Paul Zisson profile image

Paul Zisson
Top 10% Taxation

Founder & CFO at

Member Since November 2012

Bondi Junction, NSW, 2022

SHARE

239 FOLLOWERS

I have taken off the suit, lost the tie!. Corporate world escapee, commercially savvy, chartered acccountant with 25+ years experience, passionate about helping SME's realise their dreams, their potential. Sharing the love with like-minded, new age entrepreneurs. MobileCFO is not just about number crunching & tax returns. He is a a new breed of accountant that not only understands your numbers on a strategic level but explains them to you simply & provides commercial, all round biz advice

Qualified skills

Taxation
Accounting
Payroll
Bookkeeping
Business Consulting

Reputation

Top 10%
Taxation
Top 10%
Accounting

Paul Zisson answered this question

Ananda Raj Pandey
Ananda Raj Pandey, Developer at

Asked this question - Lean Startup Methodology

How do I obtain government grants for my small business?

Hi Ananda, you will be surprised how many government grants are available (100's) at local, state and federal government levels that are currently being under-utilised. Also, corporates offers grants where they see your business contributing to yours (eg banks). In an election year, the federal government is making lots of cash available at all levels where it creates value in the community, creates jobs, assists charitable organisations. They can range from $5K (council level) to $2M (commercialisation grant). Austrade offers grants for certain industries to boost local manufacturing. Federal offer lots of clean-energy, green business grants. Grants can be very specific so it is very important you tailor your application to meet their purpose.



The government grant finder assists help get an idea at a government level but there are many more. A few seminars I have been to say partnering with another accredited business like a charity, community group with increase your chances in the approval process. The key is submitting a succinct, well written, value offering in your application. There are service providers out that that do a grant analysis for you to see what are more appropriate for your business. They can also proof your application before submitting. It should be noted that grants are not easy win handouts, they are actually quite selective and hold you accountable to their criteria. It is a business for the government for government bodies like Austrade to meet KPI's and provide the government with ROI. But they are great options to consider when starting up your business when cash funding is not always available or limiting your potential. I recommend including a few grant considerations in your business plan as a funding option (yes, you will need a business plan!, government grants will nee to see them).



Happy to point you in the right direction if needed. Good luck with your new business!


Paul Zisson answered this question

Trevor Hartshorne
Trevor Hartshorne, Director at Rothlake Business Services

Asked this question - Accounting

What word do you use when searching on Google an Accountant?

It depends what you are seeking and for what purpose:



"Bookkeeper" for record keeping, account processing, invoicing, payments, cash books, banking, administration, BAS preparation etc. More junior level finance & administration, not normally qualified/certified accountants.



"Accountant" for financial statement preparation, cash management, management reporting, financial analysis, more technical financial advice, compliance such as tax returns, ASIC reporting, budgets & forecasts, planning. There are internal and external accountants (advisors/consultants who just do financial year-end accounts & tax planning for clients). They are normally certified as CPA's or CA (chartered accountants).



"Tax Agent" for preparing and lodging your income tax returns, BAS, company tax, FBT, anything tax related with ATO, they have a lodgement program with the ATO for clients and are registered to handle tax affairs, with extended deadlines for clients. Often accountants are also registered tax agents.



As to financial jargon to google (so many to mention:



Tax returns, EOFY (end of financial year), financial statements, bookkeeping, BAS, tax advice, financial management, cash flow management, books, record keeping, account processing, budgeting, business plans etc.



Try this link:



http://www.accountingcoach.com/terms/accounting-dictionary.html



 


Paul Zisson answered this question

Ananda Raj Pandey
Ananda Raj Pandey, Developer at

Asked this question - Taxation

Does anyone have any tips on how I can save on tax?

Hi Ananda,



It would help to know what business you are in and its size/turnover. Here's a few tips to get your mind ticking:



1. Keep your personal and business expenses separate. I recommend separate bank accounts and credit cards etc. Mix them all up, it gets confusing & more time consuming for you or more costly accountant to sort out. You can claim bank charges, maintenance fees if they relate to this business income or salary&wages.



2. Keep good tax records, write on your receipts what the purpose of the expense of your business/deductible expense. Always ask for a receipt when you buy or use a service that is business/income related (don't throw them out!). A good cloud accounting software solution such as Xero or Saasu may be a good way to stay organised & keep your records up to date. You pay a nominal monthly rental and can claim its cost as a deduction. There is also good apps such as Expensify that take a picture of your receipts and organise them for you.



