The real cost of late payments

The real cost of late payments

People power businesses, and when people are paid on time not only do you keep your employees stress lessened and enjoyment heightened but you also build a more productive workforce.

A recent survey performed by Xero found 43 percent of workers to be experiencing payday problems in Australia, rising to 49 per cent for those employed by small business.

This effected employees in varied ways with 68 per cent reporting feeling stressed and 45 per cent had missed payments such as mortgage repayments. These pay day problems come at a big cost with 43 per cent of employees feeling less engaged and productive at work and over a third (34 percent) of employees considering leaving their job as a result.

From all surveyed in the study the most common payment errors experienced by employees were incorrect salary payments (24 percent), followed by late salary payments (22 percent), underpayment of salary (22 percent) and overpayment of salary (10 percent).

As a small to medium business owner, sometimes you must do it all, but finances may not be your strong suit. It’s no surprise that 73 percent of business owners feel much more optimistic about their business when they have positive cash flow.

This further goes to impact the personal wellbeing of business owners with more than 40 percent of owners claiming late payments to affect their mental health, 43 percent of owners losing sleep over their businesses cash flow, and 37% of entrepreneurs have considered giving up because of cash flow issues.

This sounding all too familiar? Don’t struggle in silence, that’s what we are here for. Please give us a call, 02 9415 1511 or contact us and we can get you on track.

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Self Correct Your Super Or Suffer….

Self Correct Your Super Or Suffer….

Find out what the Super Guarantee Amnesty means for you.

After the original amnesty failed to pass parliament in May 2018 the government have reintroduced legislation to establish a one-off amnesty for historical underpayments of the superannuation guarantee.

If enacted this will apply from the date of the original amnesty announcement, 24 May 2018 until 6 months after the legislation has passed. This will give employers time to disclose of these super guarantees to the commissioner of taxation including historical underpaid or unpaid for any period to the March 2018 quarter.

To qualify for the amnesty, employers must voluntarily make this disclosure and either pay the full amount owing or arrange a payment plan in which all payments are met otherwise the amnesty will no longer apply.

The ATO continue its compliance activities during the amnesty period and if they make the discovery first, full penalties will apply. The amnesty will also not apply to amounts already identified as owing in which the employer is subject to an ATO audit.

What employers pay for failing to meet SG obligations

No AmnestyAmnesty
SGC comprised of:SGC Comprised of:
- The outstanding SG entitlements (this component might be higher than what it would have been had the entitlements been paid on time)- The outstanding SG enititlements
- Interest of 10% per annum- Interest of 10% per annum
- An administration fee of $20 for each employee with a shortfall per quarter- No administration fees
Penalties of up to 200% of the amount of the underlying SG charge (minimum 100% for quarters covered by the amnesty)No penalties
A general interest charge of the SBC or penalties are not paid by the due dateA general interest charge
SGC amount is not deductible - even if you pay the outstanding amountA general interest charge

So, what do employers need to pay under the amnesty?

Under normal circumstances employers pay the super guarantee charge and lodge a superannuation guarantee statement. However, under the quarterly superannuation guarantee, the interest is calculated on an employer’s quarterly shortfall amount from the first day of the relevant quarter to the date when the super guarantee charge would be. If the superannuation guarantee is paid late, special provisions exist within the legislation to automatically protect employees from inadvertently breaching concessional contribution cap limits if the unpaid superannuation guarantee is paid to the Commissioner and then transferred to the employee’s superannuation fund. In the case an employer makes the payment directly into the employee’s fund, the individual would need to apply to the Commissioner requesting the exercise of discretion to either disregard the concessional contributions or allocate them to another financial year.

But what happens if you don’t take advantage of this amnesty?

If you are found to have underpaid employee’s superannuation guarantee penalties up to 200% apply. With the amnesty-imposed legislation however calls for tougher penalties on employers that do not voluntarily correct underpaid or unpaid. The Commissioner therefore loses the power for leniency even in cases where an employer has made a genuine mistake.

So what does that mean for you?

Regardless of if you do not believe that your business has an Super Guarantee underpayment issue, it is worth undertaking a payroll audit to ensure that your payroll calculations are correct, and employees are being paid at a rate that is consistent with their entitlements under workplace laws and awards.

With the introduction of single touch payroll there is going to be a lot more transparency on super and non-compliance with the ATO now able to capture more recent non-payments.

If  you need a super health check get in touch with our accounting team to see how we can help you avoid these penalties and stay on track , you can call us direct on 02 9415 1511 or contact us.

 

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Procrastinator or Producer?

Procrastinator or Producer?

Yes, I suppose the title isn’t quite correct because you could be both, but I got your attention, didn’t I? Are you procrastinating right now? If you are a procastinator that’s totally okay because this might be a productive procrastination situation and you spend 28 per cent of your day on distractions anyway.

