5 Ways Your Franchise Can Leverage Bookkeeping To The Fullest

5 Ways Your Franchise Can Leverage Bookkeeping To The Fullest

5 Ways Your Franchise Can Leverage Bookkeeping To The Fullest

Accountants are storytellers in many ways – they unearth patterns from a business’s books of accounts and define how going forward that will lead to a company’s happiest ending.

There are multiple facets to business accounting, and different industries have different requirements – one aspect common everywhere, however, is bookkeeping.

Bookkeeping is often seen as a boring and tedious routine, and so many franchise businesses tend to stay away from it. They often regard this function as more of a headache, which is not worth the time and effort.

They do not realise that bookkeeping for franchises can be highly profitable as long as the franchise businesses go about it the right way. 

It is also a great way to stay consistently connected with the ground realities of the business in terms of finances and putting together growth plans.

If you have not taken bookkeeping seriously in the past but now want to do so, here are five ways in which you can make it a vital function of your business:

1. Systematise your bookkeeping process

Efficient systems are critical to any function or department running smoothly. Core bookkeeping functions common to industries everywhere include payroll management, document collection, general ledger, etc.

By ignoring your books of accounts, your company’s financial records will become outdated and unreliable. You will no longer have an accurate idea of where you owe money or where your cash is coming from.

Moreover, the lack of updated books of records will limit your access to financing—which will act as a massive disadvantage whenever you seek a loan for your franchise business. Banks need written evidence of your transactions to grant you funds.

Therefore, an excellent way to improve the franchise business’ efficiency is by systematising your bookkeeping process, starting with maintaining a record of your documents.

2. Manage the scope of work in bookkeeping

The best way to delegate and coordinate bookkeeping tasks is by setting expectations beforehand regarding who owns which step in the process. An excellent way to do this is to have a scoping agreement in place so that there are no grey areas on the deliverables.

This way, you can manage everyone’s expectations, and there is no confusion about who is responsible for/gets credit for which part of the process.

Your bookkeeping function must be transparent so that there is a financial trail you can see and refer to if there are discrepancies spotted.

3. Trust in cloud computing

Cloud-based bookkeeping software is the best way to go if you want to make money out of bookkeeping. It stores data securely, balances transactions accurately and allows for efficient collaboration. There are several affordable software options out there for you to choose from, and most can be easily integrated with your in-house bookkeeping function.

At Agility Bookkeeping, we recommend all our clients migrate their bookkeeping system to Xero. It is an excellent platform for automating daily business tasks and getting an updated view of financials, on-the-go.

Another USP of Xero is that it integrates with many small business CRMs, customer service platforms and productivity apps, which makes day-to-day business operations a breeze.

Therefore, be sure to pick a software provider with flexible pricing plans and the ability to scale up or down as needed as your franchise business evolves.

4. Identify value-add opportunities

Having regular reports on your books of accounts will show you your franchise business’s financial health. That will allow you to spot any discrepancies and help you identify any growth opportunities quickly.

With accurate bookkeeping, you will be able to identify, for example, if there is a specific product or service that your customers are buying in greater volume.  Feeding that information to the relevant part of your business may mean further opportunities can be driven for value-adds or other ways to drive greater revenue and profitability.

5. Outsource it to expert bookkeepers

If you are struggling to manage bookkeeping on your own, it is never a bad idea to consider outsourcing. It is a common misconception that bookkeepers and accountants perform the same function – while accountants focus more on strategic operations, bookkeepers are concerned with those essential day-to-day financial transactions.

Outsourced bookkeepers are experts at what they do and can act as the critical outsider point of view, spotting errors and opportunities that you might miss. They can offer various services such as dashboard reporting, payroll and end of year accounts.

Outsourcing is also more cost-efficient than recruiting and training in-house bookkeepers—which could be a boon, especially if you are cutting costs across the company but do not want to mess up the basics.

Wrapping it up

Since all franchisors rigorously monitor their franchisees, you need to stay on your toes and ensure benchmarking is maintained and reported accurately every month. You can resolve any issues that may arise to protect your franchise business reputation.

Thankfully, our team at Agility Bookkeeping will ensure that your bookkeeping function is always performing at its best. If you are interested in learning more about our services, please fill our contact us form, and we will call you at the earliest.

