying that using mytax changes your tax obligation. I don’t think so.

    #1221873
    Mischelle
    Member
    • Total posts: 805
    PSD, post: 268014, member: 116597 wrote:
    Hi all,.

    My business turnover (and only income) is very low. I won’t need to register for GST, and I’ll actually be operating at a loss for some time, and can’t yet afford to out-source anything or anybody. But know I need to keep better track of my expenses, COGS, income, and inventory, and my own Excel Spreadsheets

    Many Thanks :)

    Hi,

    Firstly welcome :) and congratulations on starting.

    For accounting, I have tried most of them and I settled on Quickbooks online, it’s really easy to use for a non accountant type person like me (I hate book keeping :(). They have a lite version for $7 a month for 3 months and then $10 AUD.

    OR you can try some free software like the ones below – warning, not all do BAS and some you have to set up Aust taxes.

    https://www.manager.io/free-accounting-software/au

    Manager has BAS and Aust tax tables (NOTE: only the desktop version is free)

    https://www.freeaccountingsoftware.com.au/

    This one is Aust based, but not very easy to use.

    https://www.waveapps.com/pricing

    Wave is a good one, BUT it is US based, so you have to setup for Australia, but it offer bank feeds on the free level, which makes life really easy..

    Like I said I tried heaps of them at the beginning and I settled on QB as I needed a higher level that support multiple companies with the same login and payroll.

    Do some trial and have a play around, set aside some time to test them and find the one for you.

    Of course, I usually always say speak to an accountant, my accountant has been with me for 20 years (I hope he never retires LOL) he has been through the ups and downs with me, and I simply call him if I have a question. (he doesn’t charge me for my silly questions)

    Best of luck, and as I said, do some trials, find one that suits your needs and budget.

    Cheers
    Mischelle :):)

    #1221874
    CBFY
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
    bb1, post: 268038, member: 53375 wrote:
    So are you saying that using mytax changes your tax obligation. I don’t think so.

    No, but my tax agent knows more than me

    #1221875
    PSD
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    CBFY, post: 268037, member: 116601 wrote:
    Quickbooks might be useful for you but I’m not very familiar with this software.

    MYOB Essentials may be a good fit but I’ve not used this software in a while and may not suit due to inventory.

    Xero starter plan may be sufficient but is quite limited in transactions.

    Both MYOB & Xero have ledger plans available to partners which would also be less expensive.

    DIscosure: I’m a Myob & Xero partner.

    You may be able to get your ABN back-dated to cover off those expenses pre-registering.

    I’d recommend using a tax agent, when I’ve treid Mytax, etc I’ve had to pay thousands extra but my tax agent knows some good stuff!

    Thanks so much CBFY! :-)

    I have a little experience with MYOB Essentials, but as you said, don’t think it will work for my inventory needs. I’ll look in to your other suggested options.

    I already have my ABN so may be too late now to back-date it, but I’ll look in to that too.

    I guess I may have to speak to an accountant at some time then, just haven’t found a decent one yet, or one who might be interested in taking on someone like me with with such a low level business and income, it may not be worth their while. I’m expecting anyway, especially if I can backdate some of my transitional work expenses, that my income after expenses this first tax year could be in the negative or well under any tax threshold, which is why I thought it might not be worth using an accountant until I start making a profit. But will see how it goes.

    Thanks again! :-)

    #1221876
    PSD
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Mischelle, post: 268040, member: 60404 wrote:
    Hi,

    Firstly welcome :) and congratulations on starting.

    For accounting, I have tried most of them and I settled on Quickbooks online, it’s really easy to use for a non accountant type person like me (I hate book keeping :(). They have a lite version for $7 a month for 3 months and then $10 AUD.

