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Exploring your Business Digital Assistants

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Once upon a time, mobile phones were simply considered Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). With the advancement of technology, we now have smart phones able to assist with many other activities, both personal and professional. It is, then, not surprising that many business owners call their phones Business Digital Assistants – BDAs. It is increasingly popular nowadays for entrepreneurs to enlist the help of mobile apps to increase productivity.

Business owners can also use apps to help run their business more smoothly. This is a perfect solution for small and medium businesses who have limited funds to spend on administrative costs, such as personal assistants or fancy accounting systems.

Let’s look at a case study showing how a small business can adapt to new mobile technology.


Software for Healthcare and Special Care Start-ups: Choose XERO

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With only a few accounting software options on the market, it seems healthcare and special care industry start-ups under NDIS have only two options to choose between: MYOB or XERO. However, NDIS-related services can be complicated, and the two systems are not necessarily equal in terms of their benefit to users. Given your limited budget as a start-up business, you might want to learn more about these two software options before making your choice.

Here is Tailored Accounts’ take in the issue. 

Comparing MYOB with XERO is like ranking Taxi Services against Uber. XERO creates a community of accountants, bookkeepers, application developers, and business owners, where ideas are exchangeable. It acts as a platform that can facilitate communication between those in the industry. MYOB is trying to follow in their footsteps; however, XERO is still the market leader for three reasons.


Accounting Students Land Jobs Through AccountantChange #2020

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A key reason for Tailored Accounts's continued excellence is its commitment to continuously update our staff's knowledge and skill. At Tailored Accounts, all employees receive a one-day training seminar at the end of each month. This program is designed to keep accountants on the forefront of accounting skill and innovation, whilst maximising their leadership and customer relations management.

However, in the job market, employers often feedback that it is difficult to recruit an graduate accountant who could possess a desired set of  skills. Realising the unmatched gap, Harry and his colleague initiated a new program where their monthly training seminars were available to university students as well. In January 2017, the team at Tailored Accounts chose to name the training initiative' AccountantChange #2020', designed to help students explore the world of accounting both locally and on a global scale.


CFO to the Rescue for NFPs

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The Not-for-profit sector (NFP)is facing a tidal wave of trouble. Heavy cuts to Government funding, due to poor economic performance and changing funding culture, will force the NFP sector to adapt to new business models to compensate. On top of that, many NFP organisations are Industry Associations, meaning their secondary sources of funding are corporate or individual industry members. This second source of income is also at risk.

The economy is slow, and individuals are trying to save money in light of low wage growth. At the same time, businesses performance is stagnant, meaning their event sponsorships decrease significantly.

Boards of directors are well aware of this economic shift, pressuring executives and staff to find a way to survive. However, there is no easy solution. At Tailored Accounts, we strongly believe that your Chief Financial Officer (CFO)is central to saving your organisation from shut-down.


Is it possible that dark days are ahead for the third sector of society?

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Sadly, it seems likely.Although some of us believed that non-for-profit (NFP) organisations would never be in financial trouble, the 2015 Australian Charities Report shows that 42% of charities experienceda reduction in income since2014. There are two possible causes: decreases ingrantsand membership reduction.

Let's look at an example of the former case. Recently, NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) has been implemented, meaning that organisations working with vulnerable people are no longer eligible for grant money. This is a significant change-previously organisations were solely responsible for disability care and thus given sizable funding. The NDIS may be good news for some, but such changes cause problems for the charities themselves.


Why could big associations fail at their Executive level?

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The organisation CPA (Certified Practising Accountants) has recently terminated its CEO’s contract after the resignation of almost half its Board. In light of such an upheaval, a few difficult questions need to be asked. Here are some answers to the more interesting ones:


Q: How can an organisation like CPA fail at an executive level?

A: Sadly, even as companies develop, management and board structures tend to remain unchanged. For a large-scale company like CPA, it is possible that the management systems were simply outdated and unable to keep up with community needs. The source of the problem may be an overly centralised and self-interested board and management team (see CEO Alex Malley’s $1.8 mil salary!). Perhaps membership organisations should use a local franchise model, giving incentive to provide valuable services.

Q: Is CPA producing anything of value for their members?

A: Honestly, probably not. The organisation has invested heavily in branding, promotion and overseas growth, instead of the training and guidance their members need. This decision could have serious repercussions for the company.

Q: How can the Board take better control of what is going on in the organisation?

A: Technology is the secret weapon for the modern business. Using integrated cloud software for sharing and reporting information, the management team can get an overall picture of the organisation almost instantly. Using technology, the board can gather member data, respond to it instantly, and prevent large-scale executive failure.

Q: Is CPA meeting members’ expectations?