7 Things That Happen When You Don’t Do Bookkeeping

7 Things That Happen When You Don’t Do Bookkeeping

7 Things That Happen When You Don’t Do Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is among all businesses’ least favourite things to do. It can be tempting to skimp on your business bookkeeping and pile it up until the far end of the tax season, only to finish it in a hurry when the deadline is around the corner. That is not the way to run a business!

Not staying up-to-date with your bookkeeping has significant costs that could end up consuming even more of your time and resources than if you had done it in the first place. Plus, you will have no idea how well or badly your business is performing.  Here are seven things that risk happening if you do not do your bookkeeping:

1. Your records become inaccurate and unreliable

When you do not update your books, your company financial records become outdated and unreliable. You no longer have an accurate idea of where your cash is coming from or where you owe money.

This makes it harder to sort out your fixed and variable costs and thus obscures what your company’s breakeven point is. Essentially, without bookkeeping, there is no financial trail you can refer to if there are discrepancies spotted.

2. Financing options become limited

The lack of updated books of records limits your access to financing, which is a massive disadvantage if you need funds fast. A bank, for instance, will ask to see financial records before granting you a loan so that they know you have the necessary assets to offer as collateral. Without written evidence of your transactions, your credibility with banks, investors and lenders will be extremely low.

3. Invoicing falls behind and cash flow suffers

Without bookkeeping, you are likely to lose track of all the invoices you are owed and which you need to pay, particularly over a long period of time. This could lead to unnecessary shortages of funds, and on the other hand, you risk piling up late fees for your accounts payable. In short, your entire cash flow for the business goes astray.

4. Payroll problems start to rise

Payroll is among the most critical aspects of running a business. Your employees need to be paid on time and accurately. Without bookkeeping, however, it gets difficult to track leave taken, overtime worked, bonuses due and so on.

You thus risk underpaying or overpaying your employees without even knowing it. And any errors will end up reflected on the employee’s payslips and cause you both tax problems. As a growing company, you cannot afford to land yourself in such troubles. 

5. Managing expenses becomes tricky

Without a proper system of bookkeeping in place, you risk losing money in slow but steady leaks over time. Small expenses that are easily forgotten end up not being recorded and can add up to a significant amount.

This, in turn, could lead to unclaimed tax deductions or overstate your expenses to the HMRC, which can lead to problems if your company is being audited.

6. Bookkeeping backlog drains your time and increases costs

It is possible in theory to catch up on your business records at the end of the year before tax season, but it is immensely time-consuming. Not only does it take you away from business-critical activities, but it could also lead to your accountant charging hefty overtime fees for having to wade through stacks of unsorted receipts. Ultimately, you end up more stressed and with extra bills to pay.

7. Do not risk playing “catch me if you can” with HMRC

Without formal bookkeeping practices in place, you risk arousing the suspicion of the HMRC. Failing to report incomes that have already been reported, not issuing information returns, claiming unusually large expense deductions and wrongly classifying your employees are all red flags that could put you on the authorities’ radar.

In case an audit is requested, you need to be able to provide complete records of all your business transactions – in the absence of which you risk having to pay hefty penalties.

Take help if you are struggling

If your bookkeeping chores are causing you stress and trouble, it is best to outsource it to experts. Good bookkeepers will help you keep a record of your expenses and receipts, track accounts payable and receivable and also create a balance sheet.

When your basic bookkeeping is sorted, you will be better equipped to plan an efficient tax strategy for your company and also ensure your business management is functioning based on accurate financials.

Plus, you can then offer your clients more value-added services which will not only drive more revenues for your business but also strengthen client relationships.

If you need help, then Agility Bookkeeping is fully equipped to help you move over from routine bookkeeping and transition to a modern, paperless and outsourced system. Would you like to discuss our partnership further? We would love to talk to you!

Please complete our contact form or email us at sales@agilitybookkeeping.com for an initial, no-obligation chat.

8 Productivity Tips For Bookkeepers This Holiday Season

8 Productivity Tips For Bookkeepers This Holiday Season

8 Productivity Tips For Bookkeepers This Holiday Season



‘Tis the season to be merry! And the quicker you can get your bookkeeping tasks completed, the sooner you can get down to celebrating with your family – social distancing observed, obviously.