3. Review at your business structure. If you are small, then a sole trader may be more cost effective but it puts your personal assets at risk if it goes belly up. if you have a decent turnover a company may a good way to protect your business assets and keep them separate from personal. But there are costs of maintaining a company.



4. If you work from home, then there may home office expenses you could claim (pro rata from personal space) and office equipment you can depreciate. Motor vehicle expenses is another one if you use your car to run your business.



5. There are a bunch of small business concessions available for turnover less than $2 million, offered by the Tax Office. Depends on if you can follow them but you may need to get your accountant to look at their applicability for you. Check out the ATO website:



http://www.ato.gov.au/content/00231250.htm 


Anyway, as the guys have said, there are too many unknowns to be specific to your tax situation and if you saw how many volumes of tax legislation there are, you would run for your life. Just be honest, stay clean & transparent and get a good accountant/tax advisor and you have nothing to worry about and they can set up good practices for you to maximise your tax savings.


Paul Zisson answered this question

Phil Joel
Phil Joel, Director at SavvySME

Asked this question - Web Hosting

How do I get my own domain name?

I use www.netregistry.com.au and they also run a cheaper subsidiary www.ziphosting.com.au if you just want the domain name reserved with some basic hosting (you will need hosting as well if you want your site to go live and set up email accounts). Use the search function to check if the name you want is available. Generally, domains with .com and .com.au are more lucrative and domain names with small character lengths have great saleability (normally 3-8 characters) if that is an objective. Also use actual words in your domain name as this may help your google searches to drive traffic to your website.



If you want a cheap option to create/maintain your own website with free domain name and hosting, try the Microsoft Office 365 small biz product & you get the cloud version of MS suite products included for just $7.90/mth. You have to purchase the plan through Telstra.



http://www.telstra.com.au/business-enterprise/bundles/microsoft-office-365-small-business-offer/?tc=G|B|D|TBP|tsute|TelstraOffice365 


Paul Zisson answered this question

Robin Dickinson
Robin Dickinson, Owner at RAD International

Asked this question - Accounting

Is accounting software such as MYOB, Xero or Saasu an overkill?

Also, it is only considered "overkill" if you dont know how to understand and use your financial information. Embrace as it is very easy to neglect because its all too hard. Have someone (like me) explain the numbers to you simply and highlight the indicators that you need to keep track of to give you peace of mind that you are steering your business on the right course. Good luck!


Paul Zisson answered this question

Robin Dickinson
Robin Dickinson, Owner at RAD International

Asked this question - Accounting

Is accounting software such as MYOB, Xero or Saasu an overkill?

Hi Robin, i think it is a basic requirement of any small business. without it how will you know how your business is performing at any given time, how will you invoice customers, how will you manage your cash, how will you protect your assets, how will you comply with tax and accounting obligations. You could pay an external accountant to do this for you but it will cost your business much more and often they only look at it once a year/month etc. To be at the top of your game in your business and industry you need financial information that allows you to make informed and proactive decisions. I appreciate that you may not be good with numbers, administration, finance when you are a business owner...so let a bookkeeper or accountant take that stress off you mind so you can focus on spreading the word about your business. Allowing this to build up over time and using manual methods to record business information is risky, prone to error & could behind the eight ball. Trust me, these small accounting packages cost you a very small amount per month (cloud based - they used to be higher annual fees & maintenance on the PC software versions),  are very easy to use and interact with other applications, to tell you alot about how your business is performing. The businesses I have seen without a simple accounting software are the ones that get into trouble and have the bank manager banging on their door and a shoe box full of receipts & invoices costs alot more at tax time to sort through and clean up. By that time, its old news and real time is the minimum you should be aiming for in this modern age.


Paul Zisson answered this question

Phil Khor
Phil Khor, Founder at

Asked this question - Accounting

If a small business cant afford an accountant who can help?

Corporate secretarial firms can be useful if you are a corporate and large enough to justify their added cost. As CFO I have used a few of them at clients I have worked at. They were good on the ASIC compliance if you have to manage a few companies but they often come with monthly retainers unless you go on a timed basis. However, if you are a small business, then it is more likely you will be sole trader or partnership so ASIC does not apply in terms of annual company reviews, form 484's etc (if you care to remember all that stuff ;). ASIC has also automated these forms online on their website without the paper trail, so if you have some idea of finding them when a situation arises, funds are tight and you want to save some support costs, then a director/owner/co secretary can complete these forms simply enough by yourself online with ASIC directly for your company. Corporate secretarial firms are geared to the legal obligations of a company and are good at reminding you at want forms need to be completed, directors minutes etc. They also provide some bookkeeping and accounting support and from my experience, at a more basic, routine level, but tend not to be strategic financial advisors as your chartered or CPA accountant. You can also buy these templates pretty cheaply now online for all your minutes, notices, agreements at online legal sites such as www.lawlive.com.au (again keeping your costs low) and www.cleardocs.com for setting up a company.


