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At Accounting Solutions Australia we understand what is required to successfully run your business. If you intend to start a new business you should carefully plan and research well before you start trading. Research shows that a high percentage of businesses fail due to poor planning, so the old adage ”people don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan” still holds true.

Whether you are starting new or buying a business the evaluation and establishment phases can be periods of great anxiety due to a combination of excitement, uncertainty and financial risk. The team at Accounting Solutions Australia can help with business planning, choosing a structure that will best suit your needs, ATO registrations, WorkCover, insurance and recommending the most appropriate bookkeeping, invoicing and payroll system.

We can also offer advice on essential marketing strategies in the 21st century such as a modern website and social media presence.

If you are planning on starting up a new business, buying into an existing business, or franchise, we have the right people to help along each step of the way, and assist you in all the requirements to get you started.

There is a lot of risk, research, planning and passion involved to make a business get off the ground and succeed. It is not just the idea, name and capital but also the commitment, enthusiasm and organisational skills that will help your dream become a reality. This is where the team at Accounting Solutions Australia will add value and knowledge to your business setup needs.

Some of the steps involved include:

Business and Marketing
Business Registrations (ASIC, Trading Names, Workcover)
ATO Registrations (ABN, TFN, GST, PAYG, FBT)
Record Keeping Requirements
Accounting Software and Training
Insurance (Tools & Equipment, Public Liability, Income Protection)
Employer Obligations (Salary, Superannuation, Payroll Tax)
Financing (Motor Vehicle, Machinery, Tools, Plant & Equipment)
Legal Issues
Taxation Advice & Compliance
Budgeting, Forecasting & Cashflow Management

Our experienced and qualified staff can guarantee a helping hand in your accounting and business needs, and we have come to realise that the trade and construction businesses are those who demand the most attention.

With extensive and inconsistent hours, on top of the physical demands as well as managing your own business growth, sometimes the accounting side of your business does not get the consideration it thoroughly demands.

With current obligations such as GST through Business Activity Statements (BAS), PAYG and Superannuation, then more extensively the end of year tax obligations, most trades people struggle to manage the time involved in each of these processes.

Trades people are also a likely target of the Australian Tax Office (ATO) new benchmarking system while the field is given more attention in auditing for misappropriation.

That is why we as accountants are a focal point in your business growth, and to ensure you can handle any tax obligations which will arise.

Another area of discomfort for trades’ people is bookkeeping software. So often, with the complexity of different accounting programs, and the difficulty of double-entry accounting and payroll, we recommend a simple and effective program that the Australian Tax Office also suggests in Cashflow Manager. It helps to generate invoices, track debtors and help with your budgeting, plus it gives you an easy to read profit and loss report at a click of a button. And just as importantly, it makes sure tax time is not so feared, as you can prepare with our guidance, and stay on track.

We can provide not only the knowledge and support, but our goal is to keep you up to date and make your ambitions become reality.

Below is a list that shows some of the regular trades that we deal with and can help in their business needs:

Air Conditioning Floor Sanding Paving
Appliance Repairs Furniture Assembly Pergolas
Bathroom Renovators Guttering Plasterers
Blinds – Repair & Installation Garden Maintenance Plumbers
Bricklaying Gas Fitters Rendering
Builders Glazing Retaining Walls
Cabinet Makers Handymen Reticulation
Carpenters Heating Systems Roller Doors
Carpet Cleaning Home Security Roof Tilers
Carpet Repairs Insulation Roofing
Ceiling Repairs Interior Decorators Security Doors, Gates & Grills
Commercial Cleaning Joinery Telecommunications
Concreting Kitchen Renovations Tiling
Domestic Cleaning Landscaping Timber Floors
Electricians Lawn Mowing Tree Lopping
Fencing & Gates Mailbox Builders Vinyl & Carpet Laying
Floating Floors Painters Window Cleaning

A sole trader is the simplest business structure. The structure is inexpensive to set up because there are few legal and tax formalities.

If you operate your business as a sole trader, you trade on your own and control and manage the business. You are legally responsible for all aspects of the business which means debts and losses cannot be shared.

When you are a sole trader, you use your individual tax file number (TFN) when you lodge your income tax return.

The business income is treated as your individual income and you are solely responsible for any tax the business must pay. This means that, after claiming a deduction for all allowable expenses, you include all your business income with any other income and report it on your individual tax return.

As a sole trader, you pay the same tax as individual taxpayers, at marginal income tax rates.

If you carry on an enterprise in Australia as a sole trader, you can apply for an ABN for your business and use this number for all your business dealings. A trading name can also be attached to the ABN via a separate registration.

You can register for goods and services tax (GST) if you carry on an enterprise.

It is compulsory to be registered for GST if your annual GST inclusive turnover is $75,000 or more.

