Category Archives: Accounting and Finance

General Information and advice on accounting and finance useful to businesses and organisations.

How To Find The Right Networking Event For You

So you want to meet new people to network with. But where are they? And which is the right one for you?

Ideally, ask someone you know who is already networking to give you some ideas on where to network. Meet Up, for example, is an online place to find where people are meeting for different interest groups in a particular area. I strongly recommend this if you are new to anything, anywhere!

Below are some different organisations and types of ways to network.

Speed Networking | Chamber of Commerce | Business Networking Inc | Sporting Clubs | Exclusive Clubs | Industry Events | Meet Up | Art Exhibitions | School Events | Community Events and Organisations | Private or Exclusive Events | Online Forums and Communities | Social Media Linked In- Twitter- Facebook | Volunteering | Lions Club | Quota | Rotary | Seminars and Workshops | Book Clubs | Cooking Classes.

Remember, networking means different things to different people. Ask yourself the following questions

1. Who am I wanting to meet/what is my purpose? Business or pleasure? Are you wanting to meet new clients; new suppliers; new friends; colleagues from your industry; mentors; new business partners; investors; employees; people who are in a particular industry or have common interests? Don’t always assume that for business you need to go to events where only your potential clients are.

2. How many networking events do you want to attend each week or month or year? How frequently do you want to attend any one networking event? I can literally go to a networking event every day for almost every day of the year. But I wouldn’t get much work done if I did!

3. What are my limitations? Cost? Travel time/distance/location? Time to attend? Time to contribute to the organisation? Some networking events cost money to attend, not including the additional costs of meals, drinks, contributions etc. Where the event is and the time commitment to attend is also a factor. Some networking events are not just networking but also part of an organisations official meeting.

Networking is about meeting people. Don’t immediately dismiss an event because those attending are not the people you want to meet. Getting to know these people and making them a part of your network might open you to other people who you are wanting to meet.

If you want to find me, I have my “Where I Will Be” page letting people know what events I am attending for business. I also link a little blog I do on the event as well.

Personally, I use Meet Up to meet new people once a week for both the personal and professional interaction. I have made this part of my goals for 2014.

So now you can find events to network at. But what do you need to do to start networking? Find out in my next post!

~ Damien Foley

ATO’s E-Tax Issue Printing or Saving Tax Returns.

Its that time of year again for preparing tax returns. Many of us will be using the ATO’s E-Tax software to lodge our 2013 tax return online, as a fast and effective way to prepare, lodge and receive our tax refund into our bank account (usually around 10 working days). But there is a problem with printing or saving a copy of your  tax return with some computers and printers ie Windows and Hewlett Packard. Here is a quick step through on how to get around this problem.

1. In E Tax on the left hand side select the “Printing” screen.

2. Change your printer to “Microsoft XPS Document Writer”. Then press the “Preview or print” button.

3. This will process to preview your tax return. In the menu bar the Selected Printer will be Microsoft XPS Document Writer. Press the “Print” button beside this.

4. A “Save Print Output As” window will display. Select where you want to save the document to. I suggest saving it to where your Tax records are on your computer for easy access.

5. Still in this window give your Tax  Return a file name you can easily identify as your name and the year, such as “FOLEY Damien 2013 ITR”.

6. Still in this window, the “Save as type” should be “OpenXPS Document (*.oxps)”. Press Save.

7. You will now need to download a XPS to PDF  converter. You can Google for different converters but I downloaded a free version of NovaPDF from http://www.novapdf.com/download.html. Once downloaded close the XPS to PDF Converter.

8. Go to where you just saved your Tax Return as the XPS file. Open the file and select the print icon or similar (this is in the top right side). A Print window will open. Choose the PDF Creator you just downloaded and press print.

9. A window will open allowing you to save the file as a PDF. Choose where you want to save the file to. Again, I suggest you save it to where you have saved your other tax return information with an identifiable name. Once the save destination is selected press OK.

10. The file now saved as a PDF will open. From the menu select File/print. Select the printer you are wanting to print a hard copy from.

You have successfully saved your tax return as a PDF and you are able to print it from your printer.

Public Holidays- Did You Know Labour Day for Qld Is Now In October, Not In May?

Business owners, especially the self employed,  have a lot to deal with as a business. So knowing when public holidays are coming up is generally not at the top of the priority list. But it does affect a lot of businesses, in the way of staff availability, completion of projects and jobs, planning meetings and timing of bank payments. Not knowing when a public holiday is on can be costly to business, not to mention embarrassing if you publicise the wrong date!

Here are the links for Public Holidays in each state. If you need the Queensland Public Holidays, the Justice Departments website has a great feature to the right which you can click to Subscribe to their calendar to add to yours to be kept constantly up to date with Queensland’s Public Holidays. South Australia also has the ability to be kept up to date via emails, but also subscribes you to other email notifications.

Australian States Public Holidays

Queensland Public Holidays

NSW Public Holidays

Victoria Public Holidays

ACT Public Holidays

Tasmania Public Holidays

South Australia Public Holidays

Northern Territory Public Holidays

Western Australia Public Holidays

The Million Dollar Sales Pitch- Presented by David S Rose

David Rose has raised millions pitching with Power Point presentations to Venture Capitalists and invested millions with people who have presented Power Point presentations. In this presentation, David explains how to deliver a million dollar sales pitch to potential investors and clients.