Productivity is always a priority for bookkeepers, but never more so than now when businesses everywhere are looking to wrap things up before Christmas. A big part of creatively ‘amping up’ your productivity is committing to making conscious efforts to get more done every day.

Looking for some inspiration? Agility Bookkeeping’s founder Rachel Roden shares eight tips to help fellow bookkeepers to keep their productivity levels at an all-time high:

1. Be protective of your time

Time is the most valuable asset you have – you deserve to be protective of it! Schedule well-defined work blocks during the day or week for your most important tasks and then work your other priorities around those.

To avoid being flooded with meetings, ask colleagues to book their meeting slots in advance. Even if you only work part-time, it is essential to have control over what you are doing through your workday.

We use Microsoft Teams to manage our calendar. Choose a scheduling tool of your liking and manage your time better.

2. Upgrade your team communication tool

Efficient and speedy internal communication is a must for productivity. Choose a tool like Microsoft Teams that allows you to communicate with your clients, team members or stakeholders easily without filling up their inboxes with multiple follow-ups and long email trails.

Virtual meetings are now the norm, and tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts make this easy. If you manage a large bookkeeping team, provide quick training to your team members to help them navigate these tools better so that they need not resort to texting or calling each other at inconvenient times.

3. Embrace automation

Accounting software has evolved tremendously over the last few years, and embracing software will go a long way in freeing you up from mundane tasks and keeping your attention on what’s critical.

There are different software options to handle your monthly bookkeeping online, automate your tax compliance, automate your transaction categorisation, and so on.

While many accountants hesitate to adopt software as they fear that their jobs will become redundant, automation is, in fact, a significant step forward in making high productivity the norm in the accounting industry.

Use a modern, online bookkeeping system such as Xero, Quickbooks or Sage – one that you can link to your bank account. This way, all your transactions automatically get synced to your system at the end of each month or week, making it easier for you to tally your in-flows and out-flows.


Are you tired of spending hours on data entry? Apps such as AutoEntry or HubDoc link to most modern bookkeeping software packages and are a lifesaver when it comes to routine data work. Then make sure your paperwork gets auto-forwarded to the email inbox – this way, all your paperwork is attached to the relevant transactions, and you do not need to waste time hunting down bills from six months ago.

5. Do not allow the paperwork to build-up

Some amount of paperwork is inevitable for bookkeepers, and it is almost always their least favourite thing to do.  However, the more you put it off, the bigger your workload will be when you finally get around to doing it. Instead, allocate time each day to ensure entry and invoices are raised.

6. Delegate wherever possible

Given that you only have a limited number of working hours each day, you must use as much of it as possible for critical tasks that demand your attention and creativity.

Wherever possible, pass on routine tasks such as scanning paperwork to a member of your team or a freelancer. Plus, check if there is a software or third-party service provider for the task you need to be done – there is likely to be one.

7. Do one task at a time

It is easy to be distracted by phone calls and emails, and not relatively as easy to regain your concentration afterwards. To get the most out of your workday, focus on one task at a time and put your phone away while you are doing so.

You can also try dividing each task into smaller chunks so that you can visibly measure your daily progress. It is easy to get overwhelmed if you have a lot to do, but take it one page or one month at a time, and you will be surprised how quickly you are getting things done.

8. Do it once and do it right

Mistakes can be costly, especially in bookkeeping. If you are having trouble figuring something out, do not hesitate to reach out to a colleague for help. You could even consider outsourcing the project while you focus on other areas.

Remember, the cost of not seeking help and getting the project wrong is much higher than taking a step back and acknowledging that something is outside your skillset. And in the process, you also save all the time that would go on you puzzling it out yourself!

Get professional help if you need it.

If you are struggling to manage the ins and outs of bookkeeping along with your primary business, you can consider outsourcing the job to a professional. An experienced bookkeeping service provider will save you time and money and advise you on making the most of tax returns.

Thankfully, Agility Bookkeeping is fully equipped to handle all your bookkeeping tasks and enable you to put up your legs and relax over the holidays. If you’re interested, please complete the contact form, and we will get back to you for an initial, no-obligation chat.

