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getting your business records ready

Getting your business records ready

Getting your business records ready for the End of Financial Year.

The end of the financial year can be a hectic time for business owners. Ensuring your records are in order not only helps you comply with legal requirements but also provides a clear picture of your financial health.

Preparing your 2023/2024 business records ahead of time can make the process smoother and less stressful.

This guide will help you understand what records you need to have ready and why it's essential to be organised.

What records do you need to have ready?

Asset Acquisitions and Disposals

Have you bought or sold any assets? Ensure you have full details of all acquisitions and disposals. This includes dates, values, and any associated costs. Proper documentation helps in calculating depreciation and capital gains tax.

Loan and Finance Arrangements

If you have taken out any new loans or other finance, you must have detailed records of these arrangements. This includes the terms of the loans and statements of monies owing as of 30 June. Clear records can prevent any discrepancies and help in financial planning.

Bonds and Deposits

Check that any bonds or deposits paid or received have been allocated correctly. Misallocations can lead to errors in your financial statements.

Prepaid Expenses

Have you prepaid for insurance or other large business expenses? Make sure to apportion these expenses correctly to the financial year they belong to. This helps in accurate expense tracking and budgeting.


If you carry stock, ensure you perform a full stocktake at 30 June unless you qualify for the simplified trading stock rules. Accurate stock records are crucial for determining your cost of goods sold and overall profitability.

Bad Debts

List any bad debts to be written off or pursued. Keeping track of bad debts helps in managing your receivables and can also have tax implications.

Loans with Related Entities

If you have loans with related entities, reconcile the loans to and from each entity to ensure the same value is reported in the accounts of both entities. Consistency in reporting helps maintain accurate financial records.

Payments to Company Directors

Ensure that all payments to company directors have been correctly captured. Accurate recording of these payments is essential for compliance and transparency.

Review Debtors and Creditors

Review your debtors and creditors (accounts payable and receivable). Ensure the list is current and accurate. Keeping this information up-to-date helps in managing your cash flow effectively.

Contact Information

If the contact details of business owners and key personnel have changed, let us and your accountants know. Accurate contact information ensures smooth communication and avoids any delays in the accounting process.

Other Considerations

There may be other matters to discuss such as capital gains, vehicle usage, private usage apportionment, or superannuation. Ensure these are also considered and documented accurately.

Importance of Record-Keeping

Remember, you need to keep all your business records for seven years. Store everything securely and, where possible, electronically for safety and ease. Proper record-keeping not only helps in compliance but also aids in financial planning and decision-making.

Final steps for Financial Year-End Preparedness

Getting your business records ready is not just about compliance; it's about having a clear understanding of your business's financial health. Proper preparation can save you time and stress, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Talk to us today about how we can help you get your records ready for your accountant. Our expert bookkeeping services ensure your records are accurate, up-to-date, and compliant with all regulations. 

Keep Your Bookkeeping in Check: Outsource Your Bank Reconciliation

Get into the habit of doing your bank reconciliation

Keep Your Bookkeeping in Check: Outsource Your Bank Reconciliation

Staying on top of your business's financial health is crucial, and one key aspect is regular bank reconciliation. Many business owners struggle to find the time or expertise to manage this effectively. That's where outsourcing your bookkeeping comes in.

Get into the habit of doing your bank reconciliation

When it comes to bank reconciliation, it’s important to get into the habit of doing it often. Putting it off can mean bad things for your business records! 

What is Bank Reconciliation?

Bank reconciliation keeps your bookkeeping accurate and can help lower your tax, alert you to fraud, and allow you to track costs. It involves a comparison of your sales and expense records against the record your bank has.

Saving time

It can take a lot of time to do it manually, so you may want to consider using software. Most banks can send transaction data directly to accounting software like Xero through a secure online connection. However if you do bank reconciliation, do it often.

The longer you go without doing it, the longer it will take to catch up. It won’t just be that you have more transactions to do, it will take longer per transaction, because you’ll have a harder time recalling the details.

Why Outsource Your Bookkeeping?

Outsourcing your bookkeeping, especially tasks like bank reconciliation, can save you time and ensure accuracy. Here's why outsourcing might be the right choice for your business. 

Expertise and Accuracy

As professional bookkeepers, we have extensive training and experience in managing financial records. We understand the nuances of bank reconciliation and can catch errors or discrepancies that might be missed by someone less experienced. This expertise ensures that your books are accurate, which is crucial for making informed business decisions.

Time Savings

Outsourcing frees up your time to focus on other important aspects of your business. Instead of spending hours each week reconciling your bank statements, you can concentrate on growth, customer service, and other core activities. This can lead to increased productivity and potentially higher revenue.

Consistency and Timeliness

A professional bookkeeping service, like First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray, will ensure that your bank reconciliations are done consistently and on time. We can set up automated systems to streamline the process, making it easier to keep everything up-to-date. Regular reconciliation helps in identifying any issues early, preventing potential financial problems down the line.


As your business grows, so does the complexity of your financial transactions. Outsourcing your bookkeeping allows you to scale your financial management processes without the need to hire and train additional in-house staff. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for businesses looking to expand.


While there is a cost associated with outsourcing, it can be more cost-effective in the long run. The time you save and the potential for avoiding costly errors or penalties can outweigh the fees for professional bookkeeping services.

