• WORDS Jason Bartlett - Partner, DFK Crosbie

DATA DELIGHT - How 'live data' is boosting local businesses, and that's good for all of

Have you noticed how everyone seems to be talking about their data these days like it's a precious commodity? Running out of data before the end of the month is a common complaint. Maybe you've experienced bill-shock. Those data boosts can really catch you out.

But if you're a local business operator, especially an SME (small to medium enterprise), the term 'live data' has a whole new meaning. It's no longer a secret that using your own data is a recipe for success and will boost your business.

What's live data? It's the raw information that’s fed into the business accounting system every day. It factors in every incoming and outgoing banking transaction, and all trade liabilities. Live data gives you an up-to-date overview.

Once upon a time business owners would wait until the end of the quarter or financial year to identify trouble. Not anymore. Problems or downturns aren't left to fester for months or even worse a full year. Small business operators all over the region are using their live data to look ahead, rather than always playing catch up, and their strategic approach is paying off. The chances of a profit slump or the business failing are greatly reduced.

A successful small business sector in Newcastle and the Hunter means a healthy, vibrant economy. That means job opportunities and services for all of us.

If you’re an SME owner or operator and you're not already using live data and today’s accounting technology to benefit your business, now's the time to start. It makes great sense. Get your business advisor to steer you in the right direction, and you'll be amazed how easy it is to use, and the time you save.

Maybe you're contemplating a change and thinking about buying a business or perhaps starting one for the first time. If that's you, the same applies. Knowing about the power of live data from the outset will be a real advantage.

Every business needs a regular health check too (this is sometimes called management reporting). It's simply the information you need to run the business better, factoring in live data and other accounting insights. Successful business owners are pro-active with this — they don't do it once a year at tax time. It’s a strategic exercise to look at the business from the outside in. Business systems, profits and goals can be adapted quickly if need be. Owners aren't left wondering how their business is tracking. A proper strategic plan covers off potential cash flow pressures, resourcing issues and market fluctuations.

Being in business should not be wrapped up in daily stress and worry.

The peace of mind that comes with live data and regular management reporting is too valuable to ignore. Owners I work with tell me these things allow them to sleep at night — and that's the way it should be.

A successful small business sector is good for all of us.

Jason Bartlett is a Partner at leading accountants and business advisers DFK Crosbie, which is proudly based in Newcastle. He's been helping small to medium business owners achieve their goals for more than 25 years.

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