The use of your accountant is primarily used for accounting, tax and strategic business advice so this is not to be grouped with corporate secretarial services but most accountants can handle this amicably at the same time if you require.


It all depends on your business structure, technical ability, budget, time/resources etc. With everything moving to online DIY is becoming more available to businesses to keep costs low. The challenge is knowing what you need to do and doing it correctly so you don't get into strife. All can be done quite cheaply yourself but it is recommended you at least consult an accountant or corporate services firm for guidance in setting you up.


No results found.

Paul Zisson answered this question

Ananda Raj Pandey
Ananda Raj Pandey, Developer at

Asked this question - Lean Startup Methodology

How do I obtain government grants for my small business?

Hi Ananda, you will be surprised how many government grants are available (100's) at local, state and federal government levels that are currently being under-utilised. Also, corporates offers grants where they see your business contributing to yours (eg banks). In an election year, the federal government is making lots of cash available at all levels where it creates value in the community, creates jobs, assists charitable organisations. They can range from $5K (council level) to $2M (commercialisation grant). Austrade offers grants for certain industries to boost local manufacturing. Federal offer lots of clean-energy, green business grants. Grants can be very specific so it is very important you tailor your application to meet their purpose.



The government grant finder assists help get an idea at a government level but there are many more. A few seminars I have been to say partnering with another accredited business like a charity, community group with increase your chances in the approval process. The key is submitting a succinct, well written, value offering in your application. There are service providers out that that do a grant analysis for you to see what are more appropriate for your business. They can also proof your application before submitting. It should be noted that grants are not easy win handouts, they are actually quite selective and hold you accountable to their criteria. It is a business for the government for government bodies like Austrade to meet KPI's and provide the government with ROI. But they are great options to consider when starting up your business when cash funding is not always available or limiting your potential. I recommend including a few grant considerations in your business plan as a funding option (yes, you will need a business plan!, government grants will nee to see them).



Happy to point you in the right direction if needed. Good luck with your new business!


Paul Zisson answered this question

Trevor Hartshorne
Trevor Hartshorne, Director at Rothlake Business Services

Asked this question - Accounting

What word do you use when searching on Google an Accountant?

It depends what you are seeking and for what purpose:



"Bookkeeper" for record keeping, account processing, invoicing, payments, cash books, banking, administration, BAS preparation etc. More junior level finance & administration, not normally qualified/certified accountants.



"Accountant" for financial statement preparation, cash management, management reporting, financial analysis, more technical financial advice, compliance such as tax returns, ASIC reporting, budgets & forecasts, planning. There are internal and external accountants (advisors/consultants who just do financial year-end accounts & tax planning for clients). They are normally certified as CPA's or CA (chartered accountants).



"Tax Agent" for preparing and lodging your income tax returns, BAS, company tax, FBT, anything tax related with ATO, they have a lodgement program with the ATO for clients and are registered to handle tax affairs, with extended deadlines for clients. Often accountants are also registered tax agents.



As to financial jargon to google (so many to mention:



Tax returns, EOFY (end of financial year), financial statements, bookkeeping, BAS, tax advice, financial management, cash flow management, books, record keeping, account processing, budgeting, business plans etc.



Try this link:



http://www.accountingcoach.com/terms/accounting-dictionary.html



 


Paul Zisson answered this question

Ananda Raj Pandey
Ananda Raj Pandey, Developer at

Asked this question - Taxation

Does anyone have any tips on how I can save on tax?

Hi Ananda,



It would help to know what business you are in and its size/turnover. Here's a few tips to get your mind ticking:



1. Keep your personal and business expenses separate. I recommend separate bank accounts and credit cards etc. Mix them all up, it gets confusing & more time consuming for you or more costly accountant to sort out. You can claim bank charges, maintenance fees if they relate to this business income or salary&wages.



