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The Personal Properties Security Register (PPSR) is a national online register of secured interests in property. You can protect your business by using this helpful service.

The PPSR offers buyers the opportunity to check whether vehicles or other property are being used as security for an existing loan.

Checking this before buying means you can establish if the goods you want to buy are free from debt or possible repossession, and therefore make an informed decision about purchasing things like vehicles, equipment or other property.

You can also do a search on an organisation to see if there are security interests against its assets, a valuable tool before lending money or doing business with the organisation.

There are small fees for searching and registering, but it's well worth it to protect your financial interests.

Who Can Register on the PPSR?

If you have security interests and rights over property, you can register your interest at the PPSR. This means that you can potentially repossess the property if your customer defaults on payment. It is a legal declaration of interest in goods you have supplied on credit to an individual or another business.

When a business or individual has a registered interest in any assets or properties, it will then have recognised rights over that property in the event of the lessee going into liquidation or disputing payment.

Find out more about how the PPSR protects buyers and lessees. There are also great factsheets to help businesses with customers who have become insolvent or defaulted on payment because of COVID-19.

If you'd like to understand the value of registering interests over property, talk to us today. A retention of title clause in a contract may not protect you on its own. Back up your contracts with customers and lessees by registering with the PPSR for extra protection of your rights over property.

If you're buying, search the PPSR for assurance that the property is clear of any registered security interest before purchasing.

Tax Tips for Property Investors

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If you have income from investment properties, now is the time to start gathering your records and reviewing your expenses for the 2021 financial year.

Income to Declare

All income earned from each property must be declared. If you have multiple properties, keep the records for each property separate to make the tax return more efficient.

  • Rent received, whether paid directly to you or through an agent or through an online management platform. Rent includes recurring regular amounts as well as any lump sum amounts paid in advance.
  • Rental bonds returned for example if the tenant caused damage or defaulted on rent payment.
  • Insurance payouts received as compensation.
  • Expenses reimbursed by the tenant, for example if they have caused damage and you have paid for the cost of fixing the damages, or if they have reimbursed you for water.
  • Extra fees received, for example letting or booking fees.
  • Government rebates, for example for installation of solar utilities.

You will need statements or recipient created tax invoices from agents or management platforms and documents for all other payments received.

Tax Deductions

Deductible expenses for property are different for residential and commercial properties. Not all expenses related to owning a property are allowed as deductions, so it's important to check what you can claim.

  • Expenses You May be Able to Claim This Year
  • Advertising for tenants
  • Body corporate fees
  • Council rates
  • Water supply charges
  • Land tax
  • Cleaning, gardening, pest control and property maintenance
  • Insurance
  • Agent fees
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Some legal expenses
  • Loan interest

Other Expenses

There are some expenses which need to be claimed over a longer period such as several years or decades. These can include borrowing expenses, capital expenditure, depreciation, initial repairs and capital works.

Some expenses cannot be claimed for. These include stamp duty, loans and repayments, some legal expenses and some insurance premiums.

Get Help to Simplify Your Property Records

Tax matters for property investors can be complex. The ATO keeps a close eye on tax returns that involve property investment, as it's easy to make mistakes. There are other matters to consider such as the period of rental availability, private use of the property, capital gains tax, legal contracts and positive or negative gearing.

We'd love to help ensure you are claiming the right deductions to make the most out of your investment property this year and beyond. Book a time now to discuss your 2021 tax return.

Tax tips for self-managed superannuation funds

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Having a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) gives you control and flexibility over how you make investments and prepare for retirement.


It's important to get your deductions and record keeping correct for the SMSF audit process and the tax return, as there are strict laws governing SMSFs.


An SMSF must be set up as a trust and must also have a legal document called a trust deed. A super fund trust is set up for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits to its beneficiaries. The trust deed governs how the fund is set up and how it will operate and must be used in conjunction with the superannuation laws.


