Elevate your business with top tech tools | QuickBooks Connect 2021

Elevate your business with top tech tools  | QuickBooks Connect 2021

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[Music] good morning everyone i hope you're all doing well today and have you been and you've been enjoying the amazing sessions that have been going on and hopefully you've gained some key knowledge insight and takeaways to implement in your businesses so far thank you so much for choosing to join my session today my name is eriona and i will be spending the next 40 minutes or so discussing how you can adopt an app ecosystem within your business in order to elevate it there will be time for a short q a at the end of this session so if you have any burning questions or maybe you think of questions throughout the session please do make a note of them and submit them and i'll try my best to answer as many as i can in the time that we have available today so without further ado who am i um my name is ariana barakulte i am the managing director of majors accounts which is a family-run accountancy practice based in southeast london and we were established in 2006. in terms of my academic background and qualifications i'm a chartered certified accountant with the acca i have a masters in accounting and finance and a master's in law specialising in international banking and finance and i've also recently completed a postgraduate diploma in financial strategy from the university of oxford i had thought that my studying days are done but do we ever really stop learning i don't think so and with the pace at which the world is changing evolving advancing i don't think we're you know we're going to find ourselves learning on a daily basis so i'm also a member of the acca uk practitioners network panel and an acca sme global forum member and also a proud member of the quickbooks accountants council over the years majors accounts have built a substantial client base through organic growth via word of mouth mostly we are now a team of 19 servicing businesses in all sectors and industries such as the hospitality sector pubs bars restaurants hairdressers barbers to name but a few but we also have a large chunk of our client base in the construction industry in in all areas of the construction industry including property developers and then we also have other businesses such as car washes financial advisory law firms and utility companies to name but a few so you can tell that our client base is quite varied and diverse and over the years i'd say we've probably seen it all and our clients are mostly sole traders or limited companies and we deal with these small to medium-sized businesses providing all accountancy related services including funding and we have over the years built up a network which allows us to act as a one-stop shop for our clients so whatever our clients business needs if we're unable to provide solutions ourselves we will usually have someone in our network who can as such we've built a loyal and strong relationship with our clients which over the years has allowed for our national expansion and as we are a family founded and run practice we like to ensure that our clients and our team are treated as such which has helped to really build an excellent rapport for all parties involved since becoming the managing director of majors accounts i have spearheaded and implemented a digitalization strategy with the help of quickbooks and the apps that feed into quickbooks to transform not only my own business but that of my clients too so we are now fully cloud-based and a paperless office and we have the ability to work from anywhere in the world and as such our clients do not need to spend hours to come and meet us now as everything can be completed online and one common misconception and question that i have had regularly is well now that you're digital that must mean that your clients deal with computers and machines and they no longer have that human interaction well actually no it's quite the opposite we are now using technology to allow us to speak to our clients much more frequently than we did when we were say a traditional firm because we have that time available now and we're contacting them instead of once a year for example four or five times a year i'm proud to say that we are a quickbooks online only practice which has helped us to build on experience and expertise to ensure we can fully help our clients our efforts haven't gone unnoticed we were shortlisted by the british accountancy awards for two years in a row for firm of the year greater london i have been shortlisted for three awards by the women in accountancy and finance awards 2020 as well as being nominated for top 50 women in accounting globally i need to stress that today you're not going to be getting a sales pitch from me i will be telling you our story how we have managed to transform and elevate our business and our clients businesses using quickbooks and the app ecosystem within it so you have more time to focus on what you do best in your business whatever it may be in order to achieve your goals we have quite a bit to cover on today's agenda but i don't think that we can ignore the events of the last year and how much this has affected businesses in so many ways so we will be going through how covid has affected your business we'll also be talking about um your business so your dream versus your reality when someone says i'm starting my own business it sounds very prestigious and it you know it's really interesting and an envious position to be in it's something to be proud of but do we really know or anticipate what it is like to start grow and maintain a business are the ideas that we had realistic i will also be talking about the importance of an advisor now not everyone has the luxury of having a great mentor when they start their business so you know someone who has tried and tested the business world they may have failed a few times learned from their