3 New Years Resolutions for Business Owners

3 New Years Resolutions for Business Owners

For many of us business owners, the new year is a time to regather our vision for the business, take time to ourselves and spend time with the family. As people we think of resolutions that we need, and as business owners this is just as important. For business owners making a new years resolution can make a huge impact both for your motivation when you start back at work as well as during the year.

Here’s our top 3 New Years Resolutions we recommend trying out:

1. Prioritise Balance

The 9 to 5 that most employees enjoy, is often not the same balance that business owners enjoy. That’s why it’s important to prioritise balance. To continue to be a successful entrepreneur you must take the time to recharge your batteries, otherwise you risk burning out or making errors. Take time for you, try a yoga class or go for a walk along the beach. Promise us and yourself that you’ll make the time for balance this New Year.

2. Make Work Fun

Own a business they said, it’ll be fun they said. Okay, we’ve all been there – the questions of “why did I start this” and “I have no time anymore” are common questions business owners ask themselves. And if you’ve asked yourself these, it’s time to a) prioritise balance like we firstly recommended, and two start making work FUN! Create a happy place at work by creating happiness boosting traditions – yes you heard us right! Whether that’s a daily joke, watching a funny youtube video or making your workspace more invigorating. It’s important to have fun!

3. Delegate

Now, this is crucial. If you want to make work more fun, and prioritise balance you’re probably going to have to delegate. You could delegate a Fun enforcer at work, or delegate a job that you’ve been doing to an up and coming employee. You’re smart, you’ve accomplished a professional business and you’re probably not great at delegating because you trust yourself to do the job right. Are we right or are we right? So, stop that and start to delegate some of your tasks to employees that you’ve hired to help. Shifting the work to someone else is an adjustment, but once trained and confident you’ll have more balance in your life!

Need to delegate your paperwork? We can help!

3 Steps to a 2019 Business Plan

3 Steps to a 2019 Business Plan

Three Steps to a 2019 Business Plan!

One of the most common questions asked by our clients is for me to help them with their business plan. Sometimes even to write their business plan for them.

The consensus seems to be that writing a business plan is just too hard. Normally at this point their voice is filled with fear and they are holding their breath waiting for my reply. A business plan can seem a scary thing, but it does not have to be. Although Nurture technically can write a business plan, you could call us crazy but we won’t do it for you – why you ask? No other person apart from you knows your business and the ideas and plans you have as thoroughly as you.

Prove this by drafting your business plan yourself. The exercise will most likely give you a confidence boost as when you read your first draft, you will realise just how many ideas you have to move forward with. To put it very simply, a business plan is where you are at now with your business, and where you plan for it to go, and how are you going to make this happen. It is your roadmap.

So, although we won’t write one for you (because we want to empower you), we will however give you simple steps to write one.

  1. Write down you goals for your business.
  2. Sort these goals into short and medium term.
  3. Then use a template for your business plan, such as THIS TEMPLATE provided by the business.gov.au and start to type.

If you find there are certain sections that you are unsure of, or do not understand, then use this as a learning curve. If you have discovered that you have a hole in the knowledge of what you need to know with starting your business then down tools. This is the time for you to perhaps educate yourself or do some research. Better to have this lack of information sorted before you attempt to get things off the ground. Use this exercise of drafting a plan to your advantage. Soon enough you will have a first draft. Now, that does not seem too hard at all.

At Nurture Accounting, we love to work with clients particularly when starting their new business. Whilst we believe you dollars could be spent more effectively than we as your accountant write it for you, we will happily work through the review stage and add feedback and ideas to move forward. We have put together a template for a DIY business plan so that you can have a useful tool to start with and hit the ground running. When you are ready to share your business plan and work with an experienced business advisor whom will add value to your business startup, make contact with Nurture Accounting.

Need to bounce your ideas with someone! We’ve got just the person!

What To Look For in a Good Accountant

What To Look For in a Good Accountant

Need a good accountant? We can help!

As business owners, we seem to be met with an endless list of expenses to cover to reach a profitable level of productivity. You work hard for your money, and if there’s one thing that we at Nurture really dislike it’s when a company is paying money for a service or product that isn’t meeting the needs of the business.

Now, you might think this doesn’t apply to you, but it probably does – actually let me rephrase that, there is definitely something in your business that is costing you more money than it gives in value. It may be something like an overcharge of bank fees or to the phone service company that takes too long to fix a problem. But what do you do when it’s your accountant that is not giving enough value? That’s clearly when you come meet the awesome accountants and team at Nurture Accounting – but that’s not what this blog is about, this blog is about identifying what you need to look for in a good accountant to make sure you are getting value.

Now, we have heard some horrors stories from prospective clients about their accountants with comments such as “I feel so frustrated with my current accountant as they take two weeks to call me back”. ‘’I feel really nervous going to my accountant, I leave their office feeling like I am really dumb’’. The latest comment I heard from someone recently was that going to see their accountant was worse than the dentist (yikes)!

By now, our Nurture Clients are reading this and thinking thank goodness we see Nurture – but these cases are true and some accountants out there really don’t understand how important it is to focus on each and every client no matter how big or small their business is.

