Did you know that government agencies use Australian Business Number (ABN) details to identify individuals and businesses in communities affected by emergencies or natural disasters?
This can happen any time and any season, so we encourage you to keep your Australian Business Register (ABR) details up-to-date. This enables immediate emergency services assistance and ensures affected businesses are contacted in the event of crisis.
Details to Update
- Check that your recorded names are correct – If you have legally changed your name, you should update that with the ATO so that the correct legal name is linked to your ABN.
- Email address – This should be one that you can easily access from your phone or other means during an emergency.
- ANZSIC code – It’s a good idea to check that this is correct for your business type in case your business services have changed since you registered your ABN.
- Business address – This is essential to update, so that if an emergency or natural disaster affects your area you are contacted.
- Telephone number
- Postal address
- Additional business locations – You can add multiple locations if your business operates from more than one premises.
- Authorised contacts for the business – Consider adding more than one contact for the business.
Business, Individual and Company Names
Name changes can’t be updated on the Australian Business Register. If you need to update a business name, a legal individual name or a legal company name talk to us about liaising with the ATO or ASIC on your behalf to update your details.
Update Your ABN Details Now
Changes made to the ABR reflect immediately. It is always important to keep ABN details up to date, but for businesses in disaster prone areas, it is especially crucial as this can make all the difference with getting help quickly. Emergency services can access contact details from the ABR, which means affected businesses can get important updates and assistance from emergency services without delay.
Visit ABR to update your ABN Details or let us submit these details on your behalf.
When times get tough it can be easy to let some of your people processes fall away as you concentrate on the basics of the business.
Take the performance review. They can be unpopular, sucking up a lot of time and making employees and managers stressed. So why not skip them? Well, because good performance reviews work. They’re an effective way to track people’s progress, provide feedback, gain insight, support development and align individual performance with company goals, which helps the business achieve results.
It’s imperative however that they are done well. So here are some tips for getting the most out of your performance reviews:
- Target the right people – not everyone has to have full, formal reviews. Prioritise the positions that have a genuine opportunity to deliver over-and-above results.
- Focus on the conversation – documentation provides a basic way to articulate expectations, track performance and measure results, but it shouldn’t replace honest, two-way communication with your people.
- Keep it simple – structure the review around the objectives needed for success in the role, the skills needed to achieve the objectives and a development plan that aims to improve skills, reach goals and help with career development.
- Get the review cycle right – align full-scope reviews to an annual cycle and schedule regular check-ins at meaningful times throughout the year.
- Use software – good software will help lighten the admin load and make it easier to chart and really analyse employee performance.
It’s been a financial rollercoaster of a year for most businesses, but Christmas time invites us to pause and celebrate what’s gone right and thank the people we rode with. Here are eight ways to keep your costs down without sacrificing festive fun.
- Go alfresco – Enjoy a free venue that’s good for the body, mind and party games….outside! Ask everyone to bring a rug and head to the local park or beach for a picnic-style Christmas bash.
- Share the love – Is your business in a large office or shared space? Throw a party with your neighbours. Saves money, resources and creates a valuable networking opportunity.
- Plan a potluck – Putting on a huge spread or taking your team out for dinner can be costly. Why not ask everyone to bring a plate? (Nibbles, cookies or fresh bread).
- Go locally-made – Support our economy and buy locally-made gifts for staff and clients.
- Make it a day thing – Serving a holiday lunch, brunch or mid-afternoon party can be more affordable because guests fill up with satisfying but inexpensive fare like sandwiches, pancakes, muffins, finger foods, crackers and dip. Plus, it’s often easier to fit into people’s diaries during the busy festive season.
- Choose a local venue – Keep costs down for you and your staff by hosting your Christmas party close by. That way people don’t have to spend lots on taxis getting to and from the party.
- Give the best present ever – Get in everyone’s good books and give them the morning off after the Christmas party. A small gesture that’s worth its weight in gold.
- Take the pressure off – If last year was the bash of the decade, don’t worry – people understand it’s been a tough year. Parties thrown on a shoestring budget can be the most memorable because they strip away all the window dressing and put the focus on people and fun.
Christmas is a great time to acknowledge and reward your employees and other associates by celebrating and giving gifts. But don’t get caught out by entertainment rules! Claiming entertainment and gifts as business expenses is not always straight-forward, as there are implications for GST, income tax and fringe benefits tax (FBT).
Is it Entertainment?
Entertainment is generally not a deductible business expense. Entertainment rules can be tricky, but in general, the more lavish the meal or event, the more costly, the later in the day and if alcohol is involved then it will generally be called entertainment.
Fringe benefits tax may apply to entertainment benefits provided to employees, and if an event or gift is considered to be entertainment then you cannot claim a business deduction or GST.
