The Signum Business Advisers team has grown quite a bit in the last few months as we have been joined Jag Singh, Joy Cowan, Galyna Perepelytsya and Matthew Bauman. If you would like to know more about them or any of our team members you can do so by visiting our website at
If you have ever struggled to find your way to a meeting at our office we have made it easier for you to find us with the help of your mobile phone and our new mobile site. The site provides a mobile-friendly layout, that provides a one click button to call us and gives you GPS directions to our office. All you need to do to access the site on your mobile is to go to our website
and you will automatically be diverted to the mobile site. Should you wish to view the full site you still do so by clicking on the full site link.
If you are finding it hard to get a parking spot around the office, our mobile site won't be able to help you with that, but if you would like to give us a call (with the assistance of the mobile site) she should be able to organise parking for you in the building.
Registering Your Business Name
From 28 May 2012 ASIC will be responsible for registering, renewing and administering business names for all Australian businesses. This responsibility includes the maintenance of the Business Names Register which will replace the current state or territory systems. If your business name was registered prior to 28 May 2012 ASIC will automatically transfer the business name to the new Business Names Register on that day. If you currently have multiple identical business names registered you will be able to choose to keep one of them and cancel the registration of your other remaining business names. In order to update details of your business name (e.g. your principal place of business address), you will need an ASIC Connect account. Once your account has been set up you will need to 'link' your existing business name to your account. You can create an ASIC Connect account through the ASIC website at www.asic.gov.au. If you have any questions in relation to the Business Names Register please contact James Attard of our office.
Taxable Payments Reporting - Building & Construction Industry
From 1 July 2012 businesses in the Building and Construction Industry (BCI) will need to report annually to the Tax Office any amounts paid to contractors throughout the year. The aim of the reporting regime is to improve compliance with taxation obligations of contractors in the BCI by providing the Tax Office with sufficient information to allow data matching for review and targeted audits.
Entities will need to report if all of the following apply:
- you are a business that is primarily in the BCI
- you make payments to contractors for building and construction services
- you have an ABN
For those entities deemed to be required to report you will need to provide the following information each financial year for each contractor:
- gross amount you paid for the financial year (this is the total paid including GST)
- total GST included in the gross amount you paid
Payments to be reported include those made to contractor for building and construction services. Building and construction service include any activities performed on, or in relation to, any part of a building, structure, works, surface or sub-surface. For a list of occupations and work activities that qualify as building and construction services please see Appendix 1 of the ATO's paper "Taxable payments reporting - building and construction industry"
. Appendix 2 of the same paper provides examples of what the ATO consider to be buildings, structures, works, surfaces or sub-surfaces.
Where an invoice is for both labour and materials, the Tax Office require you to report the whole amount unless the labour is incidental.
The Taxable payments annual report is due 21 July each year however, where you lodge quarterly business activity statements, an extension is granted to 28 July. So your first report is due to be lodged on either 21 July 2013 or 28 July 2013. As payments made from 1 July 2012 will be required to be reported you should ensure that your record keeping system is able to adequately report the information required by the Tax Office. You should also ensure that you are able to adequately track the payment made to each contractor as you are not required to report any unpaid invoices as at 30 June of each year.
One of the seven points made in the study into Leadership, Culture and Management Practices of High-Performing Workplaces in Australia, conducted by Christina Boedker of the Australian School of Business, was - "Higher performance is created through quality and inclusiveness of leadership as well as innovation".
"The successful leaders of today must understand that their power rests with the people for whom she or he is responsible. To tap that power, the leader must abandon the old baggage of dominance, control and self-centredness." Don Argus ex CEO of NAB and Chairman of BHP Billiton.
Inclusiveness goes hand-in-hand with innovation and is the key to creating an innovative workplace culture. To tap the power of their people, leaders must first get to know their employees and colleagues, establish good relationships and trust, develop mutual respect and include and involve them, to the maximum extent possible, in as many aspects of the organisation as are appropriate. Doing so will release the innovative ideas that are inherent within any group of people working towards a common goal. Good leadership is vital for good business operations.
Government Grants For SMEs
Enterprise Connect Grant for Manufacturing Businesses
Enterprise Connect is a Federal Government programme that is available for a number of industries including the Manufacturing industry. The definition of "manufacturing" adopted by the government is:
"The physical or chemical transformation of materials, substances or components (being the products of agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining or the products of other manufacturing units) into new products or firms whose predominant activity meets this definition are classed as "manufacturing" for the Enterprise Connect Programme. Firms whose dominant business activity is software development, can also be eligible if their business process is a translation of users need into the software product including the process of analysing needs, designing solutions, writing programmes, testing the programmes and implementing the programmes to solve problems. Eligibility requirements depend on the business location and turnover or expenditure".
For manufacturing or manufacturing related businesses located in the metropolitan areas of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, the minimum turnover or expenditure requirement is, at least, $2 million in the current financial year or one of the two preceding financial years (maximum $100 million).
If the business is located in a regional area the minimum turnover or expenditure is, at least, $1.5 million in the current financial year or one of the two preceding financial years (maximum $100 million). If the manufacturing or manufacturing related business is located in a remote location, the minimum turnover or expenditure is $750,000 in the current financial year or one of the two preceding financial years (maximum $100 million).
An application needs to be lodged with Enterprise Connect. If a business is deemed to be eligible, a Business Advisor, contracted by Enterprise Connect, will conduct a free business review of the business to ascertain the type of assistance that the business may require. The type of assistance made available is virtually any project to be undertaken by an independent third party which will improve the business' operations. Grants of up to $20,000, on a 50% subsidy basis, can be made available to small businesses that have been reviewed by the Enterprise Connect Business Advisor and then invited to submit a formal application for consulting work to be undertaken. Some of the projects that could be undertaken include:
- business strategy planning
- supply chain management
- human resources issues
- lean manufacturing
- export strategy
- business management systems
- quality management systems
- business plans
- market research
- change implementation to factory layout etc
The "5S" System Can Improve Efficiency
Many manufacturing businesses have established procedures and practises with a view to reducing wastage in the workshop by initialising the "5S" system. The "5S" system (a structured systematic approach to housekeeping and a cornerstone of any world class manufacturing operation) can assist a wide range of businesses.
"5S" involves creating an organised workplace using the following steps:
- SORT - sorting and removing unnecessary items
- SET IN ORDER - a place for everything and everything in its place
- SHINE - cleaning the work area
- STANDARDS - establishing the rules and standards for the business
- SUSTAIN - maintaining the standards in a disciplined way.
The Enterprise Connect programme may be able to assist eligible manufacturing businesses to implement a "5S" system to improve efficiencies within the business.
Research And Development
If you haven't already registered for research and development expenditure incurred by your company for the year ended 30th June 2011, you have until the 30th April 2012 to do so. Please contact us if you need any assistance.
Written Guarantees Help
One way to remove a fair amount of hesitation by a buyer in the purchase process is to offer a written guarantee that, if the customer is not happy with the product or service you've provided, you'll happily refund their money.
Various surveys have indicated that only a small number of guarantees are ever activated by customers and that the giving of the written guarantee satisfies the purchaser that you are "bona fide".