small business owner Notch Above Bookkeeping Brisbane

How Small Business Owners Strike A Work-Life Balance In Business

I always like to reflect on my business, especially around this time of the year as Christmas approaches. As a small business owner it’s a perfect time to take a breather and ask the most important question:

“Are you happy with your work-life balance?”

I would put this question above dollars and cents because I believe when your life is balanced, you can excel further in business. But I know firsthand that striking the right balance requires commitment and effort. All too often, business owners forget to take care of the biggest asset in their business – themselves!

Here are my 4 tips to staying sane and happy while running a business.

1. Set a goal to find balance

Although it sounds counterintuitive to add another checkbox to your growing to-do list, you need to make this a high-priority goal. This is because you will easily fall back into your old habit of overworking, worrying too much and saying “no” to doing new things.

Make it a goal to stop working when time is up, or when you’ve done all you can for the day. Commit to activities you love and do it more often. You should ask yourself every now and then, whether you are happy with your work-life balance. If not, do something about it. Over time, living a balanced life becomes second nature to you.

Therefore, before you leap into the new year with open arms, promise yourself that you will try to preserve your sanity by balancing your work with other beautiful things in life.

2. Outsource what you’re not good at

It could be anything from bookkeeping to marketing. Ideally, you should focus on growing your business and other things you are good at. We’ve relieved many businesses of their bookkeeping work, so they can concentrate fully on their products and services.

I also outsource tasks that I have no time for or expertise in such as website updates and marketing materials. Although I’m great at finance and bookkeeping, my team does my accounts payable, so I can focus on strategic work such as cash flow forecasting with my clients.

The key takeaway here is you need to start asking for help. Nobody is great at everything. With just 24 hours in a day, you need to use it wisely.

3. Set time to recharge

It doesn’t have to be a month-long holiday in the Caribbean – though that sounds ideal – it could be as simple as 15 minutes to meditate, sip your coffee or call your loved ones far away. Try to set aside some time every day to spend with your family and friends or to do what you love. Watch your favourite show, pick up a hobby or go for a quick weekend getaway.

In fact, “balance” is one of our key values at Notch Above Bookkeeping. I encourage my team to go on holidays to avoid burning out at the office. For myself, I make sure I focus 100% on my family and friends when I’m not working. We need to switch off from work every day, regardless of how busy we are.

4. Surround yourself with good people

This covers your staff, family and friends. It takes a village to raise a child, and a business is almost like a baby. Hire the right people who will help and contribute to your company. For your business to thrive, you need to find people in your life who will support you through thick and thin. And always remember to show how much you appreciate them. What better way to show your gratitude than during Christmas?

Happy Holidays!

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Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support. Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.

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Cash flow tips with Notch Above Bookkeeping

How to Give More This Christmas By Spending Less

As a business owner, Christmas is the perfect time to give back to your clients, customers and employees.

However, sometimes I have to play devil’s advocate with my clients when it comes to their Christmas shopping sprees.

As a bookkeeper, it’s my duty to rein in my clients’ spending so their books are balanced at the end of the year.

It’s not much fun telling people they have a limit on their Christmas budget, but it must be done for their business to stay healthy.

I’ve seen too many business owners go overboard when spending for Christmas that they run into trouble when the new year arrives. I think it’s fine to splurge occasionally, especially if that person truly deserves it, but it shouldn’t be a regular thing every year.

Furthermore, gifts may not be as emotionally satisfying as you think they are. This well-cited study shows that most people feel happier spending money on experiences compared to buying things.

The memories made and the time spent far outlast any giddiness you feel when opening a present, which tends to dissipate after you get used to the gift. As an alternative, treat your loved ones and employees to a new experience or offer help instead of buying expensive gifts.

In preparation for the festive season, this is my list of tips to help you plan a Christmas gift list that won’t burn a hole in your pocket or disrupt your business plans.

  1. Set a budget

And stick to it. Never go above what you can afford to spend because you will be paying for it when times get tough. You can get your bookkeeper to draft a realistic budget or they can check your accounts to see if your budget makes sense for your business. Record your budget and expenses somewhere, preferably in your accounting software.