With so many demands for your time and so many distractions beyond your colleague’s family and friends, can it ever change?

The answer, well that’s entirely up to you. You are the one who makes the choice as to what you do and how you do it. So you can either remain disorganised like 27% of office workers checking emails on average 13 hours per week, or you can consider the remainder of the article and take action and be a producer delivering results.

Top Tips

  • What you eat has a direct effect on how productive you are at work, experts suggest foods low in glycaemic carbohydrates including fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Fight the temptation of checking your emails, the first few hours set the tone for the day and get you pulled in many different directions. With a clear head get your creative juices flowing on projects before jumping into your inbox and what awaits.
  • Identify what distracts you, by tracking your work activity for one week and evaluate the cause and effect of your distractions to stop them in their tracks
  • Create a to-do list with priority levels and deadlines
  • Only schedule purposeful meetings and make them efficient, don’t book a meeting if it can be written in an email
  • Experts have found that working for 90-minute intervals maximises productivity, your mind needs a break and a reward so find a break schedule that works for you and stick to it! Be kind to yourself!

If you want to increase your productivity in your finances, have someone working on it who specialises in the field, give us a call, 02 9415 1511 or email us today and stop procrastinating!

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7 Things To Review For Enhanced Business Performance

7 Things To Review For Enhanced Business Performance

If you are a business owner in Australia, there’s a big chance that you are now back at the desk after a break. The Christmas holiday period is a great time to rest and reflect over the previous year and think about what you want to achieve in 2019.

There’s no better time to review the performance of your business given you should have a team that’s rested and ready to help you achieve your goals and growth targets for 2019.

Here’s our guide for the critical business activities to prioritise reviewing to ensure if you’re on track for a good year.

1. Review your reporting systems
Take some time to understand how you currently measure effectiveness. Particularly sales and employee performance. Do you know what your cost of sale is, whether you are achieving sales at the right costs and what the most effective sales channels are?

2. Review your cash flow requirements
Cash flow constraints can considerably hinder business growth. Effective balance sheet management of accounts receivables, accounts payables and inventory levels help make sure that you have sufficient cash to operate effectively. It’s also critical that adequate cash is being set aside to meet Tax and Super obligations

3. Review your products and services
If you have good reporting, you’ll understand how profitable each of your products and services is. Understanding this means you can plan for the year ahead, focussing on promoting profitable (and eliminating unprofitable) products or services.

4. Review your staff performance
Do you have good systems for understanding what your team members are working on and also for recognising achievements? A strong culture and communication amongst staff will ensure your team is motivated and focussed on the overall company objectives.

5. Review your operating costs
Getting a handle on all your operating costs and then reviewing for improved deals and more competitive suppliers can have a significant impact on profitability. You can even task staff with finding ways to streamline costs and reward them for finding savings.

6. Review your most profitable customer relationships and satisfaction
Understanding which customers are generating the most revenue and or profit should be a top priority. After all, we all know it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one. Customer retention has a considerable impact on growth. Using tools such as Net Promoter to track customer satisfaction and the likelihood of referral can streamline satisfaction monitoring.

7. Review any debt or finance arrangements.
Make sure you have the most cost-effective finance facilities in place, and you are reducing any debt effectively.

Last but not least, make sure that you involve your trusted advisors in helping you review your business. An experienced advisor can help you take an “outside-in” look at your business and also bring valuable experience and therefore suggestions for improved business performance.

PrimeAccounting specialise in working with private business owners, keeping them on track with finance and accounting services. Contact us for an obligation free Business OnTrack consultation on improving your business performance.

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Business Tax Planning Guide FY18

Business Tax Planning Guide FY18

Imagine what you could do with tax saved?

  • Reduce your home loan
  • Top up your super
  • Have a holiday
  • Deposit for an investment property
  • Upgrade your car

Here’s a guide to the strategies you can use to minimise your business tax.

IS YOUR BUSINESS A “SMALL BUSINESS” ENTITY?

Small businesses can access a range of tax concessions from the ATO. To qualify as a “Small Business Entity”, the business must have an aggregated turnover (your annual turnover plus the annual turnover of any business connected / affiliated with you) of less than $10 million and be operating a business for all or part of the 2018 year.

REDUCTION IN COMPANY TAX RATES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

The company tax rate for businesses with less than $10 million turnover is 27.5%.

If you use a Trust structure, one strategy is to allocate profits to a “Bucket Company” and cap your tax at 27.5% for the 2018 year. Note that this company must have business operations to qualify for the reduced company tax rate.

INSTANT DEDUCTION FOR ASSETS LESS THAN $20,000

If your business is a Small Business Entity, the following tax concessions apply:

  • Depreciating assets valued at less than $20,000 will be immediately deductible
  • Depreciating assets valued at more than $20,000 will be depreciated in one pool at a rate of 15% in the first year and 30% in future years
  • If your pool balance at the end of the year is less than $20,000 before applying any other depreciation deduction, the entire pool balance can be written off.

