7 Ways On How An Accountant Can Help Businesses Today

Zica Graduates
Oftentimes, people just remember the value of accountants during tax season. Accountants are in charge of cramping numbers so that working individuals along with business organizations can remain compliant with tax requirements. However, accountants often do much more than that, most especially for businesses.

How An Accountant Becomes An Asset To A Business

First, he is an excellent repository of advice in terms of strengthening the structure of a business along with its future goals. The knowledge of an accountant in balancing finances can present a business a very solid strategy for investing in expansion without the need to deplete cash reserves or even to compromise other aspects of operations.

Second, he can take care of the company’s payroll. Most growing businesses can find it somewhat hard to be on top of the payroll system on their own. With the accountant’s services, paying employees on time will definitely be a breeze.

Third, he can forecast your business’ cash flow clearly. Indeed, this is a huge advantage for businesses working with a smaller capital and that need a great view up ahead so as to prevent possible damaging money decisions. Similar to companies dealing with debt and want to bounce bank as fast as possible, a reliable accountant will help significantly when it comes to avoiding legal disputes caused by debt and designing a strategy for recovery from debt.

Fourth, accountants with connections in different industries can actually provide networking contacts for their clients. After all, if your chosen accountant has more contacts, this means that you will get more opportunities for your business.

Fifth, he can help you find great opportunities to save a significant amount of money. Due to the fact that he is always updated regarding tax breaks and that he is knowledgeable about tax laws along with the different industry changes aimed at helping businesses thrive, he can assure that clients wanting to reduce expenses will take full advantage of all these great opportunities. Also, he can assure that clients won’t pay more than they should.

Sixth, companies wanting to invest in accountancy software can ask help from him in order to know which among the options is best suitable for the company’s operations. Apart from that, he can likewise provide the right training on how to use all of the functionalities of the software properly.

Lastly, he can help businesses to stay very responsible. Due to the fact that this professional can help monitor financial responsibilities dictated by the law, companies can meet these obligations efficiently and avoid any serious hassles or costly fines like legal disputes.

About the author: Sarah Miller is a business consultant by profession and a content creator, writer and blogger by passion. Having been exposed to the different aspects and faces of businesses, she frequently does research on useful information regarding the different methods and techniques to further improve business marketing, sales, performance and shares her passion of business management through blog/content writing. She visits sites like https://www.atkinsonsca.co.uk.

Understanding a Tax Invoice

I am compelled to write on what I term the gross misuse of source accounting documents by some small and medium Enterprises (SMEs).

It pains me to go in a business entity, make a cash purchase and the accounting source document you are given as proof of the purchase, is a document called tax invoice with a paid stamp on it.

This trend is common among businesses especially in the supply business. Sometimes I wonder if these businesses do engage well trained accountants who should be able to advise management the proper usage of accounting source documents such as a tax invoice.

Honestly speaking how can a tax invoice bear two names at the same time? On the far corner it is written a tax invoice while at the other end it bears a receipt name.

Although the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) administration of value added tax (VAT) entails that its determination is based on the tax invoices especially to the supplying businesses, it has not changed the meaning of the definition of an invoice.

I say so because these problems of misuse of source documents are emanating from the misunderstanding of the use of the tax invoice as demanded by ZRA.

Let the entrepreneurs know that the description of an invoice remains the same whether it is disguised as a tax invoice by ZRA or not.

An invoice is a source accounting document that is issued by the supplier to a customer who obtains goods or services on credit and promises to settle a payment at a later date.

Therefore it is not in order for a supplier to issue an invoice to a customer who makes a prompt cash payment.

However in this article I want to trace why some suppliers are issuing tax invoices in place of a receipt because a source document which is issued for prompt payments, is a receipt.

The law pertaining to VAT which was passed in Parliament requires that all forms of registered businesses other than the retailers involved in the provision of goods or services should issue tax invoices to their customers even in case where their business are involved in cash transactions.
This is so because VAT is driven by invoices and its calculation is based on the issuance and retention of tax invoices when calculating it.

Therefore the law requires the retention of tax invoices and other tax records for the period of not less than six years from the time they are issued.

The tax invoice is an invoice which is designed by the tax office to suite its requirement for the benefit of collecting VAT by the Government and is enforced through the law.