Obviously, if you’ve made better profit this year, then you can increase the budget to treat your hardworking partners, employees and family members who have tirelessly supported you. If you’re at the losing end, then opt for something low key or do something nice for them instead.

  1. Make a list

Don’t just make a list. Put the estimated price for each item. Tally them up and see whether you can afford them. If the bill is too big, find cheaper alternatives or pay them a favour instead. Most people appreciate the thought rather than the gift itself.

  1. Get creative with gifts

As mentioned above, experience trumps material things. Start crafting up creative ideas for your loved ones. Your spouse may appreciate a delightful dining experience at a highly rated restaurant than a new phone. Your employees may appreciate extra time off from work instead of a big year-end soiree.

Try offering help when needed. Helping a busy friend attend an acclaimed musical while you babysit their kids may be more welcomed than a nice trinket for Christmas.

  1. Use your credit card wisely

It’s so tempting to swipe, swipe and swipe your credit cards for Christmas. After all, you can worry about the bill after you’re back at work… next year! I always advise my clients to pay in full every month because credit card rates are high – up to 24% a year.

You may swipe your card to earn points, which you can redeem, but always pay in full or as much as you can every month. Change your spending limit if necessary, so you will never owe more than what you can afford to pay.

  1. Scour for a bargain

You should research prices ahead of time, so you can buy the items when they go on sale. Don’t shop at the last minute because you will be paying through your nose. Make a list, and tackle them one by one. If you spend some time, you will find plenty of bargains and online coupons for that gift or experience you have been eyeing.

  1. Personalise your gifts

If you have time, try to make each gift personal. It could be as simple as a handwritten card, or spending an extra hour with your dad at the golf course to listen to his problems. Nothing spells unforgettable than the effort and care you show.

These are just a few tips for Christmas shopping. Always remember you still have a business to run after the holiday ends. If you need to treat yourself at the end of year, do it wisely without breaking the bank. Take less than what you need to ensure you have enough for rainy days.

We are more than happy to speak to you if you need bookkeepers who will keep your finances in check. Have fun shopping!

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Article written by Jac Gallagher. Read more about Jac’s approach to business bookkeeping and how she can help boost your personal productivity here or call Jac at Notch Above Bookkeeping on 1300 015 130 today.
Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support.  Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.

3 Things You Need To Be Aware Of With Simpler BAS

As a business owner, I hope you’ve paid attention to a new initiative by the ATO called Simpler BAS. If you haven’t heard of it, then maybe it’s time to hire a bookkeeper or switch to another.

What is Simpler BAS?

It is a new way of reporting your BAS, simplifying your BAS with fewer mandatory figures to report. It is part of the government’s efforts to reduce red tape for businesses, which is one of SME’s biggest gripes over the years.

With the Simpler BAS, you are only required to report:

• G1 Total Sales
• 1A GST on sales
• 1B GST on purchases

This means you don’t have to report figures such as export sales, GST-free sales, capital purchases and non-capital purchases in your BAS.

The Simpler BAS applies to all small businesses with a GST turnover of less than $10 million. It came into effect on 1st of July 2017. However, this doesn’t change how often or when you lodge your BAS.

It also doesn’t change your bookkeeping routines, the process to produce your BAS, your record keeping and tax return. And I think this is the key point that many small business owners miss.

Simpler, not easier BAS

Although you have fewer calculations, everything else remains pretty much the same. There is an equal amount of due diligence and hours that go into producing your BAS.

A lot of the bookkeepers I talk to have complained that business owners seem to think that this makes their job, or our job easier. SMEs who are already time poor get excited by the word, “simpler”.

Fundamentally, nothing has changed. The GST laws haven’t changed. If you don’t understand how to apply GST in your business and the exemptions, you will still need a bookkeeper or BAS agent to explain it thoroughly to you.

If you are not using a proper accounting software to record all your transactions and plan your finances, you still need a bookkeeper to set it up and train you. If you’ve never produced a BAS yourself, you still need a bookkeeper to help you out.

These are the common misconceptions I’ve heard around Simpler BAS.

