csjp logo
Phone: 08 9339 1077 |

News

Creating a business cash flow forecast

2020-06-02 11:55:49 admin

Small business owners are often faced with stressful financial decisions and periods of uncertainty. Having a cash flow forecast can help your business avoid cash shortages by allowing you to track whether your spending is on target, prepare for business expansion, plan for upcoming cash gaps and plan budgets. Here are some tips on cash flow forecasting to help your business be in control of its finances.

Prepare a sales forecast
Existing businesses can look at past years’ sales figures, taking note of busy and quiet periods, and prepare an income prediction based on historical trends. If you’re a new business, you can start by making cash outflow estimates. This can help you plan for what sales you should aim for to cover this and make estimates of predicted sales.

Knowing how much money you’ll have in a week or a month is central to being able to budget and know when to pay your expenses. Whether you receive customer payments at the time of sale, or you receive payments based on a subscription or service, you can schedule expenses and budget based on payment periods.

Account for other income forms
Your business may generate income from sources other than customers. Having an estimate of what income you’ll receive and when allows you to refine your budget and plan around payments. These income sources could include:

  • Grants (such as government grants).
  • Tax refunds.
  • Investments in the business.
  • Deposits.
  • Loans.

Estimate your expenses
Your cash flow forecast should include all your predicted expenses, giving you a detailed outline of the amount you’ll spend and when to help you determine a budgeting schedule and avoid cash shortages. Expenses to consider in your forecast include:

  • Bills such as electricity, water, rent, telephone and internet.
  • Staff wages, including taxes, superannuation or bonuses.
  • The cost of supplies and equipment.
  • Packaging and delivery services.
  • Software subscriptions, such as an office messaging system, accounting system, anti-virus protection, website developing etc.
  • Maintenance and repairs.
  • Business loan or credit card repayments.
  • Staff events.
  • Buying new assets.

Update and refine your forecasts
As your business grows and evolves, your financial situation may change. To keep your projections on track and as accurate as possible, update your cash flow forecast regularly to account for any miscalculations, unpredicted expenses or income and business changes. Taking a few moments every month or so will keep you prepared and prevent you from being caught off guard by a sudden cash flow crisis.

Posted in: money Read more... 0 comments

How to improve your hiring process as a small business

2020-06-02 11:54:55 admin

Small businesses coming out of COVID-19 may be looking to expand and grow as quickly as possible to prepare for a changing economy. One of the ways you can effectively grow your business is by improving your hiring strategy and making sure it is efficient.

Analyse and catalogue your needs
To make sure your hiring process is fit for your business, spend some time analysing your needs. For example, consider how quickly you are looking to expand, how many employees you are looking to and capable of hiring, the space you have available for additional employees, and other similar conditions. By being specific with your requirements, you are making this easier for yourself in the long run and trimming away unnecessary expenses before you even know it.

Consider hiring part-timers and contractors
Expanding your conditions for potential employees will widen the pool of talent available to you. Instead of being set on particular working conditions such as full-time working hours or in-office working, consider being more flexible with your working arrangements. Hiring part-timers and contractors will be more advantageous to businesses looking to grow quickly and substantially, as part-timers and contractors come with lower costs and you do not have to worry about employee retention for the long-term.

Invest in training your new recruits
Make sure to spend time training your new hires by providing them with the education and resources they need to be successful in your business. While it may not seem worthwhile to invest in part-timers and contractors, building a training procedure will be beneficial in the long run for future employees as you will establish a strong workplace culture while also developing a process that is most suited to your preferences.

Focus on hiring one at a time
It is understandable for you to have many positions open at one time, but to make sure you make accurate judgements on the best potential employees, try to focus on one position at a time. This way, you will avoid being overwhelmed with business decisions involving both ordinary business proceedings and new recruits. Use the same approach when you are hiring a team for a particular project or a new location as well.

Posted in: business Read more... 0 comments

SMSF property investment regulations to keep in mind

2020-06-02 11:54:06 admin

Property is a common investment option for SMSFs, however, the ATO has a number of regulations SMSF owners need to be wary of. The ATO is particularly concerned with those using SMSF assets to invest in property in a way that is detrimental to retirement purposes.

