This is an extract from Jason Cunningham’s latest book, Have your cake and sell it too: the 7 key ingredients of business success. We’ve all been there: standing around the barbie, listening to someone bang on about how little tax they pay. But scratch the surface and you’ll often find these people are not paying tax for one primary reason: they’re not making any money. Paying tax is not necessarily a bad thing. For one, you get that warm inner glow from contributing to society. But more … [Read more...] about 3 reasons to do tax planning this year
Grow your business
The Practice is thrilled to announce we are joining forces with specialist business advisory firm Knightstone. The new entity, operating under The Practice brand, will offer an even deeper range of Business Advisory consulting capabilities to support the strategic objectives of business owners, and will add increased property capabilities as part of the Personal Wealth Advisory division. “There’s a real synergy between the two entities that will only be enhanced by coming together”, said … [Read more...] about The Practice and Knightstone join forces
As another year races by, it’s timely to recap some of the important changes at The Practice this year, and hint at some of the exciting plans we have in store for 2017: Important changes 1/ The firm has decided that we need Robert Hadded’s hands-on skills as we continue to refine our Personal Wealth Advisory offering. He will head up this division throughout 2017, bringing with him a wealth of experience in finance, structuring and asset protection, and of course tax. His leadership … [Read more...] about Big changes, exciting plans
In my role as business adviser & accountant, I’ve had the pleasure to work with a diverse range of artists – from Vance Joy to Daniel McPherson to Dave Thornton. Generally they’re refreshingly humble and a pleasure to deal with. Like any segment of business owners, artists are all very different. Some are very financially astute, and want to be involved in important decisions; others don’t want to know about the numbers at all, and just want to focus on what they do best. As their … [Read more...] about What rock stars can teach business owners
When it comes to business, cash (flow) is king. As part of your yearly tax planning activities with your accountant or business adviser, you should be kept abreast of opportunities to capitalise on government measures designed to support the small business sector. The federal government’s $20,000 instant asset write-off scheme, introduced in the 2015 Federal Budget, allows businesses to immediately deduct the full value of every asset purchased (subject to conditions) to the value of $20,000, … [Read more...] about Are you eligible for the $20,000 instant asset tax write-off?
The ATO has advised that it is continuing its Contractor payments data-matching program. It will acquire data from businesses that it visits as part of its employer obligations compliance program during the 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years. The data collected from businesses is used to identify contractors that may not be meeting their taxation obligations through: not registering correctly with the ATO; non-lodgment of returns; failing to report payments received; … [Read more...] about Contractor payments data matching program
The ATO has been working on ways to deliver a simpler business activity statement (BAS) to simplify account set-up, record keeping, BAS preparation and lodgment for agents and their clients, and make it less costly. To achieve this, several GST labels will be removed from the BAS, with small businesses only required to report: GST on sales (1A); GST on purchases (1B); and Total sales (G1). They will begin user testing from 1 July 2016 and a simpler BAS should be the standard … [Read more...] about New Simpler BAS on the way
By Tim Sherlock, Senior Accountant With the Christmas break almost upon us, many employers will look to reward employees and thank clients with a gift or celebratory event… but beware of the possible Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and income tax implications of providing ‘entertainment’, such as Christmas parties. FBT and Entertainment Under the FBT Act, employers must choose how they calculate their FBT entertainment liability and most use either the ‘actual method’ or the ’50/50 … [Read more...] about Silly season tax traps
One of our clients, and a close friend of Jason Cunningham’s - ex Melbourne Football star David Schwarz (aka THE OX) – has a special offer for all Practice clients. The Ox is a managing director of Supatramp – a state-of-the-art indoor activity centre filled with exciting equipment and activities - and he's offering all Practice business clients a 20% discount! Supatramp has tailored a program specifically for team and relationship building, as they – like The Practice - understand the … [Read more...] about Special offer for business owners from The Ox!
