Tag: Record keeping

Record Keeping is King

From an income tax standpoint, it’s in your interests to keep good records of your transactions and activities. Keeping good records is not only required by law, but it makes your accountant’s job easier – this can result in both decreased fees (an accountant will take less time in preparing returns etc.) and increased deductions (claims cannot be made without having the required records). Aside from this, by keeping good income tax records: 

*                     You can demonstrate your financial position – this is particularly important where a business wishes to obtain finance from banks, or the business is being sold 

*                     You can better monitor the overall health of your business, especially its true cash position, and 

*                     You can more easily complete paperwork, including Activity Statements. 

The ATO last year issued contemporary guidance – in the form of Taxation Ruling TR 2018/2<https://www.ato.gov.au/law/view/document?docid=TXR/TR20182/NAT/ATO/00001> – which deals with electronic records. This is welcome, as the ATO’s previous ruling was issued some 23 years ago and carries reference to cheque butts and receipt books! 

You should also utilize the ATO’s Record Keeping Evaluation Tool.<https://www.ato.gov.au/Calculators-and-tools/Record-keeping-evaluation/> After asking you a series of questions, the tool culminates in a report which details to you how well your business is keeping records. Suggestions for improvement are also made if appropriate. 


How a good Bookkeeper can help your business!

Making the Most of the Bookkeeper Relationship  

The use of bookkeepers has grown substantially over recent years. This article examines the merits of using a bookkeeper in your business, and how to get the most out of the relationship.

When many people think of bookkeeping, thoughts turn to looking after petty cash, entering invoices into a software system, and keeping receipts together. The reality though is that the modern-day bookkeeping professional offers a range of services that can be utilised by your business including:
  • Management reporting on business performance
  • Data entry into accounting software
  • Cash flow projections
  • Payroll tax returns and compliance
  • Preparation of year-end financial records for your Accountant
  • Payroll and superannuation processing including dealing with the ATO and superannuation funds
  • Activity Statement preparation and lodgement
  • Record keeping
  • Software training.
Given the breadth of services, Bookkeepers can become trusted partners and advisors to your business.

If you do decide to engage a contract Bookkeeper, then unless they are an employee of your business or unless they are only undertaking basic services (such as bank reconciliation, basic date entry such as entering invoices onto a computer program) then they must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board as a BAS Agent. If they are not registered, then they may be breaking the law. You can check their registration on the Tax Practitioner Board website https://www.tpb.gov.au. They will also have their own BAS Agent number which along with the Tax Practitioner Board logo they may or may not display in their email signature.

Aside from being registered with the Tax Practitioners Board, what should you look for in a contract bookkeeper? Consider the following:

Personal traits that fit with your team
  • Do they understand your business and your industry?
  • Do they have a natural affinity with you and the personnel they will be dealing with in your business?
  • Are they knowledgeable and add value to your business?
  • Are they reliable and punctual, with strong attention to detail?
Track Record
Your bookkeeper should be able to demonstrate that they have experience relevant to the assignment you are offering. Many will likely have testimonials to evidence this.

Back-Up and Support
A good bookkeeper will have back-up and support that they can use to quickly settle issues that may be outside their skillset or experience. Back-up and support can take the form of educational materials, explanatory resources and access to other qualified practitioners from whom the bookkeeper can seek feedback and support should any technical issues arise. This support may be in the form of membership of a bookkeeping industry organisation such as Australian Bookkeepers Network https://www.austbook.net/ .

To read the complete article please see the ATR Bi Monthly update for Jan/Feb 2017 – this can be accessed via your exclusive ATR Members Area https://www.mytaxsavers.com.au/login

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