Where is my money, honey? How can I improve my cash flow?
A number one question in the minds of all business owners! Your books show profit but you can't see the hard cash. It could be stuck in receivables or stock, or plant and equipment, or might just have been spent in non-productive expenses. We can help you by preparing a Proactive Target Plan
to help identify where your money is locked up and identify strategies to gain access to your cash. The plan goes further in focussing on your two key numbers, your top line and your bottom line
Am I paying too much tax? How do I minimise it?
Tax planning is a genuine and legal process aimed at reviewing all the options possible to minimise your business and personal tax. One of the biggest highlight of our services is our 'Strategic Tax Planning
' service. Each year in May and June we prepare a structured and in-depth tax plan for our business clients, estimating what their tax liability would be in the current year, and preparing a Strategic Plan on reducing it down. The plan is then put into action with set dates for set outcomes before we get to the big date of 30th June.
How do I make my business a success?
While there is no magic wand, it is actually not that difficult. All that it takes is to ensure that you make informed and intelligent decisions which are productive for your business. We sincerely believe that as your accountants, we are your business partners and your first point of contact anytime you need to seek advice or bounce ideas.
Business compliance stresses me out. Can you help?
Yes, a key principal of our philosophy is to take full ownership of the tax work we do for you. This starts by de-stressing you through active guidance and support in helping you meet your business compliance both smoothly and on time. These include payroll, GST, business taxes and the lot!
I am starting a new business. Can you help?
As your accountants we walk with you through the maze of challenges that you will face early on in starting your new business. We start with helping you identify the most suitable business structure, setting up accounting systems, tax compliance time tables, ticking off things you need to do as a start-up and discussing the various day to day issues for efficient decision making.
What tax incentives can I gain?
Be it the Small Business Entity tax concessions, loss clawback measures, the R&D concessions or just some new incentives released by state or federal governments, our job is to be on top of the latest measures and identify incentives for our business clients.
How do I know if this is a good business to buy?
We can do due diligence on your proposed business purchase to identify the positives and risks. This includes SWOT Analysis, Profitability Ratio Analysis, Key data analysis and such tools. This can go a long way in helping you make a smart informed decision.
How can I make my business more attractive to sell?
Your business today is worth what it can earn in future. In technical terms this is called present value of future earnings. So the simple answer is, if your business is successful and has opportunities to grow, there would be buyers gunning for it. We can help you identify opportunities in your business which would go a long way in improving its saleability.
What are the key points to look for in a new business?
Sustained profitability, market reputation, location, customer following, strong systems, opportunity to grow and add value are some of the key points that we look for, when you bring to us a prospective business opportunity. This is combined with our extensive financial due diligence, to help you make the right decision.
Why isn’t my business succeeding as planned?
A proper business plan with set targets which are challenging and yet achievable lays the foundation of a successful business. If you have such a plan but the business doesn't seem to be performing as well there would be gaps between planning and implementation. Our Proactive Target Planning
service can help you identify these gaps and set targets working towards the two key numbers, your top line and your bottom line.
What is a good rate of return?
In simple terms, a rate of return is what you get out of an investment. A term deposit at 5% interest thus gives you a 5% rate of return. In your business, you would expect, not just a decent rate of return on your investment but also return on your time and effort in building it. While there are no simple answers, we can help you compare your business performance with industry standards and identify if you are getting a fair rate of return.
What are my FBT liabilities?
Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) represents the tax a business pays for letting its' employees (and associates) use its' assets or funds to pay for their personal expenses. You could end up paying $96 in tax on a mere $100 of personal expense. Common examples are entertainment, personal use of business assets, paying non deductible personal expenses and motor vehicle use. As your tax consultants we work with you to identify and mitigate this draconian tax. Click here for more information on FBT in our newsletter
When do I need to pay Employee entitlements by? What are the penalties?
Employee entitlement is the top most ATO and State Tax audit area for small businesses. It covers PAYG, Super, FBT, Contractor entitlements, Workers comp, Payroll Tax, etc. We work closely with our business clients to identify these areas of risk and set strategies and systems to comply appropriately. Click here for more information
What is the best way to structure my business from an asset protection point of view?
Asset protection is one of the five considerations in choosing an appropriate business structure. Tax savings, Capital Gains Tax savings, Access to tax free income from business and costs being the other four. We work with you to first understand your key drivers and then suggest a structure that balances your needs and provides appropriate value. This could be a combination of trusts, SMSF, companies or just simply a partnership or sole trader.
How do I finance this new project? How can I make my business proposal more attractive to financial institutions?
Business finance is not as easy as property finance. The bank needs to be comfortable with your asset position, your income position and your ability to set up and run a new business. Using our extensive experience in dealing with banks for business finance, we help you structure your proposal to fit bank's rigorous criteria.
When is the most effective time to do tax planning before the end of the financial year?
Tax planning is not a destination, rather a process. We undertake some level of tax planning at every level of our engagement, e.g. while doing your BAS returns, helping you structure your next asset purchase, explain how to best claim your next investment etc. This flows into our Strategic Tax Planning
service where in, every May/June, we work out extensively how much tax you may have to pay this year, and set strategies to reduce them.
What accounting software should I use to make life easier for me and for you?
