Trading Accounts can be complicated to look at, but having insider tricks can make it work for you. Traders using trading accounts to hold financial assets such as stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, and other investment vehicles need to know these top 5 trading account tips to make the most of a Trading Account.
A typical trading account allows the buying and selling of securities, otherwise known as day trading. Your Trading Account can be prepared at any stage during the year and shows sales generated less any variable costs directly associated with those sales. It’s used to calculate your Gross Profit (sometimes referred to as your Gross Margin) which is often also shown as a percentage.
The basic format for your Trading Account is: Sales – Cost of Sales = Gross Profit
Here are our top 5 trading account tips to make the most of a Trading Account.
However, growing sales should always be part of your strategy. There are seven ways to grow sales including increasing client retention, leads generated and converted, sales value and frequency, and reducing the cost of sales and overheads.
Calculate the impact of lifting your Gross Profit Percentage by 1% by taking 1% of your total sales for the year; that is how much more will hit your overall profit. We can help you employ strategies to increase your margin.
You can do this by ‘back costing’ a job once you’ve finished it. Calculate all costs associated with a completed job. For example,for a building job, calculate the total material and labour costs for that job, then divide by the selling price to determine the Gross Profit Percentage for that job.
If your Gross Profit is declining, review your costing to ensure you’re using current costs when pricing a job, product or service. Many businesses use great pricing tools and standard markup formulae, but often have outdated costs in the model or calculation.
Your margin could be slipping because there are costs hidden in overheads that should be measured as variable costs. For example, a mobile ice cream truck will have fuel as a variable cost, but the fuel costs might be lumped in as overhead costs with another business vehicle.
Overall, Trading Accounts can be incredibly beneficial to you in the long term – if you know how to use them well. For more information on how to make your Trading Account more profitable, get in touch with the expert team at QCA today!
Business growth should always be at the forefront of the minds of business owners. However, it can become unclear sometimes just how to achieve that growth. This article seeks to clarify some ways that you can increase the value and size of your business.
Most business owners are already aware of the first rule of client work: it is easier to keep existing clients than it is to attract new ones. By putting the right amount of resources and energy into keeping your existing clients happy, you will find yourself with a much more sustainable business model. Be careful not to chase after clients who are not of high value to your business.
Just because it’s easier to hold onto existing clients, doesn’t mean you should ignore new leads. On the contrary, driving more potential clients to your website, phone line and premises is another essential step to growing your business. Using effective lead generation techniques is a crucial element to your success.
Don’t leave responding to clients to your auto-responder. Follow up with potential clients who have made enquiries, show genuine interest and build rapport. The more attention prospective clients have, the more likely they are to consider you their best option.
Upselling and cross-selling is a hidden gem in the business industry and helps to increase the value of your sales. Upsell additional services or bigger volumes to your current clients or customers to bolster the value of the deals that you make with them. Be careful not to overdo it though, clients who feel like they are being pressured into services they didn’t ask for are liable to walk away from your business altogether.
Encouraging clients or customers to buy more frequently is another way to increase your business. This can involve signing clients up for repeat or recurring services and subscriptions. Compared to one-off sales, by increasing transaction frequency you can ensure the longevity of your business.
Another major step to growing your business is to ensure that your processes are as cost efficient as possible to increase the profit margin of sales. Identify ways to save time and resources in order to make more sales, as well as drive efficiency and variable cost reduction.
Review your overall business costs to identify unnecessary expenditure that can be trimmed. Be careful when undertaking this process to strongly identify the strengths and weaknesses within the business. This will mean you don’t accidentally trim away the proverbial muscle of the business, instead of the fat.
In conclusion, by following these 7 steps for business growth, you can ensure stability, health and expansion of your business for years to come. For a further explanation of any of these steps, or for help actioning them, get in touch with the expert team at QCA today!
Consumers and investors are driving increasing demand for sustainability in the market in response to climate change. Investors are doing so by increasingly seeking accountability and transparency from the businesses they support. As we find new ways to do better business in a sustainability focused environment, now is the time to push for investment in sustainable business practices.