To ensure you do not breach provisions of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA), here is a breakdown of the ATO’s common regulatory concerns:

  • Whether arrangement amounts to your SMSF are being made to purposes outside of the sole purpose test (referred to as a collateral purpose).
  • Whether your SMSF meets operating standards such as record-keeping, ensuring assets are appropriately valued and recorded at market price, and keeping SMSF assets separate from members’ assets.
  • Whether the arrangement includes the SMSF acquiring assets from a related party.
  • If the arrangement features the SMSF borrowing money and meets borrowing provisions.
  • Whether the SMSF has contravened the in-house assets by exceeding the level of in-house assets allowed.
  • Cases of illegal early release of superannuation when SMSF arrangements do not meet relevant payment standards.

Also keep in mind that you cannot improve a property or change the nature of a property while there is a loan in place. While you can look to make additional contributions to your SMSF to speed up the loan repayment process, you will be precluded from making further contributions to your SMSF if any outstanding loans in your super balance exceed $1.6 million.

In the case that any of the ATO’s regulatory concerns apply to you and your SMSF’s involvement with property investment, confirm your situation and report your circumstances to the ATO. Additional regulatory matters regarding income tax such as non-arm’s length income (NALI) provisions as well as GST need to be reported as well.

Posted in: super Read more... 0 comments

Closely held payees exemption to be extended

2020-06-02 11:53:36 admin

Employers with 19 or fewer employees are temporarily exempt from reporting ‘closely held (related) payees’ through Single Touch Payroll enabled software. The exemption deadline has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 July 2021 as part of the ATO’s response to the COVID-19 situation.

A closely held payee is an individual directly related to the business, company or trust that pays them. Commonly, these are:

  • Family relatives of a family business.
  • Directors or shareholders if a company.
  • Beneficiaries of a trust.

The closely held payees exemption is automatically applied, and employers do not need to report them to the ATO.

Employers still have the option to report their closely held payees’ payroll information through Single Touch Payroll if they wish to. This can be done each time a payment is made, following the same process that applies for regular employees.

Employers will need to provide payment summaries to their closely held employees and a payment summary annual report to the ATO at the end of the financial year unless they:

  • report through Single Touch Payroll for their closely held employees, and
  • lodge their finalisation declaration by the due date.
Posted in: tax Read more... 0 comments

Conducting your business’ health-check

2020-05-28 14:13:29 admin

With the current economic slowdown, now is the perfect time to review your business strategy and conduct a business “health check” to come out the other side improved and ready to go. Analyse whether or not your business is in the state that you want it to be in and any improvements you can make to prepare for when the economy starts to recover.

Clients and customers

Client and customer loyalty is a trait all businesses should appreciate, but if your clients’ values are misaligned with yours, conflict is inevitable. Hence, now is the time to re-evaluate which clients you want to keep loyal and which ones you can see a cooperative future with. Re-assessing your target audience and deepening your understanding of the wants and needs of your clients would also be beneficial, as you can perfect your marketing strategies now while you have the time. If you have clients who frequently struggle to pay you on time, rude to your service and employees and generally disrespectful to your business, take the time to assess whether your attention is worthwhile and if you would like to continue to work with them when the economic situation improves.

Employees

Your employees are another stakeholder to check up on during this downtime opportunity. Your employees will always be your business’ representatives so make sure they are up to standard and help them improve on their skills now when they have the time to. Take the time to teach your employees more about your business goals and strategies and improve the team atmosphere by introducing team recreational activities. Your relationship with your employees now during a global crisis will dictate how they feel about you as a leader and if they can rely on you in the future. Foster respectful, strong and healthy bonds between you and your employees and only good things will be coming your way.

Suppliers

The key question to ask when reviewing your suppliers is whether or not you are getting what you need from them at a reasonable cost. Of course, not all sales deals are made equally and while you may get the bad end of the stick now, that is sometimes for the benefit of the long term. However, if this is not the case and you feel that your suppliers are asking too much from you, letting you down with their product quality or causing other complications, take the time now to look for other options. As most businesses struggle through current economic conditions, more and more suppliers are becoming competitive and hence, there are more options to consider. Do your research and decide on the suppliers you want to work with for the long-term future.