2. Keep good tax records, write on your receipts what the purpose of the expense of your business/deductible expense. Always ask for a receipt when you buy or use a service that is business/income related (don't throw them out!). A good cloud accounting software solution such as Xero or Saasu may be a good way to stay organised & keep your records up to date. You pay a nominal monthly rental and can claim its cost as a deduction. There is also good apps such as Expensify that take a picture of your receipts and organise them for you.



3. Review at your business structure. If you are small, then a sole trader may be more cost effective but it puts your personal assets at risk if it goes belly up. if you have a decent turnover a company may a good way to protect your business assets and keep them separate from personal. But there are costs of maintaining a company.



4. If you work from home, then there may home office expenses you could claim (pro rata from personal space) and office equipment you can depreciate. Motor vehicle expenses is another one if you use your car to run your business.



5. There are a bunch of small business concessions available for turnover less than $2 million, offered by the Tax Office. Depends on if you can follow them but you may need to get your accountant to look at their applicability for you. Check out the ATO website:



http://www.ato.gov.au/content/00231250.htm 


Anyway, as the guys have said, there are too many unknowns to be specific to your tax situation and if you saw how many volumes of tax legislation there are, you would run for your life. Just be honest, stay clean & transparent and get a good accountant/tax advisor and you have nothing to worry about and they can set up good practices for you to maximise your tax savings.


Paul Zisson answered this question

Phil Joel
Phil Joel, Director at SavvySME

Asked this question - Web Hosting

How do I get my own domain name?

I use www.netregistry.com.au and they also run a cheaper subsidiary www.ziphosting.com.au if you just want the domain name reserved with some basic hosting (you will need hosting as well if you want your site to go live and set up email accounts). Use the search function to check if the name you want is available. Generally, domains with .com and .com.au are more lucrative and domain names with small character lengths have great saleability (normally 3-8 characters) if that is an objective. Also use actual words in your domain name as this may help your google searches to drive traffic to your website.



If you want a cheap option to create/maintain your own website with free domain name and hosting, try the Microsoft Office 365 small biz product & you get the cloud version of MS suite products included for just $7.90/mth. You have to purchase the plan through Telstra.



http://www.telstra.com.au/business-enterprise/bundles/microsoft-office-365-small-business-offer/?tc=G|B|D|TBP|tsute|TelstraOffice365 


Paul Zisson answered this question

Robin Dickinson
Robin Dickinson, Owner at RAD International

Asked this question - Accounting

Is accounting software such as MYOB, Xero or Saasu an overkill?

Also, it is only considered "overkill" if you dont know how to understand and use your financial information. Embrace as it is very easy to neglect because its all too hard. Have someone (like me) explain the numbers to you simply and highlight the indicators that you need to keep track of to give you peace of mind that you are steering your business on the right course. Good luck!


Paul Zisson answered this question

Robin Dickinson
Robin Dickinson, Owner at RAD International

Asked this question - Accounting

Is accounting software such as MYOB, Xero or Saasu an overkill?

Hi Robin, i think it is a basic requirement of any small business. without it how will you know how your business is performing at any given time, how will you invoice customers, how will you manage your cash, how will you protect your assets, how will you comply with tax and accounting obligations. You could pay an external accountant to do this for you but it will cost your business much more and often they only look at it once a year/month etc. To be at the top of your game in your business and industry you need financial information that allows you to make informed and proactive decisions. I appreciate that you may not be good with numbers, administration, finance when you are a business owner...so let a bookkeeper or accountant take that stress off you mind so you can focus on spreading the word about your business. Allowing this to build up over time and using manual methods to record business information is risky, prone to error & could behind the eight ball. Trust me, these small accounting packages cost you a very small amount per month (cloud based - they used to be higher annual fees & maintenance on the PC software versions),  are very easy to use and interact with other applications, to tell you alot about how your business is performing. The businesses I have seen without a simple accounting software are the ones that get into trouble and have the bank manager banging on their door and a shoe box full of receipts & invoices costs alot more at tax time to sort through and clean up. By that time, its old news and real time is the minimum you should be aiming for in this modern age.


Paul Zisson answered this question

Phil Khor
Phil Khor, Founder at

Asked this question - Accounting

If a small business cant afford an accountant who can help?

