Alisha Henderson on how using QuickBooks took away the stress of accounting and helped grow her business.
Enthusiasm around accounting
Being a very creative person, overwhelmingly complicated accounting programs were super daunting for me, and I must confess my books were a total mess in the early days of Sweet Bakes. Quickbooks, being so visual with the ability to make the platform feel really personal, with things like adding in logos & templates, makes me excited to log on and tackle the business finances! I think it is incredibly important to know how to do each roll in your business, and accounting is no different – I am so much more confident.
The dashboard is amazing for live updates! I can see in real time, the daily in & outgoings for the business. This is really great to see how a current project is tracking, and make any necessary budget changes as it progresses, like spending less on chocolate & more on delivery drivers! Also, being able to see where my biggest outlays were & sourcing new suppliers was a total game changer.
One of my favourite features is using Rules, where I can have my payments and expenses automatically categorised into groups of my choosing! For example, shopping at the supermarket for butter will be assigned to ‘Ingredients, or, a stationary purchase will link up to “Office supplies” without me doing anything at all!
Time is always of the essence for me being a busy baking bee, so any opportunities to streamline accounting, I certainly take! Some of my favourite features are, setting up templates in invoicing to send off for recurring invoices – this is a huge time saver! The invoices will also automatically send follow up reminders if they are overdue. I also love using the mobile QuickBooks app, to access info while I am on the go. I can capture and scan my receipts as soon as I make a purchase out & about, that automatically matches up on bank feeds. A lifesaver!
Since becoming a QuickBooks user, I am extremely motivated to kick BIG biz goals! I set myself monthly targets, and because I can see the finances from my phone or laptop whenever I choose I can always give myself that extra motivation whenever & wherever I need it! Late nights in the kitchen seem to be the best time to check in with QuickBooks to spur me on through the sea of sugar!
Easy for accountant to see financial health
I LOVE the accountant portal! My wonderful accountant can log in here and have access to all the information they need. This has become incredibly important to me over the last year through the pandemic, as it means we no longer have to meet in person & my tax returns can be done remotely! Its also nice to know there is a second set of professional eyes looking over things to help prevent any problems.
Automated BAS statements
I was once terrified of this word, as I had no idea how/when/what a BAS statement was! What a true relief it has been to have BAS taken care of in one place! QuickBooks calculates the BAS for me, and send its directly off to the ATO. We love a few clicks of a button to accomplish a big task.
Live Mileage tracking
I am in the car just as many hours as I am in the kitchen, doing several hundred deliveries each month. The absolute best thing to ever happen to this cake courier was the live mileage tracking through the QuickBooks phone app. I turn this on on my delivery routes, and it calculates my eligible deduction! No log book needed which has been a game changer for me who had previously never had time to manually record this business expense.
Less stress — more time to create!
Being self employed and wearing all the hats from baker, marketer, driver, dish washer, teacher, (you get the picture!) time is the most valuable thing to me. Being weighed down by the tedious, and often stressful ins & outs of accounting are not the most important things to me. Using my time and energy to serve my amazing clients & community is paramount, and the relief I have with Quickbooks and my accountant taking care of this end of things is a true joy!
Alisha Henderson is a creative baker, children’s author & edu-caker from Melbourne, Australia. She has been successfully running her business Sweet Bakes for 8 years since the age of 19, evolving & growing that empire from day one! The sugary ride began with a few sugar cookies baked for friends, to now, where she jets about sharing & inspiring fellow dessert enthusiasts in classes both in Australia and internationally. Sweet Bakes mission is to inspire & edu-cake bakers everywhere. Alisha and her work are regularly featured in both print & television.
See Alisha’s work at @sweetbakes_ on Instagram