You should buy these assets before 30 June 2018.

If your business is not a Small Business Entity, you will need to depreciate all assets purchased over $300. Any assets purchased for $300 or under can be immediately deducted.

MAXIMISE DEDUCTIBLE SUPER CONTRIBUTIONS

The concessional superannuation cap for 2018 is $25,000 for all individuals. Do not go over this limit or you will pay more tax!

Note that employer super guarantee contributions are included in these caps. Where a concessional contribution is made that exceeds these limits, the excess is included in your assessable income and taxed at your marginal rate, plus an excess concessional contributions charge.

For the contribution to be counted towards the employee’s 2018 contribution cap, it must be received by the fund by 30 June 2018.

TOOLS OF TRADE / FBT EXEMPT ITEMS

The purchase of Tools of Trade and other FBT exempt items for business owners and employees can be an effective way to buy equipment with a tax benefit.

Items that can be packaged include handheld/portable tools of trade, computer software, notebook computers, personal electronic organisers, digital cameras, briefcases, protective clothing, and mobile phones.

If structured correctly, the employer will be entitled to a tax deduction for the reimbursement payment to the employee (for the equipment cost), claim any GST input credit, and the employee’s salary package will only be reduced by the GST-exclusive cost of the items purchased.

You should buy these items before 30 June 2018.

PAY EMPLOYEE SUPERANNUATION NOW

To claim a tax deduction in the 2018 financial year, you need to ensure that your employee superannuation payments are received by the super fund or the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH) by 30 June 2018.

You should avoid making last minute superannuation payments as processing delays may cause them to be received after year-end. If for any reasons you end up having to make last minute payments and you would like to claim them as deductions for the current year, contact us immediately and before you make any payments for possible resolutions.

DEFER INCOME

If possible, defer issuing further invoices and receiving cash/debtor payments until after 30 June 2018.  This strategy pushes tax payable to future years.

BRING FORWARD EXPENSES

Purchase consumable items BEFORE 30 June 2018. These include marketing materials, consumables, stationery, printing, office and computer supplies. Spend the money now and get the deduction this year.

REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE

Make payments for repairs and maintenance (business, rental property, employment) BEFORE 30 June 2018.

DEFER INVESTMENT INCOME & CAPITAL GAINS

If possible, arrange for the receipt of Investment Income (e.g. interest on Term Deposits) and the Contract Date for the sale of Capital Gains assets, to occur AFTER 30 June 2018.

The Contract Date is generally the key date for working out when a sale occurred, not the Settlement Date!

MOTOR VEHICLE LOG BOOK

Ensure that you have kept an accurate and complete Motor Vehicle Log Book for at least a 12-week period. The start date for the 12-week period must be on or before 30 June 2018. You should make a record of your odometer reading as at 30 June 2018 and keep all receipts/invoices for motor vehicle expenses.

An alternative (with no log book needed) is to simply claim up to 5,000 business kilometres (based on a reasonable estimate) using the cents per km method.

INVESTMENT PROPERTY DEPRECIATION

If you own a rental property and haven’t already done so, arrange for the preparation of a Property Depreciation Report to allow you to claim the maximum amount of depreciation and building write-off deductions on your rental property.

PRIVATE COMPANY

(“DIV 7A”) LOANS

Business owners who have borrowed funds from their company in previous years must ensure that the appropriate principal and interest repayments are made by 30 June 2018. Current year loans must be either paid back in full or have a loan agreement entered in before the due date of lodgement for the company return, or risk having it counted as an unfranked dividend in the return of the individual.

YEAR-END STOCKTAKE / WORK IN PROGRESS

If applicable, you need to prepare a detailed Stock Take and/or Work in Progress listing as at 30 June 2018. Review your listing and write-off any obsolete or worthless stock items.

Talk to us about your different options for valuing Stock, and how they affect your tax payable.

 WRITE-OFF BAD DEBTS

Review your Trade Debtors listing and write-off all bad debts BEFORE 30 June 2018. Prepare a management meeting document listing each bad debt, as evidence that these amounts were written off prior to year-end and enter these into your accounting system before 30 June 2018.

SMALL BUSINESS CONCESSIONS – PREPAYMENTS

“Small Business Concession” taxpayers can make prepayments (up to 12 months) on expenses (e.g. loan interest, rent, subscriptions) BEFORE 30 June 2018 and obtain a full tax deduction in the 2018 financial year.

TRUSTEE RESOLUTIONS

Ensure that the Trustee Resolutions are prepared and signed BEFORE 30 June 2018 for all Discretionary (“Family”) Trusts. Please see us for more information about these resolutions.

Talk to your Client Advisor TODAY before the 30 June 2018 deadline for assistance to reduce your tax!

 

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