3 Major Benefits of Updated Bookkeeping and Accounting Records

Every business big and small should have regularly updated bookkeeping and accounting records so business leaders can make the right decision with a foundation in the data.

This story originally appeared on Due

Last week in a discussion with a business coaching client, I asked if she had updated bookkeeping and accounting records that would help her make the best business decision for a big question about her business. “No,” she replied, she didn’t have updated books. Without them, any decision regarding product lines, pricing or customer capacity is just a guess!

Guessing is not the way to run a business. On the contrary, every business big and small should have regularly updated bookkeeping and accounting records so business leaders can make the right decision with a foundation in the data. Follow along to learn three big benefits of keeping your bookkeeping and accounting records updated on a regular basis and some tips to get you started with your bookkeeping for your business.

1. Strategically ladder-up your revenue

As a freelance writer for my primary income, one of my biggest goals is finding the best clients that offer me the most significant return on my time invested. While freelancing is a business that is tough to scale, I like to do something I call “laddering up” my clients where I climb up and add new high-quality clients while letting go lower-quality and lower-paying clients as they are replaced.

This process is great in theory, and most freelancers and business owners understand the concept. But why do they continue to struggle with low-quality clients? Because they don’t look at the numbers and objectively look for ways to bring on better clients and get rid of the bad ones. With no metrics, you might not even know which clients are draining your resources and which lead to the best profitability in your business.

A few months after quitting my job to go full-time online, a look at my own updated bookkeeping records showed that about 76 percent of my income came from writing while around 15 percent came from website development and support. That is a clear 80/20 rule example. I cut the 15 percent of my income that was taking way too much of my time and my total income roughly tripled over the next few months!

2. Cut underperforming products and services

The focus of my conversation with the coaching client focused on turning her services into a product she could sell for a fixed monthly subscription rate. But with no detailed accounting records beyond the reports she gets from her payment processor, she didn’t have any real records to show her income by customer or product. It doesn’t matter if you are a solo freelancer or a business with thousands of employees, you absolutely need this information!

With the right details in hand, you can pick out the one product that sucks away too much of your time for too little money. You can identify expensive recurring tasks you may be able to outsource or eliminate. As you can see from the example above, sometimes cutting underperforming products or services can lead to significant growth.

Success in this area of your business comes down to focus. But without properly updated bookkeeping and accounting records, you don’t know where to focus. You might be wasting hours and have no idea because you don’t have the data. End that big mistake right away. Get those accounting books together and keep them updated, at least monthly, so you can make the best management decisions.

3. Save time and money at tax time

If increasing revenues and cutting costs were not enough motivation to keep your books updated, here is one last lynchpin: your taxes. You have to do taxes if you have a business. That is not optional. What is optional is making it a stressful period by ignoring your accounting throughout the year and rushing to get it all done in April before the deadline.

Instead of this method, plan and keep your books updated at least once every month. I go a little over what most people need and update my accounting records weekly. But whatever you do, quarterly should be the bare minimum for bookkeeping updates for tax purposes.

While most individuals have to file and pay taxes once every year, most business owners and many side hustlers have to pay quarterly estimated taxes. While you can file and pay based on last year’s tax rates, keeping your books updated can help you get a better estimate if you need to pay more quarterly to avoid the big one-time lump payment in April.

If you have your bookkeeping updated, you just have to print out a P&L and balance sheet and can finish your taxes from there. No other prep needed!

4. Don’t ignore updated bookkeeping and accounting needs!

If you find the idea of accounting and bookkeeping intimidating, you can always hire an expert to handle it for you. My friend Eric Nisall at Account Lancer helps me when I have questions with my books and handles accounting for a long list of solo business leaders. But for the most part, I like to handle things myself.

However you decide to do your bookkeeping is great as long as you stick with it! If you don’t, you’ll quickly find yourself behind and with useless financial reports. With the right focus on your books, you have the right information to put your business on track to thrive for years to come.

