It is essential to ensure that your business is fully compliant with the law. Making sure your business runs in accordance with all the laws, regulations and governance, while also keeping your business activity secure, afloat and rising can be a time-consuming and difficult task. So here is a helpful guide we’ve put together to learn the best ways to ensure the success of your business while being fully compliant.
1. Transparent Communication
The number one rule for any business is to ensure there is good communication between yourself and your employees. Establishing consistent communication about your business with your employees ensures that everything goes through to you. This way, if an employee has accidentally made a rookie mistake that could affect your business, you know before any damage is done and you can rectify the issue before it snowballs into something that is unmanageable.
2. Centralise All Communication Between Staff How do you ensure good communication? Technology has made it incredibly easy to centralise communication. There are various apps and softwares that can be downloaded to maintain communication and share content with other staff. The reason this is so crucial is mainly because it saves heaps of time when managing your staff. Slack, Basecamp, Redbooth and Glip are just some of the many platforms available to you and your office staff.
3. Use the Right Software
Staying compliant can be very difficult when you have an endless stack of papers, documents and files to go through. What makes it even harder is having to deal with all of it manually. There are various accounting softwares in place to make the finances of your business much easier to handle. Common accounting softwares include Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks Online. If you do not know how to go about this, hire a bookkeeper to run you through it or perhaps even do the task to make crunching numbers a worry of the past.
4. Categorise Your Documents
If your business is not organised, the chances of you making a compliance mistake becomes extremely high. Not only that, but handling your business and doing your taxes becomes a time consuming affair without organisation. As a business owner you are responsible for all the ins and outs of your business, which often included a butt load of papers and documents. If these are not organised and kept securely it could prove costly for your business. Perhaps colour code your categories to remember them easily and store them accordingly.
5. Encrypting Important Files
We cannot stress enough the importance of this. It’s just business 101. Whether you are starting a new company or have the most trusted set of employees and staff. The most basic safety measurement is to encrypt all your important files. Restrict all documents, this way, only those who need to see a document will be able to access it and your precious information doesn’t land in the wrong hands.
6. Log All Your Expenses (ALL!)
No matter how big or small, all expenses should be logged as they make a difference in your finances. By the end of your business financial year, you may come to the realisation that your spare shoe boxes are filled with endless amounts of receipts for expenses you were going to make a record of but never got around to doing. It is important to not only log absolutely ALL your expenses but also to log them in straight away.
7. Regular Audit Checks
In order to not get into a financial mess, conduct regular audit checks. Your finances is the biggest soft spot in a business when it comes to compliance. Because of it’s technicality, it can be difficult to get all your finances right. If you don’t have the skills to deal with audit checks and finances, you may consider hiring a bookkeeper or accountant to perform professional audit checks.
8. Online Invoicing System
When you deal with clients, you will slowly realise how hard it can be to organise all your invoices. The icing on the cake when it comes to online invoicing is that it adds a professional touch to your business. Downloading an online invoicing software makes it easier to not only keep track of all your invoices, but easily send reminders to clients whose payments you are still waiting on.
9. Get On An Insurance Plan
Your business, like every other asset in your life, needs insurance. Having a comprehensive insurance can keep your business protected from any future damages that may occur. Having a business insurance policy protects not just your business but your clients and customers. An insurance plan ensures you are able to face and overcome financial hardships, without losing all your hard work.
10. Obtain an SSL Certificate For Your Company Website
Don’t worry if you do not know what an SSL Certificate is. While it does have a fancy name, it isn’t anything unheard of. Installing an SSL certificate onto a company’s web server ensures the server has a secure connection with other browsers. Once a certificate is installed, the web link address will change from “http” to “https” where the “s” stands for secure. In some cases, the browser may show a padlock instead.
11. Creating a Policy Manual For Your Company
While you may be aware of all aspects of your business, you need to make sure your employees are aware of the rules they need to abide by. Many business owners give a rundown of the basic operations and policies for the business, before employees sign a contract. However, it is easy to forget the policies and rules, especially if your employee is part-time. If you have a policy written up for your company, it makes it much easier for staff to access and abide by the policy as they always have a point of reference.
12. Assess Risks
It’s no secret that every business is prone to some sort of risk. Risk factors can vary depending on several factors. It is important to stay ahead and identify potential risks so you are not caught off guard when a problem presents itself. Assessing risks helps you plan for a way to deal with the problem. So when or if the time comes, you can easily deal with it without it affecting your company.
13. Ensure Your Business is Fair and Transparent
No small business on the verge of growth wants to unknowingly break laws. However, if you miss even the smallest detail, especially in finances, it could end up crippling your company. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you need to ensure you are running your business in a fair and transparent way. If you are a newbie business owner, it may be worth hiring a lawyer to do a legal check up and make sure everything is in order.
14. Inform ASIC of Any Company Changes
If you do not want to be caught in a legal mess, ensure all essential company changes have been conveyed to the ASIC (Australian Services and Investments Commission). This can include the company phone number or address changes, change in office holders and company name changes.
15. Compliance Consultancy
Unfortunately, many businesses think the compliance department only exists to catch you red handed. However, this is not the case. The compliance department exists to ensure businesses can run successfully without breaking any laws. The compliance department can work as a consultancy. Business owners/ front line employees are able to ask for advice if needed to ensure they are compliant.
The Bottom Line with compliance…
It is crucial to be well-versed with all aspects of your business and make sure regular policy and audit checks are done to ensure your business is compliant on all fronts of your business. If you are not familiar with accounting or accounting software and need help conducting audits, consider hiring a bookkeeper. At Shoebox we cater to small businesses and have different options to best suit your needs