ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog.
Category - Business and Accounting Software

  • Nov 20 2015

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    How can your business optimise stock for the holiday season?

    The holiday season can be a time of great opportunity yet high stress for a small business. While consumers are more willing to spend, this requires firms to accurately predict and manage stock levels.In order to capitalise on the increased activity, businesses need to have strong systems in place, such as structured stock software, to see success.Why is inventory management so important?A joint report from eBay Enterprise and CFI Group uncovered some key insights into consumer demands and expectations for stock.36 per cent of customers expect on-demand shipping and ordering information.According to the survey, 79 per cent of consumers online will change brands if they are unable to get the product in time, rather than waiting for a restock. A further 36 per cent expect on-demand shipping and ordering information when requested. CFI Group CEO Sheri Petras explained the potential consequences businesses can face by not having the right stock levels, especially since many companies now operate in the digital space."The critical nature of product availability is emphasised when realising that not only will a retailer lose a sale on the out of stock item, but often times on other products in an overall purchase," she said."It's true that consumers have a strong desire for multiple ordering and shipping options, but first the product must be readily available."How can you better handle your stock?When estimating your stock levels for the holiday season, it is important to look at historical information and possible trends. For example, last year Australia saw a 4.1 per cent yearly increase, according to the Australian Retailers Association. The organisation stated that this was a positive sign of growth, yet noted that sale surges in December are often hard to measure in the statistics.This is where using business intelligence software can be useful in improving the accuracy of your forecast. By utilising real-time and historical data, firms can make better decisions and predictions of required to meet customer or client demand.  Using software can help businesses make better forecasts. Another key consideration is having a strong internal system in place. A report by Deloitte highlighted that businesses must establish a set of KPIs and best practices measures in areas such as inventory transfers, inventory adjustments, and procurement and sourcing to effectively meet these goals. With the right technology and methods, businesses can enter the holiday season with the confidence they will see a successful period of sales management. 

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  • Oct 29 2015

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    Financial system subject to government changes

    After considering the results of a 2013 financial systems inquiry, the Australian government has released its response, highlighting a number of key agendas.

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  • Oct 28 2015

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    How can your business better manage risk?

    Doing business in Australia is becoming increasingly complex. The number of factors decision makers must consider is growing, and external forces continue to present threats and opportunities at every stage. For enterprises of any size, risk management is a critical process that firms must be give due weight. Understanding the potential threats, with the help of business accounting software, can help firms draw up more effective strategies that account for future obstacles. Global firms ready to face new risksIn the next few years, innovation will be the most common challenges that businesses around the globe will need to address, as well as compliance and reputation. Among the 80 per cent of firms that utilise risk sensing methods, 71 per cent use them to identify financial risk, according to a report from Deloitte. In order to effectively identify risks, workplaces must have the staff capable of using analytics and deriving insights. 

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  • Oct 8 2015

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    How does Australia rank in global competitiveness?

    Determining a nation's standings in the world is becoming of increasing importance to firms. As more Australian businesses gain the means to trade and deal with firms overseas, having a strong economic base is key for success.

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  • Sep 9 2015

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    NZ government reconsiders tax systems

    Over the past few months, the tax system in New Zealand has been in the spotlight, as the government re-considers the effect of the current schemes on businesses.

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  • Aug 31 2015

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    Is it time to cut out paper out of your accounting operations?

    For years, businesses used paper as the primary form of communication and documentation. However, the days of working through piles of sheets are coming to a close as digital systems, including business management software, emerge as the superior method of information transfer.The average cost of a traditional process order is $75 compared to $20 for the same action performed electronically.According to a recent report by Deloitte, using digital methods in business-to-business payments can accrue a number of significant benefits for companies in comparison to paper invoicing. The majority of firms (87 per cent) that switched to electronic accounts and card transfers found these systems offered them more spending control. A further 68 per cent found that administration tasks decreased and 82 per cent reported faster transaction times with electronic payments.In terms of receiving payments, 61 per cent suppliers found that card transactions lead to improved efficiency as they spent less time chasing up payments. Card transactions also improved client satisfaction, with 60 per cent of firms reported that electronic payment methods led to better relationships with customers.For both parties, the average cost of a traditional process order is $75, compared to $20 for the same action performed electronically. The private sector is not the only area that has seen the benefit of cutting out paper from their daily processes. The IRD in New Zealand recently switched customers to their online portal to receive correspondence online rather than through the mail. As well as passing on notable cost savings, the organisation is expected to save 16 million sheets of A4 paper a year, equivalent to 1,900 trees.Spurring change amongst small businessesDespite the quantifiable list of improvements electronic payments can bring, many companies are not catching on to the trend, according to Richard Miller, payments director at Deloitte."There is still considerable opportunity to improve take-up, with almost half of survey respondents (47 per cent) not using the available solutions and 100 per cent still having paper processes to support cheque payments," he stated. Reducing reliance on paper has both economic and environmental benefits. As well as cost saving and businesses benefits, there is a notable environmental aspect to reducing paper usage. Clean Up Australia estimates that citizens send 1.9 million tonnes of paper to landfill every year. The production process is also heavily reliant on natural resources, as 90,000 litres of water is used and 1.46 tonnes of greenhouse gas is emitted to make one tonne of paper.Switching to paperless systems, such as project invoicing, is a wise choice, both for your personal business growth and the wider environment. 

