How can I find out my ATO business account balances and access a payment slip?

Simply login in to your ATO Business Portal… www.ato.gov.au/business. However, if you haven’t used the business portal before you will need to register for access. The ATO Business Portal is a gateway to online services where you can:

  • Update contact details
  • Check your account balances
  • Access payment reference number details & download payment slips
  • View Single Touch Payroll Reports
  • Access the Small Business Super Clearing House
  • View ATO emails and correspondence sent by the ATO
  • Lodge Forms

The ATO has changed its criteria for payment arrangements. What should I know?

When negotiating a payment arrangement, you will be required to show that your business is viable and has the ability to meet debts and ongoing commitments. You will be asked to provide detailed profit & loss and balance sheet information, so have that data ready. They will request a lump sum of 20% of the debt (or similar) and will insist the debt be paid off in 16-18 months. If tax debt is ignored, the ATO can take more serious action, so contact us should you require a payment arrangement.

When is the increased instant asset write-off threshold being reduced?

In March 2020, the threshold for immediately deductible assets raised from $30,000 to $150,000 for businesses with annual turnover of less than $500 million. This means that new or second-hand business plant or equipment purchased will be 100% written off your tax until 30th June 2021. After this date, the asset threshold will reduce to only $1,000. So, if you are thinking of purchasing any assets in the near future, do it before June 30!

What is stapled super?

Stapled super fund is an existing super account linked, or ‘stapled’, to an individual employee so it follows them as they change jobs. This aims to reduce account fees, avoiding new super accounts being opened every time an employee starts a new job. As an employer, you will need to request stapled super fund details when:

• your new employee starts on or after 1 November 2021
• you need to make super guarantee payments for that employee
• your employee is eligible to choose a super fund but doesn’t.

If your employee doesn’t choose a super fund, you may need to log into the ATO online services to request their stapled super fund details. Your tax agent can also do this for you.

Why do I need to know my KPI’s?

Having a system to track, measure and deliver KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) is essential to understanding how your business is performing, and whether it is on track to meeting your goals or targets. Your ‘critical numbers’ are unique to every business and are defined by factors such as: the industry you operate in, the service/product you deliver, and the size of your operation. We can help you set, measure and monitor your unique KPIs.

What is the most appropriate structure for my business?

There are many factors that need to be considered when choosing the best structure for your business. Your individual and business circumstances need to be considered carefully before the decision is made. There is no ‘perfect’ business structure so the advantages and disadvantages of each type of entity need to be evaluated. Sometimes, your existing business structure is no longer appropriate for your circumstances, so periodic reviews are recommended. The most common types of business structures include: sole trader, partnership, company, trust, or a combination of a few. To make the business structure decision easier, come and speak with our accountants.

What is the best way to create a business plan?

A business plan should be set up with the ultimate aim of achieving your long-term goals. Short term goals or objectives should also be checked to ensure that they are in synergy with the long-term goals of the business. The business plan should cover all aspects of the business, from accounting and tax to marketing and promotion, opportunities for expansion or diversification, ethical standards for the business and your overall mission. Your business plan should be a fluid document that is regularly referred to and updated. A good business plan can be used as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. Need help? Contact us to discuss your individual requirements.

How hard is it to change my accountant?

It is not hard at all, in fact, it can be a really simple process. Before you make any decisions, think about what you are looking for in an accountant. Firstly, you may like to contact your current accountant and provide them with the opportunity to know where there has been a shortfall in the relationship. Do some research, then go and interview your top 2 or 3 choices. Be sure to ask them how they can help your business. Once you have chosen the best-matched accounting firm, the transition process should then be done by your new accountant. This process includes contacting your prior accountant (if you had a good relationship you may like to notify them first) for ethical clearance and requesting the transfer of any relevant records and information. Please feel free to contact us, if you are thinking of engaging a new accountant.

What is single touch payroll?

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is real-time payroll reporting. Each pay event now must be reported to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), providing the ATO with real-time visibility over the accuracy and timeliness of organisations’ payroll processes. Employers will no longer need to lodge a PAYG annual report. Instead, they will lodge a finalisation declaration for each employee at year-end through the STP-enabled software. All cloud-based accounting software (like Xero, QBO, MYOB, Reckon etc) support STP. Single Touch Payroll will be compulsory for all businesses, with employees, from 1st July 2019. For more information about how this issue will impact your business, please contact us.

How can I move my business to cloud accounting?

No matter the size your business, you should be using a cloud-based accounting package. Online accounting means business owners stay connected to their real-time data and to their accountants. The software can integrate with a whole ecosystem of add-ons to create business efficiencies. It’s scalable, cost-effective and easy to use. If your current desk-top (or non-cloud) data is of high quality, it can be migrated to your new cloud-based software, enabling you to retain your business transaction history. However, if the quality of your data is not high, then opening balances can be entered into the new software, along with the chart of accounts, supplier lists, customer lists and inventory lists. Your accountant is the best person to contact to ensure a smooth transition. They should also be able to provide you with any necessary training and support. We guarantee that you will love the benefits.