We provide services for:

  • Sole Trader Tax Return Preparation
  • Tax Planning
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Business Advice
  • Business Plans
  • GST & PAYG Advice
  • BAS Preparation
  • Superannuation Tax Advice
  • ABN Applications
  • Business Name Registration
  • Forecast of Business Profit and Loss
  • Work Cover Registration
  • Bookkeeping Training (Cashflow Manager)
  • Form 19 / Section 52 Preparation

For tax purposes, a partnership is an association of people who carry on a business as partners or receive income jointly. A partnership is relatively inexpensive to set up and operate. A formal partnership agreement is recommended, but not essential.

If you operate your business as a partnership, control or management of the business is shared. Income and losses are shared among the partners. Each partner is responsible for the debts of the partnership, even if you did not directly incur or cause the debt.

If you operate your business as a partnership, it needs its own TFN that you use when lodging its annual business income tax return.

A partnership is not a separate legal entity and doesn’t pay income tax on the income it earns. Instead, you and each of your partners pay tax on the share of net partnership income you each receive.

As a partner, you pay the same tax as individual taxpayers, at personal income tax rates.

If you carry on an enterprise in Australia as a partnership, you can apply for an ABN for your business and use this number for all your business dealings. You can also attach a trading name to the ABN via a separate registration.

You can register for goods and services tax (GST) if you carry on an enterprise.

It is compulsory to be registered for GST if your annual GST inclusive turnover is $75,000 or more.

We provide services for:

  • Partnership Tax Return Preparation
  • Tax Planning
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Business Advice
  • Business Plans
  • GST & PAYG Advice
  • BAS Preparation
  • Superannuation Tax Advice
  • Partnership Agreements
  • ABN Application
  • Business Name Registration
  • Forecast of Business Profit and Loss
  • Work Cover Registration
  • Bookkeeping Training (Cashflow Manager, Xero)
  • Form 19 / Section 52 Preparation

Most small businesses registered as companies in Australia are proprietary companies limited by shares. Private companies are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

While an incorporated company can be more expensive to set up than other business structures, it can be structured so it is legally seen as being quite separate from the owner – a point that can be important should things go wrong.  If you’re the owner of a company that is structured so you have limited liability, and your company goes into debt, that debt remains the responsibility of the company, which means your private assets have a level of protection from any creditors.

However there are plenty of instances where company directors will be held accountable for breaches of the law. Knowingly trading while insolvent and certain ATO debts can lead to Directors being held personally responsible.

Becoming a company can also be good for the brand with the marketplace viewing you as a higher status business. Many business people prefer to deal with incorporated companies because of the increased disclosure and regulation they are subject to.

A company is a separate legal entity and has its own income tax liability. A company pays income tax on its assessable income (profits) at the company tax rate, which is currently 30%.There is no tax-free threshold for companies, it will pay tax on the first dollar of profit it earns. Owners, directors, and office holders declare salary, wages, directors fees and dividends received from the company on their personal tax return and pay tax according to the individual tax rates .

A company will require an ABN, TFN, PAYG withholding and possibly GST registration if it is used as a business structure. Workcover registration is required even if the owner of the business is the only employee. Trading names can also be attached to the ABN via a separate registration.

We provide services for:

  • Company Tax Return Preparation
  • Tax Planning
  • Preparation of Financial Reports
  • Business Advice
  • Forecast and Projections
  • GST & PAYG Advice
  • BAS Preparation
  • FBT Preparation
  • ABN Application
  • Business Name Registration
  • Work Cover Registration
  • Business Plans
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Company Valuations
  • Cashflow Reports
  • Form 19 / Section 52 Preparation

A trust is simply an agreement whereby a person or company agrees to hold an asset for the benefit of the others. The person who controls the asset is known as the ‘trustee’ and those who benefit are called the ‘beneficiaries’. The assets held in a trust can vary – from property, shares, a business and business premise to works or art and so on. You, the creator of the trust sets out the specific terms as to how you want these assets managed in a document called the “trust deed”.

By transferring or buying assets in a trust, you don’t own the assets in your name. The assets are legally controlled by the trustee. However, you control exactly how they’re managed now and in the future. So regardless of what happens in life, your assets are protected from loss.

Trust being used for business or investment purposes generally require an ABN and TFN because they have a requirement to lodge a tax return. In most cases it is not the trust that incurs a tax liability but the beneficiaries of the trust must report the distribution they received.

Unsure of what income and expenses you should bring in for you appointment?

Please feel free to refer to our Trust Tax Checklist.

A family trust (also known as a discretionary trust) is the most common trust used by small to medium size business owners, investors and medical professionals in Australia. They are generally set up to hold a family’s assets and/or business for the benefit of providing asset protection and tax planning for family members.