mistakes and eventually succeeded to then tell you which path to take sure you can argue we all need to fail in order to learn how to succeed but what if with the right advisor on board by your side success could be achievable by being less costly less stressful and with the right organization be reached in less time i'm sure that's something that we would all love and i will be going um over the app ecosystem which is what this um this session is all about so as we know a business you know is not straightforward it's made up of so many components which all need to fit together and be well balanced to ensure a successful business venture and growth i'll be going through what some of these are and how the burden can be alleviated with the help of quickbooks and the app ecosystem because they are intertwined lastly i'll be going through what i think your key takeaways should be and help to provide a plan of action so that the end of this session you can identify at least two or three actions you can take to find efficiencies in your business and put your dreams down on paper in a structured way as i mentioned there will also be an opportunity for questions at the end of this session so we'll get right into it so how has covid affected your business the events of the last year could not have been foreseen many businesses have been affected globally you know there are strong profitable businesses who were blindsided and were not prepared for the events of the last year and all their hard work that they have built up over could be a number of years may have unfortunately been lost there are businesses that were just starting up they did not have the opportunity to even do that and have failed at the first hurdle just as they were entering the business world on top of this we've had brexit and the changes which needed to be implemented which many businesses again were not ready for so many have used the word unprecedented which is true but if you take a moment and think in life nothing is guaranteed you may have a great idea but if not implemented well it will simply not work you may have an idea that may not be viable but with the right research and planning it can become a success and in life there will always be surprises good and bad and your business journey will be no different we must all try to plan for all eventualities if we're to give our business the best chance of survival now that's not to say that you can have a perfect plan and it will be realized exactly as you intended for example you know the global pandemic that we're still in may not be something that anyone could have foreseen we've had to live through conditions which although are almost being considered somewhat normal now or the new normal they were inconceivable just a year ago however as has been said by many and something that i i live by if a plan doesn't work change the plan not the goal if your goal is to make your business a success the way that you're getting them the plan that you've put in place has to be able to be changed to to account for any hurdles that you know you encounter during your journey i personally make five-year plans usually and work my way backwards so i know where i want to be in five years time but how i get there may not be obvious to me right now i can have some shorter term goals to get there but either either way it's so important to not be rigid and allow for flexibility for unforeseen events or circumstances and by having this mindset the chance of failing becomes a lot smaller as you predict any eventuality technically as you know that things may not go as you had envisioned and if they do not you will pivot and change the plan to deviate onto a different path to get to your goal as an example i was lucky i had a plan and my goal was to be a digital firm and my plan which i've been realizing over the last few years of becoming that was realized into in full in with perfect timing for the pandemic as we managed to carry on working from home with little change to our processes that's not to say that it was an easy journey and things did not go as i had planned but we got there in the end that being said there have been many schemes available to businesses to help keep them going such as the bounce back loan or the sea bills loans which you needed to really consider whether your business will be in a position to pay these back in 12 months time over a certain period of time there were also government grants for the hospitality sector for example which gave many businesses the opportunity to ease cash flows temporarily to buy some time for these businesses to pivot and try to change the ways they trade and find other ways of trading whether that was going trying to go online or reducing certain operations and growing others those that couldn't take advantage of these could also have taken the discretionary grants and many which are not aware of so if there is anybody out there who has not done so yet please do look into this other ways that the government has helped is by easing cash flow deficiency so by introducing the deferral of personal tax and vat but i think a concrete example of how a business has managed to pivot during this time and which i have seen myself first hand is from one of my clients who took advantage of the eat out to help out skiing this was a huge success for all hospitality sectors such you know for businesses like restaurants in the month of august which saw some restaurants turn over triple in that month compared to the same month in the previous year when this finished sales dropped drastically and one of my clients that i mentioned as i've seen with quite a few businesses actually decided to keep the initiative going for days that they were not busy so in this particular case on mondays tuesdays and wednesdays there weren't that many customers coming through the door so he decided to extend the um eat up to help out scheme out of his own pocket now expenses were already being incurred during