‘Sustainable business practice’ can be a fairly broad, ambiguous, and daunting term. Let’s start by clearly defining what constitutes a sustainable business practice.
A sustainable business practice adheres to, and is driven by a triple bottom line of profit, planet and people. This means that businesses act in a way that equally propagates the economic success of the business, environmental impact mitigation, and ethical treatment of people.
From choosing recyclable materials to electric vehicle fleets, there are many environmentally ethical paths that businesses can choose to invest in. Some innovations to look out for include electric transport, energy efficient lighting, renewable energies, carbon capture and storage, and even hydrogen powered vehicles.
Consumers are said to find brands equally responsible for their impact on the planet as our government. While this might seem like an overstatement, the fact remains that there are a lot more businesses than governments, and thus they must shoulder a fair amount of responsibility for the state of our world today.
In the past, a major roadblock to business sustainability has been the cost. However, by contributing to a push for a greener economy, businesses are able to channel growth and encourage competition in sustainability sectors, thereby driving down the cost of sustainable investments.
There are two key ways businesses can improve their sustainability, including the use of digital technologies, and investment in renewable energy.
By utilising digital technology, businesses can reduce paper usage, waste production, and as an added bonus, reduce overhead costs. Digital file management systems are constantly evolving to be more intuitive and reliable than traditional filing systems, so it stands to reason that businesses should be making this move anyway. The environmental benefits of going paperless pair nicely with the economic benefits for your business, reducing the need for paper to be purchased regularly.
Digital files are best stored using cloud based storage systems, which are run using climate neutral servers. Cloud based storage is more preferable, as hard drive systems contribute to e-waste, a waste product which currently makes up about 70% of the planet’s toxic waste.
Renewable energy not only reduces your carbon footprint, it can save you money! By investing in private renewable energy sources such as solar panels, you immediately reduce your spending on energy from power grids. Additionally, having your own source of power means that should the grid go down, your business doesn’t lose money on interrupted operations. Even if you outsource to external renewable energy providers, your energy bill is likely to see a significant decrease.
Accounting for a more sustainable future means striking a balance between economic growth, and environmental impact. Sustainable innovations in terms of product development, delivery and marketing are just a few ways businesses are making a shift towards safeguarding the environment against the effects of climate change.
On December 13, 2021 the Australian government announced it would be extending its SME Recovery Loan Scheme (SMRL) program, which provides small and medium-sized businesses with Government guaranteed loans of up to $5 million to help their business recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The SMRL was initially introduced in April 2021 to enable lenders’ to provide cheaper credit to eligible SMEs. This has helped SMEs to get through the pandemic, begin to recover and start investing for the future.
Under the existing SME Recovery Loan Scheme, loans were available from 1 April 2021 until 31 December 2021 with a Government guarantee of 80%. Under the new 2022 Scheme expansion, loans are available from 1 January 2022 until 30 June 2022, with a Government guarantee of 50%. The SMRL has been extended from January 1, 2022, and will be available to eligible businesses until June 30. The Australian government’s
Key features of the new SME Recovery Loan Scheme:
The intended purpose of the SMRL is to assist small to medium sized businesses in getting back to economic stability. Lenders can offer any suitable product to the borrower except credit cards, charge cards, debit cards or business cards. Loans issued under the Scheme may take any other form of credit providing eligibility criteria are met.
The loan can be used to finance existing loans from eligible lenders, including investment support. This may be done as long as the debt is no more than 30 days in arrears, and the lender has not gone into administration. Loans can also be used to purchase non-residential real estate property (such as commercial property) or for the acquisition of another business.
The loan cannot be used for:
The SMRL is available for small to medium sized businesses with a turnover up to $250 million, and adheres to at least one of the following criteria:
Additionally, self-employed individuals and non-profit businesses are eligible. Businesses that have accessed loans in Phase 1 and Phase 2 can also apply for loans under the SMRL.
