Blog

Jul22

Business Boost Grants Program

Flor- Hanly - Thursday, July 22, 2021

QLD Business Boost Grants open 30 July 2021 at 9AM

Applications will remain open until all funds are exhausted.

This grant program provides support to businesses to advance improvements in their efficiency and productivity.

The support includes funded activities in three project areas:

  • Future planning
  • Specialised and automated software
  • Staff management, development and planning

Eligible project activities

FUTURE PLANNING
  • Strategic business planning for innovation or growth
  • Implementing a governance board to guide strategic planning
  • Exporting opportunities and requirements
  • Compliance with industry regulations and standards
SPECIALISED AND AUTOMATED SOFTWARE
  • Design and implementation of management systems, including:
    • data warehouses
    • asset management
    • customer relationship management systems
    • quality and compliance management
    • risk management
    • production systems
    • project management systems
  • Bespoke or complex website design and build, including e-commerce, software integration, booking systems
  • Cybersecurity tools
  • Innovative technology that improves or diversifies service offerings
STAFF MANAGEMENT, DEVELOPMENT AND PLANNING
  • Human resource management skills building
  • Professional development and training
  • Digital workplace plans and systems for a remote workforce

You may be eligible to receive a grant payment of $15,000 (ex GST) on completing your proposed project and successful applicants must co-contribute at least 30% of the total project costs.  The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training will not fund projects with a total cost of less than $10,715 (ex GST) or payments made before the approval date (you must be approved before you pay for grant-funded project activities).

If you’re considering applying, we strongly encourage you to prepare your quotes and documentation in advance. Applicants often require an accountant’s prepared declaration as part of the grant submission process. Flor-Hanly will be able to provide assistance to our clients as we have done with previous QLD grant programs.

More information on small business support grants is available on the Business Queensland website.

To prepare a grant application or check proof of identity and auditing requirements, call Flor-Hanly's team in North Mackay on 07 4963 4800.

Source: Business Queensland



Jul13

QRIDA First Start Loan

Flor- Hanly - Tuesday, July 13, 2021

First Start Loan for primary producers

A First Start Loan can provide you with concessional finance of up to $2 million to assist you in the initial years of establishing your Queensland based primary production business.

A First Start Loan offers up to $2 million to aspiring producers ready to purchase their first block of land, carry out the family succession plan or achieve standalone viability.

What can the loan be used for?

A First Start Loan provides finance to help you:

  • buy your first farm, including from family members
  • become a partner in the family farm
  • enter into leasing or sharefarming arrangements
  • develop existing or purchase additional property to become viable
  • put succession plans in place.

View the current interest rates here.

Loan assessment and security

QRIDA will assess applications for the 2021-22 round in the date order they are received complete up to 30 June 2022 or until available scheme funding is fully committed.

Security must be provided commensurate with the amount of the loan. For most loans, a mortgage over land provides adequate loan security. In some instances, loan security may also include other business assets such as water and livestock.

QRIDA may consider joint lending options with your bank or other commercial lenders.

When assessing your loan application, QRIDA always discusses this with you and your commercial lender.

Speak with Flor-Hanly's Accountants in North Mackay on 07 4963 4800 or visit QRIDA’s website for further information including guidelines.

Source: QRIDA



Jun21

Employment Contract Tool

Flor- Hanly - Monday, June 21, 2021

Australian Government Employer Contract Tool

Build your own employment contract, for an employee under Australia's Fair Work System, that is tailored to your business needs.

  • Time to complete: approx. 30 minutes
  • What you'll need: name of the industry award
  • What you'll receive: upon completion, you'll be able to download your employment contract and a letter of offer in a Word document.

Who can use it?

This tool helps small business employers to make a basic employment contract that complies with workplace laws. Use it to create a contract for an employee under the national industrial relations system.

You can use it for full-time, part-time and casual employees who are covered by an award.

In the tool you'll find:

  • conditions that you must provide to your employee
  • optional clauses to help set expectations and protect your business.

To use this tool, you'll need to pay your employee an hourly or weekly wage. Salaries are not provisioned in the tool due to their complex requirements.

Know your award

As you work through this contract tool, you'll need to add details about your employee's terms and conditions. Users are guided to find these details in each section, but you'll need to know:

  • the award
  • the employee's classification level in the award.

If you're not sure what the award is, use the Fair Work Ombudsman's Find my award tool.

