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Do you have your bookkeeping and accounting done by the same company?

At present we have a bookkeeper and and accountant. The reason is mainly that I figure if one... read more

Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
Like Steven, I see nothing intrinsically wrong with having one company handling both aspects; a case could easily be made for the advantages. A client of mine does exactly that–she runs the bookkeeping business and her partner the accounting business. The businesses are separate but linked. They would claim their clients enjoy: 1. faster processing times; 2. more knowledgeable consultancy; 3. greater contribution to business growth.For myself, I have two separate firms performing these functions. And I run Xero myself, doing basic data entry which the bookkeeper checks each quarter and prepares the BAS. The books are then handed to the accountant each EOFY.I suspect a majority of small businesses run this way. It's cost efficient, timely and accountable.
I would have two different people performing the jobs. Bookkeeprs are generally cheaper too. I do all my bookkeeping and hand it over the final figures to my accountant
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Banking

Risk averse Australian banks have lost the art of banking — and it’s hurting our economy

You would be hard-pressed finding a story where one of Australia’s big banks supported an... read more

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Brian MallyonOwner at Luckypole Limited
I don't know what happened in banking between 2001-2008, but certainly in my time prior to that, it was very rare for a bank to lend against 80% of the value of a business. It was probably the lending practices and regulations that meant Aussie banks came through the GFC pretty well compared to overseas counterparts. You can be absolutely sure if they hadn't, people would be screaming about the greedy banks getting their just desserts. So where do we find a balance, that is probably a better question. All those excuses listed above are the exact reasons NOT to lend money to people. Why should the bank take on ALL the risk for a transaction where the borrower isn't providing any "hurt" money or collateral, and often nothing more than an idea. Especially when such a large number of these start ups never get going properly, because of the "fail fast, fail often" world we live in. For the true entrepreneurs and innovators where are the VC's and the like? These are the ones whose business is attuned to assisting startups.
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
No access to capital makes it hard (or near impossible) to innovate on a rapid timeline. Great points.
Questions

Where do I get a government grant to start a new business?

Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
There are good answers to a similar question here:https://www.savvysme.com.au/question/56-how-do-i-o...And if you are a Job Seeker with an idea for a small business, you may qualify for this:https://www.employment.gov.au/self-employment-new-...
Last time I checked, there were no government grants in Australia to help start a business unless you align with one of these - A community based non-for-profit organisation - Focused on youth - Providing services for people with a disability - Based on supporting innovation You could try other forms of grants. Banks are giving out grants all the time but with similar conditions.
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Questions

How do I find the most appropriate insurance plan for my business?

Melanie GrayOwner at MyCL (My Computer Lab)
Find an insurance broker. They will be able to help you find the best deal. Ask for references from people in the same industry as you. Brokers tend to specialise in certain industries.
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Questions

How to find the right accountant?

Kirsty FoxPrincipal at Spitfire Solutions
Have a chat with them to start with, and see if you feel comfortable with them and what they offer. Generally you'll be speaking with the principal or a partner, but they won't be doing the work, their staff will.A couple of things to think about -- are they a CA (Chartered Accountant) or CPA? They are the 2 major industry bodies that require completion of a course plus continual professional learning. If they are doing BAS or tax, they need to be a Registered BAS Agent or a Registered Tax Agent. You can also check this on the Tax Practitioners Board website www.tpb.gov.au. It will also tell you how long they have been registered for.- do they charge by the hour or give you a fixed price for an agreed upon amount (scope) of work. - what do they require from you? How much work do you have to do (or are willing to do), and what systems do they have I'm place to make things easy for you?At the end of the day, it comes down to who you feel comfortable with to do what you want/need, and (hopefully) that extra step for you.
Hi Nathan, I have a report on the mistakes business owners make when choosing an accountant and what questions to ask. Did you want me to send it through to you? Cheers, Lisa
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Questions

I want to file my taxes as married filing separately, because my spouse and I like to keep our finances separate.

Is that OK? I’m married read more

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What’s the difference between an exemption, credit and deduction?

