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Business Finance 101 – Current Ratio – What is it and what does it show?

Current Ratio – What is it and what does it show?

Business Finance 101 – Current Ratio – What is it and what does it show?

There are several financial ratios including the current ratio which shows the proportion of current assets to current liabilities. The current ratio is known an indicator of a company’s liquidity. Put in another way, it shows when there is a large amount of current assets in relationship to a small amount of current liabilities there is some assurance that the obligations coming due will be paid.
As an example if a company’s current assets are $500,000 and its current liabilities are $250,000 the current ratio is 2:1. If the current assets are $600,000 and the current liabilities are $500,000 the current ratio is 1.2 : 1. Clearly a larger current ratio is better than a smaller ratio in comparison to current liability. Generally, a current ratio that is less than 1:1 indicates insolvency, and the preference is at least 2:1, or over 2.
When benchmarking a company, or comparing your own, it is wise to compare a company’s current ratio to those in the same industry. It is also worth keeping a close look at the trend of the current ratio for a given company over time. Is the current ratio improving over time, or is it deteriorating?
The composition of the current assets is also an important factor. If the current assets are predominantly in cash, marketable securities, and accounts receivable, that is more valuable than having the majority of the current assets in slow-moving inventory.

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Business Finance 101 – What is Equity?

Business Finance 101 – What is Equity?

Business Finance 101 – What is Equity?

I am asked at times – what is equity? If we deduct Liabilities from the Assets of the Business (at cost value), we are left with Equity. These are listed in the Balance Sheet financial statement. Another way is –

ASSETS – LIABILITIES = EQUITY

Equity is also sometimes used to refer to as ownership of shares in a company.

In a company Balance Sheet it is the amount of money contributed by the owners/share/stock-holders PLUS the Retained Earnings (Profit/Loss of past years).

Also note – because assets like plant and equipment are entered at their COST amount (less GST) the MARKET value of the asset is not represented, unless an adjustment is made (by journal) to reflect change of value (and increase or decrease of asset value are then balanced in a special sale or cost of sale asset account). Hence the Company Market Value may not be the true Market Value, unless the adjustment has been made.

Equity can be called Owner’s Equity – for Sole Proprietors, or Shareholder/Stockholder Equity for a company (usually with more than one director).

Owner’s Equity may consist of several accounts –

1.     Capital

2.     Drawings and

3.     Current Year Net Income/Earnings

Shareholder Equity may consist of accounts such as –

1.   Paid-In Capital

  • Preferred Stock
  • Common Stock
  • Paid-In Capital in Excess of Par Value
  • Treasury Stock (stock re-purchased from shareholders)

2.   Retained Earnings/Net Income 

3.   Less Treasury Stock

Equity is also used in several important ratios that help determine financial health of the business, such as Debt to Equity and Return on Equity.

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Business Tips – 3 Favourite Productivity Tips

Business Tips – 3 Favourite Productivity Tips

3 Favourite Productivity Tips

A fellow blogger in South Australia – Sarina Abbott shares her 3 favourite productivity tips

“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” Dr Seuss

As a business owner, your productive days are the ones that keep you moving forward. They keep you one step ahead of the competition. Importantly, they mean that you can put your feet up at the end of the day with a smile on your face, feeling good about your day and what you’ve achieved.

Today I’d like to share my 3 favourite productivity tips to help you, in Dr Seuss’ words, get on your way!

Play music

Playing music whilst working BUT…only when doing easy tasks I don’t need to think too hard about. For me this includes scanning documents for filing & uploading receipts to my software. It’s surprising how much work you can power through when you have music to boost your mood and it’s almost like a reward for getting through your tougher work earlier on.

Use online invoicing software

Is this how you prepare Invoices? Open up a Word document, change the Invoice number (after checking it’s the next number), add the customer name and details, save it, attach it to an email, type up a professional-sounding email message, send. Oh and remember to back-up all your Word documents in case your laptop fails, etc? Well you have probably already guessed what I’m going to say. Of course there are much more efficient, hassle-free ways to do your invoicing and this includes using online invoicing software. Using your mobile or iPad you can send an invoice to your customer whilst you are right there with them and you know they’ve received it. If you send the same invoices to customers every month, you can set up recurring invoices to go out in a fraction of the time than if you had to do it manually each month…

Do the difficult tasks first

This is a gem of a tip that has really helped me in my business and in life overall actually. It sounds so simple, yet it can have huge productivity benefits. When the weight of a difficult task is lifted off of your shoulders you really do fly through the rest of your day feeling confident and able to tackle anything. I’ve come to believe that success comes to those willing to do the difficult things others put off doing. Pick up the phone and make those difficult phone calls first thing in the morning before you have too much time to think about it. Head out the door and introduce yourself to potential clients. Leave the fun stuff like updating social media until after the uncomfortable stuff is out the way. I tend to overthink things and before I know it part of my day is gone whilst I wait for myself to “feel like” doing the tough stuff. Since adopting the habit of doing the difficult tasks first I wouldn’t do things any other way.