A Christmas party for employees, spouses, suppliers and customers may or may not be classed as entertainment. Check with us to see if any of the party costs can be claimed.
Keep it Free From FBT
- If you give gifts to your employees keep them under $300 each. Benefits provided which have a value of less than $300 are exempt from FBT.
- Give gifts to employees that they otherwise would have claimed as a tax deduction. For example, you could pay for a professional development course or give new tools.
- Give gift cards or vouchers up to the value of $300. (Vouchers are not considered to be entertainment).
- Avoid giving ‘entertainment’ gifts over $300, such as membership to clubs, tickets to events or travel.
- Pay a Christmas bonus. Process through payroll like any other wage payment and withhold tax. Remember that superannuation applies to bonus wages.
Enjoy the Party
Talk to us when planning your Christmas gifts and events to check how much may be claimed as business expenses. Once you know the costs of throwing a party and giving gifts and bonuses, you can put your feet up and enjoy your own party!
If you’re looking to scale your business, you’ll need to spend more time working on it than in it. Finding ways to leverage your time is critical, and outsourcing your least favourite tasks is a great way to do this.
Things you should consider outsourcing in your business:
- Digital marketing.
From your content strategy to your social media accounts, if this is not a strength of yours, outsource it! There are many freelancers who have multiple clients at this level, who’ll likely be more knowledgeable regarding SEO and much more effective and efficient in general.
- Graphic design.
Your brand is a key reflection of your product offering. If you don’t have the skill, software and time to do this well, you’ll potentially damage your brand.
- Scheduling and administrative tasks.
A Virtual Assistant can help you manage anything from your appointments to flights, emails and beyond (virtually anything admin). At a lower level, consider adopting software that’ll automate or minimise processes, such as self-booking appointment apps where your clients can schedule a meeting with you, e.g. Calendly.
- Customer feedback.
Many businesses miss this valuable opportunity to connect with customers and improve their experience. A Virtual Assistant can help, but there are also apps (such as Ask Nicely) that automate the process of asking for feedback; directing happy responses to leave you Google reviews and negative responses back to you to quickly resolve!
- Inventory management.
Too much stock can cause cashflow issues and affect sales price (due to resulting discounting), but not enough equals lost sales. Outsourcing inventory management can help you minimise stock-carrying costs and allow you to focus on more important things.
This task is best left to the professionals. Outsourcing payroll will minimise the risk of inadvertently getting it wrong, while saving you time and, most likely, reducing the cost of this task. Utilising a payroll product is another great option.
Do bookkeeping tasks often infiltrate your evenings or weekends? Does the stress of these tasks piling up occupy your mind? Outsourcing these tasks (and the stress) to someone else can be liberating and cost-effective.
- Virtual CFO.
If you find budgeting and forecasting a struggle, a virtual CFO can wear this important hat for you. They’ll monitor the financial health of your business and provide a fresh perspective which will help you make better strategic decisions and improve your results.
Tempted to start outsourcing some of your tasks to free up your time? We can help by taking the last three roles off your hands! We work with a number of our clients in this way, allowing them to focus on what they do best.
While outsourcing takes a little bit of setting up, it’s worth the short-lived pain for massive gain. We don’t have to be jacks of all trades. In fact, this thinking often leads to begrudgingly doing many things poorly rather than doing a few things really well – and enjoying doing them.
Work to your strengths, outsource the rest! Need help? Get in touch.
Like it or not, all companies have a culture.
While it might be easy to define culture in nice words, it can be much harder to grab hold of in daily business, especially when times get tough.
A strong company culture is a driving force, underpinning a successful, resilient team. It shouldn’t be ignored, especially during testing times.
But what are the best ways to develop and manage a good company culture? Here are some top tips:
- Get the basics right – sorting out the basics is critical to establishing solid employment relationships and building credibility, which become the foundation of your company culture. All your people processes are important, from the beginning of employment until its end.
- Be human – once the compliance work is complete, treat people fairly, listen and seek to understand. There’s little to be gained by approaching every situation like it’s a courtroom drama or your company is an army.
- Have a clear strategy – when your business strategy is clear, it will shape your culture. You can hire people who support the strategy, team members will know what to expect and what is expected of them, and management can be genuine.
- Manage problems swiftly – allowing behaviour that is at odds with the company’s values and culture is incredibly damaging, no matter how good a person is at their job. Deal with issues quickly and ethically and stay focussed on the wider team.
- Be consistent and stay true – a good culture will help carry the company through tough and turbulent times. Stick to your principles, maintain standards, and resist looking for shortcuts when the pressure is on.
Remember, company culture is organic, built by a team, and influenced by many things, never just one department or individual. Business leaders can seek to influence culture, but they can’t own it.