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  • Aug 6 2015

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    Current challenges for construction and mining

    Over the past few years, the construction and mining industries have faced tough economic conditions and unforgiving changes to their operating environment. With both sectors facing a gradual recovery, companies will need to develop and implement a calculated growth strategy to overcome various obstacles.Regaining project momentumAccording to the Investment Monitor June 2015 report complied by Deloitte, there has been a 13 per cent drop in the level of private construction work since last year. A number of projects in the development stage have been scrapped and Deloitte believes the number of abandoned plans will grow faster than the pipeline for new projects.There has been a 13 per cent drop in the level of private construction work since last year.While conditions are currently favourable for the commencement of infrastructure initiatives, with low interest rates, accessible lending and a low Australian dollar all providing a good base for investment, this isn't spurring enough activity. Building approvals data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that dwelling approval rates have fallen for four consecutive months. In June, the most recent figures available, the seasonally adjusted rate dropped by 8.2 per cent in just one month. Project managers in the construction industry clearly need support to move schemes past the development phase. Business management software can be a good option, although managers may need additional support to help developments past the approval stage. Addressing competition and productivity in miningAlthough confidence is slowly returning to the mining industry in Australia, according to Newport Consulting, there a a number of obstacles to future growth. The most common concerns were productivity and remaining competitive, both locally and globally. Respectively, 36 per cent and 17 per cent of mining leaders in Newport Consulting's survey named these as significant obstacles to a full recovery. David Hand, manager of Newport Consulting, said that many companies had already taken measures to address these challenges."Mine operators are fighting back to remain competitive. Some are reducing the number of mines operating as they focus on becoming more efficient and productive while they wage war against the tough economics of doing business in Australia," he said. Many mining firms in Australia are struggling to remain competitive While these methods can be effective in the short-run, mining firms will also need to focus on more sustainable solutions to help them deal with the global market. Finding innovative solutions to increase productivity will be the key to keeping pace with competitors in the future.

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  • Jul 28 2015

    Does your business need a succession plan?

    Succession planning has been highlighted as a vital process by firms overseas, especially in the United States. However, how important is it for Australian companies to put their own plans in place?The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), for example, has made it mandatory for all state-registered investment advisors to have a business contingency and succession plan in an effort to avoid disruptions to businesses. This ruling protects the company from unexpected changes due to factors such as a sudden death or a database loss, as well as ensuring clients receive a consistent service. However, a Family Business Australia survey showed that only 20 per cent of family-owned businesses have a succession plan in place. Considering that family businesses represent around 70 per cent of all Australian firms, there is a considerable gap between the planning needed to ensure continued success and the amount companies are actually implementing.  In Australia, succession planning has been bought to the forefront in many companies, according to Ben Power of the Chartered Accountants Association. With the baby boomer generation heading towards retirement age, firms are faced with the task of filling vital roles and preparing people to move into the strategic apex. 

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  • Jun 22 2015

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    Economic conditions buoy business sentiment

    Business conditions are starting to improve across the country, as firms respond positively to the cut to the official cash rate and the federal budget announcement. NAB's Monthly Business Survey for May shows that conditions were up 3 points, putting the result higher than the long-run average.

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  • Jun 18 2015

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    Small businesses given a hand with international trade

    The launch of a new government project could be just what Australia's small businesses need to begin trading on a much larger scale. A number of recommendations have been put forward by the government, which will improve standards for how both data and information is distributed across the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

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