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!

XEROCON BRISBANE 2018

XEROCON BRISBANE 2018

Hello, Lisa here reporting back from last weeks XEROCON!

Kelley & I spent an amazing 2 days at Xerocon. It’s something we have been meaning to go to for a few years now but to be honest, just seemed a little ‘cliché’ for us. We are Xero silver partners and have been using this software for our practice and clients for many years. So off we went to the Brisbane Convention Centre ready to have our ‘minds blown’ with 3,700 other bean counters.

… off we went to the Brisbane Convention Centre to have our ‘minds blown’ with 3700 other bean counters.

The exhibition hall was a great space although we felt like we had entered the Google headquarters. There were almost 100 app developers, enough food and drink to last the apocalypse and some down time activities. We really enjoyed moving around and discussing our clients’ needs with the app developers and having a few random conversations with other Xero users. We didn’t brave the Miami themed ball ‘pool’, slam dunk with a NBA player, play mini golf or ping pong, but the options were there.

Moving into the conference hall, complete with its own DJ we felt like we had entered a rave in 1992. We thoroughly enjoyed all the keynote speakers which ranged from a Professor discussing the future of Artificial Intelligence to Mark Manson telling us how to not give a f*&k. After lunch they offered a range of silent disco style breakout sessions. We had reviewed the sessions the night before and were excited with the impact the information would have on our practice and clients.

Looking for a bookkeeping solution that can be tailored to your needs? Awesome, speak to Nurture about Xero Software.