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Importance of Compliance in Obtaining Government Support

Author: Harry Hoang

In comparison to many of your priority tasks, compliance likely ranks fairly low in terms of importance. Most businesses complete the bare minimum level of compliance necessary to keep themselves out of jail. But did you know that a clean and tidy set of books can also increase your eligibility for many forms of government entitlements and support?

We are fortunate to be in Australia, a country where the government offers livesaving packages like the government subsidies during the height of the pandemic. But oftentimes, there are businesses who miss out of these government support because of their lack of compliance with the tax office.

Some mistakes that Tailored Accounts have witnessed in the past include: 

1. Late Lodgement of Tax Returns & BAS

We have witnessed at least 5 businesses who were not entitled to the Cashflow Boost because of their late lodgement of tax returns or BAS in previous financial years. This late lodgement meant that they missed the active ABN test for the Cashflow Boost.

Late lodgement of tax returns and BAS is one of the most common compliance mistakes in Australia. Normally, the punishment for this is a penalty and interest from ATO. But in this case, missing $100,000 of support from the Cashflow Boost, especially in a time when most businesses were in dire need of it, was horrible. The $100,000 cash support was tax free, being equivalent to at least $130,000 in gross earnings.

While there are some circumstances where we could argue with the ATO to prove that the client has an ABN, the ATO is rarely lenient of businesses who fail to meet basic compliance requirements.

2. STP Compliance

No STP compliance meant no JobKeeper for many businesses. In some industries like Retail or F&B, small businesses still pay their staff in cash, choosing to let the accountant organise super and payroll later. 

This may seem fine normally, but during the pandemic, the ATO rejected many JobKeeper applications because of poor payroll record keeping. Employees who couldn’t provide the necessary documentations by the cut off date were not eligible.

3. Incomplete Turnover Records 

Even today, some businesses fail to keep adequate records of their sales. Many businesses who sell goods in the open market mostly use cash, keeping no record of sales.

While these businesses may not be registered for GST, adequate records are still necessary for tax returns. Even if we’re just looking to reconstruct the turnover for the current testing period, the turnover test requires us to go back 12 months, which is almost impossible without any evidence.

Although the JobKeeper and Cashflow Boost schemes have ended, the Australian government still continues to have a multitude of support schemes available for small businesses. This is why it is essential for businesses to continually uphold compliance practices. It doesn’t cost you much to adhere to these compliance practices now but these simple task can have a large impact on your eligibility for government support and entitlements in a time when you really need the aid.

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Tailored Accounts PowerHour: JobKeeper, Stimulus Package, and Your Business

The Federal Government and ACT Government have been rolling out extensive economic stimulus and support measures for business in response to the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harry Hoang from Tailored Accounts will provide everything you need to know about the Government support initiatives and how to access them.

45-Min Discussion Agenda

  • JobKeeper Eligibility
  • COVID-19 Stimulus Packages
  • How to support your staff?
  • Essential business checklist
  • Q&A With Harry

Speaker profile:

Harry Hoang is an accomplished accountant and business owner based in Canberra. After completing his studies in Accounting and Economics at the ANU, he founded Tailored Accounts in 2008 and found significant success. To date, Tailored Accounts has grown to represent over 500 clients with no signs of slowing down, and is continually striving to remain at the forefront of the industry to bring the best financial expertise to businesses Australia-wide.

Harry’s work focuses on working with corporate and not-for-profit clients to meet their financial goals, using strategic analysis and cutting-edge technology. Especially, his work ethics and achievements in the industry have been recognised with many recent accolades, such as the 2019 ACT Training Award Finalist For Medium Employer Of The Year, 2018 Australian Accounting Awards Winner in the CEO of The Year Category, 2017 Institute of Public Accountants ACT Member of the Year, and the 2016 Telstra Business Awards ACT Finalist.

Not limited to mere business success, Harry has focused on giving back to the community through mentorship and training programs for university students and start-up community. His experience includes mentoring at The Mill House Social Enterprise Accelerator, Innovation ACT, and the Griffin Accelerator Program since 2015. He is also the organiser of AccountantChange – a training seminar for local and international students to discover the latest trends in the financial industry.

Harry holds a Master of Accounting degree from the Australian National University. He is currently a member of the IPA, CPA, and Australian Institute of Company Directors. Connect with Harry on LinkedIn

Who should attend?

  • This session is dedicated for entrepreneurs, business owners, and sole traders.
  • Please be informed that this training will be delivered online via Zoom.

EventBrite Link For Registration Is Here   

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Tailored Accounts Pro Bono Service Announcement

The start to our summer has been filled with news of the severe damages caused by drought and bushfires. Fires have ravaged more than 10 million hectares, taking lives, destroying homes and impacting wildlife - leaving behind devastated families, communities and landscapes. At Tailored Accounts, we have made a number of collections at the end of 2019 and, thanks to the generosity and kindness of our staff and friends, have been able to donate to our brave firies. 

In the aftermath of this unprecedented bushfire crisis, Tailored Accounts believed that we could contribute more to our communities. We are delighted to announce our 12-month pro bono service, which is equivalent to $113,000, to the Team Rubicon Australia, an organisation dedicated to emergency responding and natural disaster relief in our country's time of need.

While the devastation in Australia has been unthinkable, there has been incredible support from the Team Rubicon Australia personnel for the affected communities and surrounds. Organisations like the Team Rubicon Australia that provide essential benefits to Australians should not be forced to incur absurdly high operational costs, or see their organisations suffer because of financial vulnerability. 

Tailored Accounts is committed to offering the Team Rubicon Australia the chance to reduce the expenditure of their accounting service, so that the organisation’s budget can be spent on other areas. The consistency of our management accounting will place Team Rubicon Australia in the best position for sustainable success. 

We believe that this in-kind support will promote community inclusion, providing resources, and strengthening our relations between not-for-profit and corporate sectors. We are proud that this project would allow Tailored Accounts staff to add more experience to their careers while creating a good social impact.

Tailored Accounts has a long history with volunteer service. We have focused on giving back to the community through mentorship and training programs for university students and start-ups since 2013. There is no exception this time. On the engagement with the Team Rubicon Australia, we are beyond excited that we get to honour our social responsibility commitment in the collaboration with the country's most visionary military veterans, as we evolve Tailored Accounts into a hub of positive impact and community transformation.

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The “love story" between accountants and bookkeepers

Most people assume that bookkeepers and accountants get along very well―both share common goals and contribute to the long-term financial success of businesses and clients. The reality, however, is they tend not to share a lot of information with one another. Few weeks ago, a new customer asked us if we do tax preparation and lodging as he didn’t want to deal with too many parties (i.e. bookkeeper and accountant). I explained to him that bookkeepers and accountants work together as a team because they each have different skill sets and make up different stages of the financial cycle.

Before engaging us as their bookkeepers, some of my customers have previously requested for their accountants to perform both bookkeeping and accounting for them. While many hope that their accountants can be “one-stop shops” for their financial needs, many realise that their accountants don’t offer bookkeeping services. So, should bookkeepers and accountants compete with one another, or should they cooperate with one another? Based on my past experiences dealing with business owners, clients, and accounting firms, I think that bookkeepers and accountants should dance around with each other to realise the best possible outcomes for their clients.

But why are such harmonious and effective relationship shard to achieve most of the time? In my opinion, the problem lies with both accountants and bookkeepers.

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