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At the ATSA conference in October 2014 in Melbourne, Geoff Leeper, the Second Commissioner of the ATO made this infamous statement: “There’s a market for accountants to offer cashflow management advice.” What did Mr Leeper mean in this comment? After all, he made this comment as part of his overview of the effect of the introduction of Standard Business Reporting (SBR) by the ATO, which...

The accountancy market is changing

Has your firm developed strategies for: Digital Disruption – Deloitte has forecast a 32% change for accountancy businesses. Should your firm be replenishing revenue streams? Standard Business Reporting (SBR) – the ATO has forecast a minimum of $500M per annum “red tape reduction” and all of this is predicted to come from accountancy fees. Cashflow Management – in October 2014, the...
Over the years, there have been a number of reports as to whether small/medium enterprise operators really understand financial accounts. Today, with cloud technology and the numerous accounting software packages that are available, there’s really no excuse as to why SME operators don’t have an understanding as to what their financial accounts are revealing. I believe that this is an...

The PPSA can send businesses broke!

There have been over 50 court cases relative to the Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) and the associated Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) since the legislation was introduced to Australia. There have been numerous events, not all of which have resulted in court cases. These events have contributed to businesses losing millions of dollars, thought to be in the vicinity of at...

Improving Employment Prospects

The Federal government has launched a 12-month pilot program, Training for Employment Scholarship, in the outer metropolitan and regional areas. This program is developed to assist the employment and training of young people by providing incentives to employers to take on new workers. The scheme is available to businesses with under 200 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, located at the...
The Federal government’s Industry Skills Fund is supporting businesses, from micro-businesses (less than 4 employees) through to large businesses (200+ employees), to undertake specific training to improve the skills capabilities of the business’ employees that will contribute to an improvement in the business’ performance. Grants that are available are as follows: • Micro-businesses...
Some small/medium enterprises doubt whether their current accountants can deliver the new services they are seeking, so they can add value to their businesses. I’m reminded of a comment made by a partner of an accountancy firm, whilst making a presentation at a Smithink 2020 Conference at the Gold Coast a few years ago. The partner indicated that he was reviewing a draft set of financial...

Who is your salesperson?

A prominent American Business Angel, speaking at a capital raising seminar in Melbourne some years ago, said, “Many businesses ignore professional selling at their peril.” “Businesses need to be able to identify who their salespeople are.” As accountancy businesses evolve from just taxation into a wider range of business activities, to assist small/medium enterprises to add-value,...

Today, we do something different

“Kaizen” is Japanese for “change for the better” or “continuous improvement” in business activities. This could be beneficial to accountants when you consider the problems of “digital disruption” and Standard Business Reporting (SBR). Kaizen is a business philosophy of continuous cost reduction, reducing quality problems and waste and delivery time reduction through rapid...

Time Management

We all have 24 hours in a day. What we do with that time and how effectively we deal with our 24-hour allocation can have a significant bearing on our work performance, health, satisfaction and personal relationships. There’s no doubt that some people manage their allocated time better than others. Some time management suggestions include: Establish daily and weekly to-do list. Mark off...

Profit Protection

Retail businesses in particular can save thousands of dollars by employing a full-time or part-time profit protection officer. Businesses need to be able to rely on the integrity of their targeted gross profit percentage and then measure variables from that targeted percentage if they’re going to effectively manage their businesses. The key role is to monitor what has been charged to: •...

Portfolio Allocations

Business operations cover a wide number of activities. In fact, I’ve identified that there are 17 key function headings (with numerous subheadings) of running a business in 2015. These include: Research and Development Product Supplies Human Resources Manufacturing and Preparation Commercialisation Strategies Information Technology Marketing Customers Sales Accounting...
This is a sign that recently appeared on the wall of the gymnasium of which I’m a member. I first thought the manager was probably having a go at me because I’m slightly overweight. However, the more I thought about it, it’s obvious that the sign is a challenge to all the people who visit the gym. Then I thought about the accountancy profession. We’re indeed living in times that are...

Benchmarking

Benchmarking is a comparison of a business’ operating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and financial ratios with best practice and average performance data relating to similar businesses. The utilisation of benchmarking tool is an integral part of an accountant supplying a business advisory service to his/her business clients. It’s very difficult for small businesses to find authentic...

Now is not the time to be faint-hearted!

There are many challenges facing accountants and, indeed, the whole business community. These could be summarised as: The economy – interest rates are not at the current level to assist borrowers. They’re indicative of an economy that has significant problems. There are depressed business situations in some areas around Australia. This leads to businesses closing or making significant...

Stock shrinkage is a big cost!

Millions of dollars are lost every year through stock shrinkage in retail and many other types of businesses. Shrinkage is a very expensive loss. Shrinkage occurs whenever the business fails to sell an item at its full price. The difference between the selling price of a product and the actual selling price is shrinkage. Accountants can effectively recover their fees by proactively advising...

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