So for me being productive is all about working smarter and not harder, embracing technology and remembering to reward myself. Not all of my days are productive ones, and that’s okay. As a bookkeeper sometimes I get weighed down with the numbers and just need a good break so I can come back and tackle my work another day with fresh eyes!

I think Sarina has great tips – so true!
Especially the tip to do the difficult tasks first – sometimes I just say to myself – JUST DO IT! But I still have days I put off the call or the hard item…

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Business Tax Tips – GST and Hire Purchase

Business Tax Tips – GST and Hire Purchase

GST and Hire Purchase

Many businesses acquire assets such as equipment by entering into hire purchase or leasing agreements to pay for and use the equipment over a period of time rather than paying the full cost up front. Then also they need to know how GST applies. Here is some information from the ATO website to explain –

How does hire purchase work?

Under a hire purchase agreement, you:

  • Purchase goods through instalment payments;
  • Use the goods while paying for them;
  • Do not own the goods until you have paid the final instalment.

Where the supply of goods to you under a hire purchase agreement is a taxable supply, the price you pay for the goods includes GST. If you use the goods in your business, you can generally claim a GST credit.

You treat a hire purchase agreement as a stand-alone sale or purchase in a tax period – that is, the same rules apply as they would for any sale and purchase of goods under an ordinary sale agreement. A hire purchase agreement is not treated as a sale or purchase made on a progressive or periodic basis.

Paying GST on hire purchases

If you enter into a hire purchase agreement on or after 1 July 2012, all components of the supply made under the agreement are taxable, whether or not the credit component is separately disclosed. Any associated fees and charges, such as late payment fees incurred under the terms of the hire purchase arrangement, are also subject to GST.

If you enter a hire purchase agreement before 1 July 2012, and the supplier:

  • Separately identifies and discloses the interest charge to you, you don’t have to pay GST on the interest as it is a financial supply;
  • Doesn’t separately identify and disclose the interest charge to you, you must pay GST on the total amount payable under the contract.

The interest charge is ‘disclosed‘ to you if the supplier tells you any of the following in the hire purchase agreement:

  • The dollar amount of the credit charge;
  • The interest rate;
  • The formula or formulas used to work out the credit charge amount;
  • Any other information sufficient to work out the credit charge amount.

A hire purchase agreement entered into before 1 July 2012 continues to be treated in this way even if there’s a subsequent change to the agreement, provided the change doesn’t result in a new agreement. That is, the supply of a separately disclosed credit component will continue to be an input taxed financial supply.

Claiming GST credits on hire purchases

If you account for GST on a NON-CASH (accruals) basis

You can claim the full GST credit on your hire purchase agreement in the tax period when either:

  • You make your first payment;
  • A tax invoice is issued to you, provided you haven’t already made your first payment.

For agreements entered into before 1 July 2012, you claim a GST credit only for the principal component of the agreement, not the credit component.

If you account for GST on a CASH basis

For hire purchase agreements entered into on or after 1 July 2012, you can claim input tax credits up front instead of waiting until each instalment is paid, in the same way as you would if you accounted for GST on a non-cash basis. As all components of a hire purchase agreement entered into on or after 1 July 2012 are subject to GST, you can claim one-eleventh of all components, including the credit component and any associated fees and charges that have been subject to GST under the agreement.

For hire purchase agreements entered into before 1 July 2012 you can claim one-eleventh of the principal component of each instalment in the period you pay it. If the supplier provides regular accounts or statements that show the principal and interest components for each instalment, you must use that information to work out GST credits in the relevant tax period. If you don’t know the principal component for each instalment, you need to take reasonable steps to find out from the supplier.

