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The services provided by BEC
(Darwin Region) Inc are partially
funded by the Australian
Government and NT Government.

09-Jul-2015


 

Message from the Manager

I have had a number of small business owners/operators call me in the last month who are having trouble getting paid.

Payment of invoices beyond agreed terms of trade can have a significant impact on cash flow and in some cases can cause terminal damage to a business.

In a perfect world everyone would pay their debts in full and on time. Unfortunately, that does not always occur. Although, in a recent Dunn & Bradstreet publication it was revealed that businesses are paying their invoices at the fastest rate on record. Have a look at the table below which gives a snapshot of invoice payment times.

So it’s not all bad news, as long as you are not outside the 56% who are being paid promptly!!

I have written about this previously and can’t overemphasize how important it is for small businesses to establish a formal credit policy. Write it down and ensure everyone in your business understands and complies with it. If you are going to give credit, make sure you get a credit application and you check any references or information provided by the applicant about their prior credit history.

Have a formal and well established follow up process if an invoice remains unpaid outside of agreed terms. Some people, whilst well intentioned, just never pay on time. They live with past due notices and never offer to pay without prompting and regular follow up. If you don’t apply a rigorous process with these customers, there is a good chance you won’t get paid at all.

Generally, your debt collection options include:

  • personal communication and consultation with your client
  • a written request to settle the debt (letter of demand)
  • a debt collection agency
  • legal action

See a range of information about instituting an action in the NT Small Claims Court.

BEC Darwin is looking at running a workshop on Managing Debtors and Business Cashflow probably in late August or early September.

Let us know if you are interested in attending by sending me an email with the words “Interested in Attending a Workshop on Managing Debtors and Business Cashflow” in the subject line.

Jack Hughes
jack@becnt.com.au


SUMMARY OF THE KEY CHANGES FOR BUSINESS STARTING ON 1 JULY

The beginning of a new financial year can be a busy time for business owners. To help you, business.gov.au has put together a list of changes that are coming on 1 July 2015 that you should be aware of, as they may affect your business compliance.

Find out more

SOCIAL MEDIA BOOT CAMP

  • Do you have a Facebook account for your business, but you’re not sure what to post on it?
  • Are you intrigued by what others are doing with their businesses via social media, but you’re not sure how to do it for yourself?
  • Are you keen to learn in a hands on environment with someone right alongside you to ask all your questions?

Then this is the program for you…

Captovate are running social media boot camps starting 22 July 2015. Over the course of 6 weeks you’ll explore the power of social media and how to get the best from applying it in your business.

Find out more

TAX TIME AT THE TOUCH OF A FINGER

The ATO has announced an expanded range of online services that makes tax time quicker and easier for more Australians lodging their own tax return.

Find out more

SMALL BUSINESS - EXPANDING ACCELERATED DEPRECIATION

New laws have passed that allow small businesses to claim an immediate deduction for assets they start to use – or have installed ready for use – provided each depreciable asset costs less than $20,000. This will temporarily replace the previous instant asset write-off threshold of $1,000.

This measure will end on 30 June 2017.

The balance of the general small business pool is also immediately deducted if the balance is less than $20,000 at the end of an income year that ends on or after 12 May 2015 and on or before 30 June 2017 (including existing general small business pool).

The current 'lock out' laws will also be suspended for the simplified depreciation rules (these prevent small businesses from re-entering the simplified depreciation regime for five years if they have opted out) until the end of 30 June 2017.

Assets excluded from these depreciation rules include horticultural plants and in-house software allocated to a software development pool. In most cases specific depreciation rules apply to these excluded assets.

Assets that cost $20,000 or more (which can't be immediately deducted under other provisions) are deducted over time using the general small business pool. Under the pooling mechanism a deduction for 15 per cent of the cost is allowed in the first income year with a diminishing value rate of 30 per cent deduction on the opening pool balance allowed for each income year thereafter.

The new laws also include changes to allow primary producers to immediately deduct capital expenditure on fencing and water facilities such as dams, tanks, bores, irrigation channels, pumps, water towers and windmills.

Find out more on the ATO website

HOW THE $20,000 SMALL BUSINESS WRITE-OFF CAN MAKE YOU WORSE OFF

Check out this article published on the smart company website on how some small unincorporated businesses can be worse off under this new measure.

OUR NORTH: OUR FUTURE

Australia’s first White Paper on Developing Northern Australia: Our North, Our Future was released by the Prime Minister on 18 June.