The rate of collecting VAT in Zambia is 16 percent. Registered suppliers for VAT purposes are required by law to issue tax invoices to their customers, but this mostly applies to non-retail suppliers in this country.

A tax invoice has certain requirements on its face required by the tax office. The following are the tax invoice requirements demanded by the tax office on the face of a tax invoice:

1. The word tax invoice must be on the face.
2. The name and address must be on the face
3. The VAT registration number has been replaced by the tax payers identification number (TPIN) on the face.
4. The serial number of the invoice and the date of issue, a must.
5. The quantity or volume of goods or services supplied.
6. Description of the goods or services supplied.
7. The selling price excluding the VAT and any discount allowed.
8. The total amount of VAT charged.
9. The total amount of VAT inclusive.
However even the issuance of tax invoices by the businesses who are non-retailers is backed by the VAT law, the tax office has not replaced the receipt with the tax invoice.

Instead, as a matter of prudent accounting and practiced by accountants who know the implication of the invoice and a receipt in the books of accounts, will issue a tax invoice immediately followed by the receipt for the purpose of fulfilling of the VAT law.

The advice given to businesses that are issuing tax invoices to the customers who make prompt cash purchase to customers in order to fulfill the VAT law is that immediately they issue a tax invoice should issue cash purchase receipts to cancel the invoice.

9 Major Tips to Manage the Business Expenses of Your Organization through Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are generally considered to be the most useful tool in managing the finance of your organization. And once you have the entire data stored within the spreadsheets, you could then use it for analysis or presentations via graphs, charts as well as feed it into future decision making processes of your organizations. By adding formulas to a spreadsheet you could build automatic calculations in the template reviewing, tracking the expenses against the established budgets. Given below are the 8 major tips to that would help you manage your business expenses through spreadsheets at a great ease.
Begin with the receipts that you currently have: Anything that has been wadded in the purse, stashed in a catch all basket have them written down in the tracker according to the category that they fall, along with their payment type. These kind of expenses would never give you a complete picture, but that’s ok clean state remember.
Time and Spreadsheets: Spreadsheets are generally considered to be a manual process, and manual would here again mean time consuming. Starting from employees to administrator time to the sales people executives when you tally up the hours being spent on manual process converting them into dollars the costs are significant. Each and every person hired in your organization is hired for a specific job and when you are paying for the job that they are doing your business here is then losing out the money minute by minute.
Separating your personal and business expenses: Though this is something that would turn out to be obvious, placing once single expense could completely throw off your budget tracking. So if possible try to use different cards for all the different types of expenses. Sorting by payment method is one of the best ways to separate personal expenses from businesses to spreadsheets.
Learning simple functions in order to manage spreadsheets: Tracking down your expenses is considered to be worthless if you cannot extrapolate the data. Learning how to add, multiply and subtract, dividing different rows and columns is considered to be the most important for a successful expense reporting.
Efficiency and accuracy: Having so many touch points and many people being involved, a manual process would here open the doors for many errors while you are dealing with the expenses of your business organization. Say for example while you are dealing with the spreadsheets you could be something that is similar to this having a purchase done, having the receipts maintained for every purchase that is done, compiling the receipts, downloading the excel sheets, scanning the receipts, finding time to sit down at the computer and open excel.

Graph, Email, Save and Print: Similar to all the other learning functions in a spreadsheet it is important that you also know how to make graphs of your data on your spreadsheets. Graphs give you a clear picture on all the expenses made related to your organization and are considered to be very meaningful. Spreadsheets on programs like Microsoft excel are never saved in cloud so in case your computer dies then you are having a bad luck.
Slow process: After hours of manual entry the spreadsheets here are then sent to the manager for signature. The report would then take up days, and once approved it would be sent to the employees for being reimbursed. The workflow is then filled with emails and attachments which again turns out to be a slow, inefficient and ultimately expensive gift.
Centralised information: The person who generally inputs or adds the entire information into the spreadsheets, would continue to see the same and entire information that the managers would generally see. Now the entire transparency process would here depend on you.
Mobile Technology: Mobile technology has been successful in changing the way people operate and manage everything in their life. The travellers here demand of mobile connectivity and the ability to work from anywhere whereas the spreadsheet mentality would here not support that nor could scale with the entire process in the way it operates and has been operating.
To conclude smart companies are using spreadsheets that would help them manage their business expenses at a great ease and without any difficulty. So what are your thoughts of managing your business expenses through spreadsheets? Do leave your thoughts and comments below and we would be happy to add them to the list above.
Author Bio:
Shivli Ratul is a freelancer and has experience of over 5 years in expense and travel management softwares.She has in-depth knowledge about managing travel and different type expenses incurred in business.she writes about Expense Report Management software as a freelancer

