Artificial Intelligence AI

AI Adopt funding program

Funding for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centres to help SMEs adopt AI technologies

The AI Adopt Program provides funding to establish up to five AI Adopt Centres to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that engage in international and interstate trade to adopt responsible AI-enabled services and enhance their businesses.

Key points

  • Grants between $3 million and $5 million over four years for up to 50% of eligible project expenditure are available
  • Businesses in Australia that can establish centres to help Australian SMEs adopt AI technologies in their business can apply
  • Closing date: Monday 29 January 2024 5:00pm AEDT


The program will create a network of AI Adopt Centres, aimed at establishing a ‘front door’ for SMEs looking to explore responsible, safe adoption and usage of AI.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • support the safe and responsible adoption, implementation, and demonstration of real-world applications of AI technologies to address sectoral and local challenges
  • support SMEs to responsibly integrate AI products that assist in development of new or improved products and services
  • improve Australia’s future prosperity and our productivity growth by increasing AI adoption in SMEs and upskilling Australian workers in the usage of AI technologies
  • support a growing network of Australian AI capability that provides expertise, business and technical skills, connectivity, and access to research and partnerships. This includes engagement with the National Artificial Intelligence Centre and the Responsible AI Network to build a cohesive and comprehensive network
  • provide equity of access to SMEs nationwide who are operating within the identified sectoral area, aligned to the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) priorities
  • create further opportunity for growth in the AI technology market through a broad increase in international demand for Australian AI capabilities
  • positively impact participation of underrepresented cohorts in technology, including women, First Nations Australians, and those with disability
  • support the Australian Government in reaching its target of 1.2 million tech-related jobs by 2030.

The intended outcomes of the program are to:

  • increase SMEs capacity to responsibly, safely and effectively utilise AI technologies by providing guidance, specialist training and access to specific talents and expertise
  • increase awareness and workforce skills within the SME sector of responsible AI adoption
  • increase SMEs productivity through using AI products to promote product development, and build efficiencies in NRF priority sectors.

Check if you can apply

You can apply if you meet the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria are a set of rules that describe who can be considered for this grant. You can apply if you:

  • are an eligible entity
  • meet additional eligibility requirements
  • have an eligible project
  • have eligible expenditure
  • can fund your share of the project costs, and any ineligible expenditure.

The Notch Above Team would like to wish you and your family a wonderful festive season and a prosperous 2024. This year we’re taking a break over Christmas / New Year and will be closed from 2PM on Friday 22 December, reopening on Monday 8 January 2024.


office christmas party

Christmas parties and gifts

Navigating FBT Rules for Your Business Christmas Celebrations

Understanding Fringe Benefits Tax Exemptions and Limits

If your business holds a Christmas party:

  • on a working day, on your business premises, and only for your current employees, you don’t pay fringe benefits tax (FBT) for the food and drink
  • off your business premises, or the party includes associates of employees (such as their partners), you don’t pay FBT if the party is a minor benefit – that is, the cost for each person is less than $300 and it would be considered unreasonable to treat it as a fringe benefit
  • that includes customers, you don’t pay FBT for the costs relating to the customers.

If you give your employees a Christmas gift, you don’t pay FBT if the value of the gift is less than $300 per person and it would be considered unreasonable to treat it as a fringe benefit.

If the Christmas party is not subject to FBT, you can’t claim income tax deductions for the cost of the party.

Example: Christmas party on business premises

A company holds a Christmas lunch on its business premises on a working day:

  • Employees, their partners and customers attend
  • The company provides food and drink, and taxi travel home
  • The cost per head is $125.

Entertainment is being provided

A party for employees, associates and customers is entertainment because the purpose of the function is for the people attending to enjoy themselves.

Employees – no FBT, exemption applies

The employer doesn’t pay FBT for the:

  • food and drink for employees, because it is provided and consumed on a working day on the business premises
  • taxi travel, because there is a specific FBT exemption for taxi travel directly to or from the workplace.

Associates – no FBT, exemption applies

The employer doesn’t pay FBT for the food, drink and taxi travel provided to the employees’ partners (associates), because it is a minor benefit – that is, it has a value of less than $300 and it would be unreasonable to treat it as a fringe benefit.

Customers – no FBT

There is no FBT on benefits provided to customers.

Income tax and GST credits

The employer can’t claim an income tax deduction or GST credits for the food, drink or taxi travel provided for employees, associates or customers.