1. It saves a lot of time.

I think it does save some time, but not substantially. Like I’ve said, the process, care and due diligence that goes into producing your BAS remains the same. You are just reporting differently.

Furthermore, you still need to keep all your documents and organise your records. You must keep evidence for all your purchases and transactions, whether GST applied or exempted. There is no escaping that. And you still need to file your tax return as before.

2. Simpler means I can do it myself.

When it comes to something as serious as taxation, please seek professional advice. As a business owner, your time and expertise is best left for running and growing your business.

If you are a new, growing or complex business, then hiring experts such as bookkeepers and accountants will take a load of your shoulders. Believe me, you want to err on the side of caution when it comes to your taxes.

Previously, I had a new client approach us after receiving a dreaded letter from the ATO that they will be audited. Apparently, the sales reported in their BAS did not match with the GST On Sales figure that the ATO was projecting.

Upon investigation, I found that they did indeed pay the correct amount of GST. This issue could have been avoided had they done a few simple checks on their BAS before submitting. Although the crisis was resolved quickly, it certainly gave my client a few grey hairs.

3. I can produce Simpler BAS with my accounting software.

Contrary to popular beliefs, not all accounting software are up to date with this new change. You need to check with your provider to see if your latest version supports Simpler BAS. Xero is already on board with Simpler BAS so you don’t have to worry about a thing if you are using Xero. In fact, your bookkeeper may have discussed it with you beforehand.

One of our corporate values is reliability. You can rely on us to provide high quality work in a timely manner, even when it’s just a simple BAS report. We want to let you do what you love best – growing and running the business without worrying whether you will get in trouble with the ATO.

I know it’s Halloween this month, so let us take the spookiness and scariness out of your BAS, and make your way to a wonderful Christmas this year.

Feel free to share this article if you feel others will benefit or if you wish to discuss further book a next actions discussion with me by clicking here.

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Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support.  Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.  

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5 Reasons Good Bookkeepers Are Worth Their Weight In Gold

Running a small business is a big juggling act, especially when you are on a tight budget or looking to cut costs. However, there are some things you should never compromise on – bookkeeping and accounting.

Good bookkeeping can make or break your business.

If you’ve just started a business, you may think you can reduce costs by doing a lot of things yourself. After all, you wear plenty of hats as a small business owner, so why not add bookkeeper as another role?

Or you have an established business are looking for ways to cut spending.  You may be tempted to do your own bookkeeping and hire an accountant to do your end of financial year tax return. Isn’t it just recording transactions and keeping receipts?

Allow me to explain why a great bookkeeper is worth their weight in gold.

One of the reasons I started my company, Notch Above Bookkeeping, was from personal experience when working for a tax agent and dealing with my clients’ books at year end. So many of their books came to me in bad shape.

  • The bank transactions were not reconciled properly.
  • Files were outdated and in a mess, which meant their business couldn’t produce profitability reports.
  • Old debtors were still on the books, which meant plenty of uncollected money should be written off as bad debts

As I saw this happen year after year, I knew there was a genuine need for a bookkeeping business to help small to medium sized businesses.

And so Notch Above was created to provide accurate financial data to empower our clients when making financial decisions for their business. I’ve genuinely enjoyed watching our clients grow and thrive over the years through our work together.

Here are 5 great reasons why a good bookkeeper can be one of the best investments you make for your business.

  1. A good bookkeeper helps your accountant do their job well

This is one of the least understood relationships in business. A bookkeeper’s role is to do the ground work for your business so the accountant can assess and advise you appropriately. Therefore, a harmonious relationship where your bookkeeper and accountant work like a well-oiled machine is imperative to your business success.

A good bookkeeper should understand what your accountant needs. They’ll communicate, clarify, and check with your accountant on important matters. Clear, direct and regular communication such as monthly meetings to review your books is paramount to a job well done.

  1. A good bookkeeper saves you money

When it comes to closing the book for the end of the financial year, a good bookkeeper can help your accountant spend their time on more strategic areas within your business rather than verifying the numbers. At Notch Above, the year end files and information we pass to your accountant is comprehensive and complete.