Expense Management Software – Top 10 Reasons Why Companies Need To Implement Them

Still claiming your expenses via spreadsheets, outdated legacy or in house system. Is it time to look back on the traditional ways with nostalgia, as here are the top 10 reasons why expense management needs to be automated in the right way and you don’t have to be a big organization as the benefits are hard to ignore.

Saving your money in more than 1 way: Many business organizations fear of being trapped and continuing with their current system, as the organizations these days are more worried about the cost to change. The implementation of these pricing models are based on the usage could be done quickly and easily in such a way that it is no more a burden to the IT organizations. The ability to link your expenses with the credit tool and import data into the expense management software tool would mean that the data has been prepopulated in the claim. This would again help you reduce the cost of all the claims with 78% per transaction. This would also mean that the data credited into this software tool is in one place and the report is all set to go on, giving you the insights of where you have been spending money and would help you negotiate the discounts with all your regular suppliers.


Keeping your enterprise in order: Being aware of all the new rules and regulations and managing all the related changes to related is considered to be time consuming and costly. And to a large co - operations when you have your business operating in different countries the challenges continue to grow and turn out to be complicated. Expense management software system to this would eliminate all the risks around the regulatory compliances, where they could easily apply for the complex tax rules providing in built auditing capabilities capturing the data required reporting the expenses spent for cooperation and income tax purposes.

Checking where your money goes: Having decisions made without a relevant data is not an easy job. Having travel and expense information that is centralized would make it simple and easy to report on a multitude of the performance indicators. This insight is important for the ongoing refinement of travel and the business expenses, identifying the areas of where the best deals could be negotiated with the suppliers. This would also help you identify the trends by the mode of transport, through clients, employee or the organization minimizing the fraud and regulation breach.

Minimizing the fraud: Accuracy is the most important key to an efficient system that would help you decreasing the fraud. The solutions here ensure that fair and consistent rules could be applied across the entire company, ensuring that the employees do not have the right opportunity to enter into the incorrect and out of policy claims.

Flexible and Scalable: The expense management software makes the entire process easy to manage, having a low risk and minimal implementation project costs that could be recovered quickly through cost savings and greater efficiencies. And we are all living in an economy where the companies could buy other companies, merge and expand their business into different territories and regions. This entire system is scalable to support the business growth where the solutions could be easily rolled out into countries and whenever required would support the external regulations, local currencies and VAT and per diem rates.

Author Bio:
Indira Moola, Marketing Operations Manager at Expenzing, focused on growing expenses management software India product and communicates the value of identity to customers, partners, and the larger community by targeting specific markets through segmentation and analysis.

What is Better – to Lease or to Buy Equipment?

Many small business owners assume that investing in new equipment is a financial gable with an un-manageable price tag.

Well,this is probably because Small businesses have difficulty raising capital - that's no secret. But Leasing equipment may be a better option for your business's equipment financing.

Equipment leasing is simply a process by which you obtain the use of a certain asset like a car, computer or software solution for which you don’t pay the full purchase price but instead you only pay a series of contractual, periodic payments while you use the equipment.

If you are worrying about how realistic your plans are (or if colleagues and friends have raised doubts), here is my take on the advantage of leasing computer equipment.

Technology will always change while on the other hand, not every jim and Jack has a budget readily available for these changes that is why a growing number of companies in this credit-tight economy are looking at leasing as a smart option that is accompanied by little risk.

Secondly, obtaining finance you need to purchase equipment is not easy, particularly where technology is concerned. Banks are more risk conscious than ever before, preferring safer investments of their funds such as real estate and more tangible assets.

For this reason many companies are finding it increasingly more difficult to obtain financing through overdrafts and loans.

I have often used this quotation on this blog and I will use it again, “Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching” This Igbo proverb means People adapt to other people's learnings, particularly when the other person's learnings would harm you if you kept on your present course. In other words external factors can have effects on people so much that they change.

Leasing is the single largest form of external corporate finance in the world. In case you didn’t know, over 80% of companies – from small, start up to multinational companies at least lease one asset or the other.