On 1 December 1997, two 24 year old upstarts - Robert Hadded and Jason Cunningham - flung open the doors of The Practice for the first time. They'd gone to Primary, Secondary, High School and Uni together - so you could say they were destined to go into business together (or get restraining orders against each other). They started out with two employees - Jason and Rob - and no clients. Fast forward to today, and The Practice has over 50 dedicated team members working in harmony across … [Read more...] about The Practice turns 18
(Photo: www.pexels.com; www.gratisography.com) I wrote recently about research that showed 66% of SME owners don't believe today’s education system gives children the skills they need to run a successful small business. Backing this up is the latest MYOB SME Snapshot survey: 38% of business owners said trial and error was the No. 1 method for gaining business skills in the start-up phase – ahead of other important information sources such as accounts and financial advisers (32 per cent) … [Read more...] about 9 steps to start-up success
What makes a great workplace? The people? The pay? The jobs you work on? We can’t all be like Google and give employees time off to work on pet projects, or provide free lunch and on-site barista around the clock like LinkedIn. But the latest MYOB SME Snapshot research highlights that smart SMEs are leveraging small business attributes – namely culture and employment flexibility – as selling points to attract talent. The research showed 38% of SMEs said employment flexibility was the key … [Read more...] about Attracting the best talent
Is a healthy work/life balance really attainable for SMEs? Depends on your definition of balance. Many people think balance means an even, equal, consistent separation of work and play. And for wage earners, it’s a reasonable expectation. But not for business owners. Unfortunately, business doesn’t conform to your gym class or school pick-up schedule. There will be peaks and troughs. Late nights and stressful times. It’s up to you to reclaim your ‘life’ when things level off. Now you’re … [Read more...] about Can your accountant improve your work/life balance?
Xero’s Head of Security, Paul Macpherson, gives some tips to help all Xero users stay safe online. If at any time you have concerns about your security, contact us immediately, or email email@example.com. We’ve recently noticed an increase in the volume of phishing attacks and malware scams. This is an industry-wide problem for business software, online banking and other websites. Our security team has been tracking a small number of incidents—the result of phishing attacks, where a … [Read more...] about Xero users: How to stay safe online
I was alarmed to read in MYOB’s latest SME Snapshot that almost half of respondents had one credit card they use for both business and personal expenses. In my mind that’s a recipe for disaster. Too often I see business owners wondering why they can’t seem to get their cash flow flowing… only to find personal spending from the business account is to blame. The old adage the more we earn, the more we spend is central to many financial problems… this is magnified with credit cards, where you … [Read more...] about Business owners caught in the credit card trap
When I was at school, I was taught a lot about trigonometry, geography, Australian history, physics, chemistry… and not a single thing about managing money – let alone running a business. When asked in MYOB’s latest monthly SME Snapshot if today’s education system gave children the skills they need to run their own business, 66% of respondents disagreed (some strongly). Like most small business owners, my business lessons were learned at the school of life. On the job. The hard way. In … [Read more...] about 7 essential skills for small business owners
Remember the good old days? I started reminiscing about how far we’ve come as a profession after reading a blog on how artificial intelligence is changing the future of business. Ah… the good old days: When clients would only use their accountant as a bean-counter – begrudgingly engaging us to prepare documents only because they were required by law? (Not an ideal relationship) When clients would send you zipped up dat files (that you’d receive two days later by snail mail) just so you … [Read more...] about The changing role of accountants… for the better
It’s finals time! And as the pressure builds, so do the clichés – talk of ‘structures’, ‘KPIs’, ‘following the process’, ‘our brand of football’, and the perennial favourite, ‘taking it one week at a time.’ Elite sporting organisations have borrowed heavily from business over the last decade, bringing in numerous business ideas and terminologies to drive performance in the pursuit of excellence. But there are just as many powerful insights business owners can learn from elite sport. And I … [Read more...] about 11 things SMEs can learn from sport
It’s a brave new world. Accounting has been transformed by numerous significant technological and operational changes that have forever altered our relationships with clients – changes which provide significant opportunities for our clients to grow and prosper. But change can be challenging. Confronting. Frightening. Especially for traditionally conservative accountants. But with change comes opportunity. If you can embrace it, you can transform your relationship with clients – and … [Read more...] about What does the future hold for today’s Accountant?
Australia’s SME revenue performance has hit heights not seen since September 2011, and revenue decline is on the, um, decline. And no, it’s not simply a Turnbull bounce. The strongest SME revenue performance of the last four years, and five year low in the proportion of businesses experiencing revenue decline, was captured in the March 2015 MYOB Business Monitor. But if the Canning by-election is any guide, this confidence will only be bolstered by Malcolm Turnbull’s rise to PM. In his … [Read more...] about Is high SME confidence just a ‘Turnbull bounce’?