Please note that this tool is unsuitable for some types of workers. Visit https://employ.business.gov.au/ for more information or to start building a contract.

Source: business.gov.au 



Jun07

Single Touch Payroll reporting deadline 1 July

Flor- Hanly - Monday, June 07, 2021

What Australia’s small businesses need to know about changes to STP this EOFY

As a small business owner, you’ve likely heard about Single Touch Payroll (STP) by now.

For nearly two and a half years, the ATO initiative has helped Australia’s small businesses digitally report payroll, including salaries, wages, PAYG withholding tax and superannuation information. Many employers will already be using STP. However, with the ATO rolling the initiative out in stages, there are still some that have been offered exemptions. That is, until now. 

From 1 July this year, most small businesses will need to be STP compliant. This includes small employers with closely held payees, as well as some micro-businesses and seasonal employers. The changes could mean that you have to opt into STP for the first time or start filing employees who aren’t already being reported with the ATO. If you’re feeling unsure about whether these changes will affect your business, we’ve compiled all the information you need to help determine your next steps. 

What does closely held mean? 

Good question. According to the ATO, a closely held payee (otherwise known as a closely held employee) is an individual directly related to the entity from which they receive payments. For example, this would include relatives in a family business, or beneficiaries of a trust fund. 

Depending on your working arrangements, some businesses process irregular or infrequent pay runs for family members on their books. That’s why, up until 1 July of this year, small employers (with 19 or fewer payees) have been exempt from STP reporting of closely held payees. 

So, what’s changing with how my business remunerates closely held payees? 

By the end of FY21, employers with fewer than 19 employees will have to report closely held salaries or wages through STP. Whether it’s your sister, great-uncle, cousin or in-law, every family member on your books, counts. There are three payment reporting requirements to be aware of: 

  • Report and process payroll through STP on or before payday 
  • Report the accurate payroll amount with STP once per quarter, on or before the BAS due date
  • Report a reasonable estimate with STP once per quarter, on or before the BAS due date

Out of the three reporting options, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach – it comes down to what works best for your business’ needs. 

Does my advisor know about changes to STP, and can they help? 

Absolutely. Most accountants are STP old hands now, making them the experts in navigating updates and changes. With EOFY fast approaching, it’s best to reach out to them sooner rather than later to talk through the reporting option that’s right for you, and any steps you need to be aware of before 1 July. 

Are there any other changes I need to know about? 

As well as small employers with closely held payees, some micro and seasonal employers will now have to report on or before the payment date – not quarterly – unless they receive a concession. This includes businesses with four or fewer employees, including those in the following industries: 

  • Agriculture, fishing and forestry
  • Not-for-profit clubs and associations
  • Seasonal and intermittent employers 

Microbusinesses in each category may still be eligible for STP reporting concessions, such as quarterly or exceptional circumstances exemptions. Ask your advisor about how you can apply for a concession, and head over to the ATO website for more details. 

The STP changes for this EOFY are one of the final hurdles in transitioning most Australian small businesses to a more streamlined reporting system. Although the initiative is still evolving, with the support of the Xero team and your trusted advisor, you’ll be able to tackle any new changes head-on.

Although EOFY is just around the corner, there’s still time to get prepared. With the help of your accountants and Xero, together, we can make the transition to STP as smooth as possible. Not only can Flor-Hanly help you with STP, but we can also offer plenty of value in all areas of your business throughout the new financial year.  Call us in Mackay on 07 4963 4800.

Source: Xero



May31

Getting employees' super obligations right

Flor- Hanly - Monday, May 31, 2021

Avoid the sting of a super high penalty

There has never been a more important time to get your superannuation obligations right for your employees.

This means paying the right amount, to the right fund, at the right time.

If you don’t pay enough super for your employees, or pay super late, you need to:

  • lodge a super guarantee charge statement with the ATO by 28 May 2021, to disclose to the ATO any super you have missed or paid late
  • pay the super guarantee charge.

Unlike paying super guarantee on time, the super guarantee charge is calculated on an employee's total salary and wages (including overtime and some allowances) and includes interest and an administration fee of $20 per employee, per quarter.

You may be able to claim a late payment offset, or carry forward contributions, for any late payments you made to your employee's fund.

How to avoid an additional penalty

An additional penalty will apply to unpaid or late paid super where employers don't lodge a super guarantee charge statement by the due date. The penalties may be higher if you don't come forward voluntarily before an audit.