I know that probably there may be very few leasing companies in your area but it is just a matter of time, remember what I said “people adapt to other peoples learnings”

ZRA Online Tax Filing-Reasons and Benefits

It is evident that many people in Zambia still choose to file their tax returns with pencil and paper. Many still don’t realize that those days are long gone. Filing your taxes online with ZRA Tax online is not only easier, but much convenient than filling them manually.

If you are still worrying about how realistic online tax filing is (or if colleagues and friends have raised fears about online tax filing) here is my take on it.
First, you only need to understand these step-by-step instructions on filing of your e-return using ZRA Online Tax to help you save time.

Secondly, bear in mind that you will need a computer with internet connectivity to successfully file return online. There are six steps to file e-returns. These Steps are:

1. Log into the portal
2. Download e-return form/s
3. Filling the details in the form/s
4. Validate the form/s
5. Uploading the form/s
6. Obtaining Acknowledgement Receipt

Thirdly, download this detailed Tax payer user guide for e-return filing to help you understand more about these steps for online tax filing. The guide has specifically been designed to give you a step-by-step guidance to online tax filling.

If you are still on the fence about joining the millions of taxpayers using ZRA Tax online facility to e-file their returns, here are some of the advantages.

File your return from anywhere.

Filling your tax returns online will not only save you time and money but will also give you the convenience of filling your taxes in the comfort of your home away from noise, the queues and traffic jam.

Save money.

There are millions of tax payers in the country spending valuable hours in queues at ZRA offices every day, burning fuel in their cars and enduring the hassle of the traffic in town. You can save money if you choose to e-file your returns using Online Tax.

There are many benefits and advantages of filing your tax returns online with ZRA Online tax. With these benefits in mind, you might want to consider switching to online tax filing.

5 Ways to keep your Epos System running smoothly

The Epos system is the system which comprises of the hardware peripherals and the Epos software. All the things combine together to form a system and in this way the system becomes suited to promote the sales environment.

Basically the Epos system is concerned about support of the data entry procedure by means of different devices like keyboards, touch screen monitors and scanners. All of these are prone to faults and malfunctioning and if this occurs it can hurt your point of sale transactions for hours until fixed.

There are many ways to keep your Epos system working efficiently and without any fault. Some common ways of keeping the Epos system run smoothly are as follows:

UpdateEpos software regularly

Epos companies keep on working on fixing bugs and their new versions gets better stability and performances. Hence, make sure that you are updating your Epos software whenever a new version is available. Just set the notification on for any new version availability. Additionally, you can subscribe to the newsletter of your Epos vendor. Most of the Epos vendors communicate any new version availability or major release through their newsletters.

Have best supported accessories

Another way of ensuring the effective working of the Epos system is using the best supported accessories. If possible buy all the accessories from the same vendor from where you have bought your Epos system. Moreover, use multi-line bar code scanners. This ensures the pricing is kept accurate and honest working of system. Consequently the cashiers are allowed to work efficiently and quickly.

Have an updated antivirus

Computer systems are prone to get affected by viruses and malwares. Do not take a risk and always have an updated version of any good Antivirus installed in your system. There are some free antiviruses are available in the market, the best bet, buy a full version of any leading Antivirus software for a full protection.

Train your employees

Today’s Epos systems are so sophisticated that it doesn’t need proper training to use it. However, a complete picture of its functionality and a formal training to your employees can help you avoid some pitfalls that can arise due to mishandling. Generally all the Epos vendors provide free training to Epos users. Make use of that and schedule a training session and gather all your employees to attend the same.

Subscribe for support of your Epos provider

Generally Epos vendors provide free after sales support for a limited period of time and charge additionally for an extended period. It is always wise to subscribe for their support to ensure that you get immediate attention and remedy when your Epos system starts malfunctioning. It is better to be ready than losing business for hours in case of any failure.


In short,a well working and an updated Epos system is essential for keeping the sales system up to the mark. These precautions and activities help you to avoid a system failure that can hurt your business for hours. This will also be helpful in order to remove the manual flaws from the pricing system.

About the Author

Julie Evans is an EPOS expert and currently serves as the head of marketing at Epos Direct. For more than 16 years, she has researched and analysed the requirements of a wide range of business formats to develop EPOS software that satisfies their unique requirements.