This White Paper is a roadmap for achieving the Government’s vision for Northern Australia by 2035. It focuses on building priority roads, developing water resources, removing red tape, building a sustainable workforce and ensuring effective governance arrangements.

However businesses in the north face unique challenges, such as a lack of information and uncertainty around basic economic infrastructure. These constraints leave them at a disadvantage to pursue growth and new market opportunities.

Find out more about how the government will support businesses in the north and attract more investors.

10 ESSENTIAL TASKS FOR SMALL BUSINESS AT END OF FINANCIAL YEAR

With the end of the financial year here, it's time for small business owners to complete bookkeeping, tax returns for 2014-15 and begin planning for 2015-16.

Putting the hard work in now can help you get your business organised and work smarter in the year ahead.

Find out more

OCTOBER BUSINESS MONTH

The guest speakers for October Business Month 2015 have recently been announced.

Headlining this year's OBM is Ruslan Kogan, one of Australia's most successful entrepreneurs. Naomi Simson will be in Alice Springs and Darwin teaching business people to 'Live what they Love' and Carolyn Creswell will be in the Top End sharing her business story of how she turned $1000 into a multi-national business.

Multi-award winning chef Matt Moran will be telling his business success story at the Darwin Gala Business Dinner while Olympic winter gold medallist and business owner Steven Bradbury will be heading to the red centre to share his journey in Alice Springs and at the Tennant Creek Gala Business Dinner.

Head to the OBM website for more information.

BEC SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOPS

Looking to start a new business or expand your existing business?

The BEC is all about supporting individuals with sound practical advice from start up to business growth in the early years.

Our Small Business Workshops provide an introduction to five specific and important areas of business including business structures and tax, marketing and bookkeeping. Best of all the workshops are FREE!

Darwin

Venue: BEC Darwin, 20 Catterthun Street, Winnellie (Lower Level)
Dates: 17-19 August 2015, 28-30 September 2015

Alice Springs

Venue: QUEST, 9-10 South Terrace The Gap Alice Springs
Dates: 22-23 July 2015

Katherine

Venue: Katherine Training Centre, 19 Second Street
Dates: 11-12 August 2015

Bookings are essential : register online

ATO NEWS

Are you an importer using the deferred GST scheme?

The deferred GST (DGST) scheme allows you, as an importer, to defer payment of GST on all taxable importations into Australia.

Find out more

Missed and late payments

If you miss a payment – that is, you don’t pay an employee's super on time and to the right fund – you may have to pay the superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) and lodge a superannuation guarantee charge statement.

If you pay late, you may be able to use the late payment either to offset the SGC or to carry forward as prepayment of a future contribution for the same employee. Use the ATO Superannuation guarantee charge statement and calculator tool to calculate your SGC amount and prepare your SGC statement.

Find out more

Employers affected by disaster

The ATO make every effort to help employers who have been caught up in disasters. If you cannot make your super contributions for a quarter, lodge a superannuation guarantee charge statement as soon as possible, as nominal interest (currently 10%) accrues on contribution shortfalls. It only stops accruing once the statement is lodged. As the interest is paid to the employee to compensate for lost earnings, we have no discretionary powers to waive it (as we have with income tax).

Find out more

ADDRESSING YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

Applications remain open for the two pilot programmes of the Industry Skills Fund – Youth Stream.

Training for Employment Scholarships and Youth Employment Pathways will address youth unemployment by supporting businesses to employ more young people; and community organisations to help young people return to school, start vocational training or move into work.

Find out more

NEW COMPLYING INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK FOR INVESTOR VISAS

A new framework to encourage investment into innovative Australian ideas and emerging companies will be implemented from 1 July 2015.

Announced on 15 May, the new complying investment framework for the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and Premium Investor Visa (PIV) programme are part of the Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

Find out more

CALLING ALL INDIGENOUS BUSINESS SUPPLIERS

Supply Nation is calling on Indigenous business suppliers to register for their brand new National Indigenous Business Directory, set to go live on 1 July 2015.

Indigenous Business Direct will be available freely to the public and will become a one stop resource for buyers across Australia to find Indigenous business suppliers.

Find out more

AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS VIEWS ON MARKET ACCESS INTO PACIFIC ISLAND COUNTRIES

The Australian Government continues to invite submissions from Australian businesses that trade or have a commercial interest in a Pacific Island Country participating in the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus negotiations.

Find out more

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Phone: 1800 229 500 | PO Box 37192 Winnellie NT 0821 | www.becnt.com.au

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