We will include draft reports such as profit and loss, balance sheet, trial balance, all your reconciled accounts covering items such as payroll, super, debtors and creditors, and an extensive checklist or note regarding your finances throughout the year. Our note will include eventful items such as if you’ve bought new equipment or vehicles for your business.

All the information provided means your accountant needs to make fewer alterations or modifications to your books. Trust me, this also makes your accountant’s life easier and they’ll thank you for it.

  1. A good bookkeeper helps your business thrive

Chances are you will touch base with your bookkeeper more often than your accountant. This is because the bookkeeper handles all the legwork such as sorting your documents, dealing with payment and balancing your accounts on a daily or weekly basis.

They deal with the nitty gritty details of your finances regularly. Therefore, they are the first to spot when an issue arises, such as an unstable cashflow. They can also generate reports which tell you where your business is heading, which helps your accountant when offering advice on tax or business strategies.

Good bookkeepers will also free up your time to run and grow the business. If you’ve just started a business, a good bookkeeper will set up the appropriate software, train and help you organise your finances. By using a cloud accounting software, your bookkeeper and accountant can easily work together on your books in real time. You can also access your accounts anytime on multiple devices.

  1. A good bookkeeper helps keep the tax man at bay

Based on your tax strategy, your bookkeeper will help fulfil all your tax obligations and claim your tax benefits. If a problem pops up, he or she can raise the red flag instantly with your accountant, rather than delay it until the end of the financial year to resolve it with your accountant.

  1. A good bookkeeper offers expertise in several areas

It’s not just receipts and invoices. Good bookkeepers are well versed in several areas such as payroll, super, financial reports, budget and cash flow forecasting. They keep up with the latest regulations and changes. They should also know the latest technology and software in the market to be able to recommend what you need for your business. Establishing a good process and using the right software will help you keep your finances in shipshape all year.

Feel free to share this article if you feel others will benefit or if you wish to discuss further book a next actions discussion with me by clicking here.

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Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support.  Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.  

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Are you on track with your business goals?

As we come to the tail end of winter – hurrah! – some of us may be coming out of hibernation or still lost in the monotony of day-to-day tasks in business.

I don’t blame you, especially since we haven’t had a long weekend in a while. Well, I’m here to give you a wake-up call so you can embrace the coming spring season with confidence. August is usually a period when I need to give my clients a much-needed motivational boost to stay on course with their business targets.

Do you have a set of business goals?

First, are you monitoring critical KPIs such as business costs, profitability, sales, cashflow health and your budget?

If you’re not, you need to start doing so as soon as possible. Get in touch with your bookkeeper and accountant to start drafting a realistic set of business goals. One of the things I love about Xero is the ‘Dashboard’ because it gives an eagle’s eye view of my business.

The Xero Dashboard is fully customisable so you can set what you would like to track based on your current goals, such as reducing business costs or increasing the profit margin.

Here are just a handful of KPIs that Xero can track:

  • Cash flow to monitor your inflow and outflow of cash to see whether you are ahead of your plans or facing a potential crisis.
  • Money you owe and owed to you
  • Your budget and how much you have spent
  • Profit margin and current liability

Are you achieving your business goals? (Breaking down your goals to projects)

Business goals can be overwhelming if you don’t break them down into several projects or areas of improvements. Projects can then be broken down to tasks or actions. Doing this will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated to start kicking your goals.

One of the most common issues faced by my clients is they tend to get lost in their everyday tasks. When you’re constantly looking at a list of things to do every single day, you will start to feel like a hamster running on a spinning wheel. It never ends, and soon you will lose any motivation to run your business.

Understand the difference between everyday tasks that must be done to run the business and comply with the law, and tasks that help achieve your targets. The latter will grow your business in the long run so you must set aside time for it or outsource tasks to subject matter experts. You can’t do it all.

If you don’t keep your eye on the prize, you’ll start to get upset and anxious over little setbacks, which are part and parcel of business. You will be working long hours without making more income or sales. You will burn out faster than you anyone else.