See some working examples further down the page at the ATO site HERE

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Business Tips – Being an Open-Book business in a Closed-Book world

Business Tips – Being an Open-Book business in a Closed-Book world

Being an Open-Book business in a Closed-Book world

An interesting look at Open-Book business operating in a Closed-Book World (our own emphasis) as Michael Lumsden writes at Great Game of Business – Our company operates in the outsourced contact centre sector. We tend to have relatively few, big corporate clients with large transaction volumes and long term contracts. This means we have quite high levels of single client dependency so we are always trying to make sure we are delivering great services and anticipating our clients requirements so we can satisfy or exceed them. We do a pretty good job generally judging by our client growth and retention rates.

Most of our clients have heard us talk about open-book management but I am not sure they really understand it or appreciate the role it plays in our success and therefore the outcomes we deliver for them as clients. Often times we feel frustrated with our clients because they treat us in a “closed-book management” style. It is not uncommon for large companies to limit the information which is shared with their business partners / suppliers. Information is power and the traditional procurement led approach to supplier management is designed to help the big corporate protect their position of power in the relationship.

As practitioners of open-book management, we know that there is enormous value that can be created when organizations unleash the power and creativity of their employees. We know that an open-book approach is one of the best ways to win the hearts and minds of the employees. So when a major client imposes either deliberately or through omission a blockage to meaningful information flow between their organization and our employees (who are effectively their employees as far as the customer is concerned) we see a shortfall against the value that could be generated. So it got me thinking about how we can help build better Open Book relationships with our clients.

Here are a few ideas we are going to try:

#1 Teach clients the rules of the Game

 We teach our employees the rules of the game but we have never really made the effort to teach our clients. Our frustration at their “closed-book approach” is our own fault given we have never taken the opportunity to educate clients on the Great Game and how it impacts on our culture and performance as a business. We need to help them understand the open-book management system and agree how we can use information better to our mutual advantage.

#2 Align critical numbers

In our client relationships there is a very strong level of measurement against KPI’s. The critical numbers are usually fairly evident and we have a good ability to measure these and communicate them across our business at an aggregated and individual performance level. The “closed-book” gap with clients is not with what the critical numbers are, but with how targets are set against these KPI’s. Often times clients will set targets that are overly ambitious in the belief that they can drive performance outcomes with their outsourced providers by dangling the carrot just out of reach. If you do manage to reach the level, the bar quickly gets lifted a bit higher. Typically when targets are missed this triggers contract penalties which reduce our remuneration from the contract. This has a flow on effect in that as an open-book company we typically share our client targets with our employees and align their bonuses or “Stake in the Outcome” with the client targets. So if the targets are continually set in a way where they are perceived to be out of reach, the power of the bonus or “Stake in the Outcome” is negated. Again education is required with our clients to demonstrate the linkage between realistic target setting and the Open Book Management system.

#3 Teach clients the value of everyone following the game on a scoreboard

Large corporate companies often outsource parts of their business and keep some in house. They may also outsource to multiple providers. When the large corporate takes this multi-vendor and or in-house / out sourced approach, they will be attempting to derive the value of a competitive champion challenger mindset amongst other benefits . This should really play into the hands of an open-book management provider because we know the power that can be harnessed by sharing performance results for various teams on a scoreboard. Unfortunately, the “closed-book” thinking often prevents the client from sharing the competitive data across vendors and or their in-house operations. They will tend to release only snippets of sometimes manipulated data to support their goal of pushing the provider for better performance. This censorship or blacking out of the true scoreboard is potentially incredibly damaging to the performance across the entire estate. We need to teach our clients the benefits of everyone involved being able to “follow the action and keep score”.   

#4 Give clients a Stake in the Outcome

Our clients are naturally interested in achieving better financial outcomes. Being tough on suppliers through a procurement led approach is seen as being financially prudent and helping the big corporate drive profitability. If we want to change the “closed-book” behaviour, we need to be able to demonstrate what the client’s benefit or “Stake in the Outcome” from an open-book approach will be. We need to model the financial benefits and present compelling business cases as to why they need to adopt a more open book approach. We then need to be able to test it and make it work in the real world so that the client gets a measurable benefit.

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Business Tax Tips – Instant asset write off 2017 – $20,000 claim limit ends 30 June 2017

Business Tax Tips – Instant asset write off 2017 - $20,000 claim limit ends 30 June 2017

Instant asset write off 2017 – $20,000 claim limit ends 30 June 2017

If you are a small business (aggregated turnover of less than $2 million) contemplating buying machinery or equipment, be aware that these are final months of the $20,000 instant asset write-off 2017.

With a final date of 30 June 2017, you may consider bringing forward any planned asset investments to the next few months – particularly in this current low interest-rate environment.