The maximum penalty is up to 200% of the total super guarantee charge and can only be remitted under very limited circumstances.

To avoid a penalty, employers must lodge a super guarantee charge statement within one month of the superannuation quarterly due date.

If you're worried you will have difficulty paying the super guarantee charge, contact Flor-Hanly's Chartered Accountants in Mackay on 07 4963 4800 so we can work on finding a solution tailored to your situation.

Source: ATO



May24

Funding boost for Qld primary producers

Flor- Hanly - Monday, May 24, 2021

$20m loan scheme extension

The Queensland Government has committed another $20 million in funding for low-interest productivity loans for Queensland’s primary producers bringing the total investment in Queensland’s agriculture through the Primary Industry Productivity Enhancement Scheme (PIPES) from $100 million to $120 million per year from 1 July.

Administered through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA), the PIPES scheme provides First Start Loans of up to $2 million and Sustainability Loans of up to $1.3 million to Queensland’s primary producers.

The commitment of further funding would support more primary producers to invest in more productive and sustainable enterprises and help them to establish their enterprise in the early years.

The low-interest loans currently offer terms of up to 20 years and with one, three or five-year fixed rates and no fees or charges.

Already this financial year (2020-21) close to 200 applications for nearly $90 million have been approved for the scheme, including close to $23 million in Sustainability Loans to invest in on-farm infrastructure, improve water storage and efficiency, invest in biosecurity measures or improve their farm operations.

More than $65 million in First Start Loans has been approved in this financial year to help new and next-generation primary producers to purchase their first property, buy into the family farm business or lease country.

Administered through QRIDA, the scheme supports new and existing primary producers across Queensland with more than $1 billion invested over 25 years in primary production enterprises. Agriculture is a critical part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery, and the extension of the PIPES loans scheme stands shoulder to shoulder with farmers.

For example, QRIDA has assisted more than 2,000 Queensland beef producers to invest in more than $636 million through a First Start or Sustainability Loan over its 25-year history. The scheme also supports niche industries including oyster farming and berry growing enterprises.

QRIDA administers the Primary Industry Productivity Enhancement Scheme on behalf of the Queensland Government. For more information see qrida.qld.gov.au or contact Flor-Hanly's Accountants in Mackay on 07 4963 4800.

Source: QLD Govt

May17

$10 billion reinsurance scheme

Flor- Hanly - Monday, May 17, 2021

Small business ombudsman backs federal government’s $10 billion natural disaster reinsurance pool

The $10 billion reinsurance pool will cover cyclone and related flood damage in northern Australia from mid-2022.

Small Business Ombudsman Bruce Billson said the federal government’s new $10 billion reinsurance scheme will make insurance premiums more affordable for businesses in northern Australia.

The fund will act as a government guarantee to help reduce insurance premiums for small businesses, households and strata by over $1.5 billion over 10 years, and is expected to cover 500,000 eligible property insurance policies.

Billson said the federal government’s proposal “is an important step forward in addressing what is a complex area”.

“It responds well to natural disaster considerations in northern Australia, but there is a need to keep working on insurance issues because it remains too hard to get and too expensive for too many small businesses,” he says.

In practice, the fund will help flatten out the peaks in insurance claims that arise after a natural disaster event, and bring greater consistency to the price of premiums.

“It acts as insurance for the insurers and therefore gives them some comfort and confidence about the products that they offer and takes pressure off premiums,” Billson said.

Gap in the insurance market

A government-funded natural disaster reinsurance pool is one of a range of recommendations that came out of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s (ABFSEO) 2020 insurance inquiry.

The report found that small businesses find it difficult to access insurance or access affordable insurance as insurers become more risk-averse due to a rise in extreme weather events.

To ease the cost of premiums, the report recommended an expansion of the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC) to provide reinsurance for all natural disasters for commercial property insurance.

Expanding that pool to also cover natural disasters would help fill the gap in the insurance market, which has been widening as insurers become more risk-averse to the impacts of climate change, the report found.

The Prime Minister said the plan was drafted in collaboration with local MPs, senators and residents in northern Australia.

“Homeowners and businesses have been faced with crippling insurance costs, and in some cases, can’t get insurance at all,” Mr Morrison said.

“Our plan will give more Australians in cyclone-prone areas access to affordable insurance.”