these days so he always had to keep a certain number of staff in the restaurant just in case he got busy he had to also order a certain level of stock again just in case he got too busy and a lot of this food usually would go to waste there was also electricity and heating and other expenses which were being incurred anyway but the sales and the income was not being generated as such so after putting this scheme into place they saw that sales within these days soared compared to what they usually made and they ended up turning clients away and obviously the monetary advantage goes without saying but the psychology behind customers behavior had a big impact as people saw that they were so busy they were calling up to book for these specific days so they would not get disappointed this is an example of someone who managed to pivot his business by analyzing his financials but broken down by days to bring in the extra income with almost the same expenses that he was incurring anyway so it's all about mindset and seeing how you have to change in order to succeed and with the way the world is changing even if you have a process that seems airtight there are things that are changing on a daily basis so you always have to be on your toes ready to change with the times so you may be anywhere along the line of your business journey you may have an idea but do not know where to begin you may have launched but have been overwhelmed with obstacles which you had not considered you may have launched achieved growth but now you're struggling to achieve the same targets as you may have done in the early stages of your business your idea of having a business may seem a long distance memory and you feel lost by all the obligations and regulation and compliance which is not something anyone told you about and the reality of having a business may be very different so why did you or do you want to start a business we all have an objective it could be to improve your financial position it could be to make a difference to others it could be to achieve a lifelong goal of being independent and not having to answer to anyone so you may want more freedom to enjoy other areas of your life such as your family life or for traveling to see the world and meet lots of new people you may want an environment that is less stressful with less pressure from deadlines or you may have just wanted to be your own boss be in control of your business and make your own decisions yourself as decisions are made faster there is also less admin however i think that many will or or have already realized that not it's not all what it seems in reality when you start your business you're building something from scratch you'll need to create processes and some kind of order to follow to get your idea off the ground and build a framework to allow it to grow as a result you'll most likely be working even longer hours than before because you're doing this for yourself now not for somebody else as a result of working longer hours you are even more stressed than before as you do not have that tried and tested process in place you therefore end up being thrust into the unknown you're always wondering and second guessing yourself is this going to work will i be a success you'll be wearing all hats of the business because you no longer have that separate team to deal with the legals and compliance and record keeping and stock take and so on so and from my experience the admin side of a business is about 40 of the business which is something very few are even aware of when they take the plunge now you're alone you don't have the opinions of your colleagues and others who may have experience in what you're doing or possibly from others that are doing the same thing as you because they see you as competition so they will not be as willing to help you out but it's all it's not all doom and gloom there are those out there who can help you you just need to ensure you find the right one for you someone who fits your ways of working and can find solutions and a path for you to follow so this is why i'd like to stress to you the importance of getting yourself a good advisor in my experience and of many of those whom i've had the advantage of working with businesses perform overall in the long term better when they have an advisor on board and i want to highlight the importance of the word advisor here i am referring to accountants who are utilizing the latest technology so they can free up their time to really provide the expertise from years of experience that has been built up uh from observing how a business can fail or succeed and turning this into a tool for analysis to provide you with an actionable plan for your business i will use our transformation as an example for you so we were a traditional firm we were very focused on deadlines on ensuring that our clients had their tax returns accounts vats and payroll submitted on time and they knew how much tax they had to pay for the previous year yes when they came to see us we'd quickly talk about how they were doing and they may have mentioned something that was bothering them all their business and we tried to find a solution but as you can see there wasn't a lot of value added here everything we were doing was looking in the past there was no difference that could be made and no information that could have been extracted because that's already gone there's nothing you can do with the past fast forward a few years with the adoption of quickbooks online and the app ecosystem we've now eliminated manual processes and we have time now to fully understand how you are running your business why are you running your business in such a way and help to identify and set up robust processes to ensure that activities are running as smoothly as possible yes we are still ensuring that we provide compliance we don't want our clients to get any penalties or get into trouble with the inland revenue but now we have the time to help to translate the