(By Eric Rosenberg)

New bulk price edit feature

New bulk price edit feature

Our new module will allow you to change prices in the lookup form so that you do not need to open up each individual item. This new module is especially handy for customers that are working on fixed pricing instead of mark-up pricing.

Step 1:
Go to Stock items > Extra > Bulk price edit.

Step 2:
You can use any of the following columns to change the price of the items
– Price 10 Excl.
– Price 10 Incl.
– Pr 10 MU%
– Pr 10 Margain/GP%

If you change, for example, the Price 10 Excl then it will automatically update the other 3 columns, and vice-versa if you change anything in the other 3 columns.

Note: You can also use the blue filter/ search bar to filter out, for example, all items that are being sold under a 20% GP.

Step 3:
Select the items on the left for the prices that you amended.
Click on “Print Labels” at the bottom to reprint new labels for the items.

Import your bank statement via Bank Manager

The SI+ Bank Manager add-on module eliminates the process of manually capturing transactions from your bank statement.
Reconciling your bank account has never been quicker or easier.
Go to Ledger> Bank Manager


  • The Bank Manager compiles the cash book by using an electronic bank statement and either matching existing customers, suppliers or General Ledger entries or creating new GL entries.
  • It uses bank statements in OFX file format that are available from all major South African banks.
  • The system will automatically remember previous matches and the next time you import an OFX file it will automatically fill in the GL Account, Customer, Supplier, etc.
  • You can split lines into multiple accounts.


Step 1:
Add your Bank and bank details.
Select your general ledger bank account.
Click Save.

Step 2:
Import your bank OFX  file.
Your bank statement transactions will now populate the Bank Transactions grid as well as the date range, bank opening, and closing balances.

Matching Transactions

Step 1:
Select a transaction to work within the grid on the left.

Step 2:
You either need to select an existing GL entry or create one.

Select an existing entry – e.g the first line displaying R4000.

If you had previously posted the journal the system will find the match (based on the date and amount) and the data will be displayed in the Existing GL Entry form, see image below.

If a match is found the Post to GL button will be greyed out, preventing you from posting it twice.
Click the Save button (image above) to save the match and reconcile the transaction.
If the entry does not exist because you did not post it beforehand, the New Journal Entry form can be used to post the entry.
 – Select the GL Account, if it is a cash book posting
– or the Customer field ( ) if it is for a customer payment
– or Supplier field ( )  if it is for a supplier payment.

Click the Post To GL button to post the transaction. The next time the same transaction appears on your bank statement the account will automatically be selected.

Step 3:
After clicking Save or clicking Post To GL the transaction will change to Reconciled.
The transaction will now be marked as reconciled and removed from the Unreconciled GL Details tab.

Please contact us for info about the bank manager or have a look at our help file

CRM Features

Let’s have a look at some CRM (Customer Relationship Management) features that can help you improve your relationship with your clients.

Step 1:
Open up a customer profile. The first tab we can look at is the “conversations” tab.

This form will allow you to make all the notes that you need to follow up with the client.
I.E – The customer wants a demonstration on a product or
the customer’s account is in arrears and he needs to pay up.

Smart iT will notify you with a reminder when you need to follow up with the client, on top of that, you can also create a booking or task in outlook from Smart iT by using the right click option.

In the “memo” field at the bottom, you can store more permanent info about the client
I.E – If something happened in his/her life that was significant or what type of personality the client has so that when you get a new employee, that person has a bit more background about the client.

Please click on the link below to see more about “conversation” or contact our office for support.

Step 2:
The second tab that we will look at is the “classification” tab.
This form will allow you to classify your customers into categories. You can customize your own labels so that it is specific to your business requirements.
Classifying customers can be very useful, for example.
Example 1:
You can target a specific group of people when sending out an SMS. Making your result a lot more productive.