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Questions

How do I work out what to pay my self as a wage and how do I go about it?

Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
One of the first questions I would ask is, are you profitable? Meaning, are you currently making more money than you are spending? If not, it isn't time to draw a wage. Keep in mind if you need to scale (add employees) they are the first to get paid and you are the last to get paid (as a founder / owner).If your business is making a profit, do you have more than enough to keep the company profitable for 1 to 2 months and still have extra money left over? If not, keep not drawing a wage. If this sounds like a board game, you aren't far from the truth.Lastly, if your business has met and exceeded both of those conditions it may be time to start drawing a wage. However, I would recommend starting small and gradually scaling it up to avoid having to ramp your wage back down.If there is still too much "haze" around this topic, I'd recommend talking to an accountant or tax advisor.
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Questions

Do you have a "get out of bed" price?

ie If a project isn't going to generate a bare minimum of X income then the conversation ends right... read more

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Has a Government change of policy affected your business? And did you have any recourse?

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How do you value your relationship with your bookkeeper?

Are you happy enough to just get the work done for a low fee without interaction? Does it make a... read more

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Has anyone else had their tax refund been delayed in processing?

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Questions

Do I really need PayPal Payflow Pro for $25 per month plus trans fees?

What other options are there? we have a new site that has an embedded "emailmeform" to collect... read more

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Whats the average hourly rate for a good Xero bookeeper

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Questions

What sort of budget is required to have someone work on SEO optimisation?

website touch ups etc in order to show up on the first page in google? I just starting paying $200... read more

Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
Its can be ongoing spend from $100 to $5k+ per month. Spend is only one part of the equation. - What are they exactly doing for your spend?- Can you accurately measure the performance and success?- Is it in line with your sales & marketing goals?The results that you accurately measure can only dictate the value and justify the spend. Otherwise its easy to burn lots of cash on SEO for little tangible results, other than what they tell you to make you feel good.There is a lot you can do yourself as a foundation, but not recommended for most business owners starting out in competitive markets. Their time is best used in their area of expertise instead.
Something to remember is that your competitors are also spending time and money trying to reach that top spot. And some probably have done for years. It will take lots of effort to get ahead. Here are some tips: 1. Do lots of research on your target market and what they want help with. Provide them with well written content on what they want to know in a blog on your website. 2. Make it user friendly 3. No broken links or errors 4. Consider Google AdWords as you'll then show on top of the search results.
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Questions

How did you get the start-up capital? I plan to be self-employed

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Who uses debt Collection agencies? Who do you use and are they small business friendly?

Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
Have used a few but only in extreme situations when we have exercised all efforts and the situation has blown out. By then they have a hard case, so it is difficult to know whether its them or the case which is making their service questionable.
Hi Danielle, try the CollectMore app. It's free and the person who created it, Paul Metcalf, is very helpful. I'd email him for advice if the app doesn't work for you. Good luck!
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Questions

When employing someone permanent part time is there a minimum amount of hours you need to promise in a week?

You might be best to ring the appropriate government body about this. Laws change all the time and it's best you keep up to date with it all.Consider hiring them as casual if the hours are inconsistant from week to week.
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Questions

Which insurance company offers public liability insurance to businesses with independent contractors as their workforce?

Would greatly appreciate any comment/intros. read more

There a many laws in place for hiring contractors. If they don't have their own insurance and you provide it for them, consider other aspects of their arrangement with you. They might, by law, need to be employed by you.
Mark MellishSenior Account Manager - Commercial and Niche at Richard Mellish Insurance Services
Hi Kellie,Many won't cover a principal if the turnover generated by subcontractors exceeds a certain percentage (which differs between insurers).Some do, however there are more variables that need to be known - these include:- What industry will they be in?- What activities will they be performing?- Are they required to hold their own Liability Insurance?Have you spoken to an insurance broker as they should be able to assist you further? I had a client with a similar situation but after some research we were able to obtain the correct cover for him.Regards,Mark
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