7 Qualities To Look For While Hiring A Bookkeeper For Your Franchise Business

7 Qualities To Look For While Hiring A Bookkeeper For Your Franchise Business

7 Qualities To Look For While Hiring A Bookkeeper For Your Franchise Business

7 Qualities To Look For While Hiring A Bookkeeper For Your Franchise Business

Often called a “business in a box,” a franchise is built on a proven concept and provides products or services which have already been market-tested. While your franchisor may have shared detailed manuals with you in regards to running the day-to-day affairs, growing a franchise business is not free from risks.

Managing overhead expenses, dealing with debts, staying on top of cash flow and of course, sorting out the furlough of employees in this economic climate are just some of the factors that could make your job challenging at the moment.

That is why hiring a bookkeeper is one of the most important decisions you will make as a franchise business owner. A bookkeeper will be in charge of your accounts, file your taxes for you and be responsible for keeping you financially profitable and legally above-board.

By understanding what good bookkeeping and what sound professional practices look like, you will be able to choose the right candidate and set the necessary expectations for how you will work together.

Here are the top qualities to look out for when choosing a bookkeeper for your franchise business:

1. Communication skills

It is not enough for a bookkeeper to have accounting know-how. As the franchise owner, you will want to examine your financials from time to time, and you need your bookkeeper to present those financials to you in clear, simple terms.

If there is anything you need clarification on, your bookkeeper should be able to explain it to you without jargon. Similarly, if the bookkeeper needs any information from you, they should be asking for it clearly and promptly. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page at all times.

2. Tech-savviness

The bookkeeper should be thoroughly conversant with the latest accounting software and technologies to give your business the most up-to-date service. For instance, they can find ways to streamline your cash flow, payroll and invoice payments with systems such as XERO so that everything happens much faster.

They should, moreover, constantly be updating his knowledge of tax and accounting practices to be aware of the most recent schemes and policies. This way, your bookkeeping can be completed more efficiently, and they can guide your financials according to the latest practices to keep you ahead of the competition.

We at Agility Bookkeeping offer assistance to help you select and implement across the best system for your franchise business and also provide online training and setup support for your staff.

3. Collaboration and teamwork

You and your bookkeeper need to work together as a team, and this applies to the rest of your employees as well. Your bookkeeper should be willing to reach out to any of your employees actively and to respond openly to any requests that any of you may have.

Moreover, the bookkeeper should have the organisational skills to run his team efficiently. This ensures that you get the best bookkeeping services at all times, as everyone is moving according to the plan.

4. Experience in your industry

A generalist bookkeeper can only take you so far. You should ideally be working with someone who knows the ins and outs of your specific business, can relate to the financial aspect of it and knows the success metrics that you should ideally be aiming for.

This way, the bookkeeper can help you make tax savings specific to your line of work and also offer suggestions on how to increase your profit margins or reduce the operational costs of your franchise business.

5. Integrity and honesty

Your bookkeeper will be in charge of sensitive financial documents and be responsible for filing your returns and managing your cash flows. It would be best if you were sure, therefore, that the bookkeeper you hire is trustworthy.

This is where previous client reviews come in handy, as you get an idea of the bookkeeper’s work ethic beyond the certifications and credentials. Moreover, be sure to have a detailed interview with the bookkeeper before you hire them to spot any warning signs of irregular behaviour.  Do a thorough background check as well.

6. Flexibility to adapt to different working styles

Your bookkeeper should be willing to adjust to any specific working style your business prefers, such as communication over email only, staggered working hours through the day or a weekly call to go over the accounts. In turn, you should work with the bookkeeper to make allowances for any specific requests they have, such as time-off or deadline-setting.

7. Relationship building skills

You may find several highly skilled and knowledgeable bookkeepers, but relationship building is a critical aspect of the equation. The bookkeeper you pick should be committed to prioritising your business needs and exceeding expectations on every count.

They should, moreover, have strong people skills that make it a pleasure to work with them. What you should be looking for is a long-term working relationship that transcends daily calls and weekly reports, and for that, you need to be comfortable with not just the bookkeeping expertise but also the person or team.

Over to you

All franchisors rigorously monitor their franchisees as one under-performing business can threaten the entire franchise. Thankfully, our team at Agility Bookkeeping will ensure that benchmarking is maintained and reported accurately every month, and resolve any issues that may arise to protect your franchise business reputation.

Are you interested to know more about our services? Fill our contact us form, and we will call you at the earliest.

