Welcome to My Blog

Moving towards a paperless office with Autoentry

  Benefits of a paper-free office Due to the nature of the job, there’s always a lot of paper, which can quickly stack up in the office. With even the smallest firms typically storing thousands of documents, going paper-free may seem daunting to start with. However, alongside the inherent environmental benefits, there are numerous operational and financial gains in transferring your physical files to digital records. Driving a culture of change When implementing a paper-free strategy, and whether your team is two or twenty, it will be important for everyone to be on board. Paper documents can easily get lost, or fall into the wrong hands, therefore digitising your records and implementing ‘a clear desk policy’, will not only better organise this data, but help to keep it protected. Digital tools are available to automate and streamline almost every line of business. With the strategic application of the right technology, firms can work more efficiently, whilst reducing their use of paper. Automating data entry is key    At Autoentry, their goal is to be part of the paper-free movement, by providing OCR-based software which helps businesses automate their bookkeeping data entry. Autoentry works by capturing and analysing details from scanned and photographed bank and credit card statements, bills, invoices, expenses and receipts and inputs them directly into a user’s accounting software; integrating with all major accounting software providers including QuickBooks, Xero and Sage. Available with a mobile app, Autoentry allows users to scan receipts on the move, and having posted the data to a user’s accounts software, the solution can act as your online filing cabinet, storing your documents... read more

Budget Announcement – Tax Cuts for Individuals and Family Partnerships for 2018-19

Income tax cuts are coming, according to the Government’s 2018 budget.   From next July, those who earn up to $37,000 will see their tax bill reduce by $200. The offset increases incrementally for those earning between $37,000 and $48,000, before the maximum offset of $530 is applied to those earning between $48,000 and $90,000. The benefit then gradually decreases to zero at a taxable income of about $125,000. There will also be a measure to combat bracket creep, introduced in stages. From July next year, people earning between $87,000 and $90,000 will move back into the lower tax bracket and pay 32.5 per cent instead of 37 per cent in tax. The plan still needs the support of the Senate before it comes into law.... read more

Why two-step authentication is essential for your business !

Large corporations get most of the publicity when it comes to cybercrime and hacking. But cyber criminals are also targeting small businesses. Security industry research shows that over 40% of cyber attacks last year targeted small businesses and this is increasing. That’s why Two-Step Authentication is an important security measure you need to take. Businesses get subjected to a constant barrage of phishing scams and malicious software attempting to steal user account names and passwords. So it’s vital that businesses everywhere ensure they have strong security practices to keep their information secure. Security is an issue that everyone needs to take seriously. Two-Step Authentication (2SA) is available to all Xero customers to provide an additional layer of security for your Xero user accounts. Using two-step authentication significantly reduces the risk of your Xero account becoming compromised if your password gets stolen by phishing or malware. Watch the video below to see how to setup and use Two-step... read more

Top 10 GST mistakes in BAS reports

It’s easy to make a mistake when preparing your BAS. The key is to be aware of common pitfalls so you can avoid them. Thankfully, with online accounting software , preparing your own Business Activity Statement (BAS*) is easier. Even so, the ATO has identified a number of mistakes commonly made in the BAS reporting form. Here are the top 10 mistakes that I see regularly. 1. Accidental ‘double dipping’ on GST Many business owners make mistakes in the Hire Purchase/Lease of Vehicle of Plant or Equipment area of the BAS. Initially, the client (or their accountant) will claim the full GST component in the first quarter that they purchase their vehicle. The confusion sets in when they record their regular monthly payments. The client will either continue to code it as a GST or as a Capital Expense. Both the tax codes GST and CAP appear on their BAS Reporting sheet, effectively causing them to ‘double dip’ on the GST. Always check your purchase invoice and BAS records to make sure you code your monthly repayments accurately. 2. Incorrect tax codes in your chart of accounts I would advise you to ask your accountant to provide a default chart of accounts or ask a BAS agent to set up your tax codes before you begin using your online accounting software. 3. Claiming GST against all expenses There are expenses that do not have a GST component. They include: Motor vehicle registrations Bank charges ASIC fees Paypal transaction fees Google Adwords Interest and director fees / drawings 4. Claiming GST against all sales Some services and products in the medical and health care areas also do not... read more

Starting a New Business – Here Are Some Tips !

  10 Tips on Starting a New Business   Starting a new business can be overwhelming. You have to consider what products or services to provide, which type of customer you want to work with, and how to earn enough money. These 10 tips help the small-to mid-sized business owners make the right choice. #1: Create your list of services. Don’t try to do everything. If you’re doing consulting, be specific about the type of consulting you want to do. #2: Find your jam. In other words, what niche do you want to work in, and how will it differentiate you? Your jam can be anything from your ideal industry, to the services you provide, to the software or apps you use. #3: Determine your business structure. Depending on what type of business you have, you may need to set up a sole proprietorship, partnership or company. Check with your accountant, or lawyer, to determine the best structure for the type of business you run. #4: Design processes.  Think about what processes would help you – lead tracking (essential), onboarding new clients, finances and weekly/monthly/quarterly processes. #5: Establish revenue streams. Plan for your revenue stream. To develop these, look at your core services and determine what other things you may provide. #6: Get out there. “Remember Field of Dreams,” where Kevin Costner kept hearing a voice saying, “If you build it, they will come?” That’s the mistake many small business owners make. They decide to open up shop, so they set up a website and expect to immediately have clients. To get clients, you have to work hard. Social media, in-person networking,... read more

