From streamlining BAS and end-of-year tax preparation to managing practice workflow, an assortment of tools available through QuickBooks can help smaller firms work more efficiently – and profitably.
According to industry data, there are more than 30,000 “micro-adviser firms” in Australia: accounting and bookkeeping firms that employ up to four staff and consequently are unable to leverage many of the resources enjoyed by bigger firms.
It is with such businesses in mind that Intuit designs its suite of solution-focused software, explains Meagan Wood, head of adviser strategy at Intuit QuickBooks Australia.
“Smaller firms show us time and time again how agile they are, so everything we do for these firms is around creating efficiencies, to free up time for them to run their business and give them that advantage to succeed,” she says.
Data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) shows approximately 60 per cent of an accounting firm’s revenue is derived from compliance work; this is one of the key areas where micro-advisers can benefit from a productivity boost.
This is particularly true come tax time, says Wood, where QuickBooks Tax, powered by LodgeiT, can streamline the way tax and BAS agents lodge returns directly with the ATO.
QuickBooks Tax enables users to prepare and lodge their clients’ BAS and tax returns faster, because the data integrates from QuickBooks Online, as well as from other tools like Xero and MYOB, Wood explains.
“We’ve taken an agnostic approach; we know firms have clients on a range of software, so we’re supporting that reality by streamlining their compliance workload so it’s more efficient and effective and, hopefully, profitable.”
QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) supports the firm in managing its own business. QBOA enables the firm to have complete visibility of its practice, from allocating and tracking tasks assigned to team members to seeing the time the team is capturing to managing their clients’ (and their own) QuickBooks subscriptions from a single login.
“Micro-advisers can complete up to 1200 client jobs a year, so they need to track where all of those jobs are in the office and who’s working on them,” Wood explains.
“For work where the firm is billing their time, getting the work done more efficiently means they are able to bill the work faster, thereby increasing the chance of getting paid faster.”
Streamlining such processes doesn’t just boost productivity, it also frees up micro-advisers’ time to focus on business growth and move away from transactional relationships with clients to higher-value advisory roles.
Wood adds: “Ultimately, they have more time to have an informed, proactive discussion with their clients about how their business is going and to provide guidance for growth or tax minimisation.”
QuickBooks Tax is just one of many free benefits available through Intuit’s tiered loyalty partner scheme, the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program.
When accountants and bookkeepers complete QuickBooks certification or recommend QuickBooks Online to clients, they earn points, which elevates their status and unlocks a range of rewards. The free program also provides members with customer support (both online and over the phone), as well as marketing tools and wholesale discounts on QuickBooks Online subscriptions, which they can pass on to clients or build into their business model.
In addition, members can list their details on the program’s Find-a-ProAdvisor directory, so small businesses looking for a QuickBooks-certified bookkeeper or accountant can easily find them.
“One of the top five challenges for advisers is finding new clients, so we try to match them up whenever we can,” Wood says.
“We’re always looking for new ways to add value to our accounting and bookkeeping community and to help them achieve their business goals.”
For firms looking to manage the new financial year with a sophisticated online tax solution, and save time and money in the process, QuickBooks Tax powered by LodgeiT is available to trial for free today. Learn more.