ACCOUNTING IN THE CLOUD – A GAME CHANGER
Concord Tax partners with XERO, MYOB, and Quickbooks online to put your accounting software into the cloud. It’s a complete game changer. Instead of talking with us about your accounting records and tax affairs 18 months in the past, you will find that your records are current, immediate, real time. We talk to you about how your business is doing now, and how to improve it going forward into the future.
Your accounting transactions are downloaded daily from your bank, eliminating data entry time and human error. Your paper invoices and bills are electronically filed in the software creating a paperless office for you. You can bill your customers by email with convenient payment links which allow your customers to pay you as they read your email. You eliminate paper, envelopes, stamps, and trips to the post office.
You can keep up to date anywhere, on your mobile, iPad, or any laptop or PC. We can dial in and solve any “how to” accounting questions you have instantaneously.
You will find yourself focusing on your business and getting more meaningful accounting advice from us.
FOUR CORNERS TO BUSINESS GROWTH – OUR FOCUS
Concord Tax partners with you on the four corners to business growth and success.
- Goals. We help you develop business goals that fit you, your family, and your personal aspirations. It is important to know where you stand and where you want to go.
- Diagnosis. How is the business going? … and compared to what? We benchmark your business with your peers to measure your performance.
- Prescription. We help you to form a road map to where you are planning to go. We produce a forward budget, and cash flow accounting plan that will enable you to meet those goals.
- Follow up. We recommend that you partner with us monthly, quarterly, or annually in a director’s meeting to plan, record, assign actions, and follow up on the progress of your business. Quarterly meetings are the most common choice for small business. Annual meetings may suit trade contractors. Monthly accounting meetings should be considered for larger businesses, and for organisations experiencing rapid changes, or significant problems.
You’re business will operate either as a sole trader, partnership, company or trust. Trading in the right structure saves you thousands of dollars in tax, and minimises the risk to the possibilities of personal losses. Check your structure with your business advisor from time to time.
The business environment is getting more sophisticated, and more competitive. The economy is under stress. It is important that you focus your business by setting effective and achievable goals. These goals need to have a time frame. Work with your accountant to set up a budget for the coming year and work to achieve the goals in it. Meet with your accountant regularly, to measure your success.
When I ask the business owners I work with, “How are things going?”, they will often reply, “Okay”, or “Good”. I will often reply, “Compared to what?”. They will often scratch their heads.
A business needs to know how it is performing as compared with others in the same industry. This is called benchmarking. How are you performing in comparison with your peers. Ask your accountant/business advisor to benchmark your business.
This will give you invaluable insight into where you are doing great and where you can improve.
It’s a legal requirement for you to keep records of your business transactions for a minimum of five years, so it’s important that you have good record-keeping practices in place. The records you must keep include all documents relating to your income and expenditure.
Keeping good records makes paying your taxation and other business transactions much easier and helps you to monitor how your business is going.
You also need to keep other important papers, legal documents, and contracts in a safe place, so make sure to set up a filing system for easy retrieval.
One of the first things you need to find out when you’re starting out is what laws apply to your new business. As a small business owner, you’ll know that being legally compliant relies on being aware of rules and regulations. You may wish to consult a legal professional to help you with all the legal requirements that you must comply with, such as licences and registrations, contracts and leases.
All business owners in Australia have to register before commencing any business activities. As well as registering a business name, there are a variety of taxes that can impact on your business that you may be required to register for. These may include:
- an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- a Tax File Number (TFN)
- Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding.
If you operate a business, it’s likely you’ll need certain licences to make sure you’re complying with your legal obligations.
The licence or permit you require may depend on the product or service you’re selling. You’ll need to find out whether there’s a licensing requirement for your particular business, or you may face fines or other difficulties.
Businesses selling products for consumption as food, for example, could need a Food Business Licence. However, there may be other licenses that aren’t so obvious, so it’s best to do some research into this area. Licenses and permits can vary from state to territory, so it’s best to find out this information from your local, state/territory, or federal government, to ensure you’re doing the right thing.
A new set of privacy principles was introduced in March 2014. The principles cover how a business handles personal information, including the:
- handling and processing of personal information
- use of personal information for direct marketing purposes
- disclosing of personal information to people overseas.
Find out your Privacy Act 1988 obligations from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
People who believe they’re being bullied in the workplace can apply to the Fair Work Commission for help in resolving the issue.
Bullying occurs when a person or group of people, repeatedly behave unreasonably towards a worker. The behaviour also has to be deemed a risk to the worker’s health or safety. Read our Employing people topic for more information.
Independent contractors are self-employed and provide a service to a business.
They often negotiate their own payments and working arrangements, and have the opportunity to work for a range of clients at any given time.
Before entering into a contract, you’ll need to determine whether someone is classified as an independent contractor. Their status will affect their rights and obligations. It’s possible for someone to be an employee for some work and an independent contractor for other work.
You also need to remember that it’s illegal to fire, or threaten to fire, an employee if they don’t agree to become a contractor.
It’s important to know whether you’re hiring an independent contractor or an employee, so you can be sure you’re complying with your legal obligations.
Small businesses have different laws compared with larger businesses when it comes to unfair dismissal. Most small businesses (those with fewer than 15 employees) will fall under the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code .
If you are planning to terminate an employee, it’s important you follow the rules outlined in the Code.
If you’d like to start a business in Australia, but you’re not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you should know:
- how to get the right visa
- the legal and government requirements that apply to Australian businesses.
We’ve put together this news article to help you work out the basics and point you in the right direction for the information you need.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is responsible for Australian business visas.
Business Innovation and Investment visas
If you have business skills and want to set up and manage a new or existing business in Australia, take a look at the Provisional Business Innovation and Investment visas .
Before you can apply for these visas, you must be nominated by a state or territory government.
Generally, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Submit an expression of interest through DIBP’s SkillSelect online service.
- See if a state or territory government decides to invite you to apply for a visa. You can wait for a state or territory government to contact you, or you can contact them directly.
- If you receive an invitation, apply for a visa. You’ll need to meet certain requirements and provide documents to support your application.
If you’re granted one of these provisional visas, it will be valid for four years, and you’ll have completed the first step towards getting a Permanent Business Innovation and Investment visa .
Business Talent visas
You may also be eligible for the Permanent Business Talent visa if you:
- own or part-own an overseas business, have net business and personal assets of at least AUD $1.5 million, and an annual business turnover of at least AUD $3 million, or
- have obtained at least AUD $1 million in venture capital funding in Australia to develop a high-value business idea.