Loans backed by the SMRL are available through approved commercial lenders, and the decisions to extend credit, and management of the loan, remain with the lender. The Government is not directly participating in the lending process. The process is relatively simple;
Businesses are encouraged to shop around and compare products offered by different participating lenders. The interest rate on loans will be determined by lenders, but will be capped at around 7.5%, with some flexibility for interest rates on variable rate loans to increase if market interest rates rise over time
Participating lenders are:
The SME Recovery Loan Scheme has helped many businesses so far in managing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hopefully this guide gives you the key insights you need to start making the most of the SMRL. However, we recommend getting in touch with an accounting professional before acting, to ensure there are no costly mistakes or misunderstandings along the way. At QCA our team of professionals are dedicated to ensuring your business gets every advantage. We already have the knowledge and experience to make the SMRL work for you. Contact the team for more information.
Minimising your tax requirements is a well known method for improving a business’ financial health. However, not all business owners know how to make the most of thresholds, deductions and smart money management. You could be paying much higher tax than you should be. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to save on your tax bills this year. Our 8 tips for paying less tax are as follows:
By law, you are required to keep written documentation of all business financial activities to ensure you meet your obligations as a business. However, many businesses can find themselves missing out on big deductions from their tax due to poor record keeping. Having receipts to present to the ATO at tax time is crucial to making the most of every deduction you are eligible for. Maintain an organised system of records for all of your income and expenses, and check regularly for discrepancies and issues to prevent having a build up of things to resolve when tax times rolls around. It pays to be prepared.
Tax deductions are invaluable when it comes to reducing the taxes you pay. Most expenses that are related to income generation are tax deductible. This can include operating expenses such as stationery supplies, or even wages.
Your business may also be entitled to concessions, offsets and/or rebates depending on the size and activity of your business. Some business tax concessions include:
Businesses may also be eligible to claim tax offsets if they meet certain criteria:
Making donations to charitable organisations not only feels good, it can also help you save on your taxes. In Australia, charitable donations are tax deductible and may be applied to reduce the amount of tax you are required to pay.
Money, property, shares and in some cases Heritage and Cultural gifts are all charitable donations which can be deducted from your taxes. The amount or value of the donation/s is deducted from your taxable income, meaning you will receive a percentage of the donation back at tax time. Donations must have been made to Deductible Gift Recipients (DGRs), registered with the ATO. You must also provide a tax invoice from the DGR in order to claim the deduction. There is no limit or threshold for charitable donations.
If you are earning more than $90K annually as an individual, or more than $180K for families, you are required to pay a minimum of 1% more of your income to the Medicare Levy Surcharge, in addition to the mandatory 2% surcharge already paid by most taxpayers, a total of 3% of your annual gross income.
Comparatively, basic private health cover and insurance can come in at less than 1% of your annual income. This means you pay less annually for private health cover than you are required to pay in Medicare Levy Surcharges, and reduce the taxes you have to pay at the same time.
If you know ahead of time of expenses that will attract a high tax deduction, you can use the timing of your purchase to help improve your tax situation. You should aim to make more expensive tax deductible purchases in the financial year where you have made the most income, as this will maximise the amount of tax you can claim back with deductions.
In financial years where you have generated less taxable income, you will have a lower deductible income, and so making high value deductible purchases will not result in as much return.
If you have owned an asset for longer than twelve months you may be entitled to a 50% Capital Gains discount. If you haven’t owned the asset for at least twelve months, you will have to pay more CGT.
Does your income fluctuate? If so, you may choose to sell the asset in a year you expect to earn a lower income, as your capital gain won’t have such an impact on your tax liability.
Being strategic about when you sell assets which incur CGT can also help you reduce the annual cost of your taxes. Selling an asset after owning it for longer than 12 months can entitle you to a 50% discount on your Capital Gains, which can mean massive savings. Additionally, it can be beneficial to sell assets in financial years where you expect a lower income. Doing this means the capital gain will be paid in a lower income bracket and threshold, effectively lowering the amount you will be required to pay in CGT.
It is important to speak with professional financial advisors, like our team at QCA, before making decisions in regards to CGT. This will ensure you have a thorough understanding of your legal obligations, and to minimise the tax incurred from your capital gains.