Example 2:
You can classify how the new customer got hold of you, via Google, Facebook, cold calling, etc.
This will help you to see how many new clients you signed up for the month and what market strategy yielded the best results.

Click on the link below to learn more about getting these reports or contact our office for support.

Promo vouchers

Show appreciation by sending your clients a Promo Voucher that they can redeem in your store.

How to send a promo voucher.
Step 1:
Go to Customer > Customer Contacts & Bulk Email / SMS

Step 2:

  • Filter out and select the customers you want to send the promo voucher to.
    I.E – Everyone whos birthday is this month.
  • Fill in the voucher amount and the expiry date of the voucher.
  • Click on “Send Promo Voucher by SMS”

Step 3:
Fill in your message (See example below)
Click on send SMSs

Please click on the link below for more info regarding bulk SMS and  Promo Voucher SMS
Here is a list of SMS providers that you can use

  • Clickatell
  • bundlesms.co.za
  • Bulksms
  • FoneWorx

Please feel free to contact the office if you need any assistance.

5 Ways to Build Killer Relationships With Customers

The best type of customer is a repeat customer.

This article is from Entrepreneur

by Mike Kappel
Serial Entrepreneur, Patriot Software Company CEO

As a serial entrepreneur, I know firsthand how important it is to connect with customers. Building relationships is key to learning your customers’ needs. And, you may gain more returning customers, referrals and net income in the process.

As a small business owner, you have an advantage when it comes to building customer rapport. The size of your company allows you to reach people at a more personal level than big businesses, which turns into stronger relationships with customers.

To create customer relationships, and keep them strong, you must do all you can to engage customers. Here are five ways to build customer relationships and keep them coming back.

1. Communicate

As a key to any good relationship, communication is an essential way to build customer relationships. Promoting your business and listening to your customers is equally important.

Rather than just telling customers about your business, have conversations with them. Find out what your customers need, then show them that you have a solution to their problem.

If you have employees, teach them how to effectively communicate with customers. Instead of waiting for customer service to become a problem, foster communication skills with customers while onboarding new employees. Maintain an employee policy, requiring timely follow-up, to make sure the customer’s needs are met. Make sure your staff returns voicemail messages and emails promptly.

2. Exceed expectations

Your customers expect great products or services from you. You should continue to raise the bar on what your company offers.

To put it simply, under promise, and over deliver. When you impress customers, they keep coming back.

To exceed customer expectations, you can deliver a product or service faster than anticipated. When you deliver earlier than expected, the customer will be happy about the surprise. For example, tell a customer their order will be ready by the end of the month, knowing you will have it ready a week earlier.

3. Ask for feedback

Whether customers have a good or bad opinion about your business, they will make their feelings known. Invite customer feedback to show you are listening. Place comment cards on your business counter, or conduct a survey.

Customer feedback helps you hone your customers’ specific needs so you can find the best solutions to their problems. The better your offering meets their needs, the more your business will grow.

Always listen carefully to comments and respond promptly, whether it’s a compliment or a complaint. The worst thing you can do is ask for feedback then not address concerns. Even negative feedback is valuable and can give you an honest gauge of customer satisfaction.

4. Connect

With technology, there are more ways to begin conversations with your customers than ever before. There are many online tools and social media outlets you can use to reach customers.

When you engage with customers online, be careful not to create a one-way conversation. Ask customers questions, and respond to their inquiries.

Also, make sure your website is top-notch, and start a blog to engage your customers and prospects. Build customer relationships through your online presence.

5. Show appreciation

Reward long-time customers with a loyalty discount program. You can hand out reward cards, or use a loyalty program app to track customer rewards.

With a loyalty program, customers earn points for buying your goods or services. After earning a certain number of points, the customer gets a reward. For example, you could reward a customer with a discount on their next purchase.

Also give away inexpensive branded items, such as pens or notepads, or even expensive items, like shirts, hats or jackets with your logo on it. It’s a small yet effective way to say thank you to customers while keeping your business top-of-mind.