If you already have goals in place, it’s crucial to monitor and fix any issues as they arise. This is where you need to work closely with your bookkeeper to track the numbers. If you’re in need of some motivation, look at what you’ve achieved so far and have a little celebration with your staff.  Learn from any mistakes and regroup with your team.

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What if you’re falling behind with your business goals

Get in touch with your bookkeeper or accountant quickly. As the subject matter experts for business operating numbers, I can’t tell you how many times I have caught something before it became a major problem for my clients. In fact, a good bookkeeper will raise alarm bells before you speak to them. We produce monthly reports and schedule catch-ups with our clients so nothing goes unnoticed.

Anything can happen in business. The economy may shrink, which affects consumer spending, regulations may change or tax benefits may be cut. You need to stay one step ahead by regularly monitoring your goals and revising your plans as needed.

Get your team members to commit to resolving any issues that is hindering you from reaching your goals. Draft a plan of attack and work together to tackle it as a team. Establish a standard of accountability among team members. This is not to punish them when something goes wrong, but for your business to thrive by tackling problems head on.

At the very least, talk to your bookkeeper who can help set goals, assist you in deciphering the numbers and guiding you to stay on the right course towards your targets. It is never too late to start new goals or to fix any issues. This way, you know you truly deserve that long break over Christmas and the New Year.

 

Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS
Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support. Notch Abov
e can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations,
supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.
 
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Connect with me on LinkedIn

Christmas in July? It’s possible with Xero.

It’s now a freezing cold July in Brisbane, marking the start of a new financial year for most small businesses and sole traders. Although it’s only mid-year, my mind’s already thinking of Christmas and the wonderful holiday period it brings. This morning, I thought: wouldn’t it be nice if Christmas came early?

And then it struck me that it could – at least for small businesses.

How, you ask?

The period between Christmas and New Year is a wonderful time for most of us. You’re relaxed and free to go anywhere you please because you’ve finished all your work at the office and deserve a well-earned rest. In short, you have plenty of time in your hands.

Well, I’m telling those who have never used an online accounting solution, that you can gain more free time. Christmas can come early for those of you who are still stuck with manual tasks such as balancing the books, organising your receipts, chasing or making payments. Small businesses that keep their financial data in the clouds get the chance to relax more often.

You simply switch or sign up to Xero.

In the spirit of starting this new financial year on the right footing, allow me to explain in detail how you can make July feel like it’s already Christmas.

  1. Organise your finances once and for all in the clouds

By using an online accounting solution such as Xero, you will keep all your data in the cloud. This means you won’t lose a thing in the event of disaster such as a fire, break-in or a vicious virus on your servers. You won’t misplace a file or invoice and lose your records.

Attach your invoices, quotes, purchase orders, receipts and documents to the corresponding transaction when it happens so you don’t have a bunch of paperwork to do at the end of the month.

Xero provides a live dashboard that shows you all the important data of your business such as current cash flow position, payments owed to you, your bank balances and how your budget is tracking. You’ll never have to scour around for the latest data or an invoice at the last minute. Best of all, your accountant and bookkeeper will have access to your online data easily without you meeting them or sending a big file over an email.

Another great benefit of using an online accounting solution is you’ll never have to worry about updating your software to get the latest features. Everything is done for you in the cloud. Xero’s already working on integrating the data from credit bureau Veda so you can access the latest information on your contacts, such as their ABNs and credit rating.

Think of how much time you will be saving with this efficient organisation.

  1. Automate tasks and save time

Bank reconciliation is a feature which pulls all your bank transactions regularly into Xero, so you can reconcile them with payments made or received. This is done automatically, and all you need to do is to check that they match and click ok.

Another excellent feature is scheduling your payments so you will never forget them. You can also batch the payments so you pay them off in one transaction. Quotes can be done in minutes, and managed from Xero. The client has an option to click yes, no or give comments. Once accepted, turn the quote into an invoice within a few clicks.

There’s more goodies coming soon. A technology called the New Payments Platform is being built by the banks that will enable near real-time payments on a 24/7 basis. No more waiting for several business days. It is an open platform where accounting software can access it. This means you will be able to pay your suppliers and creditors from your accounting software without logging into your online banking. You will also get paid faster if your debtors use this feature.