The reinsurance pool will cover cyclone and flood-related damage in northern Australia from 1 July 1 2022.

Article first published by SmartCompany on 5 May 2021 at https://www.smartcompany.com.au/finance/insurance/small-business-ombudsman-natural-disaster-reinsurance-pool/#



May10

Small business grants update May 2021

Flor- Hanly - Monday, May 10, 2021

Grants for QLD farms and businesses

QLD’s Business Basics grant program will offer grant funding to new and emerging businesses, Business Boost will support established small businesses, and the Business Growth Fund will help evolving and fast-growing small and medium-sized businesses.

Open now

The $50,000 Business Growth Fund grants will allow businesses to buy highly specialised equipment to seize and accelerate growth opportunities.

Closes when funds are exhausted

Primary producers across Queensland hit by recent floods and cyclones can now access Extraordinary Disaster Assistance Grants of up to $75,000 to support their recovery journey with Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Guidelines and information factsheet available at https://www.qra.qld.gov.au/funding/drfa.

Upcoming

The Business Basics grants of up to $5,000 each support new and emerging businesses to increase core capabilities and adopt current best practice for website development and upgrades, strategic marketing, training and coaching, advisory services and planning for business continuity and succession.

Opens 31 May 2021

The Business Boost grants of up to $15,000 will help small businesses to improve their efficiency and productivity through organisational development and upgrades through automated software and CRM systems.

Opens July 2021

To review grant notes, application requirements and status, please visit Business Queensland or call our team in Mackay on 07 4963 4800.



May04

Financial literacy, financial success

Flor- Hanly - Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Knowing your financials is vital for success in 2021

The uncertainty of last year is in the rearview, but a bumpy road still lies ahead.

More than ever, businesses need to understand and manage their finances to navigate the new terrain of 2021, not just to survive but thrive. 

2020 lost some great companies, and the years to come will take more. So how can you begin protecting yourself and your investments when the landscape is still shifting below your feet?

Below are some essential tips to consider:

Know your tolerance for financial risk 

According to Yelp.com’s Local Economic Impact Report, for more than 97,966 businesses, 2020 caught them off guard, causing them to close their doors permanently. Though traffic is picking up for some, there is no promise that revenue will get better for all businesses. 

Are you ready to put it all on the line? If you are, there is success out there. If you’re not, you may need to consider a strategic pivot seriously.

OK, now that we have gotten that out of the way. Let’s move on to some positive action steps.

Build a budget

We know we can not predict what lies ahead. However, we can learn from the past, make educated assumptions, and create a budget for the possibility of a tumultuous 2021.

To help plan a tentative budget, here are a few questions you should ask:

  • What was revenue like in January and February of 2020?
  • How did it compare to profits in April of 2020?
  • What do you experience as the pandemic restrictions ease/tighten?
  • Do seasonal changes affect your revenue?
  • Do you have revenue streams that continue to grow?
  • Have you increased or decreased expenses during the pandemic?

No one knows what’s in store for business owners in 2021, but we do know that to survive 2021, business owners need to understand the financial basics for their business. Utilising powerful apps to build a budget will help you do just that. 

Know your goals

For some businesses, making goals for 2021 might seem elusive, especially coming out of a year like 2020. However, by taking the time to define your goals, you will find the grit you need to stay in the fight. 

Success isn’t by chance. Simply dreaming and hoping for growth in 2021 will not cut it. 

Tips to setting achievable goals:

  • It’s still OK to dream big
  • Write your goals down
  • Set achievable milestones 
  • Share your goals
  • Work on your goals daily
  • Be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound)

Actively analyse finances

By consistently running a balance sheet and updating your financial statements, you’ll always have your thumb on the pulse of your business. There are excellent apps available on the Xero App Marketplace to do just this. If you are uncomfortable building various reports, get help from a trusted advisor like an accountant or bookkeeper who will help you understand your economic landscape.

Understand your cash flow

Businesses are showing a steady improvement in their spending outlook as 2021 gets underway. As a business owner, you need to know where to spend your money and where to pull it back. 

Though a business can look successful on paper, businesses fail at an alarming rate due to cash flow. It is essential to shorten the days between spend and collection from sales. The fewer days between the two means more cash on hand and less you will need to borrow. Developing a cash flow projection will ensure you have the money to pay vendors, staff, lenders, and yourself. Here are some apps that can help.