Show appreciation by sending your clients a Promo Voucher that they can redeem in your store.

The 5 Most Important Accounting Reports for Your Small Business

Here are the key reports to know about, including profit and loss statements, revenue by customer and more.

This story originally appeared on Due

When it comes to small business accounting, most people know that it is important to keep your records updated for taxes. However, there are many more benefits from small business accounting that you can use to grow, improve and expand your business. Here are some of the most important accounting reports for your small business that you should know about.

Profit and loss statement/income statement

The most important report for any business is the profit and loss statement, also called a P&L or income statement. This report tells you how much money a business makes, as well as a lot more. A well-run bookkeeping operation includes details for where you spend and where your money comes from. For example, I can look at my P&L for a quick summary of how much I make from writing, how much I make from advertising, how much I spend on business travel and how much I pay for computer and internet costs. Each business would have different accounts for its own income and spending categories.

Small business owners should look at this report at least monthly. It is also a good idea to look at trends, comparing current results to the same period in the prior year and comparing the most recent month with the last few months. This should tell you what’s working well and what isn’t, as well as help you focus on the most profitable parts of the business. This is exactly how I analyzed by business to help me reach $10,000+ in monthly income.

Balance sheet

A balance sheet gives you a snapshot of what a business has and owes at any given time. For small businesses, assets typically include things like bank accounts, accounts receivables, and possibly an investment account. A balance sheet may also include assets like property, computers, equipment and other saleable physical and intangible property. Liabilities generally include things like credit cards, business loans and anything else your business owes.

The accounting equation is based on the balance sheet. It tells us that assets plus liabilities equals equity. The difference in what you have and what you owe should ideally be a positive number and one that grows over time.

When examining the balance sheet, also look at the short-term assets versus short-term liabilities. If you have payments owed soon, you won’t want to run out of cash without noticing that your assets are illiquid.

Accounts receivable aging

You don’t work for free, and your business isn’t a charity. Doing the work and sending the invoice is just part of the battle. You also have to make sure those payments get paid and collected. Your accounts receivable (A/R) aging report tells you how well you are doing on the collections side. Look out for customers who are perpetually late, usually pay on time and recently started paying late, and growing late balances from any customer.

I’ve been very lucky when it comes to collections, but part of that is choosing the right clients to work with. Upstanding companies like Due always pay quickly. Some less stable, less trustworthy or financially strained companies are more likely to pay late or stiff you when it comes time to pay the bill.

Revenue by customer

Just as you should be looking at who owes you money, you should be looking at who gives you the most of it. Your revenue by customer report tells you how much you made from each customer over a period of time. Freelancers and professional service businesses rely heavily on repeat business in many industries. Building good relationships with quality clients can turn in to a lucrative, reliable, and healthy income stream.

However, beware of putting too much faith in any one income source. If too much revenue comes from one source, that is called “revenue concentration risk.” If one client leaving would ruin your entire business, you need to get more diverse in who your business serves. Putting too many eggs in one basket might just bankrupt your company.

See steps on how to get your revenue by customer report in Smart iT

Accounts payable aging

You probably wouldn’t like it if a company took too long to pay you. Do your vendors a favor and pay them on time as well. Your A/P aging report tells you who you owe and how much. As long as your books are updated, you can easily look and find who you need to pay so you don’t miss the due dates.

Paying late can sour relationships and may lead to late fees and other costs. Just pay on time. You might even get an early payment discount from some vendors. That’s a big win-win!

(By Eric Rosenberg)

Revenue by customer

Your revenue by customer report tells you how much you made from each customer over a period of time. Building good relationships with quality clients can turn in to a lucrative, reliable, and healthy income stream.

See steps below how to get this report in Smart iT:

Step 1:
Open the Invoice lookup

Step 2:
Select your date range for the sales that you want to view.
Take note: If your total record exceeds a 1000 records then you will need to change your records per page.