Considering the amount of tax you pay on financial savings each year, there are much better places to put your assets to ensure you hold on to as much of your annual income as possible. Investing your savings into unpaid mortgages not only reduces your loan debt, but keeps your hard earned money safe from incurring savings taxes.
Taxes can be complex, and there are so many different ways to increase and decrease your taxes that it can quickly become overwhelming if you can’t dedicate time to understanding it all. Tax professionals like the team at QCA are essential to help you minimise the tax you are required to pay, and make the most of government tax programs.
There are many ways to pay less tax as a business. Some of our recommended methods include keeping good records, knowing your deductions, timing your expenses and asset sales strategically, and getting quality advice and financial management from a qualified professional provider like QCA. Additionally, some proactive financial moves you can make include making charitable donations, considering private health care, and putting savings into mortgage repayments.
If you have more questions about how to reduce your tax liability, or if you’re ready to start working with a professional team, get in touch with QCA today!
Holidays are an important part of the working world; if no one ever took holidays, we probably wouldn’t live to an average age of 85. Making sure your employees get breaks is important, and so is understanding leave entitlements. This article explains when and why annual leave needs to be paid.
Annual leave, also referred to as ‘holiday pay’, is an accrued number of hours which any employees, other than casual workers, are entitled to claim. This allows employees to take time off work while still being paid. Annual leave is one of 11 minimum employment standards which must be provided to employees as mandated by the Fair Work National Employment Standards.
The National Employment Standards dictate that at a minimum annual leave for full-time and part-time employees are to receive the equivalent of 4 weeks of ordinary work per year. This means that each year, employees are entitled to 4 times their average working week in annual leave. For example, an employee who works 38 hours per week will accrue 152 hours of annual leave over the course of a year.
Shift workers, classified as employees who work rostered shifts on any day of the week at any time, are entitled to 5 weeks of annual leave per year.
Annual leave must begin from the first day an employee begins working for your business. As mentioned previously, full-time and part-time employees are entitled to a minimum rate of 4 weeks paid annual leave per year. However, annual leave is calculated and accrued daily.
Daily annual leave accumulation can be calculated using the following formula:
Total annual leave ÷ 52 weeks = annual leave per week
Annual leave per week ÷ 5 days = annual leave per day
Managing your employee annual leave balances and payments doesn’t need to be difficult. Using cloud based software like Xero allows employees to view, request and manage their own annual leave. This type of software also allows you to view each of your employees’ leave balances, requests, and approved time off. By automating the annual leave process, you are free to focus on business growth.
Understanding your annual leave requirements and your employees entitlements is just as important as taking some time off. Without proper management, you could find yourself giving your employees too much or too little annual leave, and neither would be good for your business. For more in-depth advice on how to properly manage annual leave in your business, contact the QCA team.
In a recent article, we explained how to make your Christmas party Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT)-friendly and avoid some unwelcome surprises. Employers may be confused, or unaware of the scope of FBT, how and when to pay it, and how to reduce it. Knowing the basics of FBT and how you can avoid and reduce it can be a huge money saver for your business.
A Fringe Benefit refers to anything paid to your employees which does not fall under the categories of salary or wage. A Fringe Benefit can refer to many things including cars, accommodation, entertainment, financial aids (i.e. loans, expense payments and debt waivers). For a full list of fringe benefit examples, see the ATO website.
The FBT year runs from April 1 to March 31, and any FBT payments that are due should be made annually by May 21. If this is your first time time paying FBT, or if the amount of FBT you paid in the previous year was under $3,000, then you only need to make one payment for the year. If you paid $3,000 or more in the previous year, then you are required to pay FBT in quarterly instalments for the next FBT year. Payments must be made to the ATO on or before the due date to avoid Failure to Lodge (FTL) penalties.
It is a legal requirement that you keep written records of all Fringe Benefits, and lodge an annual FBT activity statement through the Australian Business Registry Service (ABRS).