After leadership rumblings that seemed to last longer than his just-shy-of-two-year term as PM, Tony Abbott has exited stage left. Whatever your take on the Abbott Government’s achievements, what seems clear from the sidelines is 1) if Tony had a clear vision for the country, he failed to let us in on it, and 2) his PM-ship seemed destabilised to the point of being terminal. Our 29th PM, Malcolm Turnbull, cited Abbott’s inability to provide ‘economic leadership’ and ‘the economic confidence … [Read more...] about What SMEs want from PM Malcolm
When the going gets tough, Aussie SMEs turn to their accountants first. That’s one of the findings of the most recent MYOB SME Snapshot survey. Not that this is surprising. I’ve seen first-hand how technology changes such as the rise of cloud accounting have helped businesses reduce administration tasks and increase cash flow. The flow-on effect, and the most profound impact of cloud accounting, has been to free up Accountants from a compliance focus so they can move from bean-counter to … [Read more...] about Accountants do it better
I gave up long ago on the dream of a totally paperless office. The predictions weren’t worth the paper they were printed, scanned, filed and archived offsite on. It’s simply a bridge too far for service industries like accounting and legal. Well, we’re one step closer. The relentless march of technology has struck another blow in the endless paper war. I’ve used electronic signatures for a while now – mostly for keynote presentation agreements – and they tick all the boxes: safe, … [Read more...] about New tools to fight the paper war
All businesses are fundamentally the same. If I've learned one thing from my 18 years in business working with hundreds of SME clients (and growing my own little business), it's that we owners all have the same challenges: Attracting and retaining the right team members who are great at what they do Attracting and retaining your ideal customers – people who pay on time, take your advice, and are a joy to work with Getting employees to consistently do the right things, at the right … [Read more...] about Is your business funding the lifestyle you want… or is your lifestyle supporting your business?
BUSINESS IS TOUGH - GET FIGHTING FIT at Jason Cunningham's Business Bootcamp It takes one to grow one. Tap into Jason Cunningham's business-building expertise and learn his fundamentals for business success in this intensive 1-day workshop. Tired of treading water with your business? Know you need to make changes, but don't know where to start? Identify the key activities you should focus on for maximum effectiveness, and start building a 12 month action plan. You know … [Read more...] about Business Bootcamp – Wed 26 August
Think back to those heady, exciting days when you first decided to take the plunge and seize control of your own destiny. What were the reasons you gave friends who were sceptical (or thought you were downright crazy)? “A better quality of life - more freedom and flexibility.” “To create something special, and make a difference.” “To be the boss and call the shots.” “To get a greater share of the profits for all my efforts.” So… how’s that working out for … [Read more...] about Why did you go into business?
Although all large and medium-sized employers were meant to be ready for SuperStream by 30 June this year, the ATO has advised that, for those who are not yet ready, it will extend that date by four months until 31 October 2015. SuperStream for small employers with 19 or fewer employers started from 1 July 2015. … [Read more...] about Employers – ATO extends SuperStream deadline
A recent risk review conducted by the ATO showed that up to 70% of employers that have Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) obligations are non-compliant. This could leave businesses exposed to hefty fines and penalties. Read on to find out if you’re at risk… Fringe Benefits are benefits given to an employee by an employer in addition to their salary. The most common Fringe Benefits comes in the form of company cars given to employees to use which is garaged at or near the Employee’s place of residence … [Read more...] about What the FBT?!?!
