News

Managing business growth

2019-07-22 08:58:55 admin

It can be exciting and reassuring when your new business venture achieves growth and success. When things reach a certain threshold, however, you may no longer be able to oversee everything as a business owner. Here are some key things to consider in order to manage the development of your business.

Key performance indicators:
As your business expands, determine some key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate certain tasks and how you will get regular data for each. Some examples include:

  • Absenteeism: by creating a great working culture and attendance perks, you can encourage your staff to take less time off.
  • Sales: offering bonuses or other perks to employees who exceed sales expectations could improve overall performance.
  • Complaints: Implement a system for dealing with complaints individually to help ensure they don’t happen again.

Develop your skills:
In addition to making changes that improve how your business operates, you should also focus on adjusting your own leadership style. In areas where you recognise you could improve on, think about delegating tasks to your employees to maintain growth. Brainstorming with your staff and other advisors may open you up to different perspectives and insights, facilitating a diversity of ideas within your organisation.

Anticipate competition:
Growth will inevitably attract competition. If the growth of your business begins to take away your competitor’s market share, they may implement strategies to counter your success such as lowering their prices, increasing advertising or adding new products. Be prepared for this and pay attention to the other businesses in your market.

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What SMSF records should you keep?

2019-07-22 08:58:14 admin

A key responsibility for trustees of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) is to ensure proper and accurate tax and superannuation records are kept for the fund. When you have been running your fund for a long period of time and have amassed a large amount of information, it can be hard as a trustee to know exactly what records to keep, how long for and where to store them.

The ATO requires SMSF trustees to keep the following records for a minimum of five years:

  • Accurate accounting records that explain the transactions and financial position of the SMSF.
  • An annual operating statement and statement of the SMSF’s financial position.
  • Copies of all annual returns and transfer balance account reports lodged.
  • Copies of any other statements the fund trustee is required to lodge with the ATO or other super funds.

The following records are required to be kept for a minimum of 10 years:

  • Minutes of trustee meetings and decisions if matters affecting the fund were discussed, such as the fund’s investment strategy.
  • Records of all changes of trustees, and members’ written consent to be appointed as trustees.
  • Trustee declarations that recognise the obligations and responsibility of any trustee or director of a corporate trustee, appointed after 30 June 2007.
  • Copies of all reports given to members.

Your SMSF’s records must be kept in Australia, in writing and in English. If your SMSF does not keep the records for the minimum time required, you may be subject to penalties and fines.

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What is replacing AUSKey?

2019-07-22 08:57:42 admin

The ATO is developing new online services systems as AUSKey will be retired in March 2020

Replacing AUSKey will be myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM).

MyGovID is an authentication service that will allow individuals to prove who they are online. This system will work by establishing your identity once online and then using your myGovID credentials to access government services you need online.

Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) is an authorisation service that allows you to link your myGovID to an ABN, managing authorisations across government services, for businesses and their staff. RAM gives you the ability to add multiple businesses, access the business portal on behalf of multiple businesses, modify authorisations, customise and delegate the level of business authorisation for employees and nominate who can act on behalf of your practice.

MyGovID and RAM are currently available in a public beta for eligible businesses to access the ATO Business Portal and will soon be available for online services for agents. AUSkey can still be used to access online ATO services while myGovID and RAM are being developed.

The ATO advises that in preparation for the changes you check your ABN details are up-to-date in the Australian Business Register (ABR).

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What makes a successful business plan

2019-07-15 09:32:44 admin

When starting a new business, there are many elements you need to consider. Careful planning is essential to ensuring the longevity of your business, but what exactly goes into a good business plan?

A good business plan is one that is detailed. Sections should include; an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, service or product, marketing and sales, funding request and financial projections. These topics cover as much of the business as you can in the planning stage.

Showing attention to detail in your written plan demonstrates a commitment to the business going forward. When writing a business plan, there are a few ways to ensure you are creating the best guide for your idea. Researching the industry and other companies in the market you are looking to step into can give you an insight into more than just the competition. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to know how and if audiences will respond to you.

If you aren’t presenting your plan to investors or potential partners, determine what purpose your business plan will serve. A good business plan can be used not only as a sales document but a map for the business into its future. Writing a business plan that makes projections for the first five years can keep you on track and show you areas in which you need to focus on.

A business plan is a guide to help you create and maintain the best business you can. Even if things don’t go exactly as planned, a successful business plan is one that teaches you the things you want to get out of the business and ways in which you can achieve them.

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SMSF rollovers in SuperStream to be deferred

2019-07-15 09:31:41 admin

The 2019-2020 Federal Budget suggested a deferral of the extension of SuperStream to self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) rollovers from 30 November 2019 to 31 March 2021. The commencement of this deferral has recently been confirmed by the government.

The deferral will coincide with the $19.3 million that will be provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) over three years from 2020-21, enabling electronic requests to be sent to superannuation funds for the release of money required under a number of superannuation arrangements.

With the combined date for both bringing electronic release authorities into SuperStream and allowing SMSF rollovers, changes needed to update SuperStream will only need to be undertaken once. The deferral aims to reduce administrative costs for funds and allows for a more integrated design of SuperStream.

First introduced in 2015, SuperStream is a government standard for processing superannuation payments electronically in a streamlined manner. Currently, SuperStream can only process rollovers between two APRA funds electronically but with the change will see this process extend to SMSFs.

Regulations for the deferral to put into effect will be made promptly.

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Maximising your tax return as a home-based business

2019-07-15 09:30:31 admin

Small business owners may be able to claim deductions for the costs of using your home as a principal place of business when filing your 2019 income tax return.