There are many different investment strategies for SMSFs according to the fund's trust deed and operations.


Common Tax Deductions


Deductible expenses for SMSFs vary according to the nature of investments and the trust deed, however there are some general expenses that apply to most funds.


  • Operating expenses, such as management and administration fees, audit fees and ASIC annual fees.
  • Investment-related expenses, such as interest, investment advice fees, costs of servicing and managing investments, property fees and brokerage fees.
  • Tax-related expenses, such as preparing the SMSF annual return.
  • Legal expenses including amending trust deeds.
  • SMSF statutory fees and levies.
  • Insurance premiums for death, total and permanent disability, terminal illness and income protection.


The rules for tax deductibility for SMSFs are different to those for individuals and business. Many people are used to claiming deductions for certain things in business or property investment and find they don't apply to SMSF tax returns. We can help clarify what's deductible and what's not.


Expenses must relate to the sole purpose of the super fund being to provide retirement benefits to its members. There may be some items you want to query with us for the audit and tax return to see if they meet the sole purpose test, such as investment training courses, collectibles and artwork, travel expenses or personal computers.


SMSF Annual Return and Records


Once the formal audit of the SMSF has been completed, the annual return must be lodged with the ATO. The annual return is not only a tax return but also reports regulatory information and member contributions. You must keep all records relevant to the annual return.


  • Keep all transaction, tax, accounting and financial reporting records for at least five years.
  • Keep all records relating to trustee meetings, minutes, investment strategies and appointments or changes of trustees for at least ten years.


Make Your SMSF Management Easy


SMSF management can be time consuming. We can help with managing investments, checking trust deed compliance, setting investment strategies, keeping records, the interim and yearly accounting and tax work as well arranging the year end audit of the fund.


Talk to us now and get ahead for your next annual SMSF return.

Key points in the Federal Budget 2021-2022

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Key points in the Federal Budget 2021-2022

The Federal Budget 2021-22 has many announcements and proposals aimed at economic recovery and includes investment in jobs, essential services, business incentives and tax cuts.

Budget Highlights for Business

  • Temporary full expensing measures extended until 30 June 2023 – eligible businesses can claim an immediate deduction for the total cost of depreciating assets.
  • Temporary loss carry-back rules extended – eligible companies can carry back tax losses from the 2023 financial year to offset tax bills from 2019 onwards.
  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal given the power to pause or modify ATO Debt recovery action – reducing the legal fees and red tape for small business.
  • Tax cuts – small to medium company tax rates will reduce to 25% from 1 July as planned.
  • Recognition of occupational licences – reduced regulatory burden for people who work across multiple states.
  • Digital Economy Strategy whole of government plan – funding for digital cadetships, innovation investment incentives, e-invoicing, cyber security, overhaul of myGov and building small to medium business digital capacity.

Budget Highlights for Individuals

  • Personal income tax cuts – the low and middle income tax offset continues for another year.
  • Medicare levy low-income thresholds increase
  • Self-education expenses – full cost of eligible self-education can be claimed.

Superannuation Highlights

  • Changes to work test – no longer required for non-concessional contributions and salary sacrifice, but still required for those aged 67-74 who want to make personal contributions.
  • Downsizer contributions - now allowed for people over 60.
  • SMSF and residency – rules relaxed to allow concessional tax treatment for more people temporarily away from Australia.
  • $450 monthly minimum for SGC - proposal to remove threshold for casual employees.

Other funding announcements include guaranteeing essential services, COVID-19 vaccine rollout, industry-specific measures, investment in employee training and mental health support measures.

For full details, visit Budget 2021-22.

Talk to us about how you or your business can benefit from the budget announcements.

Tax Tips for Small Business

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Common Tax Deductions for Small Business

There are many expenses common to most small businesses, and there are other expenses that are specific to the nature of the goods or services the business provides. Are you claiming all the tax deductions that you are entitled to?

