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Friday 31 January 2014

The ins and outs of selling and closing a business

Whether a business is being sold or closed down, it is important that assets are dealt with and that the relevant third parties are notified.

The two main reasons why business owners may choose to close down their business are where it is time to retire and it cannot be passed on or sold, and where the business is no longer making enough money to keep going.

Closing down a business can be simple if it is done in a systematic process. Some things to consider include:
  • Advising all suppliers and customers;
  • Dealing with any debtors and creditors; and
  • Meeting all tax related matters such as paying off Tax Office debts such as GST, FBT and income tax liabilities, deregistration of tax related registrations, finalising employee payments and lodging a final tax return.

If the business is to be sold, important points to consider include:
  • Determining the market value of the business (including any goodwill);
  • Determining which assets and liabilities will be transferred; and
  • Ensuring all the necessary paperwork such as legal documents are completed and agreed upon by both parties.
Lastly, each state or territory may have additional requirements that may also need to be satisfied.

For more information, click here.

Thursday 23 January 2014

Govreports Makes Bas Lodgement Easy With Intuit Quickbooks

Impact Management Group is announcing its latest GovReports integration with Intuit QuickBooks Online for Business Activity Statement (BAS) lodgements. The integration allows QuickBooks Online users to lodge their December 2013 BAS from GovReports.

GovReports cloud based lodgement portal allows AUSkey holders to easily submit BAS reports to the ATO from a wide variety of web-enabled devices. The new integration will allow GovReports users to sign into QuickBooks Online from their GovReports account. They will then export QuickBooks Online BAS output directly to the activity statement report for the ATO. This is available for GovReports users with QuickBooks Online records for the December 2013 BAS reports.

Impact Management Group Director, Tiana Tran is pleased with this latest development which provides further options to SME GovReport users. She mentions, "we now have successful integration with a number of popular accounting and financial reporting packages used by smaller businesses."

Tiana also noted there are benefits to BAS and Tax agents using GovReports.

"Increasing integration is great news for BAS and Tax Agents. Their clients tend to use a variety of financial reporting packages. Agents can log into GovReports once and load reports using their individual AUSKey for multiple clients even though the source records are from different accounting softwares."

Brad Paterson, VP & Managing Director for Intuit APAC said, "We welcome 3rd party developers to work with us and integrate with QuickBooks. This partnership between QuickBooks Online and GovReports will not only save time for small business owners by reducing the paperwork, but also improve efficiency through minimising errors that often occur during manual data entry."

Both GovReports and QuickBooks Online are offering integrated cloud applications to their customers. Increasingly, bookkeepers, accountants and agents are seeing the benefits of being able to access information anytime, anywhere on a wide variety of devices. According to a recent SME cloud survey of small businesses, 34% of small businesses are looking to adopt cloud services in the next 12 months (up 15% from last year) and 58% said the cloud has given them better control of their data.

GovReports will continue to expand its new offerings through 2014. Tiana mentions "Later this year GovReports aims to have other integrations in place; not only for packages popular with SME's but also with solutions for larger businesses"

Contact Tiana Tran for more information about GovReports on 02 8677 9669 or go to

Contact Shane Macfarlane for more information about QuickBooks Online +61 448 097 558

New Employment Requirements From 1 January 2014

Changes to the Fair Work Act legislated in 2013 took effect from 1 January 2014. The new requirements cover:
  • new anti-bullying measures
  • changes to right of entry
  • requirements for employers to check with employees before changing regular rosters and working hours
  • making arbitration for dismissal disputes available at the Fair Work Commission
  • new timeframes for unlawful termination applications
  • changes to superannuation conditions in modern awards.

The changes were legislated under the previous Gillard Government. Although the Abbott Government has indicated it will make some changes to the Fair Work Act and review other aspects of the Act, legislation has not been introduced to parliament (or passed) varying the changes made by the previous Government. The legislated changes took affect from 1 January.

