Cash or Accrual Accounting for Management Reporting?

In Australia, you have a choice to remain on a cash basis for lodging your BAS while your Turnover remains under the $2M threshold. The advantages of this are if you have outstanding debtors you do not have to pay GST on those sales until the cash is actually received. The problem is that cash reports are meaningless if you are trying to monitor the performance of your company. If you incurred wages to provide a service in period 1 then you want the revenue to appear in that period, not in the period the money was actually received. This is called the Matching Principal in Accounting. Luckily, bookkeeping software such as Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks allow you to remain on Cash for your BAS reporting while running Accrual based reporting for your Management Reports.

Hybrid Basis

The Hybrid basis of Management Reporting allows you to capture all of your costs and revenue in the same period to get a true measure of how you are performing each month. You just need to be sure that all of your Suppliers Invoices and Sales Invoices are entered in the month that the transaction took place and be sure to run all of your Management Reports on an Accrual basis while leaving our GST Reports on a Cash basis.

3rd Party Add-ons

In specialist industries such as Legal, Property or Healthcare, there are many 3rd Party Add-ons integrate with your Accounting Software to provide you with Industry Specific requirements that your standard Software can’t provide. While most of these applications claim to have a “seamless Integration” with your bookkeeping software, you will find that the integration is actually driven by exporting General Journals. The problem with this is that many of these products are unable to differentiate between Cash or Accrual on a General Journal which makes it very difficult to produce both Cash and Accrual Reports on a Hybrid basis.

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Anticipated Payments in LEAP Legal Bookkeeping

If we weren’t dealing with Legal Firms and more specifically Legal Trust Accounts there would be no need for “Anticipated Payments.” Legal Firms often receive money in advance into their General Trust Account which can be used for either direct payment of costs relating to the matter (eg.Barristers Fees) or for payment of the Legal Firms Invoices relating to that matter (providing they have a signed Cost Agreement in place and that they have given the client 7 days notice of their intention to withdraw fund from the clients trust account to pay their invoice ie. a Trust to Office Transfer).
The Regulations governing Legal Trust Accounts require that the Law Firm must have actually “Paid” any 3rd Party Disbursements before they are allowed to do a Trust to Office Transfer (TTOT). The reason for this is that some firms were writing cheques for the disbursements then putting them in a drawer for a couple of months but they were withdrawing the clients funds to pay their own invoice via a TTOT.
Therefore “Anticipated Payments” name for “Account Payable” that are specifically relating to Client Disbursements.
Accounting Treatment
Although LEAP Cloud allows you to monitor these accurately within the Matter in LEAP, the accrual does not flow through to wither Xero or MYOB with the Office Account Integration. Therefore if the Law Firm is reporting on an accrual or hybrid basis you would need to manually enter this adjustment at the end of the month to account for it in both your BAS and Management Accounts.

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Bookkeeping on the Cloud – MYOB AccountRight Live, QuickBooks Hosted, Xero and Saasu Comparison

After a couple of years delay, myob are nearly ready to go live with their full cloud product. MYOB have taken a different cloud strategy to it’s competitors which you need to comprehend when comparing the different cloud options. Each product has it’s strengths and weaknesses in which I’ve summarised below.

Quickbooks Hosted, Xero and Saasu are a fully cloud based product. This means that your data file is stored securely and fully encrypted on the cloud and you can only work on the file while you have the internet connected. MYOB AccountRight Live enables you to have the data file sored both online and locally at the same time. If the internet goes down or if you want to work on the file on a plane for example, you just work on the local file and the cloud version will be updated when you next go online. Here’s the basic monthly fees including GST and major product differences for each of the cloud based bookkeeping software :

Bookkeeping SoftwareMYOB Account Right LiveQuickBooks HostedXEROSAASU
 Simultaneous Users51UnlimitedUnlimited
Basic Monthly Package (No Payroll)$23$25.83$29$20
Medium Monthly Package$59.50$36.25$49$35
Premium Monthly Package$59.50$36.25 $64$60
 Feature Differentials:
 Purchase Orders YYNY
 Detailed Job Costing YYYN
 Detailed Budgeting YYNY
 Time Billing YYNN
 Inventory YYNY
 Offline-Online Synchronisation YNNN
 Pay Suppliers and Payroll directly from software YNNN

As you can see features offered by each product vary across the range. If your main criteria is ease of use and functionality then Xero may have the edge- it just lacks the power and scope for growth of some of the other providers. A major point of difference that is unique to MYOB AccountRight Live is the ability to pay third parties such as suppliers and staff directly from the software. This allows your bookkeeper to setup all of your payments without the need to be given access to your online banking. You just need to login and complete a simple one-step authorisation process to approve the payments. Of course price is just one factor to consider when deciding which bookkeeping software to go with. Each has it’s own functionality and user interface which you can sample by signing up to a free trial or just give us a call to discuss.

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