  • Operating expenses include accounting, administration, advertising and marketing, office premises, office running expenses, trading stock, legal fees, insurance and vehicle expenses.
  • Employment expenses include salary and wages, fringe benefits, superannuation and training costs.
  • Other operating expenses may include things specific to your business, for example point of sale systems, freight, professional membership fees, professional education, protective equipment, tools or specialised software.
  • Capital expenses include machinery and equipment, vehicles, furniture and computers. Depreciation for these assets may also be deductible if the expense was not written off immediately.
  • Repairs and maintenance to assets and business premises.

Expenses must relate to the running of the business and providing the goods or services that your business offers.

Some common expenses that are not deductible are fines and penalties, provisions for employee leave, donations to entities not registered as deductible gift recipients and entertainment.

There may be some expenses you want to query with us such as private usage of business vehicles, prepaid expenses, bad debts, loss of stock and borrowing expenses.

What's on the ATO Radar?

  • Travel expenses – travel fares, accommodation, meals. The travel should be directly related to income producing activities.
  • Motor vehicle expenses – keep records for fuel, repairs and servicing, finance arrangements, insurance and registration. Keep a logbook to record private travel.
  • Home office expenses – this year there is a shortcut calculation for people who have temporarily had to work from home due to COVID-19. This allows for a flat rate of 80 cents per hour for work time. For people who usually work from home, check the ATO home office expenses calculator to maximise the allowable deduction.
  • Fringe benefits – have you captured all benefits provided to employees? Vehicle and entertainment benefits are usually scrutinised.
  • JobKeeper – if you have claimed JobKeeper for eligible business participants and/or employees, the ATO will look closely at your payroll records.

Instant Asset Write Off

This year the instant asset write-off threshold has increased to $150,000 up from $30,000. The new threshold is in place until 30 June, so talk to us if you'd like advice about whether it's a good time for your business to buy new assets and claim an immediate deduction.

Keep Your Records

Remember you need a valid tax invoice for any expenses over $82.50 (including GST) to prove the business expense.

  • Keep records for all business transactions (income and expenses), activity statements and financial reports for at least five years.
  • Keep all records relating to employees, contractors and payroll for at least seven years.
  • If your business is a company, keep all records for at least seven years, including director meeting minutes.

Maximise Your Business Deductions

We can check your business's eligibility for concessions, offsets, incentives and rebates and make sure your business is calculating taxable income correctly, so you don't pay more tax than you need to!

With so many businesses affected by COVID-19, it's important to get the allowable tax deductions right for your business and get in early for your tax return. This way you get more time to plan for payment, or if you are due a refund you will get it quickly.

The importance of having a business coach

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It can be lonely at the top when you're running your own business. As the owner manager, the buck stops with you and that can result in all the pressures of financial management, people management, strategy and business performance ending up on your shoulders.

To ease this pressure, it's helpful to have a business coach. A coach can look at your business objectively as an outsider, will act as a professional shoulder to lean on, and can help you to focus on and enhance your business ideas, strategy and longer-term tactics as an owner.

What a business coach can bring to the table

If you want to get the best from your business, you need to get the best from yourself, as the owner. A business coach helps you to work on your own progression, but by doing so also partners with you to improve the future path of your business ventures.

For example, having a good adviser and coach:

