Making time to look over your financial reports each month is an important task for any business owner. If you are not taking the time to do this, either because you’re too busy or perhaps you don’t really understand what you’re looking at and it doesn’t make sense to you, then here are six reasons we recommend that you should start to.
- Understand your business better – by looking at your Profit and Loss (“P&L”) report monthly you will get a good picture of how your business is performing month by month and it will provide a better understanding of what makes up your profit. Looking at revenue and expenses clearly on one page in a monthly P&L or comparing periods, this will help to identify trends in your data and may also help to highlight anomalies in coding/categorising.
- Accurate information for lending purposes – if you are applying for a loan or an overdraft, the bank or financial institution will look closely at both your Profit and Loss report and the Balance Sheet as a lot can be learned about a business by looking at these reports together. If you are unsure what some of your balances are in your accounts, get in touch and we can explain them further.
- Get paid quicker and reduce bad debts – by looking at your Accounts Receivable Aged Summary each month you can follow up with overdue accounts promptly which often results in getting paid quicker. The longer an overdue amount is left unpaid the higher the risk of it not being paid at all, so it is important to keep on top of this.
- Better relationships with your suppliers – assuming you are entering your supplier bills into your accounting software (recommended for most businesses to get an accurate profitability figure) your Aged Payables report will alert you to any unpaid or overdue amounts. Supplier relationships are an important aspect of your business and paying on time is crucial to maintaining those relationships.
- Better cashflow – having an accurate understanding of how much money the business is owed and how much money the business owes, can help with cashflow planning to ensure that there is enough money when needed. Additionally, understanding the trends of your business, its profitability drivers, expenses, etc., can help to plan sales and marketing campaigns so that the revenue keeps coming in.
- Better business decision making – your financial reports tell the story of your business and it’s important that you understand the story that they are telling you. The better you understand what’s going on in your business the stronger position you will be in to make better business decisions that affect the profitability of your business and its financial viability.
Depending on the complexity of your business, at a bare minimum you should be looking at the following reports:
- The Statement of Financial Performance, also known as the Profit and Loss report (P&L) or the Income Statement. As the name suggests, it’s how your business is performing over a period of time, such as a month or a financial year. In broad terms it shows the revenue that your business has generated, less the expenses for that same period. In other words, it shows how profitable your business is.
- The Statement of Financial Position, also known as the Balance Sheet. This shows the value of the business’s Assets, Liabilities and Equity.
- Assets include things like money in bank accounts, Plant and Equipment, Accounts Receivable balances
- Liabilities include things like Bank loans and credit cards, Accounts Payable, and Hire Purchase balances
- Equity is the difference between your Assets and Liabilities and includes Retained Earnings and Owner Funds Introduced
- Accounts Receivable Ageing report (Aged Receivables) shows how much money is still owed to the business as at a certain date in time, and is usually segmented as to how overdue they are or sometimes by how far past the invoice date they are. Generally you will have Current, 30, 60 and 90 days columns.
- Accounts Payable Ageing Report (Aged Payables) shows who the business owes money to as at a certain date in time and, like the Accounts Receivable Ageing report, is usually segmented by overdue period.
So why bother?
If you would like to know which reports are relevant to your business and you want to better understand what’s going on in your business, then get in touch so we can make a time to go through them with you.
Your business success is important to us and we are here to help you.
If you have income from investment properties, now is the time to start gathering your records and reviewing your expenses for the 2021 financial year.
Income to Declare
All income earned from each property must be declared. If you have multiple properties, keep the records for each property separate to make the tax return more efficient.
- Rent received, whether paid directly to you or through an agent or through an online management platform. Rent includes recurring regular amounts as well as any lump sum amounts paid in advance.
- Rental bonds returned (eg. if the tenant caused damage or defaulted on rent payment).
- Insurance payouts received as compensation.
- Expenses reimbursed by the tenant (eg. if they have caused damage and you have paid for the cost of fixing the damages, or if they have reimbursed you for water).
- Extra fees received (eg. letting or booking fees).
- Government rebates (eg. installation of solar utilities).
You will need statements or recipient created tax invoices from agents or management platforms and documents for all other payments received.
Deductible expenses for property are different for residential and commercial properties. Not all expenses related to owning a property are allowed as deductions, so it’s important to check what you can claim.
- Advertising for tenants
- Body corporate fees
- Council rates
- Water supply charges
- Land tax
- Cleaning, gardening, pest control and property maintenance
- Agent fees
- Repairs and maintenance
- Some legal expenses
- Loan interest
There are some expenses which need to be claimed over a longer period such as several years or decades. These can include borrowing expenses, capital expenditure, depreciation, initial repairs and capital works.
Some expenses cannot be claimed for. These include stamp duty, loans and repayments, some legal expenses and some insurance premiums.
Get Help to Simplify Your Property Records
Tax matters for property investors can be complex. The ATO keeps a close eye on tax returns that involve property investment, as it’s easy to make mistakes. There are other matters to consider such as the period of rental availability, private use of the property, capital gains tax, legal contracts and positive or negative gearing.
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.
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.