figures on the accounts now not for the past we want to see what's going on right now and show what this means to your business right now and with this information we can help to identify efficiencies and ways that the business can change to improve we can then help to plan for these changes help to forecast for the goals that you want to achieve so that you have a clearer understanding of what is going on in your business so you have a plan on how you want to achieve your goals and you have more time to focus on specific targeted areas of your business to improve basically we have become the virtual finance director for our clients but without the price tag that is usually associated with this title and all by using the technology and the ecosystem within quickbooks online this is an example of what we do and how we have become advisors for our clients but this is the kind of information and guidance your business needs to ensure that you give it the best chance of succeeding we've identified that the needs of business owners have changed and businesses have evolved and we are working now in a much smarter way and there is a reason there there is no reason why small businesses cannot take advantage of working in the same way as larger businesses which have all the resources in the world to invest in this vital information which they then use to help them grow exponentially but a small business can also achieve the same thing so i've been talking a lot about the app ecosystem which is within quickbooks but we need to know what this is but i think it's important to discuss this in conjunction with the components of a business and how the app ecosystem fits within these requirements to support your overall business so the components relating to a business one of those is sales so apart from the fact that you need to generate as many sales as possible you also need to ensure you have a system in place to record these accurately so you will be able to analyze these at a later date to see what may be more popular what you can drop and what you may need to provide more of one of the apps that our clients in the hospitality sector and for example use is the good till company or an epos system and this is ideal for high volume sales with many components which can be super difficult to set up and these apps integrate with quickbooks online so at the end of each night all information from your tilt is uploaded to quickbooks online eliminating the chance of human error and saving potentially up to 10 hours of sifting through individual sales invoices and entering them one by one and usually you won't be getting as much information from them as you would by using these apps but similarly for those that don't have a till system but they raise invoices quickbooks online feature of sending invoices and having the ability to see who has opened and read the email is super insightful and can be a great conversation starter when chasing for your money when um you know you speak to clients they'll say oh i'm so sorry i haven't paid your invoice i have i haven't opened the email yet i haven't um looked at it you can actually say well yeah you did and i know when you did so it's been super insightful for all of our clients now expenses obviously it is a requirement for any expenses to be kept as proof of business purchase if you're to claim them in your accounts and make sure that they're tax deductible and one of the most popular apps in the ecosystem which we use heavily as a firm and provide to all of our clients is receipt bank it's a great way of ensuring you've been compliant while also connecting to quickbooks online directly and setting up rules for the software to remember where these expenses should go itself so on average i would say we've saved around five to six hours of manual work for each of our clients and they also have the peace of mind that even if they've lost the receipt as long as they took a picture and submitted it through receipt bank we will not be chasing for it and i'm sure that's a huge weight lifted of all business owners minds ensuring that the accountants are not chasing them so legal and compliance so each business has their legal responsibilities to update and keep hmrc and companies house informed on their business activities so quickbooks online allows for these updates via submissions through vats and payroll for example through software and through the software and journals are created automatically therefore saving so much time and providing peace of mind of having everything in one place cash flow is a hugely important area for each of you uh so many new businesses fail within the first five years of trading and one of the key attributing factors to this is the management of cash at the start of any business there are large initial costs to get the business going but with so many businesses they run out of cash very quickly and it can be for a number of reasons it could be that they haven't planned for the expenses required adequately maybe there aren't enough robust processes in place to collect income and there are huge debtors increasing on a daily basis credit terms with suppliers are usually very short for businesses and that have just started so there hasn't been enough time to have that trust in place where suppliers will extend those credit terms but there are also businesses that are more mature that they just haven't considered extending payment terms with suppliers and maybe it's also not being aware that you when you're going to run out of cash and there are no cash flow projections carried out as a result so as a firm we've adopted the app fluidly which takes information from quickbooks online directly in real time and adjusts based on the businesses behavior it analyzes when the business could potentially need extra funding and there is a requirement to adjust for capital expenses for example or one-off income so the projections are not distorted and they can be as accurate as possible but it