Q: What about pay and superannuation? The ATO have been looking at issues with unpaid super, and there have been multiple stories of wage non-payment over the last year – what’s your advice here?
Tish: The introduction of STP has given the ATO an increased ability to monitor all aspects of payroll compliance. Payroll compliance can become quite onerous for the average business owner, and in recent times I myself have dealt with many clients coming to me to assist with their payroll compliance.
Dealing with various industry awards and payroll compliance can become very complicated quite quickly. We need to constantly use technology to drive efficiencies and having a system like QB Payroll by Employment Hero that has a built-in super clearing portal like Beam as well as automated industry awards becomes imperative.
Q: What key dates do small businesses need to have on their calendars?
Tish: Tax returns may not be due until 2024, but small businesses need to begin working with their bookkeeping and accountant partners now, as in coming weeks they need to complete some key items:
- Trust resolutions and dividend declarations to be documented prior to 30 June 2023
- Single Touch Payroll (STP) declarations to be reviewed and finalised by 14 July 2023 or the relevant closely held payee due date
- Review any superannuation guarantee errors, lodge and pay the Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC) statement
- Produce and lodge Taxable Payments Annual Reports (TPAR) by 29 August 2023.
Q: What tips do you have for small business owners heading into the new financial year?
Tish: With inflation and interest rates on the rise it’s important to keep a close eye on expenditure. One of the trends that we see close to year-end is businesses tend to accelerate their expenditure to gain tax efficiencies, my advice is don’t incur expenditure at the compromise of cash flow, preserve your capital.
Perform scenario-based forecasting to work out your businesses serenity to interest rate increase. This is where a software solution like QuickBooks becomes vital as it has a built-in cashflow planner specifically aimed at helping with scenario forecasting.
Pay close attention to your internal business trends – are you seeing any changes in client or customer behaviour? – and be proactive in assessing the possible impact on your revenue.
Look for ways to diversify your revenue, understand how technology, such as subscriptions to new software and digital tools, can help you develop a diversified revenue strategy.
Don’t be afraid to investigate new technology, especially AI. Many businesses are still intimidated by the concept of AI and this hinders their ability to drive improvements and efficiencies through technology. With all the incentives mentioned above there has never been a better time to look at technology improvements.