From a tax perspective the main advantage is that any income generated by the trust from business activities and investments, including capital gains can be distributed to beneficiaries in low tax brackets to significantly reduce taxes. The income distribution is discretionary, which means, no beneficiary is entitled to receive income or capital it is the trustees that have the discretion as to what they receive,   The trust assets can also be transferred from generation to generation tax and stamp duty free.

A unit trust is like a company where the trusts property (business or investments) are divided into a number of shares called units. The number of units you hold will determine your entitlement to your share of income, capital gains and voting power.

The taxation benefits are generally not as flexible as a discretionary trust in that any income distributions must be distributed to unit holders as per their share of units. However if a discretionary trust was a unit holder you can achieve the same flow through tax benefits.

From an asset protection point of view, unit trusts don’t provide the same kind of asset protection as a discretionary trust. If a unit holder is made bankrupt, then that persons units will be treated like any other assets and sold to raise funds to pay creditors.

A hybrid trust takes the best features of a discretionary trust and the best features of a unit trust and puts them into one. This means that the trustee has the discretion to distribute benefits to the beneficiaries of the trust – to beneficiaries who are on low tax rates, as well as have unit holders who are absolutely entitles to a portion of the benefits.

There are a range of insurances that may need to be considered if you are running a business. They can be broken up into two broad categories: Life Risk Policies and General Insurance.

Insurances that commonly come under the Life Risk banner are as follows:

Income Protection

Life Cover

Total & Permanent Disability

Buy/Sell Agreements

Key Person Insurance

It is, perhaps, a normal reaction to face the possibility of tragic personal loss with ”it won’t happen to me”. No one wants to die, become disabled or suffer a serious illness.

The danger with this ”normal” reaction is that the ”what if” scenario is dealt with in the same way. It’s uncomfortable to think about, so ”doing something” about it may be a half-hearted or poorly thought out solution. Simply buying a life insurance policy just may not be the answer.

Our approach to insurance is to have the ”what if” talks with you. To help you visualise what the financial situation that you or you family would face and most importantly, what you would like it to be. We then take that and quantify what your protection plan should be.

General Insurance is mainly to do with cover over commercial and domestic property and business specific insurance such as public liability, product liability and professional indemnity.

We at Accounting Solutions Australia have access to a vast range of products to ensure that all your needs are met and we match it up with the highest level of professional service.

We specialise in providing a bookkeeping service using Xero or Cashflow Manager. We also provide services using MYOB and Quickbooks whereby we extract and analyse the information in the file you supply to prepare your financial reports and tax return.

Xero is a cloud based software which has been described as ”internet banking for accountants”. What this means is you login with a security password on the internet and you use the Xero software with the level of features you have subscribed for. There is no need to perform any backups of information entered or upgrades to software because this is all handled by Xero.  The cloud allows you to run your business from anywhere that you have internet access and even allows you to use your smartphone or tablet. Xero allows you to set up automatic bank data feeds which translates into less manual data entry.  The data on Xero will portray your financial position live in real time which will enable better opportunities for planning and decision making.

Your Xero subscription can be aligned with features your business requires and this can be altered if and when necessary.

Cashflow Manager is recommended by the ATO to replace E-Record and is extremely easy to use; here at Accounting Solutions Australia we can help you set up your file and train you to maximise the use of features within Cashflow Manager. There are a number of add on modules which allows Cashflow Manager to cope with the demands of many small businesses.

Both Xero and Cashflow Manager will produce reports that help you complete your BAS’s and keep track of how your business is performing. If like many business owners you would prefer someone else to deal with the record keeping and reporting every quarter you can bring in your receipts and invoices and we will do the rest for you.

Accounting Solutions Australia is keen to work with you to provide the most suitable outcome for your BAS reporting and bookkeeping needs.

Business Activity Statements commonly referred to as BAS’s are used to report and pay a number of business tax obligations, including GST, PAYG withholding, Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT), Wine Equalisation Tax and pay as you go (PAYG) installments. Individuals who need to pay quarterly PAYG installments will use Activity Statements. PAYG installment amounts can be varied to match up with the business or investment activity for the period.

Some businesses are eligible to claim Fuel Tax Credits for fuel that is used in machinery, plant equipment and heavy vehicles. The business must be registered for GST and Fuel Tax Credits before you can make a claim.

Accounting Solutions Australia offers a comprehensive service for completing and lodging the statements. You can lodge and pay electronically, by mail or in person. You must lodge on time to avoid interest and penalties. If you can’t lodge or pay by the due date, contact us as soon as possible.

Usually, arrangements can be made with the ATO to pay your tax debt over an extended time period. Be aware that a General Interest Charge (GIC) may be applied to outstanding debts.