7 Bookkeeping Tips To Save Your Holiday Season

7 Bookkeeping Tips To Save Your Holiday Season

7 Bookkeeping Tips To Save Your Holiday Season

As Christmas fast approaches, businesses everywhere are likely to see a slack period as employees and clients take time off for celebrations – even if it means staying home, practising social distancing, and spending time with loved ones virtually.

This also means that the revenue of small businesses is likely to go down somewhat, a trend that will continue into January as people recover from New Year festivities. Plus, with staff celebrations, your in-house business expenditure is likely to go up.

This is the time when many small businesses lose out from not having planned their finances. If you think you could use some help, here are some expert bookkeeping tips to help you avoid those post-Christmas financial blues:

1. Know your cash flow

The first step to successful holiday bookkeeping is knowing the details of what is coming in and what is going out. Keeping your receipts safe is a big part of this – you should ideally have a designated online folder where all your receipts go rather than distributing them in random places such as email, desktop, cloud drive.

Or, why not try the XERO app? Simply photograph your expenses and send them straight to your XERO account.

Moreover, knowing your cash flow does not just mean keeping track of your office bills – it also means knowing precisely what products or services you have sold to your customers.

It is a good idea to invest in project management software for complete transparency on how much work there is in the pipeline and how much each task is worth, along with a breakdown of the time it takes you to complete the tasks.

You can even use XERO’s built-in project management software for a small monthly charge.

2. Track your business expenses

While it isn’t always possible to avoid unexpected expenses, you should try to forecast your business expenditure for the quarter or year as far as possible.

One way to do this is by keeping a proper record of all your expenses, including supplies, payroll, insurance, rent, utilities, and so on. You should also budget for an emergency fund that you can use if any unexpected bills crop up.

We recommend using the Float app which allows you to try different budget scenarios and links seamlessly with XERO.

3. Chase late payments

Now is the time to give your customers a friendly nudge about what they owe you. Do not be shy about following up with customers who are behind on their payments, especially if they are in the habit of not paying on time.

If you use XERO, leverage its built-in reminder system and check your aged payables every week or month to ensure customers don’t fall behind.

You can even add a late payment fee for delays beyond a specific date. At the same time, be sure that you pay off your creditors promptly – and if you happen to be struggling, reach out to them and arrange a more favourable payment timeline.

4. Change your payment terms 

If you’re looking to boost your cash inflow before Christmas, consider altering your payment terms to benefit you more. For instance, you can charge an upfront payment before a project begins, especially if there are some project expenses you need to cover at the start.

You can also reduce your payment terms from, say, a month to two weeks. Be sure to include all this updated payment information in your invoices to avoid confusion. Plus, if you perform special services such as a rush job or a last-minute project add-on, don’t hesitate to charge your client extra.

5. Work out your tax deductions on expenses

Some of your festivity expenses might be claimable, and some are not. Before going all out on your (virtual) Christmas celebrations, therefore, look up which expenses (including client presents, staff presents, office celebrations, and cash bonuses) have deductions and which have extra tax liabilities attached. This will help you plan your expense budget better so that you can have a good time without dreading the bill.

6. Try cloud accounting tools 

Cloud accounting tools have completely changed the game for business finances. With a tool like XERO in place, you can handle all your finance-related tasks such as payroll, invoicing, reporting, and expense claims from one comprehensive dashboard.

Cloud-based tools also have the advantage of high security, unlimited storage, easy scalability, and access from anywhere. That means if you take help from an external bookkeeper, you can access real-time information quickly and maintain control of your data.

7. Dedicate time for admin

Admin-related tasks might be last on your priority list, but to avoid having to wade through a pile of paperwork right before Christmas, it is ideal that you set aside some time for admin work every week. This also helps to clarify what is happening on a day-to-day basis and take any corrective action you need to. 

Get professional help if you need it

If you are struggling to manage the ins and outs of bookkeeping along with your primary business, you can consider outsourcing the job to a professional. An experienced bookkeeping service provider will save you time and money and advise you on making the most of tax returns.

Thankfully, Agility Bookkeeping is fully equipped to handle all your bookkeeping tasks and enable you to put up your legs and relax over the holidays. If you’re interested, please complete the contact form, and we will get back to you for an initial, no-obligation chat.