    OR you can try some free software like the ones below – warning, not all do BAS and some you have to set up Aust taxes.

    https://www.manager.io/free-accounting-software/au

    Manager has BAS and Aust tax tables (NOTE: only the desktop version is free)

    https://www.freeaccountingsoftware.com.au/

    This one is Aust based, but not very easy to use.

    https://www.waveapps.com/pricing

    Wave is a good one, BUT it is US based, so you have to setup for Australia, but it offer bank feeds on the free level, which makes life really easy..

    Like I said I tried heaps of them at the beginning and I settled on QB as I needed a higher level that support multiple companies with the same login and payroll.

    Do some trial and have a play around, set aside some time to test them and find the one for you.

    Of course, I usually always say speak to an accountant, my accountant has been with me for 20 years (I hope he never retires LOL) he has been through the ups and downs with me, and I simply call him if I have a question. (he doesn’t charge me for my silly questions)

    Best of luck, and as I said, do some trials, find one that suits your needs and budget.

    Cheers
    Mischelle :):)

    Great, thanks so much Mischelle! :-)

    I’ll look in to all of those. I had only just heard of Wave and was curious, so good to hear your opinion of that. I have some experience with a very old version of Quickbooks, but will be good to see what it’s like these days. Am hopeful that one of the free software options will suit my needs, as didn’t expect to need anything too fancy, but guess I won’t know until I look in to their full capability, and I’m thankful that you’ve given me somewhere to start now.

    I guess I may have to speak to an accountant at some time then, just haven’t found a decent one yet, or one who might be interested in taking on someone like me with with such a low level business and income, it may not be worth their while. I’m expecting anyway, especially if I can backdate some of my transitional work expenses, that my income after expenses this first tax year could be in the negative or well under any tax threshold, which is why I thought it might not be worth using an accountant until I start making a profit. But will see how it goes.

    Thanks again! :-)

    #1221877
    James Millar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,703
    PSD, post: 268014, member: 116597 wrote:
    Hi all,

    Just joined today (have already posted a bit about myself and my brand new small business in the introductory section), and now hoping to get your valuable insights in to the financial side of setting up a new small business.

    After being laid off work earlier in year, I’ve recently turned my hobby of making jewellery in to a small business, mostly selling at markets.

    My business turnover (and only income) is very low. I won’t need to register for GST, and I’ll actually be operating at a loss for some time, and can’t yet afford to out-source anything or anybody. But know I need to keep better track of my expenses, COGS, income, and inventory, and my own Excel Spreadsheets aren’t cutting it. My sales are mostly handled by my Square Point Of Sale System, but is very limited when it comes to reports, and my other bookkeeping needs.

    Can you suggest any decent but cheap or even free bookkeeping/accounts software that may suit my basic needs? (No need for Payroll or BAS, and my Square can also cover invoicing if I need to use it).

    I’m also unsure how to treat some of my COGS, expenses and most start-up costs which occurred before or during my transition from hobby to business? Can I include such expenses paid out before getting an ABN and business name?

    Also apprehensive about completing my first sole trader tax return next year, which I may not be able to afford help with. I’ve only done my own simple MyTax ones in the past. Is it an extension of this, which, if I can get my bookkeeping in order, I may be able to manage myself, or is it far more involved and need accountancy services? I’m not sure what the current threshold is, but expect my net income would end up being well below it, and I won’t have much money to spare.

    I’m also wondering if there are any concessions available to new small businesses and how we go about accessing these?

    Sorry for all the questions, I have been trying to research a lot of this myself (and which led me to your forum), but there is so much to find out (and some results are dated such as some software reviews), whilst I’m also so busy trying to make, sell and promote my pieces to make ends meet.

    If you can point me in the right direction, or any info or advice you are able to offer would be very much appreciated.

    Many Thanks :)

    Are you not better off cancelling the time spent educating yourself about bookkeeping and platforms and getting out and doing a few extra markets or selling on ebay / online. Sounds like a lot of unfocused unproductive learning time on something that is not core to your business. What about learning about online selling instead or something that would actually grow the business.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. info@360partners.com.au www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
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