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 In this issue...


  Cash Flow Strategies 
 
Cash flow strategies are important to implement in a business. Without profits and positive cash flow, you can struggle to survive. 

Long term stability


When setting finance and cash flow goals for a business, you should be aiming for long term stability. Businesses will need to realistically assess how and when they want to achieve their goals and plan accordingly.

Awareness and timing
 

Businesses should be aware of exactly when cash is coming in and out. Having strategies in place to ensure clients pay on time can help businesses learn their expected income times. It is also worth remembering to consider customer transactions made with credit cards. This will help you to accurately estimate the amount of cash being handled and whether this is enough to cover expenses.

Stay on top of records 

Make sure your accounting information is updated regularly so you are able to see the financial state of your business at a glance. Although owners may not be directly responsible for the accounting practices, they should be aware of the business' general intake and turnover.

Keep finances separate 

Mixing your business and personal finances can create confusion and uncertainty surrounding your business' performance. By separating these, you'll know how much money your company is generating and be in a good position to properly pay yourself. Excess cash could be used to strengthen and grow your business.

 
  Increasing Employee Engagement 
 
Encouraging employee engagement within the workplace is vital to ensure the success and competitive advantage of a business.

Increasing employee engagement can be difficult, but if done correctly it can have immeasurable benefits to employers, employees and the workplace in general. Workers who are not motivated can convey a bad impression to customers and are consequently more likely to make mistakes. As an employer, it is necessary to ensure that your employees are passionate about their jobs and that they come to work enthusiastic and eager. Employees who are committed generally outperform those who are not.

One way to increase employee engagement is by encouraging flexibility for your workers. Employees are no longer spending their careers working at the same company until their retirement, but are instead often having many jobs in their working life. Employees also have greater flexibility in where, when and how they are working. When given flexible working hours or locations rather than rigid structures, people can become more productive, happier and engaged in the workplace.

There are many other factors that can impact an employee's engagement in the workplace. These include:
  • Having a good relationship with immediate supervisors.
  • Pride in working for the company.
  • Career development opportunities.
  • Employee recognition.
  • Transparency and honesty.
  • Pay fairness. 
Employee engagement should be a top priority in business and a goal that managers and employers work towards every day. There are five key areas that employers can focus on daily to better morale among workers, which are:
  • Treat all employees with respect.
  • Give credit when it is due.
  • Communicate clearly, consistently and often.
  • Encourage collaboration. 
  • Provide an optimal workplace environment.
Employees should feel comfortable to express their ideas and feedback regardless of their position or role within the organisation. Managers also need to recognise the important contributions that their employees make and reward those accordingly. Top performers in the business are an invaluable asset to progress so it is important that they are given the appropriate opportunities to excel.

Employee engagement is all about knowing what you have and valuing your employees. Businesses have the opportunity to create fulfilling and motivating experiences, allowing workers to bring their best to work each day.

 
  Benefits Of Podcasting 
 
In order to improve relations and customer service habits, businesses need to have conversations with their clients.

Podcasting is a great way to foster this relationship as it allows for literal conversation and participation between a business and their client. People want to work with businesses who they like and trust, and podcasts add another layer to client relations. With podcasts in every niche, there is always an audience on the internet who will listen. The digital space is becoming more collaborative every day and the need for audience interaction is ever growing.

Why you should podcast


Podcasts are one of the fastest growing new media platforms. Their instant nature helps to get information out in a way that is easily accessible and reliable. You can listen on any device with various different streaming platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or the Google Play store. The ease of listening to a conversation helps listeners absorb information – even on the go – and feel connected. It is inexpensive to run as you only need a microphone. A podcast doesn't have to be high tech and the smaller you start the more you can develop later on.

Value of podcasts


Podcasting is sadly under-utilised by many businesses. It allows you to share your business in a way that has never been done before. Through this form of media, you can convey your knowledge and advice to clients in a fun and engaging way. There are also many companies who sponsor podcasts so there is a monetary factor involved. If podcasting isn't for you, perhaps consider sponsoring one to get your business out to a new audience.

Tips for a new podcaster

Podcasts generally run for 45-60 minutes depending on the content. They are a longer form of media made to be consumed simultaneously with another activity. Most listeners enjoy the conversation aspect that isn't necessarily participatory. However, try having a segment at the end for questions from listeners that they can pose to you in the comments as this is appreciated. Don't directly sell your business or sponsor either as the idea of a podcast is that it is like a conversation. No one wants to be told to buy something when they're casually talking. Build up your image through a relationship with the audience. This can be done through stories or anecdotes relating to both real life and your business. This shows listeners that you are both relatable and an expert in your field.

 
  Tips To Increase Your Productivity At Work 

 

Making the most of your time at work can be difficult, with lack of productivity being a 
commonly cited issue among many workers.
 
The work environment, whether you work in an office or at home, can be filled with many
 distractions that can impact focus on tasks. It is important to take a proactive approach to your work that enables you to have a clear mind and do your best work. Some ways you can help to increase productivity at work are:

Avoid multitasking

It can seem like a good idea to attempt to complete an array of tasks at once, especially if they seem small or easy. However, this can be counter-productive and create a chaotic work environment. It would be more beneficial to focus on completing one task at a time, giving it your full attention, and then moving on to the next task. This can result in the tasks being completed faster.

Take breaks

While working long hours may feel like you are getting more work done, studies show that taking regular breaks can help to boost your mood and improve concentration. Sitting for long periods of time can reduce energy levels and impact on your work performance. Taking short, regular breaks throughout the workday can combat fatigue and maximise efficiency.

