Engaging a Virtual CFO

Outsourcing your financial function

Not all businesses need (or can afford) a full-time head of finance. But, in addition to accurate and regular financial reporting, they need a strategic view of finance, whether that means budgeting, business planning, forecasting, fundraising, financial modelling, acquiring a business and so on.

Outsourcing is a common way to save overhead… and ‘remote work’ is increasingly accepted in business culture. This has led to more businesses engaging a CFO on a part-time or contract basis. They collaborate with the bookkeepers, accounting team and management so the finance team can make a critical contribution to the development of the business.

An outsourced CFO is usually paid on an hourly basis or by a monthly retainer. This is a modest investment compared to a full-time hire which could involve a six-figure salary along with expensive benefits.

What should you look for in an outsourced CFO?

  1. Communication skills: Essential because the candidate will need to quickly get up to speed on your business, challenges and opportunities. They will also need to interact effectively with all stakeholders in the finance process, both senior and junior. On top of this, they may work remotely… which increases the need for exceptional communication skills.
  2. Experience as a CFO: You are looking for someone who can QUICKLY be effective. Yes, they will require some training on your business but they should have significant (think 8 to 10 years) experience in the field and be up-to-date on the latest tools and best practices.
  3. Vertical expertise: Your market and industry will also require some expertise. A CFO who has worked in multiple industries may display the ability to quickly learn new industry practices. (On the other hand, they may have tried and failed in those industries and the opposite may be true!!)
  4. Network: An effective outsourced CFO should have built a network of specialists, advisors, executives, potential employees and vendors who could add value to your business.
  5. References: Look especially at references who speak for the candidate’s work as an outsourced CFO in your industry for a business at a similar stage of development.
  6. Education: While this is not a requirement, most CFOs have a bachelor’s degree and/or an advanced business or finance degree. CPAs and other financial designations are also common.
  7. Your own unique needs: Be really specific here. For example, perhaps you require certain ‘soft skills’, flexible hours, fast response times, research capabilities, proactivity, the ability to challenge management, fresh ideas or a long-term commitment to mirror a long-term project underway.

How do you find an outsourced CFO?

You might find candidates through job boards, workshops, referrals or your network. Some agencies specialise in outsourced finance roles and they may have access to a larger pool of qualified candidates. As it happens, Notch Above is a bookkeeping provider offering CFO services and we have the advantage of already understanding small business.

Ideally, you want to consider at least three candidates for any role

Make sure you finalise a clear scope of work in advance and then allocate time and resources to onboarding. Time spent upfront familiarising the candidate with your business and needs is time well spent. And it sets the candidate up for success. After that a regular check-in with clear reporting lines is essential.

When is an outsourced CFO successful?

With clearly outlined objectives, detailed reporting and a regular meeting schedule, all parties will know how results are measured and evaluated. There’s also value in flexibility because goals and needs will inevitably evolve.

A final thought

Be ambitious! An effective outsourced CFO is a strategic hire and can have a massive positive impact on a business in terms of growth and profitability. Aim high, get results and don’t accept platitudes or excuses!

Need help with strategic financial decisions? Get in touch with Matt Salisbury at Notch Above on 1300 015 130 or read more here »

australian flag

Get Set for Significant Changes from January 2024

Australia’s Nationwide Changes in 2024

A Comprehensive Overview of Reforms and Impacts

From 1 January 2024, several changes have been implemented across the nation, bringing a mix of positive and negative impacts for various segments of the population.

New ‘Global Minimum Tax’

Australian-based subsidiaries of major multinational corporations are now subject to a minimum tax rate of 15%, marking a significant development in the ongoing efforts of the OECD to modernise the global business taxation framework.

$60 Toll Cap in NSW

NSW motorists using toll roads will face a weekly toll cap of $400, with a $60 maximum spend on tolls. The two-year trial, a key election promise of the Labor government, began on 1 January 2024, with rebates issued through Service NSW from April 2024.

Second Home Tax Hike Victoria

Victorians owning more than one home will experience a 10-year increase in taxes, introduced as a “temporary” measure to aid the state in paying down its Covid debt. Land tax changes, announced in May 2023, will impact roughly 860,000 landowners, with increased taxes based on land values.

Welfare Payments Increase

More than 936,000 Australians receiving youth, student or carer support will now experience a 6% boost in their payments due to indexation. This increase will positively impact various categories, including Youth Allowance, Austudy, Disability Support Pension for those under 21, and Carer Allowance, providing additional financial support to over 600,000 carers.

Easier for Seniors to Work

Seniors and veterans looking to work will experience a permanent increase in the Work Bonus limit by $4,000, from $7,800 to $11,800. This change allows pensioners to earn more income before their pension payments are affected.