A:The last ten years have brought significant changes in customer expectations, which have not been reflected in CPA’s structure or membership requirements. Businesses should be able to develop quickly to meet members’ needs.

Q: What leadership role or structure is best for organisations like CPA?

A: Member-led organisations should be at the forefront of industry. The days of professional bodies lobbying governments to change their own policies should be far behind us! Nowadays, members should be the voices and leaders of their own groups.


International IT companies are now charging GST. So, what’s the damage?

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LinkedIn, the online network for professionals, began charging GST to its customers in early 2017. This is not an isolated incident-Other international IT companies now charges GST on intangible online purchases from the 1st of July 2017. All the companies with an annual turnover to Australian consumers above $75,000 will be subject to this tax, including international businesses.

Internationally sourced intangible goods include digital products, services or rights. These intangible goods were not previously subject to GST by international companies, however, they are now subject to GST under most of circumstances. For example, if a business sold a 12-month subscription in December 2016, the payment for products received after July 1st 2017 is taxable. Therefore, those international companies may need to charge GST for the July-December 17 subscription.

This GST on ‘intangible’ products and services impacts major off-shore competitors including Amazon, EBay, LinkedIn, etc. Its purpose was to give Australian firms competitive neutrality by ensuring fair and equal treatment of all goods and services. However, users now may have to pay 10% extra on the IT services, causing concerns for business owners.


Errors and over-claiming for work related expenses and the Tax Gap (Part 2)

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In case you missed it, Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan made a public address on the 5th of July 2017 in which he spoke about the ATO’s plans moving forward, especially concerning tax gaps. Let’s take a brief rundown of the situation as it stands:

  • The ATO, for the first time is going to publish estimates for corporate tax and income tax gaps for different segments. They were previously publishing estimates for GST based gaps.
  • Their first release of these numbers was for the corporate tax gap calculated based on 2014-15 data, which is approximately $2.5 billion (a tax gap is the difference between what the ATO has collected and what it should have collected, were everyone compliant with the existing laws.)
  • This $2.5 billion tax gap shows that the ATO has collected about 94% of the corporate tax they should be receiving, 91% voluntarily declared and 3% through compliance intervention. While this is around global best practice, the ATO will continue to closely watch the 1400 businesses in that segment.
  • Their current aim for corporate tax is to work with taxpayers to encourage voluntary compliance and move away from the necessity for increased intervention.
  • The ATO is now dedicating more resources to other markets they believe, from their initial findings to have higher tax gaps. Namely; small businesses, the black economy (the cash economy) and the individuals market.


Exclusive Offer For You - Available Only Until 29 August 2017

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Cyber Security has become an essential component to business stability and longevity in today's business landscape. However, at Tailored Accounts, we know that it can be difficult to find reliable, relevant information about the must-knows of Cyber Security - and understanding I.T. jargon can be impossible!

Your security is important to us - so we have done the hard work for you and found experienced, reputable professionals in Cyber Security to bring the essentials to you.

We have partnered with QILA to give you, our valued clients, an exclusive insight to what cyber security means for businesses today. They will run you through the essentials of practicing good cyber hygiene in your workplace, leaving you less suseptible to cyber crime and malicious hackers, and better able to focus on what you do best!

QILA offers you a complete reputation safeguard package for only $300 AUD. The package will give you these benefits:

  • Website vulnerability assessment 
  • Website resilience recommendations
  • Physical security 
  • Information security audit 
  • Security recovery planning

Sign up today by simply contact QILA or Tailored Accounts:

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This offer is only available for Tailored Accounts client until 29 August 2017. 


Errors and over-claiming for work related expenses and the Tax Gap (Part 1)

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Commissioner Chris Jordan AO

Address to the National Press Club, Canberra

5 July 2017

The ATO has expressed concerns about the numbers of incorrect work-related expense claims and the tax gap. Below is the key points extracted from the address of Commissioner Chris Jordan AO in early July at the NPA.

The Tax Gap:

  • The ATO will also continue with administrative reforms under our Reinvention Program, such as: earlier engagement, greater transparency and cooperation with clients and partners prevention and early warning, rather than correction and ‘gotcha’ more sophisticated use of data for both service and compliance purposes increased digital service offerings and streamlined interactions.
  • Now, let me share with you ‘what next’; the next big challenges we are facing: Influencing community perceptions and attitudes about tax; and, minimising tax gaps.
  • I want instead, to support mindsets where people feel more positive about their total tax experience – satisfied with their interactions and confident that the ATO is taking action against those who are not paying what they should. Let me turn to that now – paying the right amount and minimising tax gaps.
  • The tax gap is approximately $2.5 billion.
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