Training you – Solving Problems – Or We do your books for you! For Business owners and fellow bookkeepers!

Bookkeeping – Train Troubleshoot or we do it for you! MYOB Reckon Xero


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Business Tips – Borrow or loan? Pay cash or finance / loan for stock or equipment?

Business Tips – Borrow or loan? Pay cash or finance / loan for stock or equipment?

Borrow or loan? Pay cash or finance / loan for stock or equipment?

At a local Meet-Up (www.meetup.com), we had an interesting discussion about mistakes we’ve made in business. For example: Whether to pay outright or borrow for stock/equipment.

The example one business gave was paying outright for equipment that would be sign-written to advertise another business (he organized advertising for businesses). The issue was that spending $10,000 on the equipment took all the spare money the business owner had, while the payment for the advert was monthly over a multi-year contract.

Hindsight showed that it would have been better to get a loan for the equipment, then add his mark-up for the advert and service on top of the monthly re-payments, and he would still have his $10,000 to use for cashflow and marketing.

Have you had a similar experience?

What Better Business Decisions can you share?

DOWNLOAD a FREE “Bookkeeping Quarter Checklist” to get organised! CLICK HERE

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia

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Business Tax Tips – Beware – Claiming “I didn’t know” is no excuse with the ATO and can lead to fines!

Business Tax Tips – Beware – Claiming “I didn’t know” is no excuse with the ATO and can lead to fines!

Beware – Claiming “I didn’t know” is no excuse with the ATO and can lead to fines!

Beware of your liability as a small business owner for tax credits you have claimed, or not knowing what your bookkeeper/wife is reporting in your BAS and tax returns – ignorance is not an excuse with the ATO! As Terry Hayes relates in Smart Company about a carpenter in a recent Dispute with the ATO –

While it’s often said that lawyers and accountants are their own worst clients, or doctors are their own worst patients, taxpayers too can be their own worst clients when they represent themselves in disputes with the Tax Office.

This happened recently with a carpenter who represented himself before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in a GST dispute with the Tax Commissioner.

In that case, the AAT upheld the Tax Commissioner’s decision to impose on the taxpayer a 50% administrative penalty on the basis of “recklessness” because he had over-claimed GST credits.

The taxpayer is a carpenter by trade, a sub-contractor in the building industry. He is a sole trader and has no employees. The Commissioner audited his Business Activity Statements for the period 1 January 2007 to 30 June 2010 and found he had over-claimed input tax credits. The BASs showed that claims for ITCs exceeded his GST payable in all but six out of the 42 BASs lodged in the relevant period. The tax shortfall amount was around $130,000 and the penalty imposed was some $65,000 based on 50% of the shortfall amount.

The taxpayer said that his wife prepared and lodged his BASs and that he never reviewed them or any of the supporting documents, including the invoices that he kept in a box in the linen closet which, as it transpired, did not substantiate his ITC claims. He also did not keep vehicle log books. Nor did he ever check any of his bank statements and so he was unaware that he was receiving GST refunds from the Commissioner over a lengthy period of time in the joint bank account that he had with his wife.

The taxpayer did not dispute the tax shortfall but argued he was not responsible for the penalty maintaining that it was the Commissioner who was mostly responsible for it. He alleged that Tax Officers had represented to his wife that he was entitled to claim ITCs for the purchase of his family home because he maintained a home office (although the AAT noted the settlement statement for the purchase of the home did not show any GST having been charged by the vendor to the taxpayer and his wife as the purchasers). Additionally, the taxpayer claimed it was the Commissioner that allowed the situation to go on for so long without him being audited.

The taxpayer also alleged that a car salesman had represented to him that he could claim back the GST on the purchase of two vehicles, but he accepted before the AAT that he was given wrong information by the salesman.

The taxpayer also stated that he had lost a lot of information about his purchases when his old computer died and that many other receipts that he had stored had faded and were illegible. The taxpayer contended that the mistakes in his BASs “were not made intentionally by his wife and that he had always been honest with the Commissioner”.