Free Kindy in Queensland

Parents in Queensland have access to free kindergarten, providing cost-of-living relief for an estimated 50,000 additional families. This initiative, announced under former QLD Premier in June’s state budget, is set to cost the state $645 million over four years.

Disposable Vape Crackdown

In what is deemed the “toughest laws” globally, the importation of all disposable vapes containing nicotine was prohibited from 1 January 2024. The initiative aims to address the smoking and vaping habits of over 3.5 million Australians aged 14 and older, according to research released by Cancer Victoria in June.

This move, part of the most significant smoking reforms in a decade, restricts non-prescription vaping products. Only pharmaceutical vapes prescribed by a doctor and dispensed through a pharmacy will be legally permitted, with stringent limitations on packaging, flavours and potential extensions of workplace smoking bans to vaping.

$200 Help to Beat ‘Bin Tax’ Brisbane

Brisbane households can access a $200 rebate for installing insinkerators and waste dehydrators as part of the council’s Towards Zero Waste strategy. The initiative aims to help residents avoid the state government’s increased “bin tax” waste levy.

New Home Gas Ban Victoria

From 1 January 2024, new homes built in Victoria are prohibited from connecting to natural gas. This measure, introduced by former Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, aims to lower annual energy bills by up to $1,000 while reducing household emissions. Incentives, such as solar panel rebates and interest-free loans for household batteries, will be provided to encourage the adoption of all-electric solutions.

Plastic Bags Banned, Again

Heavyweight plastic bags greater than 35 microns in thickness are banned in the ACT. This marks the next phase of the territory’s crackdown on single-use plastics, following the banning of various other plastic items.

All measures commenced from 1 January 2024. 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.


GST and using or receiving digital currency

What to do when you receive and use digital currency as payment for goods and services

Digital currency as payment for goods and services

Receiving or using digital currency to pay for goods and services in your GST-registered enterprise is the same as using money, but it is different to trading digital currency.

Receiving digital currency

If you make a taxable supply and you receive digital currency as payment, the GST amount for that payment included in your business activity statement must be in Australian dollars.

Your tax invoice must meet the normal tax invoice requirements and include either:

  • the GST payable in Australian dollars
  • sufficient information to work out the GST payable in Australian dollars.

Examples of sufficient information includes the:

  • price expressed in Australian dollars
  • value expressed in Australian dollars, or
  • conversion rate used by the supplier, or a statement, to work out the GST payable if it is not in Australian dollars.

Using digital currency

If you use digital currency to make a purchase for your GST-registered enterprise and claim a GST credit, the GST amount of the credit in your business activity statement must be in Australian dollars.

To work out your GST credits, your tax invoice will include either:

  • the GST amount in Australian dollars
  • sufficient information to determine the GST amount in Australian dollars.

How to convert digital currency

To work out the value of your digital currency for your business activity statement, you must use the exchange rate on the conversion day that applies to you.

Exchange rate

If the exchange rate is in Australian dollars, you may choose to use the exchange rate:

  • from a digital currency exchange or website, or
  • agreed on between the supplier and the recipient.

If the exchange rate is in a foreign currency, you must convert the amount expressed in foreign currency to Australian dollars.

Conversion day

The conversion day is the date you use to convert your digital currency into Australian dollars.

If you account for GST on a non-cash basis, your conversion day is determined by whichever happens first of either the:

  • day you receive any of the payment
  • transaction date or invoice date.

If you account for GST on a cash basis, your conversion day can be the transaction date, invoice date or the day you receive any of the payment.

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.

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.

Moving to new Xero Reports

Xero is retiring older versions of their reports in July

Xero will be transitioning some favourite ‘starred’ reports from the old version to the new version.

When users click on these reports in their favourites list, they will be automatically redirected to the new version of that report. This change is being made because Xero is retiring older versions of their reports on 31 July 2023 and they want to ensure that Xero users are prepared.

The new versions offer more flexibility and customisation, quicker access to insights and deeper analysis of business performance. Xero is aware that this change may take some time to get used to and is giving users plenty of time to make the switch.

Using new Xero Reports

Xero is urging users who haven’t yet switched to new reports to start moving their work across now. This way, there is time to adjust before older versions are retired:

  • Users can take a product tour of some of Xero’s most popular reports, such as the new Profit & Loss or Balance Sheet reports, and find a tips and tricks panel on the right-hand side showing links to support articles and how-to videos
  • Check out Xero’s reporting playlist on YouTube for help tailoring reports in Xero
  • Start using Xero’s layout importer tool in the Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet and Budget Variance reports to bring saved layouts across to new versions
  • If needed, users can return to the older versions via the overflow menu in the Report Centre until 31 July 2023.

Read full Xero article here »

Certified Xero Bookkeepers

Notch Above Bookkeeping are Certified Xero bookkeepers and feature agreed-price monthly fees so you know exactly where you stand. No hidden extras and no ticking clock. Browse our range of Xero bookkeeping services below and get in touch today to discuss the plan which best suits the needs of your business.