Looking for a Xero Certified Bookkeeper in Brisbane? Are you drowning in paperwork? Cash flow problems keeping you awake at night? Learn how Notch Above Bookkeeping can solve all these problems here or call us on 1300 015 130.

QR code

QR Quishing Scams

Banks warn of Christmas QR code scams

Financial institutions and consumer advocates are sounding the alarm on the surge of Christmas-related scams, cautioning that criminals are employing a novel tactic by exploiting COVID-era QR codes to pilfer personal information.

What is Quishing?

Quishing is a form of phishing attack that uses QR codes instead of text-based links in emails, digital platforms or on physical items. Quishing is a social engineering technique used by scammers and cybercriminals to trick you into providing personal information or downloading malware onto your device —

A recent Westpac report highlighted that over half of reported scams related to purchases and sales in November and December last year. They emphasised that scammers often capitalise on the increased spending and potential distractions during the holiday season.

To illustrate the heightened risk, Westpac experienced a 5 per cent uptick in fraud-related calls following the facilitation of over 31 million point-of-sale transactions during the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Westpac’s research uncovered that 38 per cent of Australians fell victim to scams originating from fake websites, online retailers and marketplaces.

QR codes, once considered outdated by 2019, regained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the demand for contactless services. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States has cautioned that scammers are now concealing harmful links in QR codes found at locations such as parking meters, cafes and bars.

The FTC outlined various deceptive tactics employed by scammers, including false claims of undelivered packages, account issues and fraudulent activities requiring immediate password changes. Young stressed the importance of verifying payment details before transferring funds and warned against clicking on links in SMS or email communications.

In the aftermath of clicking on deceptive links, individuals risk having their information stolen or malware installed on their devices.

Westpac identified several other prevalent Christmas scams, including enticing individuals to fake websites through social media advertisements, exploiting parcel-related anxieties with fake updates via SMS or email, and promoting seemingly lucrative fake investments.

Westpac also highlighted that investment scams pose a significant challenge, constituting half of all reported losses. These scams often promise substantial returns and involve scammers investing considerable time in grooming victims, making them difficult to identify.

In Australia, reported losses to Scamwatch on social media platforms have surged to over $66 million in 2023, marking a 40 per cent increase from the previous year. Consumer group Choice, along with 20 other organisations globally, is urging governments to mandate social media and technology companies to implement measures protecting consumers from scams.

Choice criticised tech giants such as Facebook, Instagram and Google for their failure to prevent scammers from exploiting their platforms, arguing that these companies possess the resources and technology to enhance consumer protection but are reluctant to do so without legal requirements.

The Notch Above Bookkeeping Team would like to wish you and your family a wonderful festive season and a prosperous 2024. This year we’re taking a break over Christmas / New Year and will be closed from 2PM on Friday 22 December, reopening on Monday 8 January 2024.



7 Ways Businesses can avoid Cyber Fraud

What is cyber fraud?

In a world of digital financial networks and online commerce, the risks of cyber fraud are greatly increased.

Cyber fraud is criminal activity that either targets or uses a computer, a computer network or a networked device. Usually cybercriminals or hackers set out to make money… but some have political or personal motivations.

Businesses face increased financial risk as criminals get more sophisticated. Often criminals target the finance team, especially the accounts payable function which influences critical payment processes.

What can businesses do to protect themselves against this financial fraud? Here are some guidelines.

1. Consider this a people and process challenge, not an IT challenge

It’s important to acknowledge that humans are generally the weakest point in any process (NOT Information Technology). For example, a firewall which is not monitored has no value. And antivirus software alone can’t prevent infection.

2. Update authentication and review processes

Robust payment processes help team members act wisely and consistently. An example is setting rules on how payments are approved to prevent unauthorized, fraudulent payments as well as mistakes. This may involve designating an ‘approver’ for certain types of transactions AND requiring them to follow a validation process. For example, perhaps they should match an invoice with a purchase order. Or – even safer – perhaps they should match the invoice and purchase order with the received goods or services.

3. Review password policies

Longer, complex passwords increase security  BUT can also cause password reuse, people writing them down and storing them in vulnerable places. The best policies will mandate complex passwords AND use of a reputable password manager that stores encrypted passwords. Multi-factor authentication should also be used for all applications, including email.

4. Spam filters and anti-virus software

These tools have an important role but, remember, they cannot protect against insider scams or social engineering scams.

5. Segregation of Duties

Segregation of duties means that no single employee can control multiple stages of any accounting process such as reconciliation, custody of assets, authorisation and record-keeping or bookkeeping. Acknowledge that EVEN long-term, trusted employees can be perpetrators of fraud.

