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4 September 2017

Balancing Your Books Every Time

Have you been puzzled in how to use Credits and Debits when creating transaction records?
Maybe you have an account that is showing the incorrect amount and don't know how to fix it.
We trust this document will explain it a little better.

Debit and Credit
Business transactions are events that have a monetary impact in your financial records. When recording these transactions in what we refer to as a “Double Entry Accounting System” such as Xero, MYOB etc, we assign the transaction value to two or more Accounts (Eg Bank and  Purchase Of Stock), where the Debit column is on the left and the Credit column is on the right.

The net result is the total of all Credits must equal to the total of all Debits.  Eg $100C = $100D  It is said to be "In Balance."

Now the logic is a little misplaced when it comes to the terms Credit and Debit so the table below will help you to identify which Account Types will increase or decrease in value when assigning the Debit or Credit side of your transaction.

Hint for Xero Users -  To create a Journal transaction, select Adviser -> Manual Journal.  If Advisor is not show in the menu, go to Settings -> General Settings -> Users -> select you name -> change from Standard to Advisor ad.  If you can not access your setting, you need to contact the subscriber of the Xero application to make the changes.

Accounting principles for most business people is somewhat of a mystery so I hope this next section will make the process a little clearer.

To start with, you need to identify with two main accounting reports.  

Balance Sheet (Statement of Financial Position) - The Balance Sheet is a snapshot of your business Equity or Net Worth at a given time.  Eg “Today my business is worth $....”  

The Balance Sheet has three main Account Types:-  

  • Assets are items of property owned by the business.  (Bank accounts, Equipment, Inventory, Money owing by clients a.k.a. Trade Debtors)
  • Liabilities are things for which the business is responsible to cover. (Loans, GST, Staff PAYG, Superannuation, Outstanding Bills to Suppliers a.k.a Trade Creditors)
  • Equity is basically the difference between the total value of Assets and total value of Liabilities.

Profit & Loss Statement (Income Statement) - The P&L is a statement of business performance.  Where the Balance Sheet is at a given point in time, the P&L is over time.  Eg “The business achieved a 20% Net Profit over the past 12 months”

The P&L has three main Account Types:-

  • Income (Revenue, Sales) are areas in which the business generates income from the supply of products, services and interest received on bank accounts.
  • Cost Of Goods (Direct Cost, Variable Costs) are cost directly associated with the supply of products and services.  Eg. Material and Sub Contractors.  These cost are also considered as variable cost as they are driven by the level of income.  Eg. Generate twice as many sales so you can expect your Cost of Goods to double too.
  • Expenses (Overheads, Fixed Cost) are cost associated with keeping the business open. Think of them as overheads like salaries, rent, power, insurance etc.  They are not directly linked to your income and remain relatively fixed even if you double your business.

Note - While Cost Of Goods and Expenses are in effect expenses, they are separated to determine the price tag on products and hourly rates along with your break even point.  That’s another topic for another time.

Putting It Together
The illustration on the following page shows two boxed regions representing the two business reporting areas (Balance Sheet & Profit and Loss Report)

A range of typical Accounts have also been included for further clarity. (Bank Account, Rent etc)

The first illustration includes three transactions:

  1. EFT Product Sale for $1000
  2. EFT Payment of Rent for $400
  3. Order on Credit Terms for $300

Each transaction has an Credit and a Debit Value and are the same value (“In Balance”).  As stated above each Transaction must have at least two balancing values.

  • The EFT Sale to Mr Jones increases the Bank and Income accounts by $1000.  (Assuming No GST)
  • The Payment of Rent decreases the Bank account by $400 and increases the cost to the business in the Rent & Outgoings account by the same amount. (Assuming No GST)
  • The purchase of products from ABC Building Suppliers on a 7 day term account, increases the Material Cost Of Goods by $300 and money owing in Trade Creditors by the same amount. (Assuming No GST).  The second illustration show the payment of this outstanding amount.
The next illustration shows that the outstanding account for “ABC Building Suppliers” is paid from the Bank Account.  In doing so, the Liability is reduced by $300 and the Bank Account is reduced by $300.

A new sale transaction for $550 is created including $50 GST.  This customer has a 7 day trading account with the business and is paid a few days later by Mrs Smith.  