Tax deductions may be claimed for the business portion of expenses that include electricity, cleaning, rent payments or mortgage repayments. However, it can be difficult to ensure you are claiming expenses you are entitled to. How you operate the business out of your home will determine the types of expenses that may be claimed. Your business structure will also affect your entitlements and obligations when claiming deductions on home-based business expenses.

Individuals that operate a business as a sole trader or partnership are entitled to claim a deduction for the costs of running their business from home. There are two types of expenses that can be claimed, running expenses or occupancy expenses. Running expenses refer to the increased costs of using your home’s facilities for the running of your business. Occupancy expenses are those that you pay to own or rent your home.

Typically, those that are eligible to claim occupancy expenses can also claim running expenses. Records that need to be kept include written evidence, tax invoices and receipts, which should substantiate your claims for all home-based business expenses. You may consider consulting a trusted advisor or registered tax agent to ensure that you meet all obligations when claiming deductions in your tax return.

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Claiming a tax deduction for personal super contributions

2019-07-08 09:54:52 admin

Members of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) that are eligible can claim an income tax deduction on personal super contributions. Members that intend to do this must notify their fund trustee before lodging their 2019 individual tax return.

The eligibility requirements to claim a deduction for personal super contributions include:

  • Contributions that were made before 1 July 2017 were made to a complying super fund or retirement savings account.
  • Contributions that were made on or after 1 July 2017 were made to a fund that was not:
    • A Commonwealth public sector super scheme for which you have a defined benefit interest.
    • A constitutionally protected fund or another untaxed fund that did not include your contribution in its assessable income.
    • A super fund that notified the ATO before the start of the income year that they would treat all member contributions as non-deductible.
  • Members must meet the age restrictions:
    • If you are aged 75 or older, you can claim a deduction for contributions made before the 28th day of the month after you turned 75.
    • If you are aged 65 or older, you must satisfy the work test or meet the work test exemption criteria in order for your fund to accept your contribution for which you can claim a deduction.

Prior to lodging their 2019 tax return, eligible members must ensure that they supply the SMSF trustee with a notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions. They must also provide a written acknowledgement from the SMSF trustee of the notice of intent.

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Using your tax return wisely

2019-07-08 09:52:29 admin

Getting your tax refund back is exciting, but as tempting as it is to splurge, consider other ways you can put that money to good use. It is easy to get caught treating your return as extra money when you shouldn’t see it any differently than your regular paycheck. Give the money a purpose by thinking about your personal financial situation and determining your needs.

Emergency fund:
An emergency fund can make all the difference if a difficult financial situation comes up, acting as a backup in the case of an emergency such as losing your job or medical costs. Building an emergency fund with enough money to cover at least three months worth of expenses is a good starting point. Make sure the money is added to a high-interest savings account to utilise compound interest. If you are contributing regularly to this fund, adding money from your tax return can boost it above schedule.

Make debt repayments:
With a bit more money at your disposal, now is the time to make repayments on debts you may have. Start with the higher interest debts and work down, your interest repayments will drop when you lower your outstanding balance. These debts can be things like credit cards, personal loans, outstanding bills or mortgage repayments.

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Tax bracket changes passed

2019-07-08 09:51:18 admin

In the 2019-20 Federal Budget, the Government announced their plans to change and build on the Personal Income Tax Plan. These changes affect the low and middle-income tax brackets and were passed on 5 July 2019.

The Budget proposed that from the 2018-19 income year:

  • There will be an increase to the low and middle-income tax offset from a maximum amount of $530 to $1,080 per annum and an increase in the base amount from $200 to $255 per annum.
  • Taxpayers with a taxable income which does not exceed $37,000 will receive a low and middle-income tax offset of up to $255.
  • Taxpayers with a taxable income which exceeds $37,000 but is not more than $48,000 will receive $255, plus an amount equal to 7.5% to the maximum offset of $1,080.
  • Taxpayers with a taxable income which exceeds $48,000 but is not more than $90,000 will be eligible for the maximum low and middle-income tax offset of $1,080.
  • Taxpayers with a taxable income which exceeds $90,000 but is not more than $126,000 will be eligible for a low and middle-income tax offset of $1,080, less an amount equal to 3% of the excess.

Assessments for returns that have already been lodged are expected to be issued from 12 July and into the following week, which is in line with the normal processing of refunds for the end of financial year. Individuals and tax professionals will not need to request these assessments.

Amended notices of assessment can be accessed through the ATO website. For those individuals that have linked the ATO to their myGov account, they will be notified in their myGov Inbox.

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Improving efficiency in your business

2019-07-08 09:50:33 admin

As a business owner, making the most of your day to optimise productivity is crucial to your success. The most efficient businesses are those that can create more with less and are driven by highly motivated employees and inspiring leaders. To maximise efficiency within your business, it is necessary to understand the importance of time management, organisation, and managing resources.

Tackle the hardest things first:
Ticking off the jobs that will require the most effort are usually done more effectively first thing in the morning. Also known as ‘eating the frog’, this can help you to avoid procrastination. Once you have done these tasks, all subsequent jobs will seem much more manageable, allowing you to get into a more productive workflow.

Avoid multitasking:
While trying to do many jobs at once may seem like an important skill for increasing efficiency, in reality, it may have the opposite effect. Attempting to multitask can result in lost time and reduced productivity, as you are not focusing properly on each task. Instead, consider making a habit of committing to a single job, completing it thoroughly, and then move on to the next project.

Set manageable goals:
It a common problem for business owners is not having a solid understanding of whether their employees are performing highly or not. This can be caused by a lack of achievable and motivational goals. By offering manageable deadlines for tasks to be completed, it can provide your staff with an incentive to stay on track. Giving clear direction to your employees can assist in clarifying your expectations of the business, helping to increase efficiency.

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