The ATO says

Small businesses can immediately deduct assets costing less than $20,000 purchased since 7.30pm 12 May 2015.

You can use the new threshold amounts in claiming deductions in your 2015 and 2016 income tax returns.

The deduction is claimed in the income year in which the asset is first used or installed ready for use.

What’s changed?

The instant asset write-off threshold has increased to $20,000 (up from $1,000). This allows you to immediately deduct the business use portion of a depreciating asset that costs less than $20,000.

The changes apply

  • To assets acquired after 7.30pm on 12 May 2015 until 30 June 2017
  • On a per asset basis, so several assets each costing less than $20,000 would qualify
  • To new and second hand assets.

Assets that cost $20,000 or more (which can’t be immediately deducted) will continue to be deducted over time using a small business pool.

The low pool value threshold will also increase to $20,000. This means that an immediate deduction is available if the pool balance is less than $20,000 at the end of an income year.

What’s not included?

There are a small number of assets that aren’t eligible for accelerated depreciation, for example horticultural plants that have specialised depreciation rules.

Record keeping

Just like any other business asset, you’ll need to keep records to support any claims for a deduction.

Find out about:

Simplified depreciation for small business where we read –

You can choose to use the simplified depreciation rules if you have a small business with an aggregated annual turnover (the total normal income of your business and that of any associated businesses) of less than $2 million.

Under these rules, you:

  • Immediately write-off – deduct their full cost in the year you buy them – most depreciating assets that cost less than $20,000* each that were bought and used, or installed ready for use from 7.30pm (AEST) on 12 May 2015 until 30 June 2017
  • Pool most other depreciating assets that cost $20,000 or more in a small business asset pool and claim
  1. A 15% deduction in the first year (regardless of when you purchased or acquired them during the year)
  2. A 30% deduction each year after the first year
  • Write-off the balance of your small business pool at the end of an income year if the balance – before applying any other depreciation deduction – is less than $20,000.

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Business Tax Tips – Keeping Records and Receipts for Business Expenses

Business Tax Tips – Keeping Records and Receipts for Business Expenses

Keeping Records and Receipts for Business Expenses

The ATO (Australian Tax Office) gives good instructions on keeping records and receipts for Business Expenses.

At Record Keeping for Small Business it says –

By law your records must:

  • explain all transactions;
  • be in writing (electronic or paper);
  • be in English or in a form that can be easily converted;
  • be kept for five years (some records may need to be kept longer).

If you don’t keep the right tax records, you can incur penalties.

How to keep records –

You can keep invoicing, payment and other business transaction records electronically or on paper. The principles are the same for each, but keeping electronic records will make some tasks easier.

With the right electronic record-keeping software you can:

  • automatically tally amounts and provide ready-made reports;
  • produce invoices, summaries and reports for GST and income tax purposes;
  • keep up with the latest tax rates, tax laws and rulings;
  • report certain information to us online;
  • save on physical storage space;
  • back up records in case of flood, fire or theft.

If you intend to use a bookkeeper or accountant, get their advice about the best system for you – choose a system you can understand and operate easily.

Record keeping

Generally, for tax purposes, you must keep your records in an accessible form (either printed or electronic) for five years.

Basic records tells us

Some of the basic records you may need to keep are:

  • governing documents (for example, constitution, rules, trust deed);
  • financial reports (for example, financial statements, annual budgets, reconciliations, audit reports, accounts payable and accounts receivable);
  • cash book records of daily receipts and payments;
  • tax invoices and income tax records, such as debtors and creditors lists, stocktake records and motor vehicle expenses;
  • records relating to employees (for example, TFN declarations, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding, superannuation and fringe benefits provided);
  • records of payments withheld from suppliers who do not quote an Australian business number (ABN);
  • banking records (for example, bank statements, deposit books, cheque books, bank reconciliation);
  • grant documentation (for example, when funding will be received, when acquittals need to be made, application deadlines);
  • registration, certificates and accompanying documents to regulators (for example, ATO, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, and state regulators);
  • contracts and agreements (for example, cleaning, maintenance and insurance contracts, finance or lease agreements);
  • copies of reviews of entitlement to tax concessions;
  • records to help prepare tax statements and returns.

And also further down that page –

Invoices you receive

A tax invoice of more than $75 (excluding GST) must contain enough information to allow key information to be clearly determined, for example, your supplier’s ABN. Otherwise, you generally need to withhold 46.5% from your payment to the supplier.