Separating Personal from Business Finance

  As a small business owner it can be easy to intertwine business and personal finances, but keeping the two apart is vital. To build long-term financial growth and keep track of ongoing expenses and taxes, making sure your business and personal capital are separate is essential. While as a growing small business it is tempting to save on as many costs as possible by claiming tax deductions, failing to see the difference between personal and business expenses could see you facing an audit or other legal consequences. Here’s how to keep your personal cash away from your business finances. Use Separate Accounts It seems like a no-brainer, but having two different accounts for your personal and business finances is fundamental. Even for those in the early stages of their business who see it as a one-man-shop, it’s all the more important to track business and personal incomings and outgoings separately, or risk facing a headache at tax time. Also, if you use accounting software , make sure you also have two separate systems for your personal and business financial activity. Keeping clear records all year long will provide you with proof of your business expenses in case the Australian Tax Office (ATO) queries any claims or you are audited. Have a Business Credit Card When it comes to buying stationery for the office or paying for transport to meetings, having a work credit card at the ready will help you separate your business financial activity from your personal purchases. No matter how big or small the expense, it’s important to keep your business finances on the company card... read more

Xero Announces New Features 2017 (Expenses & Projects)

Xero launches new expenses and projects The cloud accounting provider makes its “biggest ever” announcement of new apps and features.     Xero expenses The idea behind Xero expenses is that a user captures a receipt, and “we’ll take care of the less,” Xero expenses lead Samyak Shah told Xerocon 2017 attendees. Xero has developed a separate mobile app for expenses, as most employees don’t need access to other accounting-related functions. This app, for iOS and Android, lets a user photograph a receipt and submit it as an expenses claim. Behind the scenes, Xero extracts the relevant data and creates a corresponding transaction. Alternatively, the transaction can be entered in the traditional way via the main Xero web application, in which case the item can be entered on behalf of another person. Either way, claims can be approved by an authorised person via the app or the web, and then approved claims can be paid as a batch or individually. Other features of Xero expenses include reports such as a bar graph of a person’s expenses by category. Xero expenses is now live for selected users ahead of a general rollout. Plans for further development include the addition of mileage claims. Xero projects Xero projects is designed to make it easy to capture, track and report on the time and money spent on each job. Features will be added to support different market segments,  to include architects, engineers, and larger accounting and legal firms. Small business in Australia is fragmented and diverse, said Xero Australia managing director Trent Innes, so there will still be opportunities for boutique project management products... read more

GST on low value imported goods 1st July 2017

New Australian law applying GST to imported digital products and services will take effect from 1st July 2017 On 16 February 2017, the Government introduced law to Parliament that will amend the law to extend Goods and Services Tax (GST) to low value imports of physical goods imported by consumers from 1 July 2017. A vendor registration model will be used and suppliers with an Australian turnover of $75,000 or more in a twelve month period will be required to register and charge GST. The existing processes to collect GST on imports above $1,000 at the border are broadly unchanged. The change was designed to harmonise tax rules for Australian and foreign retailers after local stores blamed sluggish sales on their overseas competitors having an unfair price advantage on goods priced below $1000. According to Treasury, the measure will see a bump of $300 million in GST revenue over the forward estimates period, not accounting for collection expenses. Common questions Question: How is the $75,000 registration threshold calculated? Businesses will be required to register for GST if their GST turnover in Australia exceeds $75,000 (which will include sales of low value imported goods). However, if they do more than $75,000 of sales into Australia, but some of these sales are through an electronic distribution platform (a digital marketplace) and the balance of their direct sales is $75,000 or less then they will not be required to register for GST. Instead, the electronic distribution platform will register for and charge GST, provided it has more than $75,000 of Australian turnover. Question: How is GST applied by the vendor, electronic distribution platform or... read more

Simpler BAS for Small Businesses Commences 1st July 2017

The ATO are introducing changes to the GST/BAS system for small businesses. The ATO has been working on ways to deliver a simpler business activity statement (BAS) to simplify account set-up, record keeping, BAS preparation and lodgment for agents and their clients, and make it less costly. To achieve this, several GST labels will be removed from the BAS, with small businesses only required to report: GST on sales (1A); GST on purchases (1B); and Total sales (G1). They will begin user testing from 1 July 2016 and a simpler BAS should be the standard option for all small business from 1 July 2017.... read more

Christmas Gifts for Employees, Clients and Suppliers

With Christmas around the corner it is a good idea to check what are acceptable “Gifts”    Christmas Gifts for Employees Are gifts to your employees claimable? Gifts may be classified as “entertainment” or “non-entertainment”.The provision of a gift to an employee at Christmas time, such as a hamper, may be a minor benefit that is an exempt benefit where the value is less than $300. Where the gift is given at the Christmas party, each benefit can be considered separately. For gifts such as wine, food, hampers, vouchers, etc., these are not considered to be entertainment. If the gift is a minor benefit (i.e., less than $300 value), then the gift is not tax deductible, and therefore GST is not claimable for gifts to employees and their family members. No FBT applies to gifts of less than $300. For gifts over $300, FBT may apply for employees and their family members. Gifts such as a holiday, membership to a club, or tickets to a theatre, sporting or musical event are considered to be entertainment. For minor benefits, as above, the gift is not tax deductible and no FBT applies. For employees this is not a minor benefit, the gift is tax deductible but it is also subject to FBT. Christmas Gifts for Your Clients and Suppliers Are gifts to your clients and suppliers claimable? Gifts may be classified as “entertainment” or “non-entertainment”. For gifts such as wine, food, hampers, vouchers, etc., these are not considered to be entertainment. Non-entertainment gifts to clients or suppliers are deductible and GST is claimable. Gifts such as a holiday, membership to a club,... read more