  • Allows you to get an independent viewpoint – when you've been running a business for several years, it can be hard to see the company in an objective light. A business adviser comes to your business model afresh, and helps you to step outside the day-to-day operations and see the company from the outside in. This is incredibly helpful when looking for improvement areas or new opportunities.
  • Helps you to spot the key issues in your business – with the help of an independent adviser, you're far more likely to spot the flaws in your business model, and the areas where you – the owner – need to work on your own management skills. By highlighting the problems, you can start the process of overcoming these issues and moving forward.
  • Provides business planning and strategy – a key reason for working with a business coach is to improve and polish your planning and strategic skills. Drawing on your coach's experience, you will learn the benefits of proper business planning and how to utilise these skills to draw up a more robust plan for the future of the company.
  • Assists with goal-setting and targets – you can't draw up a workable business plan if you haven't outlined the key goals of your business. Working with an adviser helps you to narrow down your goals, set proper targets and create more momentum and drive in the company. With a clear set of targets for you and your team to get behind, it's easier to understand your business purpose and measure your performance against these goals and targets.
  • Provides you with a mentor – working on your business is important, but working on your own skills and wellbeing is equally as important. A coach can act as both a mentor, sounding board and confidant, something that's incredibly valuable when you're alone at the top. Being able to share your worries and ambitions with a coach helps you to take care of your own mental health and wellbeing – all of which is good for both you and the business as a whole. When you're less stressed, you're a better leader, decision-maker and boss, so there's an undeniable benefit to working closely with your trusted coach.

Talk to us about business coaching

If you want to reach your true potential as an entrepreneur and business owner, we'd strongly advise working with a trusted business coach.

Business coaching helps you review, analyse and enhance your business strategy, while mentoring programmes you as a business entrepreneur.

#business coach #advice #businessmentor

Clarke McEwan Accountants
Brisbane | Sunshine Coast
www.clarkemcewan.com.au

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Turning a profit is at the heart of running any successful company. But should profits be the only financial focus if you're looking to create a stable, long-term business?

Cashflow is the beating heart of your business. Without an even and predictable flow of cash into the company, you can't cover your overheads, you can't pay your employees and you can't run your day-to-day operations – let alone think about expanding and growing the business.

So, what's needed is a healthy cashflow position AND a good focus on driving profits.

Keeping on top of the financial management of your business can be hard work, especially if you're new to accounting and the technical terms that are used to talk about money.

But if you're going to be in control of your financial destiny, it's important to get your head around the important process of cashflow management. This is especially true in the current business landscape, where sales revenue may be less buoyant, cash can be tight and the market is going through a challenging time.

Let's look at some of the key things to understand about your finances:

  • Profit is a by-product of a successful business – as the owner, you want to make profits, but profitability isn't the only goal. A business can easily be profitable, but also be highly unstable in the longer term. What you want is stability and consistent revenues.
  • Cashflow is the blood that keeps your business alive – good revenues (income) serve to bring cash into the business. Without cash to cover your operating expenses, you have no means to keep the lights on in the business. So cash really is king!
  • Know your cost base and overheads – the flipside of your cashflow position is your costs. In an ideal world, you want more cash inflows than cash outflows, so it's important to know your expenses and costs and to manage them carefully.
  • Be proactive about spend management and easing expenditure – if you can take action that reduces your spending, that is hugely positive for your cashflow position. Choose cheaper suppliers, negotiate better deals and bring that cost base down.
  • Drive more revenue, through increased sales and marketing activity – if you can increase your revenues, you also boost your cashflow. So it's important to be proactive about running targeted sales and marketing campaigns to increase your sales.
  • Keep the cash flowing and the profits take care of themselves – if you achieve the ideal cashflow position, the company sits on solid financial foundations, the cash is there for investment and the business can grow. It's that simple.

Talk to us about improving your cashflow management

Whether you're new to running a business, or a seasoned owner who needs some financial support, we can give you the cashflow advice you need.

We'll review your finances, delve down into your cashflow and will come up with key ways for you to increase your cash income and reduce your cash expenses. It only takes a few small changes to achieve a far better cashflow position for your business – helping you maintain positive cashflow AND generate meaningful profits.

Get in touch to talk through your cashflow concerns.

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Prepare now for your quarterly superannuation guarantee (SG) contribution lodgement and payment.