If you receive a document from a supplier that is missing key information, you may still be able to treat the document as a tax invoice if the document makes clear that it is intended as a tax invoice and the missing information can be obtained from other documents issued by the supplier.

You cannot claim a GST credit in an activity statement unless you have a tax invoice. If you obtain a tax invoice later, you can claim the GST credit in the activity statement for the tax period in which you obtain the tax invoice.

Tax invoices are not required if the GST-exclusive value of the sale is $75 or less. However, you should have some documentary evidence to support all GST credit claims.

(NOTE – The only thing is this is under the Non-Profit section!)

In the Business Section we read –

Allowable deductions

Most expenses you incur in running your business are tax deductible. You claim these deductions in the annual tax return for your business or, if you’re a sole trader, in your personal tax return.

What you can claim

You can only claim expenses that are directly related to earning your assessable income.

If you make a purchase or use an asset for both business and private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the business portion of the expense. If you use an item in your business for only part of a year, you may need to restrict your claim to the period it was used for the business.

What you cannot claim

You can’t claim a deduction for the goods and services tax (GST) component of a purchase if you can claim it as a GST credit on your business activity statement. You also can’t claim:

  • private or domestic expenses, such as childcare fees or clothes for your family;
  • expenses relating to income that is not taxable, such as money you earn from a hobby;
  • expenses that are specifically non-deductible, such as entertainment and parking fines.

Expenses you can claim in the year you incur them

Working or operating expenses you incur in the everyday running of your business – such as office stationery, renting office premises, and salaries or wages – are called revenue expenses.

You can generally claim a deduction for most revenue expenses in the same income year you incur them, including:

  • advertising and sponsorship costs;
  • bad debts;
  • bank fees and charges;
  • business motor vehicle expenses (see Motor vehicle expenses);
  • business travel expenses (see Business travel expenses);
  • clothing expenses (corporate wardrobes and uniforms, and occupation-specific and protective clothing);
  • depreciating assets that cost less than $1,000 if you are a small business (between 1 July 2012 and 31 December 2013, the threshold was $6,500) (see Depreciating assets);
  • education, technical or professional qualification expenses;
  • electricity expenses;
  • fringe benefits – the cost of any fringe benefit provided and the fringe benefits tax on the benefit;
  • home office expenses when your home is used as a business premises (see Running your business from home);
  • insurance premiums, including accident or disability, fire, burglary, professional indemnity, public risk, motor vehicle loss of profits insurance, or workers’ compensation;
  • interest on money borrowed for income tax obligations, employer super contributions, or late payment or lodgment of tax – or to produce assessable income or purchase income-producing assets;
  • land tax on business premises;
  • legal expenses, such as those incurred defending future earnings, borrowing money, discharging a mortgage or obtaining tax advice;
  • losses from a previous year (see Claiming tax losses);
  • luxury car lease expenses;
  • stationery expenses;
  • costs for running a commercial website, such as site maintenance, content updates and internet service provider fees;
  • parking fees;
  • public relations expenses;
  • phone expenses;
  • rates on business premises;
  • registered tax agent and accountant fees;
  • renting or leasing a business premises;
  • repairing and maintaining income-producing property (see Repairs, maintenance and replacement expenses);
  • salaries, wages, bonuses or allowances (see Salary, wages and super);
  • small-value items costing $100 or less;
  • subscription costs for business or professional journals, information services, newspapers and magazines;
  • costs for sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen when your business activities require outdoor work;
  • super contributions for employees, and some contractors paid primarily for their labour (see Salary, wages and super);
  • tax-related expenses, such as –

– having a bookkeeper prepare your business records

– preparing and lodging tax returns and business activity statements

– objecting to or appealing against your assessment

– attending an ATO audit

– obtaining tax advice about your business

  • tender costs, even if the tender is unsuccessful
  • trading stock, including delivery charges
  • transport and freight expenses
  • travel expenses for relocating employees
  • union dues and periodical subscription fees to trade, business or professional associations
  • water expenses on business premises.

Are Receipts Under $75 required to KEPT??

According to the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)

Businesses must always give you a receipt or proof of purchase for anything over $75. If they don’t, ask for one. You also have the right to request a receipt for anything under $75 and the receipt must be given within seven days of asking.

A receipt or proof of purchase must include the:

  • supplier’s name and ABN or ACN;
  • date of supply;
  • product or service;
  • price.

In Summary –

So the ATO doesn’t mention under $75 receipts for business, only for Non-Profits,

and the ACCC says over $75 a receipt is Required!

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

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