The taxpayer was self-represented. The AAT did not accept what the taxpayer said his wife was told by the Tax Officers or what the taxpayer said he was told by the car salesman. It agreed with the Commissioner’s contention that the taxpayer had over-claimed ITCs “for a lengthy period of time in circumstances where he knew or should have known that he was not entitled to claim the ITCs”. The AAT said the taxpayer had conceded he was “indifferent as to whether the BASs were accurate”. It also noted the taxpayer “never checked any of the BASs or whether he had the supporting documentation for the ITC claims because he thought everything was fine”. The AAT was of the view that the taxpayer “chose to leave the preparation of his BASs in the hands of his wife who had no taxation expertise”.

In the Tribunal’s view, the taxpayer’s conduct amounted to recklessness because there were foreseeable risks as to a tax shortfall where his BASs included claims for ITCs to which he was not entitled. The AAT said a reasonable person in the taxpayer’s position should have known about those risks. The Tribunal said the taxpayer “displayed complete indifference to the high risk of non-compliance in his GST affairs”. Game, set and match to the Tax Office on this occasion.

The AAT held the taxpayer had failed to discharge the onus of proving that the penalty was excessive. It held the decision to impose an administrative penalty of 50% was correct and that it should not be remitted in the circumstances.

Taxpayers must exercise care in their taxation affairs. They have that responsibility, and while they may claim they have no intention of making mistakes, that does not unfortunately stack up. Leaving the preparation of BASs to a family member (even if they are well versed in this), be it a wife or someone else, does not absolve the taxpayer from his or her responsibilities.

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

DOWNLOAD a FREE “Bookkeeping Quarter Checklist” to get organised! CLICK HERE

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia


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Business Finance 101 – What is a Profit & Loss Statement and what it tells us

Business Finance 101 – What is a Profit & Loss Statement and what it tells us

What is a Profit & Loss Statement and what it tells us

Want to know what is a Profit and Loss Statement? It is one of the main business reports we use, and what it tells us is how the business is going financially (whether you are making a profit or loss for a period) – it is the Profit & Loss Statement or Income Statement or Trading Statement. The statement shows all the sales for a period less the cost of goods (if you sell product) which leaves Gross Profit, then from that all the Expenses (operating or overheads like rent, wages etc) leaves  the Operating Profit (not always reported), then from that less any non-regular income and expenses, gives us the final Net Profit.

bus-profit-loss-diagram

In summary, there are three main levels of profit or profit margins

  • Gross profit (after cost of sales deducted from sales/revenue),
  • Operating profit (sometimes given = after expenses deducted) also known as Pretax profit (before tax and other non-regular items) and
  • Net profit (Final, after tax and other non-regular expenses and income).

Note that “profit”, “earnings” and even “income” are all used interchangeably, and mean the same thing.

When the term “margin” is stated, it can apply to the dollar number for a given profit level and/or the number as a percentage of sales/revenues.

The absolute amount, the dollar amount, is on the Profit & Loss Statement. The net profit margin commonly uses the percentage calculation to provide a measure of a company’s profitability on a historical basis (3-5 years) and in comparison to peer companies and industry benchmarks. The margin is the amount of profit (at the gross, operating, pretax or net level) as a percent of the sales generated.

Get a FREE 30 min answer to your query, and FREE ongoing email or phone support – No-one offers as much!

DOWNLOAD a FREE “Bookkeeping Quarter Checklist” to get organised! CLICK HERE

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia


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Cashflow Tips – Improving cashflow in small business – Tip – Invoice Promptly!

Cashflow Tips - Improving cashflow in small business – Tip – Invoice Promptly!

Cashflow Tips – Improving cashflow in small business – Tip – Invoice Promptly!

Small business owners are often uncomfortable about asking to be paid, yet the top way to improving your cashflow is by invoicing PROMPTLY!. When you run a business, (especially for service businesses) if you don’t invoice promptly as well as collect payment promptly (which causes a cash crisis in the first place), then consider the following consequences –

Consequences for your cashflow:

  1. Clients can quickly forget what they owe you;
  2. They are less likely to remember how much they loved your work and pay you promptly;
  3. They may conclude that you do not expect quick payment and will take their time in sending in their money.