Notice that the GST of $50 is not allocated to the Profit & Loss as an Income rather as a GST liability.  It is still connected with Mrs Smith as an amount owing in the Trade Debtors with the $500 for a total of $550.

Only $500 of the sales is contributed to Income.

The Profit and Loss report never includes GST collected on sales or paid on purchases.

When Mrs Smith pays her outstanding account for $550, the Bank Account increases by $550 and the Trade Debtors are reduced by $550.  Mrs Smith debt to the business is now $0.

The Payment to ABC Building Suppliers reduces the Bank Account balance and the Liability account, Trade Creditors is also reduce.

Notice that after making $800 in profit that the business equal position is also $800.

When To Create a Transaction or Journal Entry
When every money moves in your business from one location to another, that’s when a transaction entry is created.

“Follow The Money!”

The money comes from somewhere and ends up somewhere.  That’s the Double Entry, the “From” and the “To”.  The Transaction must be in balance, that is the Credits = Debits.

Example - So if someone pays in cash, have an account called “Cash Drawer” ready.  The two transaction entries are Sales and Cash Drawer.  At the end of the day, you deposit the cash in your bank account so the two transaction entries are Cash Drawer and Bank.  Each time the money moves, so a transaction record is created.

Some Online Systems Appear One Sided
You may have notice that when using an Accounting package to raise an invoice or to reconcile a bank transaction that one account is entered.  The reality is the application is creating the second transaction account.  For example, when you reconcile a bank transaction, the Bank is one account and then you select the other.

Table Talks
The Adelaide Hills Business Centre conducts a number of Table Talks on Accounting Basics, Budgeting and Determining the price tag on goods and services.  It’s a great way to hone your financial knowledge.

29 June 2017

New Online Business Toolkit

Good quality business tools can be difficult to locate or use but not now with the Adelaide Hills Business Centre's revised Online Business Toolkit.

For startups, a easy to use online accounting system, business plan template, budget and price calculator for your products and services plus more.  For growing businesses, employment "Letter Of Engagement" and other document to minimise business risk in your business.

Your Business Toolkit is online and live, so if you need assistance or advice, the AHBC can access your files as you are working on them.  You can also share your files with your accountant, business partner and others.  Avoid multiple revision documents, now work from your master documents.

AHBC members can freely create their online folder of Business Tools any time and for each of their businesses.  Non members can also create an online folder of Business Tools for only $75.   An email will be sent to you soon after creating your folder of online Business Tools along with payment details for non members.

Create Your Shared Folder of Business Tools Here

Main Documents Supplied: 
  • Cashbook Accounting System - Simple accounting system for business. This spreadsheet allows you to enter your business bank transaction to generate a "Profit and Loss" and "Cash Flow". The spreadsheet also calculates your GST balance. Idea for smaller business that don't need a full account system. 
  • Loan Amortisation Schedule - Helps you to calculate and optimise your bank loans.
  • Price Calculator - Calculates the price tag for goods or hourly service rates. This spreadsheet takes into account your business overheads (The hidden Cost of doing business), production waste and profit margins. 
  • Letter Of Engagement – Suitable for full-time and part-time new employees. [EASY]
  • Business Plan - This template provides an overview of what's in a business plan and how it helps you and your business. The template includes most questions that you expect to consider when starting or reviewing an existing business. The Business Plan is also bank friendly particularly when combined with the Budget, Action Plan and Cashflow spreadsheet as outlined below. 
  • Budget, Action Plan and Cashflow - One spreadsheet with it all. Ideal for any business that is seeking to grow and expand. Should be used in conjunction with the Business Plan above. 
  • Understanding Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - Looking for some simple tips to increase your online engagement and business transactions. This 3 page document provides a sound insight to SEO in your business.
  • Accepting Credit Cards Online, In-Store or Anywhere - What can you use to process credit and debit card transaction (Mastercard & Visa). This document covers the 3 most common systems. Point Of Sale, Mobile and Online systems either through a bank or other providers such as PayPal. Suitable for first time business owners and local market businesses.
  • NDA or Non Disclosure Agreement - A bilateral agreement between you and others for those times that you need to share information around your intellectual ideas or property. Ideal for new business ideas or products that you may wish to protect with a trademark or patent. 
  • MOU or Memorandum Of Understanding - This MOU sets outs the terms and understanding between various individuals and/or businesses. 
  • DOA or Deed of Assignment - Transferring the ownership of intellectual property normally requires a Deed Of Assignment to protect the seller and buyers interest.

