Collective Works share their top 3 accounting tips in tackling today’s unique economic climate
First Australians Capital has developed an innovative eco-system of active partners that deliver wrap around services and support to First Australians Capital’s Indigenous business community. Collective Works, an Indigenous Accounting firm, plays a valuable role in this eco-system – delivering boutique accounting, bookkeeping and business advisory services to ensure entrepreneurs can focus on their core business knowing that their books and finances are well looked after!
In this timely update, Natalie Ducki, CPA and Principal at Collective Works, shares her top 3 accounting tips for SME’s in tackling today’s tumultuous economic times. Natalie has recommended that these tips are considered in order as they work best together in sequence.
- Integrate accounting as a core operational tool
Natalie’s first tip is to change perspective to see accounting as a tool to drive operational success and efficiency – not as a stand-alone business function.
“Working on the business, not in the business”
Collective Works takes entrepreneurs through a process to stand outside their business and look in. Together they look at operations as a step-by-step workflow, breaking down processes and procedures, together with organisational objectives. They help identify and recognise what each business is trying to achieve. This discussion then facilitates mapping an accounting workflow directly behind operational processes – either through Xero or other accounting software.
“Accounting or bookkeeping should not be a stand-alone function, or done retrospectively”, Natalie says, “It’s about integrating accounting process into the business so they can better support an optimised organisational structure and flow”.
- Make planning a non-negotiable priority
A typical entrepreneur is deep in the functioning of their business with little time left over to plan. With resources stretched and challenged, it often feels like there is not enough bandwidth for a proper and ongoing planning process. Natalie recommends a rigid process that ensures that time is blocked out as a matter of the utmost priority to take control and drive the day to day – rather than allowing the day to drive you.
“It’s common for SME’s to get caught up in the day to day and either they don’t have a plan or haven’t continued reviewing one” she says. “It’s really important for small business owners, in particular, to make the time to think about their objectives and develop a plan that’s going to get them there” she says.
Natalie emphasises the need for small business owners to make their sacrifice worth it; to conceptualise and set a plan that’s going to support not just business objectives but also provide for personal fulfilment. “Small business owners invest so much personal time and energy which affects all aspects of life” she says, “It’s important that a plan pays homage to that sacrifice and drives toward greater fulfilment – professionally and personally”.
- Commit to ongoing improvement: report, compare and revise
As a final step, Natalie suggests making reporting, comparing and revising a habit. “Budgets and plans should be viewed as active, living documents and processes, and the function of reviewing, analysing and adapting planning and budget processes and data should become regular and habitual” Natalie says. “Part of what we do is to support business owners by going through their budget and data line by line, not just looking at the bottom-line numbers. That means we can identify and understand why, what makes sense, and so we can adapt and revise accordingly”.
Today’s unprecedented times call for an increased level of vigilance and creativity from business owners and, in particular, those in the small to medium sector. Never has it been more important to connect with organisations like First Australians Capital and Collective Works that are together driving a new economy and providing the wrap-around services and support small businesses need to thrive now, and long into the future.