Standard Business Reporting (SBR) enabled software including Xero and MYOB must be used to submit your FBT statements. There is a full list of software you can use to lodge your activity statement, however it is recommended to manage your FBT through a registered tax agent to ensure you meet all obligations.
To reduce FBT, make sure you are well aware of all the benefits which incur FBT and plan your benefits accordingly. FBT can apply to cars, entertainment, loans and accommodation. Your payable FBT can be reduced by:
The threshold for taxable Fringe Benefits is $2000, so keeping annual benefit value below that will immediately save you the obligation of paying FBT.
Fringe Benefits are a great way to reward your staff in a way that can be much more meaningful and relationship building than a cash bonus. However, it is crucial to keep a close eye on the benefits you provide your employees to ensure you don’t end up hurting your business as a result.
Our expert team knows all about Fringe Benefit Tax in Australia. Get in touch today to make the best decision for your business when it comes to FBT.
When it comes to preparing your business to hit the ground running in the new year, the best thing you can do is speak to your accountant. They know the ins and outs of how to properly prepare your business for the new year, whether you close for the holiday period, or if this is your busiest time of the year. However, there are a few things you can do to get ahead of the curve for 2022, including reviewing business processes, technology, spending habits and trends.
The new year is often regarded as the time to reflect and make new resolutions. As a business owner, one of your top priorities should be to take a close, honest look at the way you operate your business, where the bulk of your income comes from, where it goes, and how you can implement better spending habits and bolster income streams.
The technology you use is another factor to consider. Consider your payroll, bookkeeping, superannuation, record keeping, etc. The software available for keeping track of these aspects of business have evolved exponentially over the years, helping you to save time, money and even the environment through the use of digital and cloud-based platforms.
Reviewing your current income streams and business expenses is key to identifying areas that need to be better managed and improved. Gathering and assessing this data can also allow you to identify both positive and negative trends, and develop ways to enhance what is working, whilst reducing unproductive spending.
Looking back often allows us to make predictions for the future, and enables businesses to make educated decisions when it comes to planning for the year ahead.
A business plan should never be set in stone and the new year is a good time to review what did and did not work for your business, what other businesses are doing well, and how you can promote growth and prosperity. By keeping your business plan flexible enough to make changes as the business environment shifts, you are much better placed to weather most issues with relative ease.
Collaborate with your business accountant to make the most of their expertise when it comes to financial data analysis, predictions and planning. By employing the knowledge of a financial advisor, you become free to focus on the operations of the business plan. You can also rest easy knowing that your business is being guided by an industry professional with the experience and skills necessary to help your business thrive.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to get your business heading in the right direction in the new year. Follow these simple steps and you will find yourself well equipped to take on what 2022 has in store, or get in touch with the friendly team at QCA for the best, tailored advice to really kick start your new year!
Planning your work Christmas party can be a huge task and Fringe Benefit Tax can be confusing and add up quickly if you’re not careful. So it’s important to take advantage of all the tax exemptions you are entitled to during this process.
In this article, we will discuss how Fringe Benefit Tax works and provide our top 5 tips on how to make your Christmas party exemption-friendly
Fringe Benefit Tax is a tax that employers have to pay on non-cash benefits provided to employees. Fringe Benefits are the perks given by an employer, such as gifts or free food and drinks at parties or work functions. There is a Fringe Benefit Tax exemption limit each FBT year (April 1 – March 31).
If the cost of your Fringe Benefits is under the current threshold, you don’t pay FBT on them. It’s important that you understand your Fringe Benefit Tax exemption limit, and make sure you don’t go over it so you can reduce the amount of FBT you have to pay.
Work Christmas parties can be considered a ‘minor benefit’ for your employees according to the ATO’s FBT guide. This means that if the total value of the party or gift is less than $300 including GST per employee or associate, then there is no payable tax on the benefit. The minor benefit exemption can apply to both employees of the business and associates, such as partners, who are invited to the event.
It is important to note that if a benefit is deemed to fall under the category of ‘meal entertainment’, you are still required to pay a calculated FBT. Understanding what benefits and exemptions exist is crucial to remaining compliant with your legal requirements as an employer.