Create Your Shared Folder of Business Tools Here

5 December 2016

Congratulations on becoming a new business owner

Congratulations on becoming a business owner and getting your first business up and running.

While the initial task of getting your business started is under way, your time is now focused on bringing customers on board and increasing revenue.

The reality of going into business is about surviving the first, second and third year, but more importantly gaining a level of profit that makes the business sustainable and worth owning.

 The graph shows the current Australian Business Survival Rate from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (

The Yellow Survival Rate are businesses that consider and action the 5 key points below. This is based on a 90% improvement in business survival.

Businesses that use external advisors and business Intelligence are more likely to be faster innovators, gain a competitive advantage and become more profitable and sustainable over the long term.

Actions That Will Make Your New Business Succeed.
There are several reasons why small businesses don’t survive and it's not normally contributed by global or local economic trends. Here are five top reasons why and what what action you can take:-

19 August 2016

Local Knowledge - The Little Secret Garden at Littlehampton SA

The Little Secret Garden is a hidden treasure, set back off the main street of Littlehampton, South Australia. You can expect to have your taste buds go wild. The appeal lies in its emphasis on beautifully presented cakes and wholesome light lunches that will remind you of a good home cooked meal.

Owner Valeria, originally from Italy, travelled to South Australia in 2009 to pursue her career as a Zoologist. However, it was her passion for cooking that took her down another road. Opening her café The Little Secret Garden in 2014. Cooking all of her favorite treats, specialising in Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free meals, Valeria has made her mark in the community, becoming a favourite amongst the locals.

Charming and visually enticing, The Little Secret Garden has treasures hidden around every corner. Beautiful antiques, hanging plants or the artwork created by Valeria; you will love the ambiance this café provides.

Open Monday to Friday and over the weekend on special occasions, stop in and add The Little Secret Garden to your list of favourites.

“Someone eating my food, saying yum…Makes it all worthwhile” – Valeria.

Post created by Lauren Edmonds
RedNoir Studio

27 July 2016

Accepting Credit Cards Online, In-Store or Anywhere

What to use to process credit and debit card transaction such as Mastercard & Visa in your business

At its core, it's a two-step process.
  1. POS System.pngHow do you want to do business with your customer? In person via a Point Of Sale system (POS), a traditional credit card swiper or a mobile device or online Internet / phone.
  2. Determine whether you will need a merchant account, a financial middleman (Bank) that approves transactions and deposits into your bank account, or credit cards transactions go directly into your bank account without the need for a merchant account.

Point-of-sale (POS) systems
  • pph-tap-and-go-reader.jpgA complete checkout terminal that can include a credit card swiper, NFC reader, touch screen, barcode scanner, cash register, printer and other equipment.
  • Usually requires a merchant account and application can be made to provide Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale. (EFTPOS)
  • POS with accounts system, standalone or online system Eg. Vend.
  • Best for businesses with a physical location that want to connect multiple locations or cash registers to each other and/or to other business systems such as accounting or inventory.

Mobile credit card processors
  • credit-card-terminal.jpgA dongle and/or app that lets you accept credit cards anywhere using a smartphone or tablet.
  • Usually requires a credit card reader that attaches to your phone. Does not usually require a merchant account.
  • Software is normally online Eg. PayPal and via App Store.
  • Best for a business that sells in a variety of places, wants to process transactions anywhere in the store or does only a few transactions a day at its physical locations.

online-credit-card-processing.jpgCredit card terminal
  • A piece of hardware used to swipe credit cards in person or, in some cases, to manually enter credit card numbers from phone or Internet orders.
  • Requires a merchant account and is usually provided by merchant account providers as part of their service.
  • Software is built into the device and reporting is via bank / merchant statements
  • Best for a business that doesn't need its credit card processing system to do anything but accept payments.