Some ACTION steps:

  1. Where possible, issue invoices at the time services are delivered;
  2. Send your invoice by email to speed the process;
  3. If you can’t issue immediately, be sure to issue your invoices weekly, or at least twice per month on designated days, such as on the 15th and the last day of each month;
  4. Do it like clockwork – it will help to even out your cashflow.

Take-away message and case studyCreate the habit – invoice quickly and often!

Part of our service is assistance with cashflow budgets, debtor collection and reviewing supplier costs and terms. One of our clients said the business finance is now in the BEST shape it has ever been – for our 4-5 hrs work weekly involves managing the invoices, payment follow up unique method and now supplier payments! The owner now can catch up on quoting jobs and finalizing the sale to grow the business.

Could this assist you in your business and let you focus on your best skills and on running the business?

If you would like to speak with these clients, email me and I’ll supply contact details!

Get a FREE 30 min answer to your query, and FREE ongoing email or phone support – No-one offers as much! Call and you also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia


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Bookkeeping – New Year Resolution – Organising bookkeeping tips for small business – Part 2

Bookkeeping – New Year Resolution – Organising bookkeeping tips for small business – Part 2

Bookkeeping – New Year Resolution – Organising bookkeeping tips for small business – Part 2

Part 1 last month, we looked at how to organise your books, your bank and credit cards as separate from your personal banking and tips from the ATO website on record keeping.

Part 2 here, we show 6 steps that look at how to keep track of account-keeping tasks, things that need answers (queries and who to ask) and storage of records.

6 steps to get your accounts in order

Here are 6 steps to get your accounts in order – off to the right start (or improve current systems)

  1. Bookkeeping Task ChecklistA summary snapshot checklist of the full accounting year – tells you what to do and where you are at – down the left side, number the items that apply to you – you may do invoices manually in another book or Word, but then only record the actual sales deposited/cashed in your excel sheet or accounting software (cash basis), or generate invoices from accounting software and then record when customers pay you (accrual basis). Or if you have lots of small sales in a retail shop, you record the end of day sales total only, eg deposit to the bank.
  2. Cash Expense Organiser Sheet – Photocopy one sheet per month, then each week, sort your cash receipts into categories – fuel, stationery, postage and then paper-clip them to the sheet. Enter each receipt, or the total fuel, etc. At end of month staple the bundles, total the expense categories – total fuel, stationery, stamps, etc. Enter in the accounting records, reconciling the petty cash. Then start a new sheet and slip on the clips ready to go for the next month.
  3. Small Expense Organiser  – A Sheet for small receipts paid by EFT, credit card, clip then staple as at end of month after recording. Or put the sheet and all slips for a month in a plastic pocket. File all the other supplier invoices in A4 size, in alphabetical order.
  4. Contact Register  – For important conversations and negotiations such as price bargaining or discussions on what will be supplied and agreed. Also best to record disputes time and dates, very carefully.
  5. Year End – Comprehensive Checklist – Year end can be a busy time, especially with payroll so this checklist can be adapted to the items that apply to your business
  6. Year End – Report Folder Cover SheetIf using manual accounts or Excel, list and check Debtors (accounts receivable, that you are still owed) and Creditors (accounts payable that you still need to pay). Copy the last bank and credit card statements and any reconciliation reports. If using accounting software, print Profit and Loss, Trial Balance, and check Debtors (accounts receivable) and Creditors (accounts payable) PAYG and Super reconcile to the Balance Sheet. Gather all BAS statements and reports. Gather all asset Invoices together.

Fill in the cover sheet and year, collect reports together (separate by labelled tabs for easy reference) and give to your accountant to prepare the tax returns.

DOWNLOAD a Free “Bookkeeping Quarter Checklist” to get organised!

CLICK HERE

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min Advice / Strategy session today!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia