New Year (sort of) resolutions

We’re on the wrong side of mid-February, so everyone has run out of excuses as to why they haven’t implemented the fresh, new accounting habits they’d promised themselves.

You can find out what sort of shape your record-keeping systems are in by using the record-keeping evaluation tool provided by the Australian Tax Office.

Here’s what they say makes bookkeeping easier:

  • Keeping all records (tax invoices, stocktake records, a list of creditors and debtors, wages records, Superfund contributions) that are relevant to your business’s tax and super affairs

  • Safely storing your records in a way that protects them from being changed or damaged

  • Keep records for five years

  • To be able to show the Tax Office your records if we ask for them

  • They must be in English or easily converted to English

 

Read the article

JobTrainer

After many changes in light of the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation in Australia, most of us have finally gotten our heads around JobKeeper, JobSeeker, and JobMaker: JobKeeper to help employers subsidise wages and keep their employees in work, JobSeeker to financially support those looking for jobs, and JobMaker to provide financial incentives to employers to create new roles.

However, here’s one you may not have heard about: JobTrainer.

If your business employs apprentices or trainees, this is something that you’ll want to get yourself up to speed with as soon as possible.

JobTrainer refers to the 50% wage subsidy that the Australian government is offering to employers for their apprentices and trainees, providing that you are a small business with fewer than 20 employees and that the employee whose wage is in question was doing their apprenticeship with you on the 1st of July 2020. Some claims may be eligible to back-date, and are valid up until the end of March 2021.

Learn more

Early superannuation withdrawals

Early withdrawals of superannuation funds have been fairly uncommon in the past, but with many anxious about the security of their jobs and income, the Australian Taxation Office has seen an increase like never before.

Currently under review by the ATO are approximately 1,900 applications for early Super access, of which around 1,700 are flawed. Many conditions have applied in the several phases of applications, with the ATO receiving heavy criticisms around encouraging people to access their funds based on self-assessment rather than comprehensive income checks.

 

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Trusted advisors

COVID-19 has seen all of us confronted by an ever-changing nation, with restrictions and government support looking different from one day to the next. Bookkeepers and accountants have also found their roles and relationships with their clients are looking very different than before.

All around the world bookkeepers and accountants have taken on the role of ‘trusted advisor’ to their clients. Our services have been required more than ever before, with employers less sure of rules, regulations, and government incentives and grants.

Over in the US, bookkeepers and accountants have seen themselves giving more advice, whether moral or monetary, as well as a demand from clients for greater automation technology for their payroll system.

For advice, get in touch

Jobmaker

We’ve all heard a lot about Jobkeeper and the increased funding to Jobseeker, both government responses to the job losses resulting from the pandemic. However, less has been discussed about Jobmaker.

Jobmaker was created as an incentive for employers to create new roles, with government contributions to these employees’ pays, keeping more Australians working as a result.

While there are conditions to the scheme, it’s worth finding out if Jobmaker can benefit your business.

Read more, or get in touch with us to see if Jobmaker could benefit you.

2020 for small businesses: Glass half full.

It’s been well-publicised that COVID-19 has forced some businesses to adapt the way they work, while it’s completely destroying others.

2020 has not discriminated between businesses small and large, and in many ways – it’s been business owners who have suffered the largest consequences as a result of lockdowns.

However, lesser discussed are the ways that some businesses have in fact benefitted from the events of 2020. Smart Company’s article serves as a bit of a pick-me-up, discussing some of the perks – from an increase in e-commerce to the rise of the ‘shop local’ movement, and improved resilience.

Read the full article

ATO services over the holiday period

The Australian Tax Office, like many of us, are preparing to take some time off during the festive period. Their offices, social media channels, and contact centres will all share the following closure times:

  • CLOSED FROM: 12 noon, Thursday 24 December 2020

  • OPEN FROM: 8 am, Monday 4 January 2021

For any tax-related information you may need from them during this time, visit their website.

 

View closure information

Understanding public holidays

Understanding what public holidays mean for you if you’re an employer or an employee can be a little bit confusing. Often they vary from state to state, and the entitlements can become a bit unclear.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has released a comprehensive guide to public holidays, including a list of public holidays, and what working or not working on public holidays means for different types of employees.

Fair Work has also provided an easy-to-understand video that summarises “who is entitled to take a day off on a public holiday and what you should be paid.”

Watch the video

ATO recommends that small businesses seek support

There’s no doubt that Coronavirus has brought trying times to everyone. However, at the heart of adversity have been small business owners nationwide. The Australian Tax Office have released a new article to their website noting that “running a business in times like these can add stress which may affect your mental health.” There are a few things they’d like small business owners to keep in mind:

  • It’s never too late to ask for help from the ATO or your registered tax or BAS agent.

  • Payment plans, deferred lodgements, and fast-tracked returns are all possibilities.

  • Whether or not you’re a new business owner, or you’ve been in the game for a while, their range of tools and services will offer you support to identify and rectify struggles.

Check out the resources

Payroll discrepancies costing businesses millions

You’ve heard it before: Doing your own bookkeeping, payroll and accounting can result in costly mistakes.

For The University of Newcastle, payroll mistakes have cost $6 million in errors over a six-year period. These errors were results of the mismanagement of “overtime, span of hours, minimum engagement and meal allowance provisions.” Read more

Worried you might be making mistakes?

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