 

Here's what you need to review:

 

  • Have you allocated all payroll related bank transactions to the correct accounts?
  • Have you checked for errors such as duplicate pay runs?
  • Have you checked that all payroll categories used this quarter have had super correctly applied or excluded?
  • Have you checked superannuation accrual reports for accuracy?
  • Do you have any salary sacrifice amounts to include?
  • Have you had to make any termination payments this quarter? If so, check which payroll categories have super calculated or exempted.
  • Do you have complete and up-to-date contact details and a super choice form for all employees?

 

Most superannuation clearing houses (including SuperStream compliant software companies) require payment by the 14th of the month in order to distribute the funds to the relevant super funds for each employee.

 

If you use the ATO Small business Clearing House (SBSCH) you have until the 28th to lodge and pay.

 

Checking the figures thoroughly each quarter ensures that you report and pay accurate amounts for each employee. You will also have a more accurate picture of your superannuation liability and be able to plan accordingly.

 

REMEMBER: To make your payments on time to avoid penalties.

 

Superannuation calculations can be difficult if your payroll software is not set up for correct accruals of superannuation guarantee. Talk to us. We can help review your super setup and the SG accounts used in your accounting software.


For any assistance feel free to give us a call to discuss.

 



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Choosing the right apps for your business

Software technology has evolved massively in the past decade, with cloud-based apps now fundamental to many of the internal and external processes in your business. To ensure you're getting the best from the available tech, it's important to choose the right apps and to create the ideal 'app stack' for a business in your specific sector

But how do you know if the latest 'must-have app' is really going to be an asset or just an additional software cost? The Xero app store is a good place to start so that your apps integrate with your accounting system.

Building the perfect app stack

Before you dive headfirst into the Xero app store, it's important to do your homework and give yourself some firm foundations on which to base your app purchase decisions.

For example:

  • Decide on the main aims of your software systems – Look at the specific aims of the business and tie each app into the various operations within your business model. A construction company, for example, will need a site management tool, staffing solutions, health & safety tools and an inventory app, to mention just a few.
  • Make sure your apps integrate with Xero – Xero's open API (application programming interface) allows all the apps in the app store to connect directly with Xero. This means that data and financial information can flow seamlessly between your apps and Xero, helping you keep all your management information up to date.
  • Look for opportunities to automate manual processes – if there's a low-level manual process in your business, try to find a way for your apps to automate this. For example, a credit control app, like Chaser, will send out automatic payment reminders to your customers if their invoice becomes overdue. And a bookkeeping app, like Receipt Bank, will snap photos of your receipts and automatically digitise and code the contents.
  • Research the app market in depth – Look at online reviews, talk to your industry network and find out which apps your peers trust and would recommend. Where possible, try out free trials and demos, so you have had some hands-on experience of the apps in your shortlist. The more user time you have, the easier your purchasing decisions will be.
  • Look for an excellent user interface (UI) – if you and your team are going to be using an app every day, it needs to be easy to use, with a small learning curve. Choose apps that have a great UI and offer a quality user experience. The sooner you can get up and running with your solution, the more value this app will add for the business.
  • Partner with apps who offer excellent customer support – the functionality and ease-of-use of your app are obviously important considerations when you're looking to buy. But don't underestimate the importance of solid, helpful and personalised customer support. Look for apps with phone support, good customer service ratings and a happy and satisfied user base – check app forums to get the lowdown on this.

Talk to us about your app requirements

Our job as your accountant isn't just to deal with your numbers. We can also help you review your operations, formulate the most efficient systems and choose the apps that can deliver the most effective and productive business performance.

If you're looking to create your perfect app stack, We'll help you navigate the Xero app store and create a perfectly connected and integrated Xero system.

The accountants at Clarke McEwan are Xero Certified advisors. We can help you navigate the world of Xero and get you setup correctly not just with Xero but also your app stack of connected software to improve efficiencies and help you better manage your business. Get back your life - call us today! 

