Changes to Small Business Entity Aggregated Turnover Threshold

In the 2016-17 Budget, the Government announced an increase to the small business entity (SBE) aggregated turnover threshold from $2 million to $10 million commencing from 1 July 2016. The amended version of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Bill 2016 was passed by a majority of the Senate on 31 March 2017. This Bill will receive Royal Assent and become law when Parliament resumes in early May 2017. This means that SBEs that had aggregated turnover between $2 million and up to $10 million will be able to access accelerated depreciation tax concessions that were not previously available to them as follows:

– Immediate deductions for assets that cost less than $20,000 that are acquired and installed ready for use, up to and including, 30 June 2017. These accelerated depreciation rules apply to both new and second hand assets. Excluded assets are horticultural plants including grapevines, in-house software allocated to a software development pool and capital works.

– The assets acquired and installed ready for use, up to and including, 30 June 2017 for $20,000 or more must be pooled and depreciated at 15% in the first year and 30% each year thereafter.

– Primary producers can claim immediate deductions for capital expenditure on water facilities including dams, tanks, bores, irrigation channels, pumps, water towers and windmills; and fencing assets.

– Primary producers can also claim fodder storage assets such as silos and tanks used to store grain and other animal feed assets over 3 income years.

The current $2 million turnover threshold will be retained for access to the small business capital gains tax concessions.

Hospitality business owners be warned – your industry is being digitally disrupted!

Long gone are the days when orders are taken with pen and paper and rung up on a cash register whilst the business owner wiles away doing their bookkeeping on a desktop software accounting product like MYOB weeks after the fact. In the hospitality industry where long hours are worked and margins are tight there has to be a better way and technology is the key.

Have you noticed those hospitality businesses that take orders on digital devices? Have you met an owner that knows on a daily basis how their profits are tracking? Technology is currently transforming the hospitality industry and we know that businesses with high digital engagement enjoy a 20% increase in revenues1.

Don’t you want that to be your business? So where do you start …

Sales is the key driver for any business so let’s start there. Utilising social media and reservation systems to get people into your establishment is great but what next? You need to be able to take orders quickly and accurately. Utilising point of sale systems based in the cloud, such as Kounta, enables you to take orders accurately (with less human error) and more efficiently. Linking your point of sale to your payment terminal by utilising products such as CBA’s Albert, also saves time and improves accuracy.

What next? Purchases are one of the highest costs in a hospitality business so another good place to get the biggest bang out of your change buck would be to improve your purchasing systems by utilising technology.

• Do you know the profit you make on every meal?
• Are you keeping track of stock?

If not you may be unknowingly watching your profits walk out the door. Track your purchases and stock and even recipes through a software product like Kounta, providing real time data on stock and profit margins, as well as tracking wastage.

Wage costs can be significant so why not use cloud software like Deputy to manage and track employee costs giving you the ability to roster staff to meet demand and customer service expectations.

Utilising cloud based accounting software like Xero which is easy to use and enables automation of your accounting back end will help to deliver real time reporting to enable better decision making.

Why cloud based products? So you can link and integrate your systems to talk to each other. The cloud is the next evolution of the internet, it’s accessible anywhere, anytime and provides low price monthly subscriptions with little to no hardware costs.

Implementing these changes in your business might seem daunting but with the right help and support it can be seamless. We know as we specialise in hospitality and have helped many of our clients move to the cloud. The time for change is now, don’t let the excuses of I’m too busy or I’ve always done it that way hold your business back any longer as it will be left behind, take up the opportunity for change today and put profits back in your pocket!

1 : Deloitte Access Economics: Connected Small Business – How Australian small businesses are growing in the digital economy

Digital Disruption and the Tourism Industry

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten” – Bill Gates

20 years ago you booked flights, accommodation and tours through a local travel agent, purchased a few guide books and set off. Communication was postcards, snail mail and landline phone calls. Today travel is researched, booked and paid for online and communication is through smart phones, skype, instant messaging and social media. We are living in an age where information is readily accessible online and instant is the norm. Technological change has been rapid and unrelenting and the tourism industry has been hit hard. Google is taking over the travel world and middle men are replaced by Metasearch engines like Webjet.

Is it worth obtaining a quantity surveyors report?

Many investors remain unsure about whether it is worthwhile obtaining a quantity surveyor’s tax depreciation report for a rental investment property particularly if it was built before 1987.

When a Quantity Surveyor completes an investor’s capital allowance and tax depreciation schedule, two main elements are generally included; being capital works deductions and plant and equipment depreciation. In order to produce these reports, amongst other qualifications, the quantity surveyor must be a registered tax agent, as the information contained in the report is specific tax advice.

SMSF compliance in focus

SMSF annual tax return lodgement deadline 15 May (for tax agent’s clients) is fast approaching and trustees will be faced with their annual independent SMSF audit.

No trustee wants to incur hefty penalties or be disqualified as a trustee or see their fund losing its tax concessions by being made non-compliant by the ATO.

The good news is that the ATO has since 30th May 2016 opened an avenue for the trustees to directly engage with them by introducing an “Early and voluntary disclosure service”. The ATO is encouraging all trustees that have unrectified contraventions of the SIS Act to fill in the SMSF regulatory contravention disclosure form including a proposal for fixing the breaches. The auditor of the fund is still required to lodge an Auditor Contravention Report (ACR); however the ATO will be less likely commence an audit of the fund but instead be engaging with the trustees to assist with the rectification of the matters.

Microsoft Outlook

•A good trick to managing your Outlook inbox and keeping it tidy is by creating and organising subfolders for specific emails such as invoices and payments, or if they’re from certain person or company. Doing this makes keeping track and finding emails easier, plus it gives your inbox an overall tidier and less cluttered look. To do this just right click on ‘Inbox’ and select from the drop down menu ‘New Folder’, give it a name and voila! You now have a more organised space for you to put your emails.