From fridges to moisturiser, there are hundreds of surprising items that are tax deductible. Depending on your industry, here’s what you could claim. With the Federal Government’s recent renewed focus on supporting small business through tax relief in the Budget [link to Budget article], we take a look at some of the lesser-known existing exemptions that many business owners aren’t claiming. So strap in as we enter the weird, wacky and wonderful world of business tax exemptions. Note that … [Read more...] about Weird And Wonderful Business Tax Deductions You Probably Didn’t Know About
There are keys to success that every single business – whether a start-up or a thriving enterprise – needs to master. If you can set your business up with these in mind, you’re half way to building a brilliant business, argues Jason Cunningham. Know your business. The first thing I encourage all small business owners to do is to articulate your ‘why’ – the reason your business exists (and the real reason customers buy off you). Crucially, you need to communicate it to your key stakeholders: … [Read more...] about ‘Start me up’ – 8 keys to start-up success
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. The highest profile measures in the recent Federal Budget focus on providing cash flow relief while stimulating consumption. But there are other ways that small businesses can take advantage of the budget, such as the ability to ensure you have the correct structure in place. 1. CASH FLOW MEASURES There are some key budget measures that aim to increase cash flow for small businesses. Importantly, to maximise these opportunities, you should … [Read more...] about How business owners can take advantage of the Federal Budget
We’ve all been there. Standing around the barbie, listening to someone bang on about how little tax they pay. But when you scratch the surface, you often find out the reason they’re not paying tax isn’t due to clever fiscal management… it’s because they’re not making any money. Paying tax is not necessarily a bad thing. For one, you get that warm inner glow from contributing to society. But more importantly, it means you’re making money. Now let me be clear – as the late great Kerry … [Read more...] about EOFY Planning – Why spending money to save on tax doesn’t make sense
Are you an ATO audit target? The ATO has announced it's audit 'hit list' for this financial year: Work-related expenses: motor vehicle expenses for travelling between home and work; overnight travel; and the work-related proportion of use for computers, phones and other electronic devices Rental property expenses: excessive deductions being claimed for holiday homes (deductions should be limited to the amount of income earned, or to the number of days actually rented … [Read more...] about ATO on the warpath
There’s been growing consternation among many retailers and hospitality business owners over the decision to designate Easter Sunday and Grand Final eve Friday as Public Holidays. Many shops, restaurants and bars hit customers with a surcharge of up to 15% on Easter weekend to cover the additional wage costs. Worse still, some closed their doors completely as they felt the additional penalty rates wouldn’t make it financially viable. So, not only did some customers cop higher prices to pay … [Read more...] about Penalty rates – who really gets penalised?
There was an increase in the number of businesses for sale in Australia in 2014, hitting an all-time high of 41,200 enterprises up for grabs in October last year. But in an overcrowded market, how do you get the best price for your business? And more importantly, how do you make a play for the big bucks? The Practice’s Jason Cunningham is featured in this SmartCompany article on How to sell your small business for big … [Read more...] about How to sell your small business for big bucks
The winners of the inaugural Australian Accounting Awards have been announced – and we’re thrilled to announce The Practice’s CEO and founding partner, Robert Hadded, was named ‘Executive of the Year 2014’. It is a significant achievement, as Robert beat an array of high-calibre executives from top tier firms nationally. The team at The Practice congratulate Robert on this fitting testament to his exceptional performance as CEO of The Practice. … [Read more...] about Robert Hadded named ‘Executive of the Year 2014’
A recent case before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) involved a company that had withheld nearly $850,000 in pay as you go (PAYG) withholding that it had deducted from its employees' salaries and wages. It was obviously in some financial trouble, and failed to remit any of the monies to the ATO before being wound up. Company directors have a legal responsibility to ensure that their company meets its PAYG withholding and superannuation guarantee (SG) obligations. This doesn't … [Read more...] about Directors liable for company’s PAYG withholding
Coles have announced they're moving into... finance. Coles and Woolworths already have a market share of 72.5 per cent of the $82 billion grocery sector. In addition to their food and liquor retail empire, they now offer petrol, insurance, an increasing amount of pharmaceutical products, and credit cards to name a few. Coles has announced a joint venture with GE Money to offer small personal loans. GE, being a clever company, have identified this JV is a great way to offer their products … [Read more...] about Are Coles and Woolies taking over our lives?