6. Create awareness of social engineering scams

A common example of fraud involves criminals impersonating trusted parties to create fraudulent payments. For example, a Finance Director may be impersonated to request certain actions, like initiating a payment or altering banking information. Some of these scams lack credibility… but their prevalence shows that they work in a disturbingly high number of cases.

7. Develop a counter-fraud culture

You cannot completely eliminate human error (or criminal behaviour) but raising the profile of the conversation and providing continuing education is a start. Management buy-in will help cyber fraud get the attention it requires. Keep in mind that the absence of fraud doesn’t mean it isn’t happening… because there is usually a lag between fraudulent actions and the impact of those actions. Ideally, the culture should inspire people to report suspicious incidents. There should be a commitment to ongoing fraud awareness, social engineering training, and implementing proper policies and procedures.

Notch Above Bookkeeping are Xero business bookkeepers and Certified Xero Platinum Partners Australia-wide, specialising in cloud bookkeeping setup, training and ongoing support. Contact us on 1300 015 130.

digital business

QLD Digital Solutions Program

Helping Small Businesses take the Digital Leap

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, it is crucial for businesses of all sizes to adapt to stay competitive.

Get up to four hours of mentoring support, including the development of a tailored Digital Action Plan for your business, for just $110 inc. GST, subsidised through the Digital Solutions program to receive one-on-one support in up to five key areas:

  1. Intro to Digitising Your Business
  2. Using Small Business Software
  3. Online Security and Data Privacy
  4. Websites and Selling Online
  5. Social Media and Digital Marketing

Click here to get started»

Notch Above Bookkeeping are Xero business bookkeepers and Certified Xero Platinum Partners Australia-wide, specialising in cloud bookkeeping setup, training and ongoing support. Contact us on 1300 015 130.

energy efficiency

Qld businesses save with new energy efficiency rebates

Boost Your Business Bottom Line with Energy Efficiency Rebates in Queensland

Cut Costs and Consumption with the Queensland Business Energy Savings Transformation Program

Rebates for energy-efficient appliances and equipment are now available to help drive down electricity consumption and costs for small-to-medium scale Queensland businesses.

The rebate is part of the Queensland Business Energy Savings Transformation program, an initiative under the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.

Businesses that purchase and install eligible energy-efficient equipment, such as heating and cooling systems, 4-star energy-rated appliances and lighting upgrades, can apply for rebates of up to $12,500 to cover 50 per cent of energy efficiency upgrade costs.

Businesses must spend a minimum of $8,000 (excluding GST) on the purchase and installation of eligible equipment to apply for the rebate.

Rebates are available now until the funding round closes. Visit Business Queensland for eligibility criteria and to apply for a rebate.

Notch Above Bookkeeping are Xero business bookkeepers and Certified Xero Platinum Partners Australia-wide, specialising in cloud bookkeeping setup, training and ongoing support. Contact us on 1300 015 130.

job interview

Qld Workforce Connect Fund

Queensland Workforce Strategy

Workforce Connect Fund

Through the Workforce Connect Fund, small businesses can apply for an HR Support Grant of up to $5,000 (subject to available funding) to implement new and innovative HR solutions to address an immediate need.

Speak to an Industry Workforce Advisor about accessing the grant and enhancing your HR strategy today.

Learn more about the Workforce Connect Fund initiative here.

Having trouble retaining employees?

Building strong and productive working relationships is integral to the success of any business, but what do employees want? Sometimes the answer to that question is not so easy to find!

That’s why the Back to Work team has released the Harrison Tool for Retention — to help employers retain staff within their business.

Using the tool, employers can start conversations with their employees about what motivates them, their strengths and how they can work together.

Learn more about the Harrison Tool for Retention or the other support available through Back to Work here.

Notch Above Bookkeeping are Xero business bookkeepers and Certified Xero Platinum Partners Australia-wide, specialising in cloud bookkeeping setup, training and ongoing support. Contact us on 1300 015 130.


QLD Ignite Spark Funding closing soon

Supporting Queensland innovation-driven enterprises

Apply by 31 October 2023

Ignite your innovation with up to $75k Ignite Spark funding and business mentoring

If you’re a Queensland small or medium-sized enterprise with an innovative new product or service prototype to finesse, then here’s a chance you don’t want to miss!

  • The Advance Queensland Ignite Spark Program provides up to $75k funding to develop your prototype towards minimum viable product stage and ready for commercialisation
  • Successful applicants also gain privileged access to the Ignite+ program offering a wealth of professional expertise, invaluable business advice, and dedicated mentoring to propel your business forward
  • Access program guidelines and apply today.