3 ways eInvoicing helps small business

The digital revolution

We’re watching eInvoicing evolve into the critical customer tool it is for businesses today

Previously, electronic invoicing still required manual touchpoints. Today that process is far more streamlined and automated – a process allowing for the digital exchange of invoice information between suppliers and buyers.

Printing, posting or emailing paper-based or PDF invoices are no longer required and manually entering data or scanning invoices is a thing of the past. Many systems allow users to connect and transact almost immediately with others in the same network.

It’s important to be clear what eInvoicing is – and what it isn’t

It’s not simply emailing scanned or formatted invoices – systems which still require a manual touchpoint. Nor is it a system which automatically matches invoices to purchases. And finally, it can’t automatically pay invoices – although it does significantly speed up the process for users.

This transition can be tough for some businesses, particularly suppliers that have become accustomed to a certain way of work. Or even some who would consider themselves fully ‘digital’ after moving to a PDF or scan-based invoicing model. But the benefits of eInvoicing outweigh the change.

eInvoicing aims to standardise the way information is structured and exchanged between two or more parties. Furthermore, it can enable cross-border digital exchange of procurement documents providing rich actionable data.

In Australia, Peppol is used as the standard framework for eInvoicing. The system is an international eProcurement framework which aims to offer an efficient, accurate and secure way to transact.

Costs and cash flow

Perhaps the most significant benefit of eInvoicing is its impact on the bottom line for many SMBs. Gone are the financial and productivity costs of reams of paper or endless emails. Gone are the storage costs associated with keeping boxes of documents. And in many cases SMBs get paid much quicker which can improve cash flow and lead to other benefits.

In Australia more than 1.2 billion invoices are exchanged every year, according to the Australian Taxation Office. Traditional invoices can cost up to $30 to process – while the same cost for eInvoicing can be as little as $10. The opportunity eInvoicing offers could save the economy $28 billion over the next ten years.

eInvoicing users enjoy reduced transaction times compared with other means. This helps them run their daily operations more efficiently at a time when SMBs need as much help as they can get. That’s the feedback we’re getting directly from small businesses.

COVID-19 was the tipping point many Australian businesses needed to finally take that next step into the digital. We worked closely with many small business owners during that time to ensure they were making the most of the benefits offered by digitisation. That included payments — a critical part of the operations of all businesses, no matter their size.

The most significant benefit of eInvoicing is its impact on the bottom line for many SMEs. Gone are the financial and productivity costs of reams of paper or endless emails — ANZ

That work continues today. It’s never too late to go digital and the benefits are manyfold, especially for the crucial smaller business sector. With SMEs making up 32 per cent of Australia’s GDP and employing 41 per cent of Australia’s workforce, when SMBs grow, Australia grows.

We believe eInvoicing is an essential part of this growth towards digitisation, cost efficiency and fraud reduction. We see it as good for our suppliers and we are looking at ways to extend this same capability to our customers.

Safe, secure and sustainable

In our experience eInvoicing is a reliable and secure way of transmitting data. It is less error-prone and helps avoid common pitfalls associated with email security, such as scams and phishing.

eInvoicing systems operate through the use of ‘access points’, or approved service providers that aim to prevent, detect and mitigate fraud.

It’s also good for the planet as it saves on material costs and reduces environmental impacts through less printing and physical delivery.

Indeed research from PwC suggests 5,000 tonnes of carbon could be prevented from reaching the atmosphere by dispensing with paper invoices.

Making the shift

We have seen a significant shift in attitudes toward eInvoicing since the beginning of the pandemic.

Ultimately the benefits extend beyond SMBs – it is good for larger businesses too.

We’ve watched with excitement the uptake of eInvoicing among both our client base and elsewhere. And we see a big opportunity for further adoption in Australia and around the region.

Source: ANZ Bluenotes

Australian financial year calendar FY22

Things that need to happen between the end of the financial year and tax time

Here are the dates and deadlines to keep in mind when getting tax ready.

Key dates in June

30 June is EOFY. All new transactions from 1 July go into your FY23 books. The next month of your EOFY calendar will focus on closing out Q4 obligations.

Key dates in July

With your Q4 reports squared away in July, your EOFY calendar will now shift focus to annual reporting. That means getting things ready for your tax agent.

Key dates in August

Ensure your FY22 books show every transaction. Make copies of every receipt and invoice ready to give to your tax agent.

If you’re a Xero customer, get your paperwork into Xero with Hubdoc.

Key dates in September

Schedule your tax agent to work on your return. You get extra time (and way less stress) if you use a tax agent.

It’s a good idea to get your books and documentation tidy before involving a professional. Otherwise they’ll need to spend heaps of extra time on your accounts, and EOFY could end up being costly.