Clarke McEwan Accountants 
Brisbane 38423128 | Sunshine Coast 54754300
info@clarkemcewan.com.au 
www.clarkemcewan.com.au 



10 Proven Ways To Overcome Adversity In Life

how does a person overcome adversity

Anyone who has ever achieved something worthwhile has had challenges and setbacks – because anything that is worth doing is going to be difficult. Overcoming adversity is a necessary step on the road to greatness.


Philosopher Edmund Burke said, "He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper." Life is the worthy opponent – the antagonist – we all need to grow. When you have the right tools for how to overcome adversity, you're able to embrace it as a helper, instead of letting it stop you from achieving your goals.

1. BE PREPARED

You can work on overcoming adversity before it even happens. Train your brain to be resilient by building your inner strength and developing a growth mindset. Examine your limiting beliefs to uncover what's holding you back. Develop a support system that you can fall back on. When the time comes to dig deep and uncover how to overcome adversity, you'll be prepared.

2. PRACTICE POSITIVITY

How does a person overcome adversity? It's often about the way they frame the things that happen to them. Take a step back and reframe the problem in a positive way. Catch any negative self-talk and replace it with empowering beliefs that help you work toward your goal rather than undermine it.

3. STAY DISCIPLINED

When tough times hit, it can feel like your life is out of control. That's why rituals are a powerful tool for overcoming adversity. When you create positive habits like priming, meditation and daily exercise, you're preparing your mind and body for adversity. Sticking to a daily routine through good times and bad will bring order and empowerment to your life.

4. STAY FOCUSED

Getting what you want in life is all about focus No     matter what happens, you must keep your eye on the prize. Remember why you wanted your goal: it's your purpose, your passion, your reason for living. Visualize your lifewhen you've achieved your dreams. Stay focused on your ultimate goal, no matter what. There's no room for self-pity and no time for negativity when you're learning how to overcome adversity

5. FIND THE LESSON

Realizing that life happens for you, not to you, is key to overcoming adversityEvery event in your life can teach you something. Those who are able to find the lessons will succeed. Those who blame their circumstances on others will fail. Take responsibility. Evaluate what happened and why. Determine how you can prevent it from happening in the future. Then move on. As Steve Jobs said when it comes to mistakes, "It's best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations."

6. WORK ON YOUR SKILLS

The greatest leaders and most successful people know that there is always room for improvement. As Tony himself says, "If you're not growing, you're dying." Overcoming adversity is about taking an honest look at your own knowledge and skills and working to improve them, every day. Work on your public speaking. Become a better networker. Improve your knowledge of finances or management. 
feel more confident and prepared for the future.

7. GET INSPIRED

To answer the question, "How do people overcome adversity?," go to the source. Read the biographies of people who have achieved what you want in life. From Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates, there's no shortage of real-life examples of overcoming adversity. Need a quick pick-me-up? Find inspirational quotes to post on your mirror or fridge. Proactively feed your mind and you'll change your entire state.

8. ELEVATE YOUR PEER GROUP

Looking to success stories can help you learn how to overcome adversity – but you must also look at those around you. As Tony says, "The quality of a person's life is most often a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group." You are who you hang out with. And if you want to bounce back from challenges, live optimistically and stay focused, you need to surround yourself with people who support you – not people who hold you back.

9. GET A COACH

Overcoming adversity takes just the right blend of positivity and realism, of passion and real-life skills, of inner strength and an outer support system. A results coach can help you balance it all and stay on track. They're professionally trained in the art of overcoming adversity  They can give you the mix of guidance, goal-setting and tough love you need to get through tough times and come out the other side stronger and wiser.

 10. DON'T GIVE UP

"Persistence overshadows even talent as the most valuable resource shaping the quality of life," says Tony. Surfer Mick Fanning got back on his surfboard just six days after a shark attack. Stephen King's classic novel Carrie was rejected 30 times. Thomas Edison tried thousands of methods before making a successful lightbulb, saying, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." That's the perfect way to sum up how to overcome adversity.

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins' stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.