The latest comment I heard from someone recently was that going to see their accountant was worse than the dentist (yikes)!

So what kind of qualities does a good accountant have?

Approachable. You should feel comfortable in being able to contact your accountant or at least their office if you have a question or an issue that needs dealing with.
Effective with timely communication. You should not be able to take a week’s holiday whilst you are waiting for your accountant to return your call or reply to your email.
Transparent. The fees you are charged by your accountant should be transparent and detailed in your invoice. You should feel as though you are able to query the fee if you would like some clarification.
Value-adding. Advice offered by your accountant should add something additional to your business and empower you whilst you spend your time managing and growing your business.

This is just the minimal that your accountant should offer your business. If some of those items have left you feeling unsure about your current accountant, we encourage you to come and speak to the team at Nurture Accounting. It’s a lot easier than you think to make the switch, we look after everything for you – plus we’re jam packed with value so you’ll always feel empowered for growth!

Need a good accountant? Awesome, let’s have a chat!

Christmas Deductions Guide

Christmas Deductions Guide

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is deductions!

Okay, so we don’t have to be Santa to know what’s on every business owners list this year – deductions.

Each Christmas business owners big and small ask us what they can deduct from work Christmas parties and gifts. Sound like a question you have? We thought so, keep reading!

So here’s what you need to know.

FBT

FBT stands for Fringe Benefits Tax and it’s important to understand that there is no independent fringe benefits tax (FBT) category for Christmas parties. However, certain aspects of your Christmas party may be exempt from FBT if they can pass as a minor and infrequent benefit.

A minor benefit is defined by the ATO as a benefit that is ‘less than $300 in notional taxable value’ and ‘unreasonable to treat as a fringe benefit’. Under this definition, you may be eligible for relief from FBT as long as the cost per head does not exceed $300. To calculate this simply divide the total cost of the party by the number of attendees.

Remember that if an item is exempt from FBT then it is NOT tax deductible nor can you claim the GST credits.

Gifts

The $300 limit also applies to Christmas gifts you provide to your staff however the deductibility and GST treatment is based on whether the gift is “entertainment” or “non-entertainment”. To get the best outcome we recommend providing “non-entertainment” gifts (e.g. skincare & beauty products, flowers, wine, perfumes, gift vouchers and hampers) costing less than $300 and you will be able to claim a tax deduction plus claim the GST.

Deductibility

For the entire cost of a Christmas party to be a deductible expense the Christmas party must meet the following criteria:

Held on your business premises
• Held on a working day
• Held for current employees, volunteers, customers, and suppliers only
• No alcohol
• Only finger food or a light meal provided
• No employee associates (e.g. spouses, children, etc.) present

If a Christmas party includes any of the following elements, the entire cost in non-deductible:

Alcohol is served
• Employee associates (e.g. spouses, children, etc.) attending
• Held at a location other than your business premises
The Christmas Deduction Wrap

In summary, you can avoid FBT during the festive season by keeping the per head costs below $300 but the expenditure will be non-deductible entertainment.

Some may argue that ensuring your Christmas party is tax deductible by complying with the above criteria is not in the best interests of staff moral and certainly not inductive to building strong relationships and fostering a positive work culture within your business.

Christmas Deductions Guide

Wanting Jingle Bells to sound more like Jingle Coins? Sounds like you need a good accountant! Speak to Nurture about Christmas Deductions Today!

Personal Superannuation Contributions Deductions

Personal Superannuation Contributions Deductions

Effective 1 July 2017, the 10% maximum earnings condition was removed for the 2017-18 and future financial years. This means most people under 75 years old can claim a tax deduction for personal super contributions (including those aged 65 to 74 who meet the work test). Please be aware this is related to super contributions made from personal funds after tax (i.e. not under a salary sacrifice arrangement or compulsory super paid by your employer).

ELIGIBILITY RULES
You can claim a deduction for personal super contributions made on or after 1 July 2017 if:

  1. You made the contribution to a complying super fund or a retirement savings account that is not a:
    – Commonwealth public sector superannuation scheme in which you have a defined benefit interest
    – CPF or other untaxed fund that would not include your contribution in its assessable income
    – Super fund that notified the ATO before the start of the income year that they elected to treat all member contributions to
    > the super fund as non-deductible, or
    > the defined benefit interest within the fund as non-deductible
  2. You meet the age restrictions
  3. You notify your fund in writing of the amount you intend to claim as a deduction
  4. Your fund acknowledges your notice of intent to claim a deduction in writing
SO I WANT TO CLAIM – WHAT DO I DO NOW?

If you intend to make a claim for personal super contributions in your 2018 income tax return, you need to notifiy your fund in writing of the amount you intend to claim. The fund will then provide an acknowledgement (usually in writing) which you need to present to your tax agent when having your income tax return prepared.

It is important to be aware that the contribution leaving your hands does not enable a deduction. The contribution needs to be received and processed by your fund before 30 June for the amount to be available as a tax deduction. In our experience, we recommend allowing a minimum of 10 days for this to occur.

In addition, we highly recommend you seek professional advice from a licenced financial planner when considering making personal super contributions.

For more information please refer to ato.gov.au/superchanges

Lisa Hooton.

Want to discover more about super? Speak to our super team!