  1. Work from anywhere you like

Work from any place you choose and avoid the rush hour traffic jam. Remote working is one of the biggest trends this decade and will only grow more popular in the coming years. Using an online accounting solution, you can access your financial data from any device such as your laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

Just like Christmas, you are free to go wherever you please and take life at a slower pace. Time to sort your accounts and finances at the end of the month? Prop up your laptop at a coffee shop, work from your phone at a park bench, or use your tablet in the comfort of your bedroom with your pyjamas on.

Don’t wait until December to reward your hard work. I’ve found that the key to a healthy mind is to balance your work, play and rest regularly so you’re not burning out too soon before the holiday season.

If you’re a small business, I would love to hear your grievances in accounting and finance. I promise I will try to alleviate your burden so it feels like Christmas all year round.

Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support. Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.

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What Are Your Super Obligations As A Business Owner?

Superannuation obligation is a tricky subject you need to tackle when you first employ people in your business.

You must invest enough time to get it right because making a mistake can have horrible and expensive consequences.

I am often asked about Super by my clients, and so I thought I’ll touch on a few superannuation basics. This message is for both first time business owners and seasoned ones, and I’ll outline what happens if you miss a payment, pay late or make a mistake, which can be a costly nightmare.

 

Basics of the Super Guarantee Contribution

If you have employees, you are required by law to pay a minimum super guarantee contribution for them, to help them build a retirement nest. This contribution is tax deductible for your business.

Check the ATO’s latest regulations on which employees you must pay super contributions for, to ensure you don’t miss anyone. Currently, the super guarantee rate is 9.5% of ordinary time earnings, which means ordinary hours worked minus overtime.

The super payments must be made at least 4 times a year, which is quarterly. You can make more frequent payments as long as all your super obligation for the quarter is satisfied and made on time.

You can use clearing houses to help pay your super obligations. A clearing house helps distribute your super contributions to the appropriate super funds on your behalf. If you are a small business with 19 or fewer staff members, you can use the clearing house provided by the government, which is free, called the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House.

Now, here is the important bit.

By law, the super contribution must be in all the employees’ super fund accounts by the 28th day after the quarter ends. Note that it needs to be in the super fund accounts, not being processed, just deposited or sent to a clearing house.

 

The table below lists the quarterly due dates.

Quarter Period Payment due date
1 1 July – 30 September 28 October
2 1 October – 31 December 28 January
3 1 January – 31 March 28 April
4 1 April – 30 June 28 July

Source: ATO

 

Furthermore, a recent law that came into effect between 2015 and 2016 requires you to pay your super contributions using SuperStream. SuperStream was introduced to standardise the payment and data processing of all super contributions.

The accounting software Xero also offers a super stream compliant solution inclusive in its software which makes the payments a breeze.

Previously, businesses were not required to transact electronically, and could pay manually by sending checks in the mail. Data was also not stored properly and generally inconsistent from business to business.

SuperStream sets the data and payment standards, which requires everything to be done and stored electronically. If you are planning to hire for the first time, make sure you read up on your SuperStream obligations first.

 

What happens if you didn’t fulfil your super obligations?

There may be several reasons why you didn’t make your super payments or paid less than the required amount. Regardless, you will be handed a super guarantee charge (SGC), which is akin to a tax.

You must lodge a SGC statement if you couldn’t fulfil your super obligations. The SGC amount is calculated based on the circumstance which the default happened. If the payment was late, you may be able to offset the SGC with your late payment. If you missed a payment, interest and other penalties will be applied. You should refer to the ATO site on how SGC is calculated.

One thing to remember is, a company director may be personally liable for a SGC. If the company fails to report the outstanding super payment within 3 months of the due date, or the debt is 3 months overdue, a lockdown provision applies. This makes a company director personally liable for the debt, and recovery proceedings may be carried out if you fail to pay up.

Once in lockdown, you are still personally liable for the SGC even if the company winds down. Shutting down the company does not absolve you of your responsibility to an employee’s retirement fund.