While not suitable for all, the answer for most lies in using the latest cloud solutions. Most reputed accounting software's including MYOB and Xero offer some very useful cloud based packages which can help you and us maintain your accounts easily, efficiently and cost effectively. We can help you choose the right fit for you.
What do I need to do to collect information to prepare my BAS?
Your BAS return is where you report your income, expenses, GST collected and paid, wages paid and PAYG withheld. The process could be anywhere from a simple single bank account based to extensive book keeping depending on your circumstances. We can help you understand your BAS requirements, provide appropriate checklists and set up systems.
Is the structure of my business important from a tax point of view?
Absolutely. It could mean thousands in tax savings every year, if set right from day one. Remember if you want to change structures mid way, you could be up for capital gains tax and stamp duty. We work with you in understanding your requirements and objectives and working out the best mix for you.
I want to start a business. Where do I start?
Calling us, perhaps, would be one of the first things to do. We can walk you through all the requirements of setting up your business, provide appropriate checklists and work with you at every step of this process.
I run my own business. How much should I pay myself?
It comes down to your business structure, your financial needs and your tax planning in balancing and reducing the overall tax you have to pay between your personal and business tax returns. We can help you understand the process and set a process.
How can I grow my business? How can you help me to reach my goal in business?
Plan well, execute efficiently and work on the business (and not just in the business). As your business partners we can help you do all this and more, to achieve your business and personal finance goals.
Am I on the right track financially?
Our Proactive Target Planning
service can help you understand how your business is performing against industry standards and your personal goals and help you achieve them.
How do I keep all my records in order? What do I need to keep for auditing purposes?
Record keeping is a critical aspect of running your business, to pay the right tax (not too much) and avoid tax audits. Based on scale of business you can choose various methods from basic shoe box to advanced cloud solutions.
How can Salary Packaging help my taxes?
Salary packaging means making your business/employer pay for your personal expenses with minimal or no FBT. Some common options are Motor Vehicle, Living Away from Home, Home Office Expenses, Business use electronic equipment etc. If done correctly this could put in a few $'000 extra in your after tax income each year. We can set a salary sacrifice strategy for your business and personal tax affairs to save taxes.
What insurances are a must whilst owning a business?
Business asset, Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Workers Comp are a few to mention. There could be more, based on your specific industry and area of operations. We can link you up to some experts on this area to help you identify the required insurances.
Called an Australian Business Number, you need an ABN if you are running a business. Your ABN will be issued to the business entity which runs the business (sole trader, partnership, company or trust). We can assess your ABN requirements and set one up for you.
Do I need to be registered for GST?
You need to be registered for GST if you are engaged in an enterprise and your turnover for the next 12 months is expected to be more than $75,000. We can help you understand the technical terms behind these requirements and set up your GST registration if required.
When do I need to start thinking about issues such as Workers Compensation Insurance and Payroll Tax?
Your business needs workers compensation insurance if it pays wages of more than $7,500 a year. Payroll tax is a tax levied on large organisations when their yearly payroll crosses a certain level (based on the state you run your business in). Non compliance with these requirements could result in huge penalties and interest on top of the required tax. We can help you assess your requirements and help set up compliance processes for these.
Is key man insurance a good idea for my business?
Key man insurance is a cover which helps you manage risks to business if something was to happen to it's key personnel, usually the small business owner. We can get you to talk to some advisors in this area to help you assess if Key man insurance is a good idea for you.
As I am a business owner now rather than an employee is there any insurance available in the event that I get sick and can’t work for a month? If I don’t work I won’t get paid from clients!
You could look at some personal insurances like income protection, life and TPD. We can get you to talk to appropriate advisors in this area to help you assess your needs.
I have some personal assets and am considering starting a business. How can I protect those assets if something goes wrong with the business?
A genuine concern for all start up entrepreneurs, this risk can be largely mitigated by setting up the business in appropriate asset protection structures on one front and by shifting ownership of assets to low risk family members on the other front. While assessing your business ownership structure, we work through asset protection issues alongside other criteria to come out with a balanced solution.
What is a personal guarantee? Am I exposing our family home by starting a business?
Personal guarantee is when you sign a dotted line putting your personal assets at risk of business failure. Most banks will insist on this, as would most lenders and large suppliers. The key is in assessing risks, setting up business structures and asset ownerships, and managing and mitigating these risks.
What is the difference between lease finance and hire purchase?
These are common asset finance structures and can mean substantial difference in your GST and Tax claims. We help you assess your particular requirements and choose the right finance structure.
Could my contractor be a deemed employee?
Irrespective of your arrangement with contractors working with you, you could be in for all of your employer obligations if this person was deemed as a deemed employee in the eyes of the law. This is one of the hottest ATO audit areas and can result in substantial unknown taxes, penalties and interest. As expert advisors on this subject we can help assess and mitigate your risks. AboutTax Vol. 15
Can you help me with business requirement areas like insurance, legal advise, OH&S, HR, Fairwork, recruitment, etc?
While we are not experts in these areas, we surely are your business partners when you are looking for solutions. Over the years we have worked with experts from these and other areas and can help you get in touch with the right person to help you out.
How can I minimize capital gains tax on sale of my business.
By using some advanced Small Business CGT Concessions we may be able to minimize your Capital Gains Tax on sale of your business to possibly negligible position. This is a very complicated area of tax law. Luckily your accountants are also tax experts in this are.