Set small goals

Looking at your goals can sometimes be overwhelming. If you break up your big projects into smaller tasks, it can help you to feel more in control. Once the goals are broken down, you can stay on track day-to-day and bigger projects will seem less daunting. This will allow you to be more productive.

Tackle your hardest tasks when you are most alert

In a busy day, you could find yourself pushing aside large goals if you are not confident that you will accomplish them. By the time you have got to these tasks at the end of the day, you will be too tired to give them the attention they need. This can lead to procrastination or projects taking multiple days to complete. Prioritising tasks on your to-do list helps to meet deadlines and reduce unnecessary stress.

Create the right environment

A pleasant and enjoyable workspace can help immensely in improving your mood and motivation. Research actually shows that adding aesthetically pleasing personal touches to your desk or office, such as pictures, candles or plants, can help to increase productivity by 15%.

 
  Super Guarantee Compliance: Time To Take Action 
 
The government's latest initiatives targeting non-compliance with superannuation guarantee (SG) obligations give businesses plenty to think about. With Single Touch Payroll on the way for small businesses, all employers should take time to review their arrangements for paying employees' super.

The government is proposing a 12-month "amnesty" for employers to voluntarily disclose and correct any historical underpayments of SG contributions for any period up to 31 March 2018 without incurring penalties or the usual administration fee. This is provided the ATO hasn't already commenced a compliance audit of that employer. Additionally, employers will be entitled to claim deductions for the catch-up payments they make under the amnesty.

TIP:
It's an important time for businesses to get their SG affairs in order. If you're an employer with outstanding underpayments of SG contributions, we can assist with the process of making a voluntary disclosure to the ATO.

 
  Proposed Increase For Small Business Instant Asset Write-Off 
 
Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced the government's intention to increase the instant asset write-off already available for small businesses from $20,000 to $25,000. Mr Morrison also said that the instant write-off would be extended by another 12 months to 30 June 2020. These measures are expected to benefit more than three million eligible small businesses to access the expanded accelerated depreciation rules for assets costing less than $25,000.

Labor has previously proposed an "investment guarantee" giving all businesses an immediate 20% tax deduction from 1 July 2020 for any new eligible asset worth more than $20,000. This would be a permanent accelerated depreciation measure so that businesses could continue to take advantage of an immediate 20% tax deduction when investing in an eligible asset.

 
  ATO Warns About New Scams In 2019 
 
The ATO is warning taxpayers to be alert for scammers impersonating the ATO, using a range of new ways to get taxpayers' money and personal information.

While the ATO regularly contacts people by phone, email and SMS, there are some tell-tale signs that you're being contacted by someone who isn't with the ATO. The ATO will never:

  • send you an email or SMS asking you to click on a link to provide login, personal or financial information, or to download a file or open an attachment;
  • use aggressive or rude behaviour, or threaten you with arrest, jail or deportation;
  • request payment of a debt using iTunes or Google Play cards, pre-paid Visa cards, cryptocurrency or direct credit to a personal bank account; or
  • ask you to pay a fee in order to release a refund owed to you.

  ATO Refers Overdue Lodgements To External Collection Agencies 
 
The ATO has recently started referring taxpayers with overdue lodgement obligations to an external collection agency to obtain lodgements on the ATO's behalf. External collection agencies will focus on income tax and activity statement lodgements, and referral to an external collection agency doesn't affect a taxpayer's credit rating.

If your case is referred to a collection agency, the ATO will notify you in writing before phoning you or your authorised contact to negotiate lodgement of the overdue documents and request payment of any debt.

Tip:
If your tax return or other ATO paperwork is overdue, don't panic! We can help work out what you need to do next, and even make arrangements with the ATO on your behalf.

 
  Extra 44,000 Taxpayers Face Div 293 Superannuation Tax
 
An extra 44,000 taxpayers have been hit with the additional 15% Division 293 tax for the first time on their superannuation contributions for 2017–2018. This is because the Div 293 income threshold was reduced to $250,000 for 2017–2018 (it was previously $300,000).

Individual taxpayers with income and super contributions above $250,000 are subject to an additional 15% Div 293 tax on their concessional contributions.

Taxpayers have the option of paying the Div 293 tax liability using their own money, or electing to release an amount from an existing super balance, which means completing a Div 293 election form.

 
  Company Losses "Similar Business Test" Bill Passes 
 
Legislation originally introduced in March 2017 to supplement the "same business test" with a more relaxed "similar business test" has finally been passed. The test will be used to work out whether a former company's tax losses and net capital losses from previous income years can be used as a tax deduction for a new business in a current income year. It also is relevant to whether a company joining a consolidated group can transfer its losses to the head company of the consolidated group.

 
  Important Tax Dates 
 
30 April 2019
  • Lodge TFN report for closely held trusts if any beneficiary quoted their TFN to a trustee in quarter 3, 2018-2019.
15 May 2019
  • Lodge 2018 tax return for all entities that did not have to lodge earlier (including all remaining consolidated groups), and are not eligible for the 5 June 2019 concession.
  • Due date for companies and super funds to pay if required.
21 May 2019
  • Lodge and pay April 2019 monthly business activity statement.
  • Final date to add new FBT clients to your client list to ensure they receive the lodgement and payment concessions for their fringe benefits tax returns.

26 May 2019

  • Lodge and pay eligible quarter 3, 2018-2019 activity statements if you lodge electronically.


28 May 2019

  • Pay Fringe Benefits Tax annual return if lodging electronically.
  • Lodge and pay quarter 3, 2018-2019 Superannuation guarantee charge statement - quarterly if the employer did not pay enough contributions on time.

 

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This material is for guidance only, any professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. Neither the publisher nor the distributors can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this newsletter. We recommend that you contact your Harris Black team member before making any decision to discuss your particular requirements or circumstances.  

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