is a great tool to make you aware as soon as possible so you can take action and do something about it earlier rather than when it's too late another another app which we can now not live without is go cardless so since we've adopted it our own firm have um seen our debtors almost halved and the way it works is it allows you to send direct debit mandates to your customers once you've signed them up and registered them as a customer within quickbooks and every time you raise an invoice you're in control of when you collect it so you do not need to wait for whenever the client will remember and so for anybody who hasn't checked this app out it's an absolute must for all businesses regardless of where in the business cycle or journey you may be so if you've identified that you may have cash flow issues you're going to need to figure out how to sort that out and one of those is searching for funding so since going digital we've been fortunate enough to be able to search for funding on behalf of our clients by connecting quickbooks online data to an app partner called capitalize which has a large number of lenders specialized in all areas of business funding and finding which one is most suitable relating to what the business is looking for now we've noticed that businesses are much more likely to successfully obtain funding when their accountant is on board and the process is a lot smoother because we understand what the lenders are looking for we understand the terminology and we've been doing this for you know years on end so we can provide the information quite early on up front and cut out that middleman and as a result we've been we've managed to successfully raise quite a lot of money um using this platform in the last year for our clients so hopefully as we will start to come out of this pandemic they will have a better chance to grow and carry on trading at least now customers are an important component of your business and quickbooks has its own feature in fact which can act as a simple crm for your business which can help you to keep all of your customer data in one place and have all information there so if you need to carry out any analysis you know it's all within one data sets which is super useful the importance also of suppliers as i've mentioned above the good teal company also caters for those who may have stock for example so there's an integrated stock feature which informs you how much stock you have left and when you need to order it so you know when you're needing to be contacting your your suppliers in in real time now strategy and planning it's vital as i've mentioned before in a business if you're going to give yourself the best chance but there are so many elements of the business that all fit into this some of those that i have mentioned and there are a number of apps which help in all areas of planning and such as the cash flow forecasting which i've mentioned and previously that we use fluidly obviously there are so many others out there such as futurely or float and there are apps for inventory management and so on but all of these apps all feed into the strategy that you need within your business to succeed marketing nowadays is super important um not everyone is an is an expert in marketing and a lot of people think that you have to have all sorts of knowledge to be able to market your business successfully in fact you don't there are so many tools out there um that you can use in order to help to market yourself without a huge expense such as instagram or facebook for example but quickbooks allows you to link your crm software or your marketing software such as mailchimp or hubspot as well to allow for mass email marketing and ensuring that your systems in both syst both systems are holding the same data so no one is missed out so you don't want to miss out any potential clients or current clients that you have in your in your database last but not least staffing apart from the fact that you can run your payroll on quickbooks online and there is an app which we use in our office to track working times for our staff it's called teesheet and which i believe is being renamed to quickbooks time very soon and this for me personally has been a lifesaver and has saved on average i'd say three to four hours per month when i am doing the payroll run we used to have manual timesheets whereas now all staff have an app on their phone or they'll log in in the morning when they come into the office via our ipad by entering their own unique code and when i'm doing the payroll at the end of the month it has an amazing dashboard which gives me all of the reporting that i need to ensure that i'm paying everybody the correct amount now this it's not just about the ease and the time saving but there is the compliance and legal side of this now hmrc are really big on at the moment um going after companies to ensure that they have paid the correct amount of pay to their staff and to make sure that it is at least above the national minimum wage now a lot of businesses especially those who have contracts with their employees that you know they're working from nine to five monday to friday this many days a week this is how many times how much they've got um time off for example it's all written down in the contract and you think that that's enough to to cover you know for the hours that you should be paying your staff in actual fact it's not later on it could be in two three years time your employee could say actually i realized that i've worked so many more hours but i wasn't paid for that time um so i've paid i've worked more than was contracted and i want payment they may go to hmrc to report you and say that i haven't been paid hmrc will say that they want to be fair and they will come to you to ask you um to provide records of the hours that they have worked um and then compare these with what the employee has said and compare these with the payroll that you have run if you haven't kept these records then all