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Do I need a bookkeeper?

I am a sole trader with my own small business. Can I do my own books or will I need a bookkeeper or... read more

Asked by:
Sathyanarayanan Srinivasa at Taxfin Business Services
Understand from your query that you are a small business owner having a sole trader business model.If you have prior experience maintaining your books of accounts as well as dealing with ATO you may not need book keeper to start with In case if your business grows and do not find time and energy to do the book keeping as well as meeting GST compliance , you may need the assitance of the book keeper as well as Tax Accountant or Tax Agent . Many of the Tax Agents provide the services of Book keeping, Accounting & Tax Compliance services and the cost varies depending on the nature and number of transactions, For complex tax advisory matters the cost is fixed depending on the time spent by the Tax Agent or Advisor.You may please feel free to contact me at Taxfin Business services if you need further clarification or informartion in this regard. My name is Sathyanarayanan Srinivas and my contact number is 0424419130.Please visit www.taxfinservices.com.au for detailes on services provided.
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
Assuming you are registered for BAS and have sufficient turnover to be making claims, my understanding is that yes, you will need an accountant for your end of year return. And unless you are a registered tax agent, I suggest a bookkeeper as well.Your sole trader setup may have slightly different requirements, but here's how we manage the accounts for our P/L company structure:Using Xero (cloud-based package) we enter transactions and reconcile accounts each month, in-house. It's easy for us because we don't need payroll functionality, altho' different businesses may require different levels of expertiseOn a quarterly basis, bookkeeper checks entries, generally cleans up any mess that may have occurred, prepares and lodges BAS return. Very cost-effective, only requires a few hours each timeBookkeeper submits accounts to accountant annually for tax return preparation and lodgement. Accountant bills for services rendered, which are the bottom end of the scale due to the preparatory work having already been done. Of course, additional fees will be charged for advisory consultation and the like.Overall, it's a streamlined and efficient process. It does require some input from us, but it's not onerous. I suspect many small businesses conduct their accounts in a similar fashion.Of course, I'm not an accountant so someone far better qualified may provide a different answer.
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What do I need to include in a tax invoice?

Are there any important items or important information that I need to include on my tax invoice for... read more

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Sarah Irwin SME Community Director at SavvySME
George Grimekis CPAAccountant at Giannakos & Co Pty Ltd
Hi Sarah Generally you need to include 7 items on tax invoices.For sales less than $1,000:1) Need to show document is intended to be a tax invoice (usually done by showing the words TAX INVOICE at the top)2) Your identity3) Your ABN4) The date you issued the invoice5) A description of items including quantity sold (if applicable) and the price6) The GST amount if any7) The extent to which each sale on the invoice includes GSTFor sales over $1000 you also need to include: 8) The buyers identity or ABNClicking on the below link also gives you A.T.O guidance on how to set out invoices.https://www.ato.gov.au/assets/0/104/694/815/1c91f2...
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Cashflow management

Free money: how to get your hands on government grants for your agency

Oh, to be a kid again. It might be the only time in your life free money existed. Sure, you might... read more

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Cashflow management

Australia’s Long Payment Culture - the real impact on Small and medium sized business

Small and medium sized businesses employ 7 million Aussies (70% of workforce) and generate over 50%... read more

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Lachlan HandleyDirector at FIFO Capital NSW
Dun & Bradstreet compiles some really interesting analysis around speed of invoice payments (D&B Australian Trade Payment Analysis - http://dnb.com.au/article-tpa-3Q16-report.html#.WCpI9Vu9Y4A). The most recent report for the three months to September 2016 shows the national average time for an invoice to be paid is 45 days. As Alistair notes, large companies are often the slowest payers and use their position to stretch payment to suppliers, often 60 pays plus!
Taxation

Why Small Business Owners Need To Understand Tax

The tax system is complex and constantly changing. A good tax advisor is essential to every small... read more

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Accounting

Hire an Accountant | Choosing an accountant

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Are there any government grants for female business owners?

Female business owners can apply for any Government Grant in Australia. Gender is not a determining factor for eligibility or awarding the grant.
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Here in the United States we do have a variety of grants for related business owners.The categories for grants are typically:FemaleMinorityFemale & MinorityMilitary Veteran (male or female)Non-profit business sectors
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How do you cut costs in your business?

All the costs in my business are required.I hope I don't ever try to cut costs and look more into increasing the costs of my services instead.
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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

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Lachlan HandleyDirector at FIFO Capital NSW
There was a time when if you needed money you went to the banks. But unless you have residential or commercial property, there is no point. The banks simply aren't in the business of lending money on an unsecured basis in any meaningful way because the reality is a lof of business fail in the first two years. I don't really think that is ever going to change, regardless of how profitable they are. Thankfully financial innovators have moved to fill this void - there are now more options available to obtain finance: peer to peer lenders, on-line unsecured lenders, invoice finance, crowd funding, the list goes on. I agree with Brian that the borrower should have some / all of their own money at risk (;skin in the game') - why should the lender fund 100%. Cheers Lachlan @ Fifo Capital
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.
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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