Separate business and personal

It’s more important to separate business from personal finances in 2021. Making the separation will ensure you treat your business like an independent entity while protecting your financial circumstances with a ‘corporate veil’. This type of protection makes the company accountable for any debts or legal responsibilities rather than holding the owner personally accountable.

Save for emergencies

For businesses that have made it through the COVID-19 pandemic, this might be hard. But you got this. Understand you need to count every dollar and make every dollar count. 

Here are a few cost-saving ideas to help free up money to save: 

  • Go paperless
  • Don’t pay for landlines
  • Stick to your budget
  • Time management is vital
  • Cut production costs
  • Hire freelancers
  • Travel less
  • Create partnerships for co-marketing
  • Buy from the ‘little guy’ – for example, your local suppliers and other small businesses

Listen to your customers

For lots of companies, during economic downturns, they stop serving their current customers and start desperately looking for new customers. A better approach is to produce new products and services for customers who already know and love you. Your customers will let you know how to stay in business. Consider taking the necessary steps to listen to your customers by giving them a way to connect with you 24/7. Don’t stop there. Listen to them with the intent to act. Your customers are letting you know how you can serve them better. 

Remember, other companies are looking for new customers, and if you are not tending to yours, your competition will. 

Focus on the future, not the past

2020 was devastating for the world in many regards, but there is still a bright future ahead. We must learn from our past, but we mustn’t stay in our past. The future is in our imagination, so why not imagine a future of possibilities. When you set your goals, budget, or strategies, be realistic but still shoot for the stars. 

Be agile

Be prepared for anything; you have got to be able to think on your toes. 2021 will not give you the time to cut through red tape. If you’re too slow to open the door when opportunity knocks, it will head over to your competitor’s open door. 

Become more efficient by automating redundant tasks to free up management from routine, time-consuming tasks and allow them to engage in business strategies to increase profits and customer service. 

Be adaptable

Success comes to those that can roll with the punches. Many businesses failed due to their inability to be adaptable. You should be able to pivot at a moment’s notice in good times or bad. This past year we saw restaurants close in droves while others seemed to thrive. The difference was the quick adjustment to delivery and curbside service. 

Showcase your differentiation 

In 2021 brand connections are becoming more critical for consumers. Customers are now looking for brands they can trust and support during these challenging times. 

Companies need to step up and show they are willing to provide superior customer service, operational excellence, clear and transparent communication, and affordable products. Especially in times of struggle, people are looking for assurance that good is out there. 

Now is the time to shine and show others you care. 

Remember your ‘why’

Most important, you have got to remember why you went into business in the first place. Do you have clarity around the ‘why’ of your business? No? That’s ok, but it’s time to figure it out. It is not about making money; that is the result. Your why should be the purpose, cause, or belief behind the reason your organization exists. Knowing why you are in business can help you make hard choices, stay focused on your goals, and take the necessary risks needed to succeed. 

The landscape is uncertain for 2021, but there is reason to be optimistic. Businesses that stimulate growth with new products and services create jobs and infuse the economy with the money it needs to recover.

Flor-Hanly Accountants are Xero Platinum Partners. Contact our accounting team on 07 4963 4800 or email to arrange a complimentary discussion on how we can work with you or read more here »

Source: Xero

Apr27

Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job

Flor- Hanly - Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Assistance for relocating to take up an offer of employment

Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job (RATTUAJ) is an Australian Government program that assists eligible participants to relocate to take up an offer of employment.

Relocation assistance helps participants accept work outside of their area by removing the financial barriers that can prevent people relocating.

Job seekers who are participating in employment services programs may be immediately eligible for help with their moving costs under the Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program.

From 1 May 2021, if you relocate to take up ongoing work, including an apprenticeship, for more than 20 hours a week for more than six months, you may be eligible to receive up to: 

  • $3,000 if you relocate to a capital city*
  • $6,000 if you relocate to a regional area
  • An extra $3,000 if you relocate with a dependent. 

* If relocating from one capital city to a capital city with fewer jobs, you may not be able to access relocation assistance.

Employment services providers can use up to $2,000 to provide upfront support to job seekers who need assistance with agreed relocation costs.

How to access Relocation Assistance

To see if you are eligible for RATTUAJ, talk to your jobactive, Disability Employment Services, ParentsNext, Transition to Work, or Community Development Program provider.

Source: Dept Education Skills & Employment

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