It is March already and this is our first newsletter for the year! We have been busy lodging December 2019 BAS’ and working through 2019 financials and tax returns (which many of you took the Christmas break to collate information for!). We are also starting to work with a number of businesses around forecasting future cash flows and planning to meet obligations as they fall due.

On a personal note, our oldest starting school and house renovations have further kept us occupied and the time flying!

We have also recently become a silver partner with Xero. This status is awarded to us as we continue to champion Xero to our clients. While we work with all bookkeeping softwares, Xero is our preferred platform.

While January was a slow start to the year for many, and certainly for our legislators, the events of January and February have had a big impact on many. This month we talk about assistance available for those impacted by bushfire areas and how corona virus may have an unexpected impact on your business. 

Important dates

21 March 2020 – Lodge and pay February 2020 monthly BAS
31 March 2020 – Last day of the FBT year – make a note of the odometer on any business owned vehicles
21 April 2020 – Lodge and pay March 2020 monthly BAS
28 April 2020 – Lodge and pay Jan-March 2020 quarterly BAS
28 April 2020 – Jan-March 2020 quarter superannation payments must reach superannuation fund by today
15 May 2020 – Last day for lodging 2019 tax returns

Corona Virus

We have been speaking with clients who are feeling the impacts of corona virus. With ships in and out of China being on hold for February, some businesses are feeling the squeeze on stock supplies. We have also heard of businesses that have run out of stock with no way of obtaining more until shipping in/out of China is restored. We also understand that even once shipping recommences, many Chinese factories need to meet new sanitization requirements before they are allowed to have employees return.

You may think that this doesn’t impact you as you don’t ship in and out of China, however, you should be aware of knock on effects. If you are one of the lucky ones, your competitors use Chinese suppliers in which case now is the time to capitalize on your ability to supply new and existing customers. Alternatively, you may find your customers are short on cash as it is tied up in undelivered stock or there is no stock left to sell. 

It is anticipated that many small business will fail as a result of the corona virus. So what can you do?

  • understand if Corona virus is impacting on your business as well as that of your customers and suppliers
  • if you (or your suppliers) source product from China (or other areas experiencing shipping delays) understand whether there will be shortages of product/parts, the delays expected and whether there are any alternatives
  • keep close to customers that may be impacted and ensure their cash flow problems don’t become your cash flow problems
  • keep a tight eye on your own cash flow and ensure it is able to ride out the next 6 months.

If you are in a service industry, you may still be impacted if your customers are feeling the pinch. Discretionary spending may be on hold.
If you are experiencing problems with product supply or cash flow, please reach out so that we can discuss your options to ensure your business remains viable through this difficult period.

Finally, it is also possible you may have employees more impersonally impacted – either requiring to be quarantined or even contracting the virus. Ensure your leave and remote work policies are clear to all employees and contractors and consider how you can support the broader community. 

Fairwork Update

Fair Work Information Statement

Fair Work Australia have updated the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) to make it easier to understand minimum workplace entitlements. Every worker in Australia needs to get a copy of the FWIS when they start a new job. You can download a copy of the FWIS here.

From March 1, it’s now compulsory for employers to keep a record of the starting and finishing times of work, and any unpaid breaks taken, of salaried staff covered by a number of awards earning up to $148,700.

To find out if these changes affect you, read the Fair Work update on the New rules for annual wage arrangements.

Bushfire assistance

If your business is based in a bushfire affected area there are a number of concessions available to ease you through this difficult period. This includes:

  • Delayed lodgement due dates on business activity statements
  • Payment arrangements on outstanding debt with the ATO
  • Payroll tax lodgement and payment concessions.

If you want to know more or require some assistance on how to proceed with lost business records please contact us. We are offering a free 1 hour consultation to any bushfire affected businesses.

Are you a Xero user?

From 18 March 2020, Hubdoc will be included in Xero Business Edition plans (excluding Payroll only plans).

Hubdoc is an add-on which allows for the automatic import of recurring invoices as well as the capture of receipts/invoices for processing and automatic submission into your bookkeeping software. It is similar to ReceiptBank, which some of you will be familiar with.

If you are not already using a receipt capture software it is worthwhile exploring Hubdoc as it can streamline your bookkeeping process. It can also ensure that Xero becomes the sole storage point of your financial infomration by storing receipts/invoices against as many transactions as possible.