About the program

The Ignite Spark Program aims to support Queensland-based small to medium-sized innovation-driven enterprises with high-growth potential to progress the development of an innovative product or service closer to market.

In particular, the program aims to support innovation-driven enterprises to progress prototypes to advanced staged products and/or services that have been tested, validated, customer endorsed and are ready to be commercialised.

An innovation-driven enterprise is a business that emphasises innovative solutions as a key driver of growth, competitive advantage, and value creation. Such enterprises focus on developing and commercialising new products and/or services to achieve their strategic objectives.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • strengthen key industries in Queensland
  • diversify the Queensland economy
  • compete in domestic and global markets
  • engage and/or benefit regional Queensland
  • create new jobs, now and into the future.

Funding and support

Funding of $50 000 to $75 000 (excluding GST) is available for projects with a duration of up to twelve months with a matched funding contribution from the applicant organisation in either one of two tiers. Organisations and their related parties are limited to one application per funding round.

Application process and timeframes

  • The program has a two-staged application process – an Expression of Interest application being the first stage followed by a Full Application stage for shortlisted Expression of Interest applicants
  • All applicants will receive written notification of the outcome of their Expression of Interest application to the email address provided in the application form.


To be eligible for funding, applicant organisations must, at the time of application:

  • be a business headquartered in Queensland
  • have no more than 50 full-time-equivalent employees
  • not be a subsidiary of a group of companies that has more than 50 full-time-equivalent employees
  • not have received funding for the proposed project activity from either the state, federal or local government
  • be registered for GST (at time of Full Application submission).

To be eligible for funding, at the time of application, projects must:

  • have an existing functional prototype for a product and/or service that is scalable to meet industry/market demand
  • demonstrate that the product and/or service is ready to be validated in an industrially or operationally relevant environment
  • demonstrate that the product and/or service is not currently in market.

Notch Above Bookkeeping are Xero business bookkeepers and Certified Xero Platinum Partners Australia-wide, specialising in cloud bookkeeping setup, training and ongoing support. Contact us on 1300 015 130.

cash flow

Getting paid on time

6 Ways to Improve Cash Flow by Managing Receivables

Need to forecast and improve your cash flow? All businesses should carefully monitor their cash position.

Healthy cash reserves enable investment in growth, allow distributions to owners or – for some businesses – can be a matter of survival. In any case, cash management is critical.

One way to improve the cash position is to carefully manage Accounts Receivable (or collections). Here are some Best Practices which can positively impact the cash position.

1. Set weekly cash collection targets

Accounts Receivable (AR) management is an important business process and clear targets should be set. Short-term targets help you chip away at the larger AR balance. These targets can be increased or decreased depending on your cash requirements and the total AR balance at any time.

2. Improve the invoicing process

It’s difficult to maintain a low AR balance when invoices are sent late or contain errors. Also, an overdue invoice should immediately trigger follow-up actions, signalling to your customer that you are serious about collecting your cash on time.

3. Make getting paid easy!

Give multiple payment options and make payment as convenient as possible so there can be no excuses. Online payment options are increasingly popular in most industries.

4. Offer discounts for quick payments

This lets the customer know that you value getting your cash on time and offers an incentive for them to pay you fast.

5. Stay in touch with customers (especially regarding the state of their business)

Business conditions are always changing. Hopefully, things improve… but some customers will encounter difficulties which compromise their ability to pay you. Early warnings help you take appropriate action, but this requires you to stay in touch with customers.

6. Prioritise customers with large AR balances

Your Accounts Receivable process should prioritise customers where returns will be greatest. That doesn’t mean you neglect the others… but recovering a large debt will have the biggest impact on cash AND increase team morale!

Success in Accounts Receivable management comes from building systems and implementing them consistently. That’s better than waiting for the AR balance to spiral out of control… and then trying to fix things. A few small steps can make a big difference to cash… so why not get started?

Need to forecast and improve your cash flow?

Do you never have enough money for wages or BAS payments? Are you always wondering where your profits went? It’s no secret that failure rates among Australian small business is high and about half of corporate insolvencies are the result of inadequate cash flow or high cash use and trading losses. The professionals at Notch Above Bookkeeping can assist with cash flow forecasting for your business. We will help you understand the cash flow requirements of your business. Contact our Xero Certified Bookkeepers Australia-wide on 1300 015 130.