Key dates in October

Whether you have a tax agent or not, before working on your tax return make sure you:

  • check your books for mistakes
  • have run a profit-and-loss report and balance sheet

There are multiple PAYG withholding annual reports due at this time. You can find out more from the ATO.

May 2023

15 May 2023 is the deadline for your tax agent to lodge your return.

Setting yourself up for the new year

Financial year-end is the perfect time to do a check-up, celebrate your successes, and refocus on business goals.

For more Xero tips, advice and bookkeeping essentials for your business, visit How We Help You and get started today with Notch Above Bookkeeping, Australia-wide or call our bookkeeping team on 1300 015 130.

Source: Xero

tax time

Complete tasks for your tax period

EOFY business countdown

As a small business owner, you want to do what you love and managing your accounts might not be what you got into business for.

Use your time wisely to help give you the space to start analysing how your business is tracking and really focus on the growth opportunities available.

Completing financial tasks regularly will give you the ‘creative/thinking space’ to focus not only on marketing and growing your business but also take time away from your business to enjoy a holiday.

Are you registered for GST?

One way to set regular timeframes is if you report GST or Goods and Services Tax to the ATO.

GST is reported via a business activity statement or BAS, monthly, quarterly or annually. Use your GST period as your time frame to work towards.

Check the ATO or speak to your bookkeeper to see if you need to report GST. You can also find the ATO lodgement and payment dates for BAS’s here.

If you don’t have a bookkeeper, see if Notch Above could be suitable for your business.

Not registered for GST?

You can still set regular time frames for your business to work towards and keep yourself accountable.

TIP! A great period to work towards is quarterly, so you can start to compare business performance from one quarter to the next.


Complete the following day to day tasks for each time frame

  • Record all sales
  • Record all expenses, such as bills, wages and other business expenses
  • Reconcile your bank accounts regularly
  • Keep business documents stored within the file library in Xero
  • Keep your payroll and superannuation up to date

What should you be doing at the end of each period?


Reports that help with comparing periods include:

  • The Profit and loss report: to show your income and expenses for current and past periods
  • The Balance sheet: to understand the financial position of your business

Also start to prepare or chat to your bookkeeper about preparing budgets for your business.

If you don’t have a bookkeeper, check out Xero’s Advisor Directory to find one suitable to your business.

Check out our video on cash flow for an in-depth understanding, and how we can help you to track and manage your cash flow more effectively.

Having this knowledge is going to empower you to start making business growth decisions and have more meaningful conversations with your bookkeeper the next time you talk.

Setting yourself up for the new year

Financial year-end is the perfect time to do a check-up, celebrate your successes, and refocus on business goals.

For more Xero tips, advice and bookkeeping essentials for your business, visit How We Help You and get started today with Notch Above Bookkeeping, Australia-wide.

Source: Xero

tax return

The basics of EOFY

Breakdown of common EOFY terminology

The end of the financial year or EOFY is a time when your business has to submit a tax return based on your income and expenses.

EOFY Period

Starts on 1 July each year and ends on 30 June the following year, also known as the Australian financial year.

Tax return

A form that tells you how much tax your business needs to pay based on income, expenses and other tax information.

Activity Statements

Used by GST registered businesses to report goods and services tax (GST), Pay as you go tax (PAYG), Pay as you go withholding taxes (PAYGW) and other taxes.

Lodgement dates

Key dates to lodge various tax return types to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

The type of tax return that your business needs to file to the ATO will depend on your entity structure.

For detailed information on the different types of entities and tax differences click here.

Points to be aware of when talking to your bookkeeper

  • Tax deductions or concessions you can claim for your business and what implication these may have on your taxes.
  • Tax planning. It’s a way to look at your financial affairs and save you tax.
  • Write off assets by deducting an amount from an asset’s value each year.
  • Review any insurance cover especially if you’ve had any changes to normal operations during the year.
  • Cash flow forecasting. Look at your business’s finances to see if you have enough cash to continue operating or to expand your business.

Tip! EOFY is also a great time to chat to your bookkeeper about your business structure and its suitability.

If you don’t have a bookkeeper, find out if Notch Above might be suitable for your business.

Before even lodging a return, you need to have your accounts ready

For the year you need to have:

  • Recorded all sales
  • Recorded all expenses, such as bills, wages and other business expenses
  • Reconciled all your bank accounts for the EOFY
  • Keep documents stored within the file library in Xero
  • Make sure payroll and superannuation are up to date

Take a look at Xero’s checklist for a more detailed list of tasks to complete at the end of the financial year.

Setting yourself up for the new financial year

Financial year-end is the perfect time to do a check-up, celebrate your successes, and refocus on business goals.

For more Xero tips, advice and bookkeeping essentials for your business, visit How We Help You and get started today with Notch Above Bookkeeping, Australia-wide.

Source: Xero