Financing

Managing your finances is always a difficult task but it is now more important than ever. Your budget and profit predictions for this year are likely going rogue so reevaluate your finances and research other funding options such as commercial rent, interest rates and banking services. Consider how you can minimise cost while maximising efficiency and productivity, save as much money as you can during these downtimes, and review your investments in detail to determine whether or not they are worthwhile.

Posted in: business Read more... 0 comments

Spouse contributions – when are you eligible for a tax offset?

2020-05-28 14:11:12 admin

Contributions made on behalf of your spouse to a complying superannuation fund or a retirement savings account (RSA) may be eligible for a tax offset.

The 2019/2020 tax rules allow you to claim an 18% tax offset on super contributions up to $3,000 on behalf of your spouse. While you are able to contribute more than $3,000, there will be no spouse contribution tax offset over this amount. The amount you can claim depends on your spouse’s annual income:

  • $540 for spouse income of $37,000.
  • $360 for spouse income of $38,000.
  • $180 for spouse income of $39,000.

The tax offset may be available for individuals who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Your spouse’s assessable income, fringe benefits amounts and employer superannuation contributions equate to under $40,000.
  • Contributions made on behalf of your spouse were not deductible to you.
  • You and your spouse were Australian residents at the time of contributions.
  • Your spouse did not have non-concessional contributions that equated to a higher amount than their non-concessional contributions cap, or they did not have a total superannuation balance of $1.6 million or more at 30 June 2018.
  • Your spouse is younger than their preservation age, or are not retired while being between 65 and their preservation age.

Under Australian superannuation law, your spouse can be either:

  • Your partner who you are married to and live with, or;
  • Your de facto partner, who you live with on a genuine domestic basis.

The spouse contributions tax offset can be claimed on your tax return.

Posted in: super Read more... 0 comments

What you need to know about fringe benefits tax

2020-05-28 14:10:11 admin

A fringe benefits tax (FBT) is a tax paid on benefits provided to employees (usually non-cash). FBT is calculated based on the gross taxable value of benefits employers provide to their employees. Employees must lodge their return and pay the total FBT amount they owe for the previous FBT year. Due to COVID-19, the FBT lodgement deadline has been extended from 31 March 2020 to 25 June 2020.

The following are the types of fringe benefits you must lodge before the extended due date:

  • Car fringe benefits: when a car your business owns or leases is available for employee private usage.
  • Debt waiver fringe benefits: when you waive or forgive an employee’s debt (including those you write-off as a genuine bad debt).
  • Loan fringe benefits: when you provide a loan to an employee and charge a low rate of interest or no interest during the GBT year.
  • Expense payment fringe benefits: when you reimburse an employee for expenses they incur or pay a third party for expenses incurred by an employee.
  • Housing fringe benefits: when you provide an employee with accommodation as a usual place of residence for the employee.
  • Living-away-from-home allowance fringe benefits: any payments you make to compensate an employee for any disadvantages suffered because they have to live away from home to be employed at your business.
  • Airline transport fringe benefits: any payments made in relation to airline transport.
  • Board fringe benefits: meals provided to employees.
  • Entertainment fringe benefits: payments for entertainment by the way of food, drink or recreation.
  • Tax-exempt body entertainment fringe benefits: when you incur entertainment expenses and you are wholly or partially exempt from income tax or don’t derive assessable income from the activities related to the entertainment.
  • Car parking fringe benefits: when you provide car parking for your employee.
  • Property fringe benefits: when you provide free or discounted property (including goods such as electricity and gas, real property and rights to property) to an employee.
  • Residual fringe benefits: broadly speaking, any rights, privileges, services or facilities provided in respect of employment.

Businesses who have paid less than $3000 in FBT in the previous year only need to make one payment when lodging their FBT this financial year. For businesses with more than $3000 in FBT, they must lodge their FBT quarterly. Clarify with your tax agent or accountant for your FBT details before lodging.

Posted in: tax Read more... 0 comments

How to support your employees through COVID-19

2020-05-19 09:47:38 admin

Supporting your employees during chaotic times as an empathetic leader will improve your relationships within your business and boost personal confidence. Here are some ways you can support your employees mentally and financially during these uncertain times.

Be open with your employees
As businesses implode due to current economic circumstances, employees want transparency and closure over the state of the business and their employment. Thus, being open about your business’ finances and both your short-term and long-term growth initiatives when communicating with your employees will earn their trust and appreciation.