Therefore, I always advise company directors to be vigilant and extra careful when it comes to super requirements. For those planning to become a company director, check that there are no SGC outstanding or have a plan to pay it off according to the ATO’s requirements. It is better to be safe than sorry.

The final point I’d like to stress is to always double check or perform an audit to ensure you have paid the required amount and have not missed anything. If you do discover discrepancies before the ATO conducts an audit or an employee raises a complaint, you must report it to the ATO as soon as possible.

Burying your head in the sand will only make things worse. There will be penalties and charges to pay, but you may get discounts depending on when you report it.

Please consult an accountant or a bookkeeper if you need help or feel overwhelmed. I can’t stress enough how vital it is for your business to survive by meeting all your super obligations correctly. Trust me, you don’t want see the bad side of the taxman, as it could cripple your business.

Lastly, don’t forget to pay all your super contributions before the 30th of June, if you plan on claiming the full tax deduction for this financial year. I hope you have a good end of financial year experience without any headache and stress.

If you need to discuss your Super obligations, book a “Next Actions” chat and I we together we can ensure you’re obligations are being met. Book in now or all our office on (07) 3355 6427.

Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support. Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.

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Take The Stress Out Of Your Day With These 6 Productivity Tips

After ten years of running my own business, I have learnt the importance of working on your business, rather than in your business, for it to flourish.

While the benefits of doing so are immense, I know it can be difficult to incorporate it in our daily lives because we tend to get bogged down by day-to-day operations such as attending to clients, managing staff and admin work.

However, productivity doesn’t require any natural talent. Increasing your productivity only requires discipline, patience and a mindset shift until it becomes ingrained like a good habit.

I’m not saying I’ve got it down pat but I’d like to share a few tips on how I manage my time as a small business owner. I’ll also share how I handle overwhelming days because let’s face it, we all get those occasionally.

 

  1. Always plan for the next day

You don’t have to plan it in detail such as hour by hour. The point here is you need to know what you need to do the next morning before going to bed. This saves a lot of time and will make you more geared to start the day.

Usually, I will take 10 minutes to work out what my top priorities are for the next day. Then, I will set the first thing I need to do when I sit at my desk to start work. This routine really helps me become more productive in the morning as I am not wasting time recalling things or finding something to do.

 

  1. Tackle the hardest task first

This tip traces back to Mark Twain, who said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

The concept of eating the frog means tackling the task you dread the most first thing in the morning, when you are fresh and before you are bogged down with other tasks and issues. This way, you can deal with any bad result or news earlier in the day and, hopefully, resolve it by the end of the day.

If there is a task that requires a lot of brain power or a couple hours of concentration, then I will do it first before tending to other smaller and easier tasks.

 

  1. Switch off any distraction and block time

I work from home, so I’ve made sure that my family understands not to interrupt me when my office door is closed. I will block some time to do a specific task and limit distractions and interruption. I try to focus fully on the work at hand and not check emails until the current task is completed.

 

  1. Tend to emails and others quickly

After I’ve finished my main work, which is usually a couple of hours, I will spend around half an hour responding to emails and messages. I resolve small issues instantly, delegate when possible, group similar tasks together and schedule time to do them later.

 

  1. Automate whenever possible

There are plenty of apps that make our life easier. All you have to do is find the right one. When it comes to accounting, I’ve found a gem in Xero. Features such as importing emails into my contact list and scheduling invoices are heaven sent when it comes to saving time.

 

  1. Schedule meetings back to back

I like to schedule my meetings in the afternoon because that is when I need a change of activity after actively working in the morning. Usually, I try to schedule 2 or 3 catch-ups or meetings on the same day so I reduce traveling time, oh and hair and makeup time. (which is not essential when working from a home office)

 

What to do when it gets overwhelming?

Like a lot of things in life, your daily routine may not always go according to plan. There will be days when it gets stressful and overwhelming that you wonder how you could possibly finish everything on your to-do list.

When I feel overwhelmed, the first thing I will do is take time to update and prioritise my to-do list. Having things written on paper helps me calm down and feel more in control.

I will look at my to-do list and find the top three things I must get done first based on importance and urgency. No more than three because your brain will start to feel overloaded and stressed. After finishing the three things, pick the next three priorities you must finish. This goes on until you’ve cleared your work.

