Accounting News & Blog


Some would say that in business “you’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit” and to an extent this is true. Any start-up, scale-up, or business innovation involves risk and requires a process of balancing that risk against potential reward. Even established businesses are not immune. So, what are the risks?


There are many risks that you might face in business. When you face them, and to what extent you factor them in, varies depending on many factors such as what type of industry you’re in, the overall economic climate, competition, etc. As accountants, we look at risks through our professional lens within the context of your business and personal goals, and the operating environment. There are a range of other risks that need to be managed but are not generally within the remit of your accountant. They pertain to the business operating environment, competitors, reputation, politics, the economy, and natural disaster mitigation. Your Rowe Partners team will often be aware of them and be able to refer you to others for help.

Rowe Partners help you manage the following business risks;


Financial

Cash flow and associated credit risk is probably the greatest risk to the business enterprise. It’s essential for your business finances and bookkeeping systems to be set up in such a way that you have access to the funds you need, when you need it for paying supplier invoices, staff wages and superannuation, equipment repairs, loan and insurance payments, phone bills, marketing and promotion, support services, rent, transport, etc.


Probably the biggest things people get stuck with here are GST and taxes. Essentially as a GST Registered business you are collecting GST on behalf of the Government and sending it to them each quarter. We see many businesses early on get caught out as they spend the cash in their bank accounts without setting aside reserve funds to pay GST to the ATO when it’s due. The same occurs with income taxes. When you are a wage earner, the employer is responsible for withholding money for tax each pay and sending it to the ATO on your behalf but when in business, you are responsible for doing this. You need to put money aside yourself, particularly in the first year of operation. Not accounting for these things properly can bring your business undone early in its life.


Working closely with your Rowe Partners accountant throughout that financial year will ensure that there are no nasty surprises. We support business in many ways.

  • Rowe Partners offer a range of services and solutions to assist with cash flow. This in turn helps to protect your business credit position and establish a positive risk profile with financial lenders, government agencies, suppliers, and even staff ensuring you have access to the resources you need to service your customers, invest, and grow.

  • Regular contact with your Rowe Partners accountant incorporating thorough financial check-ups will help identify potential issues early.

  • When BAS lodgements and End of Year reports are due, these are great checkpoints we use for review and discussion.

  • Where we have set your business up with Xero Cloud Accounting, we keep an eye on your financial position. Having this connected to your bank accounts helps keep an eye on your cash flow.

  • When your day-to-day business bookkeeping is managed by our business bookkeeping team, accounts payable and receivable, staff superannuation is all handled for you ensuring cash required for smooth operation is on hand.

  • Ask us how Dext can streamline your record keeping and help improve cash flow.

Compliance

Running a legally compliant enterprise is critical for success. The last thing a responsible business owner ever wants is to be caught up in a costly, lengthy legal battle or be forced to pay heavy fines, lose valuable momentum, or give competitors the edge, and incur financial losses that can result from reputational damage and brand tarnishing. The best way to avoid compliance risks is to engage a team of expert advisors.


Our team at Rowe Partners Accountants and Business Advisors are known for our thorough knowledge of financial compliance requirements, be they business or personal finance matters.

Compliance covers simple requirements including;

  • Tax deadlines

  • Payment due dates for Business Activity Statements and Superannuation Guarantee Payments.

  • Business registration – Australian Business Number (ABN) and Australian Company Number (ACN), Business Names,

  • ASIC – business name registrations, legal structures, authority to conduct business (e.g not Bankrupt or convicted criminal)

  • Documentation, maintain financial records, reporting, legal structures, and company constitutions

  • Benchmarking and ISO – International Organization Standardization

  • FBT and GST – Fringe Benefits Tax and Goods and Services Tax

https://www.rowepartners.com.au/business-advice


Strategic

Accountants can play an important role in helping clients develop and implement their business strategies. Rowe Partners Accountants & Business Advisors provide expert strategic management accounting services. We can help you set financial goals, forecast cash flow, and manage tax liability, determine risk, negotiate commercial rents, create strategies for acquisitions and mergers, manage growth, wind down, and develop succession plans in preparation for retirement. At the start-up phase, we can help you to set up the best legal business structure to suit your business objectives.


https://www.rowepartners.com.au/business-advice


Taxation

Taxation risk varies from having to deal with an unexpectedly large tax bill and ensuring funds are available to pay them, paying more tax than you are required to do, knowing what tax rules apply, when and where to apply them right through to fines for noncompliance with ATO legislation.