Being transparent over your employees’ job security is also a good idea, as unemployment is becoming a major concern for all Australians. Reassuring your employees and guaranteeing their safety will also boost productivity levels and business morale as a major source of anxiety is lifted off of their shoulders.

Take mental health seriously
You can support your employees’ mental health by encouraging a healthy work-life balance (especially if they are working from home) as well as offering tutorials, professional mentoring sessions and online webinars on mindfulness and effective stress management strategies. Be more lenient with your employees who are struggling with productivity due to mental fatigue and enforce healthy lifestyle habits.

Another way to protect your staff’s mental health is to give all your employees financial advice and education, even if they are not struggling financially at the moment. Let them know that you care for their livelihood and can support them with constructive guidance.

Take care of your staff’s physical health
Taking care of your employee’s physical health as well as their mental health will also relieve your employees’ stress levels and give them peace of mind when working with you. Allow your employees to work from home whenever possible and provide disinfectants like hand sanitiser and alcoholic wipes in your workspace to reinforce health precautions. Enforce social distancing procedures such as the 1.5m distance rule and strive to eliminate physical health risks related to your employees. It is vital that no employee comes to work if they are feeling sick.

Posted in: business Read more... 0 comments

Your current employer superannuation obligations

2020-05-19 09:46:51 admin

Paying your employees superannuation is an integral part of being an employer. Superannuation provides income for your workers in retirement and it is your legal obligation to make sure you are paying your eligible employees the right amount, on time, to the right place and also in the right way. The ATO has also introduced a few schemes to help employers meet their super obligations due to financial strain caused by COVID-19.

Your super obligations are summarized in the following:

  • Check the eligibility of all your employees (some contractors or freelancers may be entitled to superannuation payments).
  • Pay your eligible employees 9.5% of their ordinary time earnings.
  • Super payments must be made at a quarterly minimum (employers who do not pay their superannuation on time may need to pay a superannuation guarantee charge).
  • Pay super into your worker’s fund of choice.
  • Pay the SuperStream way (both payments and data are sent electronically in a standard format).
  • Streamline your payment process with Single Touch Payroll.
  • Keep evidence to show that you have met your super obligations as an employer.

While the usual obligations apply, the ATO has also introduced assistance schemes in response to COVID-19 for employers. The superannuation guarantee amnesty, in particular, will provide you with arrangements which can adjust your payment terms and amounts relative to your financial circumstances as well as extend your payment plan to beyond 7 September 2020, provided you apply to participate in the amnesty by that date.

Applying for superannuation guarantee amnesty also means having any refunds returned to you as quickly as possible and being notified of any eligible income tax deductions you can claim on your contributions to employee super funds. However, if you are unable to maintain super payments despite being granted SG amnesty, you will be disqualified from the program. This disqualification will only apply to any unpaid quarters and you will need to pay a $20 per employee component for re-application of any unpaid quarters.

For updates in the event of more changes to super obligations and requirements, visit the ATO Super website or APRA-regulated funds page for more information.

Posted in: super Read more... 0 comments

Tax implications for workers with COVID-19 mobility restrictions

2020-05-19 09:45:58 admin

Employees who are not living or working in their regular location due to COVID-19 mobility restrictions need to be aware of the tax implications that apply to their situation.

Individuals who ordinarily work and live in Australia but are temporarily overseas due to COVID-19 restrictions will not experience any changes to their Australian tax obligations. If the employee is paying foreign income tax overseas, they will receive a foreign income tax offset to reduce their Australian tax payable.

Foreign residents working from Australia who are not able to leave as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will not experience Australian tax impacts if their stay in the country is under three months. However, non-residents working in Australia for longer than three months may need to lodge an Australian tax return if they earn any assessable income from an Australian source. Other than this, their Australian tax obligations will remain unchanged.

Employment income will not be taxable in Australia if the employee:

  • Is not an Australian resident;
  • Are intending to leave as soon as they are able to;
  • Has no employment connections to Australia other than the fact that they are performing remote work in the country.

Employees who typically reside in a country that Australia has a double tax agreement with may already qualify for an exemption in Australia.

Posted in: tax Read more... 0 comments