Also, I will question everything on my plate.

  • Can this be delegated to someone else? If somebody else can do the job better than me, I will get them to tend to it.
  • Can this task be automated? Small tasks can usually be automated given the right app or software.

Finally, always focus on finishing one task rather than trying to multitask. Jumping from one screen or document to another will only slow your brain down. Keep in mind what you need to finish and don’t allow yourself to get distracted. You’ll get more done this way.

That’s the gist of it. How about you? How do you manage your time and stressful days? I’m happy to have a “Next Actions” chat with you on how some productivity apps can assist with your day. Book in now or all our office on (07) 3355 6427

Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support. Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.

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Plan To Make Money In The New Financial Year

If there’s one thing you should start doing for this new financial year which is just a couple of months away, it’s draft a budget and stick to it. I can guarantee budgeting is one of the best resolutions you’ll make for your business, especially if you’ve never done a proper budget.

A budget shouldn’t be written on the back of a paper napkin or lost somewhere in your pile of notes. It should be a document or software which is easily accessible, updated regularly and reviewed monthly.

Think of a budget as your plan on how to make money this coming financial year. You can’t possibly know how much money you’ve made without knowing how much you’ve spent for the business. And you can’t slash costs if you don’t know how much you’ve allocated for it.

Your business budget is the thermometer that tells you when business is cooling off or it’s on fire and doing well.

 

How Do I Draft A Budget?

Drafting a budget may require extra work, but it pays off at the end of the financial year because budgeting helps you

  • set targets
  • fix issues before they grow worse and
  • monitor business costs.

By setting a contingency plan in your budget, you will also be prepared when business becomes unpredictable or takes a turn for the worse.

If this is your first time doing a proper budget, you will need all your business data and historical trends. The easiest place to start is to look at your balance sheet, cash flow statement and profit and loss statement.

 

  1. Profit and Loss Statement

Whether you are profitable or running at a loss, this report will outline your expenses such as leases, payroll and utilities as well as your income so you will know what to allocate in your budget. If you are losing money, a budget will help you implement strategies to break even, reduce your losses or make a profit.

 

  1. Balance Sheet

This lists your assets, liabilities and equity in the business. Understand the value of your assets such as intellectual properties, machineries and brand name. Figure out your biggest liabilities and see how you can reduce them or pay them off quicker.

 

  1. Cash Flow Statement

Find out how much cash you have in hand and how much goes into operations, investment and financing.

Try to go back a few years and pick up any trends such as rising costs or poor cash flow during slow seasons. The trends will tell you how to allocate your money appropriately over a year. Studying your business and market trends will help you set realistic targets for your budget.

Once you have all the numbers, always double check it. Having the wrong figures will give you wrong estimates, which is disastrous for business. Get an expert such as a bookkeeper or accountant to go over the data so you can have a peace of mind.

Now, it’s time to set realistic targets based on all the evidence you have. Again, you can enlist professional help if this is your first time planning a budget. I always believe that good help is worth every dollar spent.

Finally, the last element of your budget is a contingency plan. You should have several in place based on a few scenarios. Think of what to do if the economy shrinks or stagnates, which affects consumer spending and your bottom line. Or what if certain supply items become expensive due to a falling Australian dollar? How about a scenario where business picks up and you need more staff to cope?

 

Sticking to Your Budget

The secret to sticking to your budget is having regular reviews. You’re more likely to manage your budget well if you constantly keep track of what’s going on in your business. Reviews should not take too long once you implement a process, allocate proper resources and do it consistently.

Keep in mind that your plans may change as the year progresses, especially if you receive good or bad news out of the blue. You must be flexible enough to change your budget based on the latest projections.

If you’re feeling lost, contact a qualified professional such as a bookkeeper. They can guide you through the whole process and recommend strategies to assist your business. They should also sit down with you regularly for budget reviews to help achieve your goals.

It’s a brand new year, so start working on your business resolutions soon. Book a “Next Actions Discussion” with me if you would like to discuss the way forward or call our office today on (07) 3355 6427

Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support. Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.

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