Naturally, taxation is our main game. Business tax is the core of what we do. For businesses operating in Australia, this may include some or all the following taxes - Capital Gains Tax (CGT), Goods and Services Tax (GST), Company Tax, Payroll Tax, and Land Tax.


https://www.rowepartners.com.au/business-accounting-taxation


Resources

When an accountant talks about resources, we are referring to financial resources (liquid assets, loans, and grants), human, business stock, education, technical resources, machinery, and transport logistics for delivering goods, human resources – all the critical things that a businessperson needs to run their business. Our job is to help you ensure you have continued access to resources by helping you run your business profitably and efficiently.


Legal

The best person to speak to about complex legal matters is always your lawyer but accountants are specialists in taxation law and legal business structures. Here are some points to note.

  • The Rowe Partners Business Support Services Team has in-depth knowledge of legislation relating to many complex matters including Fair Work, payroll, business, and personal tax. For example, as of 1 November 2021, the minimum wages for 21 awards are set to increase because of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) Annual Wage Review 2021. If a business owner is not aware of these legislative changes, how and under what circumstances the changes are to be applied, they can inadvertently open themselves to legal and financial risk.

  • Talk to your Rowe Partners accountant or our Business Bookkeeping team if you’re unsure of where you stand on payroll, staff entitlements, or staff superannuation-related matters. Call 1800 04 7693 for more information.

  • Rowe Partners also have a general awareness of other laws that may affect you and will from time to time refer you to other services for appropriate legal and technical advice. Where there is a crossover, we can work with your other professional advisors or institutions such as the ATO, financial planners, banks, and/or lawyers to achieve objectives and solve any problems that may arise.

  • It’s important to ensure you stay in the good books with the ATO but it’s not always easy. Our team here at Rowe Partners will work with you to make sure you meet your obligations and remain compliant in your dealings with them.

So, when thinking about business risk and your exposure, consider conducting a regular SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis, This is a great planning tool that will help you to be on the front foot and identify where you need to focus. Where risks relate to any of the financial aspects of your business, Rowe Partners' accountant can work with you to put systems and processes in place to mitigate them.


Don't let unrecognized or poorly managed risk undermine your business's success. Contact Rowe Partners on 1800 04 7693 today.


Have you ever dreamed of starting or buying your own business? There are many reasons why people start a business and there are different approaches. Some will emerge from a brilliant idea and quickly gain traction in the marketplace. Others come to fruition due to circumstances such as redundancy or semi-retirement. Some start from humble beginnings on a kitchen table and evolve over time. Others are inherited and further developed such as in the case of a family farm. But they all offer the chance to live a wonderful and unique experience and require much passion, sweat equity, and the investment of financial resources and if risks are overlooked, dreams can turn into nightmares. Taking the plunge takes courage.


Starting your own business can be a daunting life step. Successful businesses owners have the right combination of luck and opportunity, access to good advice, the right people and resources, relevant skills, a resilient mindset, the ability to adapt, and a strategy. https://business.sa.gov.au/start-your-business/before-you-start


Now there’s no way to get around it, running a business is challenging and there’s a lot to know. We’re just scratching the surface here but your success depends on you knowing what you’re signing up to from the get-go. These starter tips will help lead you in the right direction.


1. Start with a Business Plan - some of the greatest and most successful businesses started with an idea but putting your idea onto paper and into a plan will ensure a step in the right direction of running a successful business. But check yourself and make sure your idea stacks up. Identify genuine market opportunities first and do the numbers. A solid business plan will help keep you on track and show potential future financiers or lenders that you are serious. Here’s a great business plan template you can access for free https://business.gov.au/planning/business-plans/develop-your-business-plan


2. Research, Research, Research - Understand your business through research, know what you are trying to achieve and what your goals are. This is often an overlooked step. It’s essential to understand the industry and market you are entering. Understand your own product or services. Look at your target audience and how you’re going to market your business. Research your competitors in the industry. Look at the capital requirements and the cash flow involved in the business.

