Many businesses were planning to put 2019 behind them and were looking forward to 2020 with some optimism.  However, with the impact COVID-19 being felt by all, the first quarter of 2020 has not gone to plan.

Is it time to update your business systems?With such an impact being felt by so many businesses, the need to be able to access quality information has never been so important.  The Federal Government and State Governments have made significant changes to a wide range of laws, which affect both our businesses and daily lives.  Additionally, they have released stimulus packages to try to help combat the economic pressure felt by businesses across the country.

But what decisions should businesses make?  How will these changes in laws and record stimulus packages impact a business and the families who own and run these?  Unfortunately, much is still unknown.  However, what is known, is that people need quality information to make decisions, with information that can be accessed NOW. 

If you run your business in a more traditional way, by waiting for bank statements and supplier invoices in the mail, in turn, given to your advisor to manually process your information – how long is it until you make a decision?  And was that decision made based on real-time and accurate information?

Most of the subsidies announced will rely on various reporting processes with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).  One of these processes is Single Touch Payroll (STP).  While all businesses have been required to register for STP from the 1st July 2019, there are still many who haven’t.  The ATO will be using the STP process to confirm the amount businesses are entitled to receive, and if you are slow in reporting this, you will be slow to receive these stimulus amounts. 

There will be a delay in receiving these stimulus packages from the government, which will, in turn, affect the cash flow of your business.  However, the ease at which you can generate data to assess and provide information is far more seamless and efficient if you are using up to date accounting software that has real-time data, that is also able to report to the ATO as required.

COVID promptsthe question - should I update your business system?If you are ready for a business system update, which systems should you look at?  The three leading cloud systems in Australia are Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks, all with various pricing models and options.  Both Xero and QuickBooks are fully cloud-based and what this essentially means is, you don’t need to run any installation process and can it can be accessed on a PC, Mac, or mobile device.   

Xero recently announced its full integration of Hubdoc, a system which allows you to automatically source invoices and statements from providers, such as Landmark, and integrate with Xero, increasing the speed at which a business can access up-to-date data. This will save you time, your most valuable commodity. 

The use of cloud technology places the control of data, back in the hands of the business owner, so you can make the decisions now.  The business world has changed again…have you?