The ATO is listening
The ATO are committed to making life easier for small business – that’s why they’re inviting small business owners to join their Small Business Consultation Panel.
Panel members may have the chance to participate in various short-term activities, such as testing new products and providing your opinions. Plus, you’ll be paid for your services.
They’re looking for small business owners who:
have been in business for more than two years and have an annual turnover of less than $2 million
are interested in providing practical business and industry expertise
are located in (or willing to travel to) Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, or Melbourne.
The insight of small business owners will help simplify interactions with the ATO and help the ATO cut red tape. The ATO want to explore opportunities to reduce the time it takes for business operators to comply with their obligations, so they have more time to focus on running their business.
Find out more or join the Small Business Consultation Panel today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application pack
GST calculation Worksheet
When you open the BAS mail pack – do you discard or use the GST calculation Worksheet?
From Quarter 1 2014/2015, the GST calculation worksheet will no longer be included as part of the BAS mail pack sent out to business owners.
If you use the worksheet and require a copy you will still be able to access an electronic (and printable) version here interactive GST calculation worksheet for the BAS
ATO App for your smart phone & tablet
Individuals, small business owners and trustees of self-managed super funds can now access a range of ATO information via smart phone or tablet.
The ATO smart phone app is compatible with most smart phones and tablets using:
iOS 5 and later
Android™ OS 2.3.3 – 2.3.7 and OS 4* and later
Windows Phone 8.
Individuals can lodge tax returns, track lost super, update financial institution details and more.
Digital First – The Concept
The loud noise around the developments in technology include terms like “cloud” and “API”, “SBR” “single ledger” “remote access” “multi user”.
In our view “Cloud” means “internet enabled”; any software/program that uses the internet to communicate, access or submit information.
Some “Cloud” programs are “Browser Based” where the entire access to the software requires Browser access through the internet to the “Service Provider”. All program and all data is stored on the “Providers” internet accessed servers.
Some programs access or use the “Cloud” by using the internet as the communication channel to a service or information provided by another.
Business and the Cloud
ABS stats (“Business Use of Information Technology 2011-2012”) states that of the 776k businesses identified for this survey:
91.9% have internet Access
44.6% have a WEB Presence
55.3% Placed orders via the internet
27.8% Received orders via the internet
$237b of sales through the internet
Of those business that use IT at all, they use it to do the following:
86% of Business used IT for Accounting
52% for Production or Service Operations
76% for Invoicing
32% for Stock Control
65% for HR including Payroll
The more people employed in the business the more likely they are to use IT in business process
“Drivers of Change”
Recent ATO conferences and positioning statements talk about the concept of “Digital First” and a world of the ATO having open access to a businesses records of transactions each day, every day.
A response & observation
There are approximately 300,000 new businesses per year in Australia of the 2.2m in total (ABS stats for 2013-14)
92% have IT of some type and use it for very different business processes.
Based on the above survey stats Bookkeeping, Business Process and the Cloud is here, is here to stay and are very intertwined concepts.
Bookkeepers using “Cloud” / “Internet Enabled” software to assist Business Process and to do Bookkeeping processes is reality and is the future.
The current wave of technology developments are great for business and for bookkeepers.
Compliance is not going anywhere!
Business owners want to comply
Bookkeepers understand business, understand how to comply and match the two together.
Bookkeepers are that “someone else” to the business that ensures they comply.
Bookkeepers using todays technology and meeting new levels of efficiently providing that “Certainty of Complying”.
NOTHING HAS CHANGED just the way we do it.
Historic Processing of what went through the bank account HAS changed dramatically.
The coding of bank statements, the historic processing of what the business did, the tick and flick of a bank reconciliation process has changed.
In our ideal world the Business process that happens as the business does its thing, did also create a record of the transaction and when the bank records are accessed they simply verify what was recorded.
So the Bank Feed matches what was already in the system.
The bookkeeper verifies that the matching is appropriate, deals with the exceptions and checks that the electronic feed is reliable.
In many cases the accounting/tax transaction record hasn’t been created and the Bank Feed is used to create that accounting record. Todays electronic bank feeds facilitating a far more efficient way to perform this data entry.
Business should value today’s efficient method of verifying what the business process did and providing the financial results of that business process. How? The actual doing of the business creates the accounting record, quickly verified by a bank feed leading to provision of timely information.
Bookkeeping provides timely information or at least it should now.
Technology has brought us ways to ensure that the recording of what the business has done can be performed earlier and provide information about the success or otherwise of the business in a far more timely and relevant manner.
It is possible to live in a world where no longer is the business owner looking at results only when the tax returns have been prepared. Then trying to work out how long ago this related to. Their business world circumstances change rapidly and old results are hardly of value to today’s business activity.
Bookkeeping should adapt to use technology
Processing the Purchases, Making the Payments, Issuing the Invoices, Receiving the Money, recording all of these should today all be enabled through technology.
The evidence is beyond question; the evolution of technology facilitates better, more efficient process. Technology is able to remove the dead time of recording / processing transactions just to create the accounting record for compliance. Technology allows the integration.
The ABS Survey referred to above states that in 2012 year
55% of Business were placing orders via the internet and only 46% of business with 0-4 employees
28% Received Orders via the internet and only 24% of those with 0-4 employees
Of those businesses that received internet orders, 72% indicated that their systems used to receive orders did not have automated links to any other business system.
The dominant reason to NOT receive orders via the internet was they “Prefer to maintain current business model eg face to face interaction”
Electronic Lodgement with Government organisations
Only 44% lodged Taxation forms by Electronic means
63% made payments to government
76% “Any electronic lodgements with government organisations”
These dates are from the ATO website and do not take into account possible extensions. You remain responsible for ensuring that the necessary information is with us in time.
BAS/IAS Monthly Lodgement – August Activity Statement: 21st September, 2014 final date for lodgement and payment.
BAS/IAS Monthly Lodgement – September Activity Statement: 21st October, 2014 final date for lodgement and payment.
4th Quarter of FY 2014: BAS Lodgement – June Quarter (including PAYGI) 28th July, 2014 final date for lodgement & payment
1st Quarter of FY 2015: BAS Lodgement – September Quarter (including PAYGI) 28th October, 2014 final date for lodgement & payment
Due date for super guarantee contributions, for 1st Quarter of FY 2015, July to September 2014 – contributions to be made to the fund by 28th October, 2014.
If you do not pay minimum super contributions for quarter 4 by this date, you must pay the super guarantee charge and lodge a Superannuation guarantee charge statement – quarterly with the ATO by 28 November 2014. The super guarantee charge is not tax deductible
Refer to the ATO for details regarding any SGC charges applicable if not paid by due date.