A revenue strategy is important, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. If you don’t have a solid foundation for your business – understanding your People, your Processes, and your Customers – you might strike trouble regardless of your revenue. You can be the best salesperson in the world, and have healthy revenue… but if you don’t have your back end house in order, or you’re selling the wrong thing to the wrong people at the wrong time, your sales may take a hit – and your profit is … [Read more...] about Why you should focus on financials last
Superannuation Guarantee is now 9.5% - ensure your software is up-to-date (talk to us if you're unsure of your obligations) Issue PAYG W payment summaries to your employers AND send/transmit to the ATO If your Wages and Super is over $550,000 - ensure you attend to your annual Payroll tax obligations Review and complete your annual WorkCover certificate of wages (do you need to review your forward estimates?) … [Read more...] about REMINDER: Annual employer obligations you must attend to
With the Government determined to balance the budget, the ATO is reviewing the $17.7b uncollected taxes over 2012/13 (60% owed by small businesses). Talk to us to discuss strategies to ensure you have the cash flow available to meet your tax obligations. The Inspector General of Taxation (IGT) has announced a review of the ATO's approach to debt collection. The ATO has stated that more recent increases are a result of economic conditions and its assistance to viable businesses to … [Read more...] about ATO to get tough on outstanding $18b unpaid tax
Your business financials are important… but I argue they should be the last things you focus on. I encourage all small businesses to take the Balanced Scorecard approach, focusing on the 4 pillars of every business: your People, your Processes, your Customers, and your Financials. This sounds controversial coming from an accountant... but business owners should first focus on the other 3 pillars of business: your People, your Processes, and your Customers. These three pillars drive the … [Read more...] about The first (and most important) thing small business owners should focus on
At my recent 'Secrets of business success' event, I challenged the audience with two simple questions: 1) Why did you go into business? (Usual - and perfectly valid - answers: more money, better/more flexible lifestyle, run my own show, answer to no one, make a difference, etc...) 2) So... how's that working out for you? (...awkward silence) This is a common issue facing business owners - one I've seen all too often in my 17 years of helping business owners grow their business … [Read more...] about Why did you go into business… and how’s that working out for you?
Strategy Bootcamp - Thursday 14 August Join Jason Cunningham and The Practice's Business Advisory team from for a powerful day of strategic planning Write your own strategic plan in a day (for a fraction of the cost) Walk away with a 12 month action plan to achieve your strategic goals Work with other growth-oriented business owners to overcome your key challenges and get inspired to transform your … [Read more...] about Build your own strategic plan in a day
Thanks for requesting my eBook - you can download it here: Grow your business and profit with less stress. All the best on your business-building journey. Jason Cunningham … [Read more...] about eBook: Grow your business (and profits) with less stress
Robert Hadded discusses the importance of correctly structuring your affairs, particularly for business owners and investors. [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpjnq4f78J0[/youtube] … [Read more...] about Why asset protection is vital for investors and business owners
Businesses: plan now for tax time Planning for your tax now enables you to make changes before the end of the financial year – changes which could significantly reduce the size of your tax liability. We encourage all businesses to conduct a tax planning session before 30 March to ensure you have time to take action and improve your tax position. Benefits of tax planning before 30 June: Make changes now so you can potentially pay less tax (only pay what you are legally … [Read more...] about Plan now, minimise business tax later
Budget 2013/14 - what does it mean for you? Key points from the Budget - with commentary provided by CPA Australia Education, the knowledge economy and the Asian Century $9.8 billion from 2014-15 will be welcome news for our schools and school teachers but Asian literacy barely rates anything but a cursory mention in this Budget. The $97 million earmarked for additional university places for nursing, teaching and Asian languages represents only around 1,650 places per … [Read more...] about Federal Budget – what it means for you
Video of Jason Cunningham sharing what Kerry told Mark... and what you can learn for your business. [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0bGhSZG_x4[/youtube] … [Read more...] about VIDEO: What Kerry Packer told Mark Bouris…
Up to $20,000 business improvement funding available Free business review Improve the productivity and competitiveness of your business Take your business to the next level The Federal government has introduced a range of initiatives to help SME’s improve their productivity and competitiveness by providing access to professional business advisory and development services. Enterprise Connect is an initiative designed to help businesses improve by providing a detailed review of the … [Read more...] about Are you eligible for $20,000 of funding to improve your business?
The new guy is starting tomorrow and you’re trying to figure out if he’s an employee or contractor. What’s the difference… and does it REALLY matter which one he is? Why you need to get it right Determining if someone is an employee or contractor has several implications for your business meaning that getting the decision right is important. It affects a number of your obligations including superannuation, work cover, payroll tax and the type of tax to be withheld. Therefore if you have not … [Read more...] about Are they an employee or contractor?
With the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) year just about to end, it's important to beware the possible effect on you - so here's the what, how, who and when of the FBT. What is FBT? The Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) is a tax paid on certain benefits that employers provide to their employees or their employee’s associates in place of salary or wages. Payments by 3rd parties to your associates under an arrangement by the employer are also included. What are 'benefits'? According to the ATO, a … [Read more...] about Fringe Benefits Tax: what it is, how it works and who it affects