Corporate secretarial firms can be useful if you are a corporate and large enough to justify their added cost. As CFO I have used a few of them at clients I have worked at. They were good on the ASIC compliance if you have to manage a few companies but they often come with monthly retainers unless you go on a timed basis. However, if you are a small business, then it is more likely you will be sole trader or partnership so ASIC does not apply in terms of annual company reviews, form 484's etc (if you care to remember all that stuff ;). ASIC has also automated these forms online on their website without the paper trail, so if you have some idea of finding them when a situation arises, funds are tight and you want to save some support costs, then a director/owner/co secretary can complete these forms simply enough by yourself online with ASIC directly for your company. Corporate secretarial firms are geared to the legal obligations of a company and are good at reminding you at want forms need to be completed, directors minutes etc. They also provide some bookkeeping and accounting support and from my experience, at a more basic, routine level, but tend not to be strategic financial advisors as your chartered or CPA accountant. You can also buy these templates pretty cheaply now online for all your minutes, notices, agreements at online legal sites such as www.lawlive.com.au (again keeping your costs low) and www.cleardocs.com for setting up a company.


The use of your accountant is primarily used for accounting, tax and strategic business advice so this is not to be grouped with corporate secretarial services but most accountants can handle this amicably at the same time if you require.


It all depends on your business structure, technical ability, budget, time/resources etc. With everything moving to online DIY is becoming more available to businesses to keep costs low. The challenge is knowing what you need to do and doing it correctly so you don't get into strife. All can be done quite cheaply yourself but it is recommended you at least consult an accountant or corporate services firm for guidance in setting you up.


TOPICS FOLLOWED

Online Business

Online Business 9204 FOLLOWERS

Legal

Legal 5851 FOLLOWERS

Sales and Marketing

Sales and Marketing 8620 FOLLOWERS

Finance and Accounting

Finance and Accounting 8103 FOLLOWERS

Information Technology

Information Technology 7521 FOLLOWERS

Startup

Startup 6793 FOLLOWERS

Business Management

Business Management 10904 FOLLOWERS

Ecommerce

Ecommerce 7507 FOLLOWERS

Selling Online

Selling Online 7565 FOLLOWERS

Social Media

Social Media 7658 FOLLOWERS

Web Design

Web Design 7471 FOLLOWERS

Web Development

Web Development 7519 FOLLOWERS

Web Hosting

Web Hosting 7392 FOLLOWERS

Business Structure

Business Structure 5383 FOLLOWERS

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property 5342 FOLLOWERS

Buying a Business

Buying a Business 5337 FOLLOWERS

Customer Acquisition

Customer Acquisition 6922 FOLLOWERS

Graphic Design

Graphic Design 6853 FOLLOWERS

Video Production

Video Production 6839 FOLLOWERS

Advertising

Advertising 6961 FOLLOWERS

Branding

Branding 6985 FOLLOWERS

Market Research

Market Research 6885 FOLLOWERS

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing 7028 FOLLOWERS

Public Relations (PR)

Public Relations (PR) 6893 FOLLOWERS

Cashflow Management

Cashflow Management 5610 FOLLOWERS

Taxation

Taxation 5575 FOLLOWERS

Insurance

Insurance 5558 FOLLOWERS

Superannuation

Superannuation 5559 FOLLOWERS

Banking

Banking 5565 FOLLOWERS

Accounting

Accounting 5592 FOLLOWERS

Government Grants

Government Grants 5569 FOLLOWERS

Website

Website 6234 FOLLOWERS

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing 6149 FOLLOWERS

App Development

App Development 6131 FOLLOWERS

Product Development

Product Development 6449 FOLLOWERS

Startup Branding and PR

Startup Branding and PR 6482 FOLLOWERS

First 100 Days

First 100 Days 6451 FOLLOWERS

Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping 6422 FOLLOWERS

Research and Innovation

Research and Innovation 6456 FOLLOWERS

Customer Retention

Customer Retention 7364 FOLLOWERS

Importing

Importing 7255 FOLLOWERS

Business Growth

Business Growth 7362 FOLLOWERS

Market Trend

Market Trend 7323 FOLLOWERS

Business Partnership

Business Partnership 7331 FOLLOWERS

Lifestyle and Health

Lifestyle and Health 7336 FOLLOWERS

Risk Management

Risk Management 7313 FOLLOWERS

Franchising

Franchising 7263 FOLLOWERS

Business Coaching

Business Coaching 7376 FOLLOWERS

Business Planning

Business Planning 7395 FOLLOWERS

New Business Ideas

New Business Ideas 6505 FOLLOWERS

View more

people with similar expertise

Kirsty Fox 29 FOLLOWERS

Pam Pitt 46 FOLLOWERS

Shaun Farrugia 9 FOLLOWERS

Michael Prior 39 FOLLOWERS

Dj Hodgson 38 FOLLOWERS