3. Marketing Plans - you can’t sell a secret. Make sure you have a strategic marketing and communications plan in place to help you deliver your business plan. You can prepare your own if you have the skills and knowledge but for best results, like your accounting, you should consult a professional. We can put you in touch with the right people. Here’s a link to a basic template https://business.gov.au/planning/business-plans/develop-your-marketing-plan


4. Accessing Assistance - In recent times, Government grants have been launched in various States and nationally to support businesses access financial advice, marketing advice, advice on export market development, commercialisation. Here’s a link to a grant and assistance portal for South Australian businesses https://www.grantassist.sa.gov.au/business


5. Risky Business - Know the risks that you may face when starting your business. Always plan for contingencies, it will ensure when there are a few hiccups that occur you are prepared and ready to manage these as they arise.


6. Protect your business - The last thing you need after years of investing time, energy, and development resources into your business is for you to fall victim to unscrupulous operators.

  • Register your business and trading names

  • Protect any intellectual property such as product design, unique processes, brands, business names etc.

  • Secure domain names

  • Adopt a robust and sensible approach to cyber-security

  • Get the right insurance

  • Know your ATO obligations

  • Keep up to date with laws relevant to your business

  • Make sure you have relevant approvals and licenses

  • Invest in quality tools and equipment

  • When you employ, make sure you employ the right people.

  • Be healthy. You are by far the most valuable asset to your business. Make sure you put health and self-care firmly in the picture.

7. Get the right advice - Don’t just rely on the opinion of friends. They love you and won’t always tell you what you need to hear. Get an informed, independent view from qualified advisors such as your Rowe Partners accountant, Rowe Partners financial planner, your banker, lawyer, property agent, marketing consultant, and/or relevant industry bodies or government agencies. This will make sure you don’t waste time going down a dead-end road or hit too many potholes. It can also help you see your idea/plan from a different point of view and learn from the experience of others.


8. Accountants are awesome! Your Rowe Partners accountant can assist with getting the right steps in place to start your business. We can provide some knowledge of the industry you’re in and flag some of the risks you may face. We’ll work through the numbers with you and will be able to help determine if the business is feasible through tools such as cash flow forecasts.


9. Business structure matters - Getting the right business entity structure to suit you isn’t as simple as it sounds and overlooking this step can have unintended future ramifications. Speak to your Rowe Partners accountant early about which entity structure will work for you. We will ensure both your tax and legal circumstances are considered prior to starting your business. Whether it be a sole trader, partnership, trust, or company, get the advice surrounding your circumstances and factor in the relationships with others involved.


10. Strive for maximum efficiency - A lot of time and money is wasted in business through inefficiency. Streamline your processes, maintain your cash flow by maximising the use of technology. The rise of technology software has changed the landscape of running your own business. Previously bookwork would be a stressful, time-intensive process with plenty of paper and storage cabinets. Now with the use of software such as Xero accounting and Dext, the stressful, time-intensive process is no longer. Using the efficiencies of this software has made bookkeeping a much easier job. Giving back the jobs in your life to spend doing the things you love and enjoy.


11. Work on your business - You’ll find there will be many competing priorities. It’s important not to let them derail your plans. The saying “work on your business, not in it” means that you as the business owner needs to stay focussed on the big picture and lead the business strategically not get bogged down in the day-to-day.


12. Reach out to us - When the time is right to grow your business, when cash flow is important to you, or when the pressure builds, you can acquire the help you need by onboarding staff to your team or outsourcing services. Both options offer unique advantages. Outsourcing is an especially great solution for a start-up because it gives you access to expert skills you may not be able to afford in permanent staff. As an ongoing solution, outsourced bookkeeping teams are there when you need them it even during lockdowns! Consider integrating Rowe Partners' business bookkeeping services into your delivery model. From as little as $220 per month, we provide a total outsourced solution. We will grow with you, support you and allow you to focus on what you do best – serve your valuable customers and develop the business.


Call your Rowe Partners account today to arrange an appointment on 1800 04 7693.


We've created this handy reminder tool for our business clients. Feel free to download.


Rowe Partners BAS and Super Guarantee Reminders 2021
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