Shaper accountants

Cloud accounting and Xero experts

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Insight and intelligence from Shaper Accountants

discover a new approach to accounting

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What’s your Business Journey?

If you’re not on the journey you want to be on, how do you change course?

Change your business journey

When you know your business is going to work, but the big break seems to be just out of reach, what action can you take to regain control?

As soon as your business has the basic operations of invoicing, quotes, paying bills and collecting cash under control the next step is to get information from the accounting system that will help you on your business journey. A quick look at the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet can leave you underwhelmed as you struggle to see the bigger picture. If you’ve got this far you need to see the bigger picture of your business now, and in the future.

This is where business intelligence tools come in – handy little applications that your accountant can bolt onto your accounts, interpret and look at the pictures with you. The advantages for you?

  • You see what’s going on now.
  • You understand your gross profit and it’s relationship to your operating profit.
  • You understand the highs and lows of your cash situation.
  • When you put a stake in the ground, you can then forecast forward for a range of scenarios. You can plan how to change your own business journey.

For daring small businesses

What, exactly, do I need to forecast, you may well ask. Here’s the low down on the popular 3-way forecast.

Cashflow Forecasts do just that – you plug in your sales expectations, and your costs and VAT and project forward. Many try this on Excel, which has it’s place, but also it’s limitations. For a speedy, simple solution which also allows you to add in various “what if” scenarios – try Float – our favourite Xero add on cashflow app. It’s useful to forecast cashflow variations like, fluctuatons in sales, a big events like trade shows, the aquisition of new staff or a capital expenditure item.

Profit Forecast are useful, especially if you’re interested in how much distributable profits you may have available to pay in dividends. Or you may be planning for the reduction in corporation tax in 2016 and 2017 by deciding to invest in your business now, so when you start turning a profit in later years, the corporation tax you pay will be at the lower 2016 or 2017 rates.

Balance Sheet Forecasts are usful to keep a handle on your assets, liabilities and equity. This is part of what’s called a 3 way forecast – another essential business tool to get a complete picture, and to see how the business looks depending on the path you take.

Forecasting tools are now accessible and affordable to even the smallest business owner. If you have your accounts on Xero, the eco system of over 300 add-on applications is at your fingertips. This means you can have the same super powers as a big corporation.

A Xero Accountant will help you to get the business journey map to your chosen destination.

Want a map? If you’re on Xero – Get a free dashboard report for your business – Get in touch with Shaper Accountants today and quote “Free Dashboard” offer.

To change your business journey and experience the power of business analysis get in touch today. You can call us on 01603 516 304 or follow us on Twitter @ShaperAccounts.

Business Intelligence Apps

Take back the power: See your business in pictures, understand what it all means and change your business journey for the better. Happy travelling.

Management Accounts and Business Growth

Management Accounts and how to grow your business

Management Accounts and Business Growth

What are Management Accounts?

Put simply, management accounting information is the stuff you use to help you make decisions and to plan, going forward. It’s the intelligent analysis that will allow you to understand what’s going on, to make changes needed and achieve the business growth of your dreams.

Financial accounting tends to include, the compliance work you have to do, like annual accounts, a corporation tax return, payroll and VAT work. All essential, all filed with HMRC or Companies House and all looking back on the year just gone.

Management Accounting data is generated using business intelligence tools.

Designed to provide accountants and business owners with a range of reporting options that save time and effort –  while delivering clarity for better decision-making.

Nowadays, this useful, often business changing insight, comes from the data held in your accounting system. It’s no surprise to you that, as Xero Accountants, we recommend a Xero Add-on to get this analysis for you. Your financial data is exported, seamlessly from Xero, into the reporting formats best suited to your needs.

Using a reporting and analysis tool like Spotlight Reporting means you get visibility and reporting options that can help you understand what is going on in your business, and that is what helps you make decisions.

Management information is not only for big corporations.

If anyone tells you your business is too small to need management accounting info – dare to think differently. If you want your business to grow you need this. Once you have it, you have the power and competitive advantage that the nay sayers do not.

There are affordable reporting options available for one man bands right up to big business. Fully customisable dashboards can mean you know your cash flows on a day by day basis, key KPIs, revenue and turnover %, outstanding sales invoices and key ratios for your business.

Basic, useful and better than no management accounting info is now available in Xero. Your Accountant can customise a report and use the Performance Dashboard to highlight areas you may want to understand better.

This means that if you’re with us you’re on Xero. If you’re on Xero you have a smart, affordable and scalable business system at your fingertips.

Todays’ small businesses also have access to 3 way forecasting – that means cash flow forecasting, profit forecasting and a balance sheet forecast. You may think this is no interest to you because you’re too small. We say, todays’ business world is about levelling the playing field for the small business and business app tools are there for everyone – even when you’re on a tight budget. If you pay dividends from your business, you will find a profit forecast helpful, and reassuring. The latest King of the Jungle here is CrunchBoards – it costs you more for us to deliver but it’s a mighty powertool taking the small business world to another level – it starts where Xero stops – Ask us if you want to know more.

There are many management reporting tools available now, and many add on to your cloud accounting system as well, making your business life much simpler and making management accounting accessible.

For simpler, easy to use cash flow forecasting and budgeting Float still delivers excellent service, for small businesses on Xero. Float syncs with Xero so your forecast is always up to date, you can see an accurate projection of your daily bank balances at the touch of a button.

So if you want advice on how you can get even more useful data out of your accounts then get in touch with us – free trials available, along with feedback from clients already seeing the benefits of managemnt accounts.

Get in touch here or check out our website.

Or say hello on Twitter.

We offer free trials of most software that adds onto Xero and trialling with an Accountant can make all the difference to interpreting what you see.