It is not hard to find a Bookkeeper, but it is hard to find a good one!
So how do you know if your bookkeeper is good?
Training and Accreditation
Every bookkeeper should have some sort of formal bookkeeper or accounting training and preferably be a registered BAS Agent. A registered BAS agent means that the Tax Practitioners Board are satisfied that the bookkeeper has the required skills, qualifications and a minimum amount of experience to correctly account for GST and prepare your BAS according to legislation.
The less experienced and less qualified bookkeeper will usually be cheaper.But judging bookkeepers by price is fraught with danger.If you’re simply comparing hourly rates, a highly experienced bookkeeper will always seem more expensive. This is not true because most experienced bookkeepers will also work significantly faster and smarter than someone who has less experience.
Sometimes you may find that your current bookkeeper rates are cheap, BUT they may take 16 hours to do the work, when a more experienced and higher priced bookkeeper may only take 6 hours to do the exact same work.
What you need is great bookkeeper. A great bookkeeper will do more than just get you over the line with your compliance.
This is what you look for in a Great Bookkeeper:-
Great bookkeepers understand your process
They will take their time to really understand your business and how you operate so they can make sure that the processes are as simple and efficient as possible, and nothing is missed or duplicated.They will be able to streamline areas that will benefit your organisation.
Great bookkeepers ask questions
It is a sign of a great bookkeeper if they ask questions rather than guess.You want them to do this to ensure they are correctly allocated your transactions.
Great bookkeepers know what they don’t know
They know what is legally within their scope. (E.g. BAS agents are not permitted to give any income tax advice), but they are not afraid to say “I don’t know” and will contact the accountant for advice
Great bookkeepers do their homework
A great bookkeeper will be up to date on what is happening in the bookkeeping, accounting and technology world.Your bookkeeper should be explaining to you and encouraging you to use technology to save money and time.
Great bookkeepers are people you can trust
The client needs to be able to trust their bookkeeper.The financial information the bookkeeper is privy to is confidential and it is expected that they are completely honest and are maintaining your financials to highest standards required.
If you need assistance finding a bookkeeper contact CMS today, our qualified bookkeepers are ready and eager to help you.
Small businesses have less than 2 months remaining to become SuperStream ready before the 30 June deadline.
All members for which CMS provides payroll services are already SuperStream compliant.
As of 30 June 2016, ALL employers will need to use SuperStream when paying super. If you are not already paying super using SuperStream it's important you get started soon.
REMINDER: Employers with over 20 employees should have been compliant since 30 June 2015 and employers with 19 employees or less must be compliant by the 30 June 2016.
SuperStream is the standardisation of how employers make super contributions on behalf of their employees. Employers send all super payments and employee information electronically in a standard format, via a clearing house instead of sending multiple payments to the various super funds of employees.
The ATO provides a free clearing house service for SuperStream lodgements.
By taking action now, employers can use the coming months to set up SuperStream. This will ensure things are running smoothly and you will be able to avoid any last minute stress as the 30 June deadline approaches.
Visit the ATO website and view a short video on how to get started.
The Queensland Government is implementing the Not Now, Not Ever campaign to raise community awareness and encourage community participation during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in May. Visit the website to find out how you can get involved.
Thursday, 28th April 2016 is Workers Memorial Day and World Day for Safety and Health at Work. A day to remember those lost to work related injury or illness and to take action to prevent future workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths.
Visit the website to find out how to get involved.
Why is it important for the Committees to understand their obligations?
Recently Community Management Solutions were informed of another circumstance of fraud in one of our non-profit parent committee run organisations.
This case involved a bookkeeper who took advantage of the volunteer nature of the parent committee. The bookkeeper restricted accessed and advised members of the committee that everything was correct and just needed to be signed off.
When the parent committee asked questions the bookkeeper would become agitated and defensive. After the bookkeepers resignation the committee identified that the bookkeeper was paying themselves more hours then was approved and found records of concerns raised by auditors.
Parent committees have a hard job, they are often working elsewhere whilst trying to manage a non-profit business. What we need to remember is that the roles of parent committee members are very important and we need to be vigilant.
It is not always just fraud that is an error of concern for our members. Running a business is complex and we should not think ourselves immune to human error.
To protect your organisation:
Do make sure you know what you are signing;
Do ask for any paper work that you have not seen;
Do seek assistance if you are concerned;
Do follow up with your auditor;
Don’t be placid and ignore any of your concerns;
Don’t follow along without thinking critically; and
Don’t be scared to ask questions.
CMS are familiar with the challenges that our members face and have thus developed our financial health check. Contact CMS today on 07 3852 5177 or email email@example.com to find out how we can help you.
The Financial Statements of every association must be audited every financial year to ensure that their books and records are being kept in accordance with all relevant legislation AND ALSO to ensure that the accounts are complete and represent a true and fair view of the financial position of the association.
REMEMBER: Audited financial statements must be presented at your Annual General Meeting. If there is no audit report there can be no AGM!
The following is a list of things to do before you give your accounts to the auditor that will help ensure your audit goes quickly and smoothly:
Have a complete set of bank statements for all your bank accounts, investments, loans and credit cards for the entire financial year. Your auditor should provide you with a Bank Confirmation which you will sign and forward directly to the bank. This allows the auditor to get a third party confirmation of the amounts recorded as cash at bank in your financial statements;
Have completed reconciliations for each of these bank accounts as at the end of your financial year;
Ensure that all 2015 transactions have been entered into your accounting records;
Prepare a detailed list of Debtors (money owing to you from customers) and Creditors (money you owe suppliers) as at the end of your financial year. Review your list of Debtors and decide if any of them are unlikely to be collected. If so then discuss with your auditor the need to make a doubtful debt provision against these amounts;
Collect all cheque books, receipt books and bank deposit books used during the year;
Collect all invoices paid, cash count sheets, grant documentation and any other paperwork relating to income or expenses;
Collect all your payroll records including timesheets;
Update the Fixed Asset Register for any assets purchased during the year that belong to the organisation and calculate the depreciation on them for the year;
Perform a stock take on any inventories held and keep a record of any adjustments that were required. Tuckshop inventory should be checked to ensure that all food is still in date and uniforms and books should be reviewed to ensure they are not old versions that can no longer be sold;
Calculate annual leave and long service leave entitlements for your staff as at the end of your financial year; and
Ensure you have a complete a set of minutes for the financial year for Executive and General meetings.
A good auditor will not only ensure that your financial statements are correct but will also review the accounting systems you have in place to identify potential weaknesses as well as opportunities to enhance them. The auditor should provide a letter "Management Letter" detailing such matters.
The auditor should also be speaking to at least one member of the committee as well as any administration or bookkeeping staff about the activities and results of the association during the year. This is a very important part of the audit process to mitigate the risk of fraud.
If you have any issues or concerns with your audit our audit staff can help. We can be contacted on 07 3852 5177 and have extensive experience in audits of all kinds of community associations.
Changes have been made to the way some food and drinks are classified under Smart Choices to align more closely with the National Healthy School Canteens Guidelines and the Australian Dietary Guidelines. These changes are reflected in the 2016 Smart Choices Ready Reckoner.