Online payments
  • An e-commerce solution, shopping cart software or third-party marketplace — such as eBay, Amazon etc that lets Web-based businesses accept payments at their website, blog or online store.
  • Most e-commerce sites hosted by a third party do not require a merchant account. Stand-alone e-commerce sites that use shopping cart software may need a merchant account.
  • Software is via merchant provider.  Tools are normally provided to create “Pay Now” button code for websites and shopping carts.
  • Best for businesses that conduct a variety of business transactions online.

3 June 2016

Payroll Tax, What is it and how does it effect your business

"Considering South Australia has the highest unemployment and number of small businesses, we also have one of the highest disincentive taxes for small businesses to grow and create employment."

What is Payroll Tax

Payroll tax is a general purpose state / territory tax on businesses creating employment.  It applies when the total wage bill of an employer (or a Group of employers Eg. Companies related by common director(s)) exceeds a threshold amount. 

It is a complex tax and it can catch business owners and investors out particularly with the Grouping categories.  "Groups" are designed as a catch all approach to maximise state revenue by linking business owners, investors, employees and the like to more than one legal entity.

For example, if you own and operate a small business under the payroll threshold, and decide to purchase shares in a separate business also under the threshold level, than the accumulative payroll from both businesses may attract payroll taxes.  It can be an unwelcome surprise and expense for the other shareholders in both businesses.  The sharing of the tax free threshold and the different state rules further compound the complexity of this tax system.

Payroll tax is payable monthly in South Australia to RevenueSA.

Who is liable for Payroll Tax?
A payroll tax liability arises in South Australia when an employer (or a Group of employers Eg. Companies related by common director(s)) has an annual wages bill in excess of $600,000 for services rendered by employees anywhere in Australia if any of those services are rendered or performed in South Australia.

RevenueSA recommends employers register for payroll tax when their wages bill consistently exceeds $12,500 per week.

If you are reaching the Payroll tax threshold in South Australia, you will need to register with RevenueSA

You may also need to consider Contractors or Service Providers invoice payments when calculating your total wages bill. To check, you can use the ATO's Employee / Contractor decision tool.

Exemptions - As you may expect, certain non-profit organisations are exempt from paying payroll tax and believe it or not! the creator / producers of motion pictures are too, subject to the ministers approval.

Apprentices and Trainees had been exempt from payroll tax however on the 1st of July 2012, the South Australian Government enforced the payroll tax threshold to include the wages of people being training.

What are considered 'Wages'?

In South Australia any remuneration provided to an employee is considered a Wages. It is the sum total of Wages, salaries, superannuation contributions, commissions, bonuses, allowances, directors fees, fringe benefits, payments in kind, eligible and termination payments.


If you are unsure or need assistance to minimise your Payroll Tax and exposure, simply choose a suitable time to see us.

19 May 2016

Computer Security – a FREE Guide to protecting yourself and your business

2015 was the worst year yet for security breaches. And it’s not getting any better in 2016!

Despite many people still believing major attacks are directed at big companies, it’s estimated that more than 80% of breaches occur in small businesses, which are highly vulnerable and, in most cases, the least aware. And, in the security chain the weakest link is usually the human one – their employees.

This Free, 18-page eGuide explores the need for everyone to be vigilant and employ strict cybersecurity practices — not only to defend against digital attacks, but also to prevent offline attacks!

You’ve seen the movies and read the articles but take a moment to consider the potential impact on your life if someone stole your identity, or got access to your bank accounts and other private information. For small businesses, a data breach could be lethal.

Global studies suggest approximately half of all companies that experience a cyber breach will go out of business within six months! Even if you survive, the costs aren’t just limited to the immediate loss or theft of confidential client information or critical business data, but extend to the effect on your business’s reputation and the impact on future income.

Download your eGuide to learn about the 5 major areas leaving everyone exposed and find out how easy it is to protect yourself. Chapters include -
  1. Securing your environment
  2. Managing your usernames and passwords
  3. Email threats
  4. Mobile Security
  5. Secure website browsing
  6. Getting help 
To download the eGuide click on the following link:

BLOG Provided by: The IT Guru. A project developed by DNG Technology and a member of the Adelaide Hills Business Centre