Cash For Christmas

Christmas BaubleChristmas is a time when many businesses must manage their cash. For some businesses, especially those in retail, this is a time when they will see an increase in their sales. For others this is when they start to see a slow down.

Slow Down In Cash

If your business is one that traditionally starts to see a slow down in cash during the Christmas period, here are some tips to manage you through this period.

1. Overdue Accounts- Follow up on these immediately. Start calling clients whose accounts are overdue. Its important to maintain a good relationship with clients. This includes good communication so they understand your payment terms.

2.  Cash Reserves- Start putting money aside to pay accounts that will fall due during the period. Keeping your suppliers happy ensures you maintain a good relationship with them.

3. Payment Plans- With both clients and suppliers, you may need to enter into a payment plan with them. This should be organised as early as possible so terms can be agreed to before it becomes an issue.

Increase in Cash

Your business may see an increase in sales during this period. This is commonly seen in retail and tourism where the Christmas holidays account for a third of their yearly sales. Here are some tips to manage for when you receive most of your income in this period.

1. Accounts Payable- Stick to your accounts payable payment terms during this period. If you receive a discount for early payment, consider if this is advantageous to your business.

2. Cash Reserves- Ensure you put away cash for those periods when sales are a little slow. Look at where you can earn interest on this cash.

3. Cash flow Projections- Be aware of when you think you are going to need to draw down on your cash or take out a bank overdraft. Preparing cash flow projections is an important part of understanding when you will need to do this.

Is your business experiencing problems with customer payments? Do you have problems managing how to pay your suppliers on time? Do you need assistance with budgeting and financial management? Contact Damien Foley to organise an appointment to discuss your situation.

~ Damien Foley

‘Sham Contracting’ – The Difference Between Employee & Contractor

'Sham Contracting' ContractWith tighter times there is more pressure on workers to get an Australian Business Number (ABN) to become contractors to get work. ‘Sham Contracting’ is where a worker who is really an employee is working under an ABN as a contractor. The worker may ask to do this for the better pay or the employer may ask for it to reduce the costs and liabilities of employment. As a contractor, you are not able to receive the benefits of an employee such as unfair dismissal as it goes to the contract agreement terms to resolve. But should you be a contractor? And what are the implications for both the worker and the employer if you do but you’re technically not?

What The ATO Says

The ATO has guidance on whether you’re an employee or a contractor. Below are some of those guidances, or click here to go to the ATO website.

1. Control Over Work: An employee is directed by their employer in how the work is to be carried out. A contractor is, per the terms of their contract, able to carry out the work as they see fit.

2. Ability to Subcontract/Delegate: An employee cannot contract in someone else to carry out the work. A contractor has the ability to subcontract the work to someone else or get an employee to do the work.

3. Basis of Payment: An employee is paid on time; or price per unit/item; commission. A contractor is paid to deliver an outcome per the agreement.

4. Equipment, Tools and Other Assets: An employees equipment, tools and other assets are supplied by the employer. The employee may provide most of their own tools but they are paid an allowance or reimbursed the cost of the equipment to do so. A contractor supplies almost all of their own tools to carry out the work. They are not reimbursed or receive an allowance for this cost.

5. Commercial Risk: Commercial risk is liability over the legal reponsibility of the work and repair or cost of any rectifications. An employee takes on little if any of the commercial risk, this is taken on by the employer. A contractor takes on all of the risk subject to the agreement.

6. Independence: An employee is not independent of the business. They work for the business and under the direction of the employer. A contractor is independent of the business with their own business. They can accept and refuse work, negotiate terms of the contract and are only obligated to carry out work that delivers the outcome of the contract agreement.

Consequences Of A Contractor Who Is Actually An Employee

If you are using someone and treating them as a contractor and they are actually an employee, you may

  • Be required to pay their supperannuation. This includes any penalties for late payment or legal liability if you are a company director.
  • Have to pay for any unpaid Pay As You Go (PAYG) Tax Instalments, including fines, penalties and interest.
  • have to pay unpaid Workers Compensation. If the person is injured at work and you have not been paying workers compensation insurance, you could face legal and financial problems.
  • Have to pay Payroll Tax on payments. This could include any fines, penalties and interest.
  • Have to pay allowances or benefits required under Enterprise Bargaining Agreements or Awards. This could include tool allowances; travel allowances; meal allowances; time and half and double time penalty rates. Plus any superannuation, PAYG Tax and or Payroll Tax on these allowances and benefits.
  • Have to accrue or pay for leave entitlments such as annual leave, sick leave, Rostered Days Off (RDO), and long service leave.

Future Changes

The Australian Federal Government has discussed possible additional conditions or tests to be met to determine if a workers is an employee or a contractor. Part of this is the introduction in 2012 of the ‘Taxable Payments Annual Report’ reporting requirements for businesses in the building and construction industry to report on contractor payments to assist the ATO to identify sham contracting.

How Does This Affect You?

The above information should not be relied upon. If you are concerned about whether you are a contractor or an employee, or if you are being asked to get an ABN to work, or you are wanting to put someone on and don’t know if they can be contracted with an ABN, then speak to your accountant; tax agent; and or legal advisor for advice.

~ Damien Foley

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