that will happen is they will say well you have no proof to prove otherwise so we will have to agree with the employee you're going to need to pay them x amount of hours x amount of money and apart from paying them that hmrc could also request for up to 200 penalty for those employees and on top of that you'll have tax and ni and other things to pay so it can become super costly so this element is not just as i said not just as important with the time saving but it's a way of covering yourself for the future as well in case of any inquiries so the apps i've mentioned in the previous slide are just a few apps that can solve some business needs but there are so many other apps out there it's impossible to go through them all but it's really easy to filter through them by searching which business needs you require to be fulfilled and if it's not on there currently then there are third parties which can facilitate the integration so if you haven't done so already i'd suggest that everyone goes onto the directory just have a look at what is out there you'll find apps that which you did not realize existed or apps which you didn't even realize you needed and so many of them can be game changers for your business and they have been for us and i've seen the same thing for our clients as well so please do go and check that out on the app directory so after listening to me rambling on i hope that you've managed to highlight some key takeaways which you can turn into actions uh but what i will do is i'll go through some which i think are really important and which you should be focusing on today and which you can take away with you today and start implementing straight away so it may seem obvious coming from me but i cannot stress how important it is to get a good advisor on board i too often see business owners who have come to me as a last resort uh for a solution which i can help with possibly you know in five minutes in some occasions and may have been able to save a lot of tax at that time but they have if they would have come earlier that would have meant they could have saved all the worry and stress they had and focus on more important things within their business secondly i would like you to sit down and write your goals and visions for your business this does not only relate to new businesses so all businesses at whatever stage they are at should be doing this on a regular basis it's great to throw all of your ideas down on a piece of paper so you can really see everything in one place and start to make some sense out of it i personally do this once a year on a big whiteboard as it helps me to have kind of a clear understanding of where i am on my journey what needs to be improved and how can i find ways of getting where i need to be whilst obviously having the bigger picture and purpose in my mind there's a quote by tony robbins which i really resonate with and that's if you talk about it it's a dream if you envision it it's possible but if you schedule it it is real so i think by putting all of your ideas down you can really start to make your business and your dream a reality lastly i would like you to find two pain points that you have in your business right now ideally how would you like these to be changed and automated if possible and how much of a time saving and convenience would this be for you then go on to the ab directory and you'll be surprised that you will most likely find something out there which will alleviate some of the pain that you're feeling right now so they're kind of my three um key takeaways but i have a confession to make it's a real privilege for me to have been given this session today and i will let you know why so three or four years ago i was in your shoes i'd heard about the changes um in the ways that we record and submit our information for compliance purposes to hmrc and companies house how this would change and i searched what this would mean for our business and our clients businesses i spoke to the quickbooks sales team and everything seemed okay you know it was a technology that would ensure we would be compliant and we would need to slightly change how we were working i was invited to quickbooks connect of that year and it was the first accounting conference i had been to so i had no idea generally what i was um going to what i should be expecting however after going to all of the different talks and listening to the speakers my mind was literally blown i could not believe that we had not adopted these systems up until that point and the more i heard the more i felt we were so behind and i couldn't understand how you know we weren't using these systems to not only just be compliant but use the technology to propel us ahead of our industry while bringing our clients on this journey with us and it can be easy to forget that i too am a business owner just like you i too am in your shoes and honestly i cannot stress how much this setup can literally change your life so to be up here as an example of someone who has managed to go through this transformation is honestly a privilege and i hope that you all too can join me on this journey as it is never too late unfortunately we've come to the end of this session i hope you've all been able to take something away to make a difference to your businesses if any of you want to get into contact with me directly my details are on the slide you can contact me by email or by going to our website at majorsaccounts.com where we have a live chat feature and you can also reach me on all social media channels so linkedin twitter facebook or instagram i hope you've enjoyed today's session i'd like to say a huge thank you for joining me and we'd love to know if this session was useful to you so please do click on the survey button on this page to answer just a few questions whereas now i will be taking your questions so if you have any questions please do go ahead and ask those you

2021-03-09 07:44

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