The changes – in more detail – from 1 January are:

From 1 January 2014, a worker in a constitutionally covered business who reasonably believes that he or she has been bullied at work can apply to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for an order to stop the bullying. The Commission must start to deal with the application within 14 days.

Consent arbitration of general protections and unlawful termination disputes
From 1 January 2014, an applicant can, with the employer's agreement and within 14 days after the day the FWC issues a certificate in general protections dismissal dispute or an unlawful termination dispute, have the dispute arbitrated by the Commission. This consent arbitration is an alternative to a court application.
From 1 January 2014, lodgment timeframes for unlawful termination applications made under s.773 of the Fair Work Act 2009 will change:
  • for dismissals that occur on or before 31 December 2013, applications need to be made within 60 days after the date the dismissal took effect.
  • for dismissals that occur on or after 1 January 2014, applications need to be made within 21 days after the date the dismissal took effect.

Consultation term in modern awards and enterprise agreements
From 1 January 2014, modern awards and enterprise agreements must contain a term requiring employers to consult with employees about changes to their regular rosters or ordinary hours of work. By 31 December 2013, the FWC must make determinations varying all modern awards to include the new consultation term.

Right of entry
From 1 January 2014, the FWC has greater capacity to deal with disputes about the frequency of visits to workplaces by permit holders, and the Commission may deal with disputes about the new arrangements for provision of transport and accommodation to permit holders at remote workplaces.

Amended modern awards objective
From 1 January 2014, the modern awards objective will require the FWC to take into account the need to provide additional remuneration for employees working:
  • overtime
  • unsocial, irregular or unpredictable hours
  • weekends or public holidays, or
  • shifts
Click below to view source
Fair Work Commission: About the Fair Work Amendment Act 2013

New Superannuation Requirements From 1 January 2014

All employers became subject to new employee superannuation requirements from 1 January 2014 as a result of the start of the Government's MySuper requirements.

From 1 January 2014 all employers are required to make their employer Superannuation Guarantee contributions on behalf of employees who have not nominated a fund to an authorised 'MySuper' fund.

The obligation applies only in relation to employees who have not selected a preferred fund (by completing a 'choice of fund' form).

MySuper is a new superannuation product that replaces previous default superannuation products. MySuper products have a simple set of features, regardless of who provides them. They are designed to ensure members do not pay for any unnecessary features they do not use.

Default super products are used when employees haven't chosen a super fund.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) recommends employers check that their current default fund offers a MySuper product. A list of authorised MySuper funds is also available on the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority website (see link below).

The ATO also advises that if an employer's existing default fund does not offer a MySuper product by 1 January 2014, they will need to switch to a fund that is authorised. Employers will need to provide an updated choice of fund form to employees that have not nominated a chosen fund within 28 days of this change.

Click below to view source Reminder to employers about new super obligations
APRA: List of MySuper authorised funds
ATO: MySuper

Friday 3 January 2014

Tax tables for back payments, commissions, bonuses and similar payments

The Tax Office has updated their standard PAYG Withholding tax tables (schedule 30) for employers paying back payments, bonuses, commissions or similar payments to their employees.

Back payments are payments that were meant to have been paid in a prior period where an employee was entitled to this payment, including lump sum payments in arrears.

Examples of back payments include:
  • Where wages or salary were underpaid in a prior period;
  • An allowance that was due to be paid in a prior period; or
  • A bonus that was due to be paid in a prior period.

When an employer is required to make an additional payment, the employer is required to calculate the amount withheld by either using method A or B.

Method A calculates an average withholding amount by dividing additional payments made in the current year over the number of pay periods in a financial year that is to be applied against gross earnings in the current pay period.

Method B calculates the withholding amount by averaging all additional payments made in the current year over the number of pay periods in a financial year, which is then applied to the average total earnings to date.

Click here for instructions on using method A and B with examples, types of additional payments and other relevant information.