Step 3:
Click on the Analysis – Summary of data tab
Click on the Pre-Set report “Sales / Customer / Date”

SI Link feature for multiple stores.

Aim of SI Link Feature:

  • To automatically update the Dealers (Franchisee’s) inventory with Head Office (Franchisor’s) inventory data such as description, price, inventory groups, etc.
  • This also enables the dealer to see the stock levels of Head Office.
  • Purchase orders made out by the Dealer will automatically display as a Sales Order at Head Office.
  • Stock Levels of all branches/dealers can also be viewed

Go to: Company > siLink

Steps Head Office (Franchisor) must take to enable this feature.

Click on siLink Sync. The following form will open.

Select the Sync. button to synchronize (export) your data with the dealer.
Select the Sync. Orders Only button to import all the Purchase Orders from the dealer as a Sales Order into your system.

Step 1.
Select the Publish Tab and type in the API key. The API key is supplied by Smart-It and is done only once.

Step 2.
Select the price list and price level you want to upload to the dealer.

Root Stock Group Usually, you can leave it blank. Only select this option if you want the Franchisor’s inventory groups to be displayed under your selected group.
Override Stock Status The Dealer must select the checkbox if he wants to update the inventory status, example ‘End of Life’, ‘On Special’, etc.

The Status is set in the Main Inventory Form by the Franchisor.

The Status will be displayed in the Extended Item Lookup.


List Price Select which price you want to use. Item Main Form > Cost and Selling Prices

The Head Office sales price will be displayed as the Suppliers List Price on the Dealer side.

The program will determine if it must use the inclusive or exclusive sales price as the Suppliers List Price by looking if the dealer is registered for VAT. Set it in the Tax Types & Percentages form. Go to Ledger | Tax Set-up

Export Stock Levels If the Dealer (Franchisee) must see the stock levels of the Head Office (Franchisor).
Price list Each inventory item can belong to a price list and is set on the Main Inventory Form
Override Stock Status Set the web status in the Main Inventory Form

Step 3.
Enable siLinkfor each Dealer who should receive the updates.

Open the Customer Main Form for the specific customer (dealer), select the Custom Tab and then select Enable siLink. See image below.

The API key is generated automatically and must be sent to the dealer (franchisee).
The dealer must enter the API Key in the Supplier Main Form (See steps the dealer is required to take)
After generating the API key, you must synchronize your data by clicking on the Sync button. See the first image.

Steps the Dealer (Franchisee) is required to take to enable this feature.

Step 1. (Action only needed to be performed once).
Add the Franchisor (Head Office) as a Supplier
Open the Main Supplier Form. Select the siLink Tab and select Enable siLink (see image below).
Type in the API key as supplied by the Franchisor. This is done only once.

Step 2.
Open the siLink Form. Go to: Company | siLink

Step 3.
Select the Sync button in the Sync tab to update your data.

If the dealer makes out a Purchase Order to the Supplier (Franchisor), and the Enable siLinkis selected on the Main Supplier Form, then the purchase order will be automatically exported to the Franchisor and the Purchase Order will be imported as a Sales Order on the Franchisor’s side. The sales order will only be generated after the Franchisor has updated his data – by clicking the Sync button in the siLink form.

Discontinued items

We have a discontinued item feature to help prevent problems with items that are not being manufactured anymore. This will help your sales representatives to see what items are discontinued or end of range stock so that they do not quote or sell than what you have currently in stock.

See steps below on how to setup discontinued items.

Step 1:
Look for the item that you want to mark as discontinued by using the Item Lookup form.

Step 2:
Open the item by double-clicking on the item or you right click on the item and select
“Open inventory form”

Step 3:
At the top, you will see the discontinued box. Just tick it.

You can also do a bulk change. See link below for more info on how to do bulk changes.

Please note, after the item has been ticked as “discontinued” you will no longer be able to place an order for that item.
Also, you will get the following message when doing an invoice, quote or sales order for a discontinued item.