When deciding on the venue for your work Christmas party, it can pay to consider hosting the event on your work premises where you will be entitled to property exemption.
Choosing to host in your own establishment means any food and drink, including alcohol, is not subject to FBT, as opposed to these benefits provided on a third party premises which require FBT to be paid. GST credits and income tax deductions are not applicable to these expenses.
Entertainment gifts provided to employees in Australia are subject to FBT. In order to avoid this cost, employers can opt for ‘non-entertainment’ gifts, which can include hampers, gift vouchers, bottles of alcohol, etc.
To determine whether employee gifts are classified at entertainment or non-entertainment, see the FBT guide for a set of identifying questions including why, what, when and where food or drinks are being provided to employees
Ensure all expenses are recorded and organised, with expenses such as entertainment, meals, gifts, etc. kept separate.im to keep costs within the limit of the FBT exemption. Your records must include the taxable value of each fringe benefit provided to each employee, the method of allocating the taxable value, and evidence that 100% of the taxable value of the benefits has been allocated to employees.
You must also keep records if you want to take advantage of various exemptions or concessions that reduce your FBT liability. These documents must also be kept for five years from when the relevant FBT return is lodged.
The best way to plan your work Christmas party and make use of Fringe Benefit Tax exemptions is to host your party on your business premises, and give staff non-entertainment gifts that cost less than $300 per employee. Minimise your FBT without minimising the fun.
If you’re still not sure about your Fringe Benefit Tax requirements, and how you can reduce them, get in touch with QCA today!
If you are an employer, your superannuation is a huge part of the payroll process. Superannuation payments are often overlooked when cash flow gets tight or when internal processes aren’t in place to handle it. Super needs to be paid on time, every month. If not paid on time, you run the risk of encountering any or all of the four major consequences outlined below.
Superannuation is one of the easiest ways to save on tax. If superannuation is only one day overdue, it can no longer be claimed as a tax deduction. This means you’re paying more tax if it’s not paid on time.
If you don’t meet your legal obligation of paying superannuation on time then there could be tax implications which means you could end up paying up to 25% more. This can add up and become a potentially catastrophic burden on your business.
Income tax deductions often translate into tens of thousands of dollars for medium sized businesses, either spent or saved depending on whether or not you pay on time.
In the event that your superannuation payments are late, you are responsible for filing a Superannuation Guarantee Charge Form (SGC) within 1 month of the payment due date.
The SGC is designed to give the ATO a detailed account of late payments, including relevant information such as the financial quarter, due date, due payment, employee, etc. This form can also include details of the payment if it is made between the due date and the date the form is submitted.
When lodging an SGC form, it is your obligation as an employer to provide compensation for late payments. This process provides disincentives for late payments, as well as compensating employees for time their superannuation was not being invested.
Generally, the interest rate paid on late super payments is 10%, as well as a $20 fee per employee paid to the ATO per quarter of late payments. These fees and interest payments can quickly add up and failure to comply can result in personal liability and serious repercussions.
Failure to comply with the legal obligations you have as an employer when it comes to superannuation is a serious infraction in the eyes of the ATO, putting you in a bad position if your business practices are not up to scratch.
Director penalty notices are a legally binding responsibility, naming company directors and trustees personally liable for the superannuation owed to employees if payments are late or SGC forms are not lodged in time.
If your business is at the stage of receiving director penalty notices from the ATO, there are some very serious issues that need to be addressed. These notices are a major sign of malcompliance, and failure to acknowledge and respond appropriately to these notices is an invitation for the ATO to come down on your business with force.
When it comes to superannuation, it pays to have good business practices in place, and a thorough understanding of your obligations as an employer. Knowing what happens if you don’t pay super to your employees on time is a good place to start.
Inability to keep up with your superannuation obligations is a slippery path that can quickly lead your business into unfavourable territory. If you’re having trouble keeping up with superannuation payments, now is the time to have a look at your business practices. The team at QC Accountants are superannuation experts who are here to help your business thrive. Get in touch for help and advice towards getting your superannuation payments on track.