Don't let bank reconciliation become a daunting task

Contact First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray and Busy01 Consulting today to see how we can help you streamline your bookkeeping and keep your business on track. Let's take the hassle out of bank reconciliation so you can concentrate on what you do best—running your business.

Talk to us, we can help.

Make your business more profitable

Make your business more profitable

Make your business more profitable

Is making your business more profitable at the top of your business goals this year?

Achieving significant profit is not an overnight feat. It requires a steadfast commitment, a clear focus, and a meticulously crafted strategy aimed at enhancing profitability.

This entails a comprehensive review of your business model and an examination of every operational area to identify opportunities to reduce costs, increase margins, and ultimately maximise revenue.

Understanding Profitability

Profitability is the ability of a business to earn a profit.

A profit results when the total income generated by the business exceeds the total expenses incurred. However, simply generating revenue is not enough; effective management of costs and strategic pricing are crucial to realising a substantial profit.

Strategic Review of Your Business Model

The first step in boosting your profitability is to conduct a thorough review of your existing business model.

This analysis should cover all aspects of the business, from supply chain management to customer relationship handling.

By understanding the nuances of each component, you can pinpoint inefficiencies and areas for cost savings that directly contribute to the bottom line.

Focus on your key drivers

Having surplus cash at the end of the year allows you to invest back into the business, fund your growth plans and increase the size of your own dividends and drawings as the owner.

To achieve these profits, it’s important to focus on the key financial drivers in your business.

To drive profits:

Boost Sales

Enhancing sales volume is a direct path to increasing net revenue. This can be achieved by investing in marketing, amplifying sales activities, and expanding business development efforts. Each of these initiatives should be tailored to meet the unique needs and preferences of your target market.

Increase Prices

Setting a higher price point can significantly enhance your profit margins, especially if you manage to keep the cost of goods sold low. This strategy needs to be balanced with market demand and customer value perception to avoid any negative impacts on sales volume.

Cut Costs

Operational costs and overhead expenses can diminish your profit potential. Implementing effective spend management and cost reduction strategies are crucial for maintaining a lean operational model. Regularly reviewing supplier contracts, reducing waste, and optimizing workflows are practical steps towards cost efficiency.

Reduce Taxes

Tax liabilities often represent a significant expense for businesses. Engaging in sensible tax planning and taking advantage of available tax reliefs can substantially lower your tax burden and increase your profitability. Consulting with tax professionals can provide insights into new tax saving opportunities and compliance strategies.

Talk to us about boosting your profits

At First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray and Busy01 Consulting, we help businesses like yours optimise their profit margins.

If you'd like to make your business more profitable, we're here to help:

  • review your business model
  • identify your key financial drivers
  • proactively drive your profit performance.

Get in touch and let’s start boosting your profits.

Why Bookkeeping is Essential for Your Business

Why bookkeeping is essential for your business

Why Bookkeeping is Essential for Your Business

As a small business owner, navigating the financial aspects of your operation can often seem like a daunting task. 

You may find yourself asking whether you need a bookkeeper, an accountant, or both. It's a common query that many entrepreneurs face as they look to streamline their financial processes and ensure the financial health of their business.

At its core, bookkeeping involves the organisation, recording, and reporting of financial transactions of a small business. 

This might seem straightforward, yet the role of a bookkeeper extends far beyond mere number crunching. They are the custodians of your financial accuracy, ensuring that every cent in and out of your business is accounted for.

The Role of a Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers clear the way for accountants to work with your business strategically. Their day-to-day responsibilities include keeping track of daily transactions, sending and managing invoices, handling the accounts payable ledger, keeping an eye on cash flow, and preparing the books for the accountant. 

These tasks, while seemingly operational, are critical for the strategic financial planning and decision-making processes of any business.

Moreover, a good bookkeeper provides a level of financial insight that is invaluable for a small business. This insight allows for the early detection of any financial discrepancies that could potentially escalate into bigger issues. It also aids in maintaining a steady cash flow - a critical component for the survival and growth of any small business.

When hiring a bookkeeper, it’s essential to inquire about their area of specialisation. The financial needs of a business can vary greatly depending on the industry, size, and stage of growth. 

Some bookkeepers may offer additional value by being able to train staff in using online accounting or Point of Sale (POS) systems or providing advice on optimising business processes for financial efficiency.

Specialisation in Addon Apps

These days, there are numerous applications designed to streamline business operations, including financial management. 

One of our specialities at First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray, and Busy01 Consulting, is advising on Addon Apps. 

We pride ourselves on understanding the different options available for various industries and businesses. By providing insights and guidance on the most suitable apps for your business, we aim to improve efficiencies, save time, and reduce costs. 

Whether you need help streamlining your invoicing process, managing your inventory more effectively, or tracking your expenses, there's likely an app that can assist. We are here to help you navigate these options and implement the appropriate apps for your business.

The Difference Between Bookkeeping and Accounting

Understanding the distinction between bookkeeping and accounting is crucial for any business owner. 

While bookkeeping lays the groundwork for the financial management of your business by maintaining accurate records of all transactions, accounting builds on this foundation to provide strategic financial analysis, planning, and advice. 

Accountants use the data prepared by bookkeepers to generate financial reports, conduct audits, and prepare financial forecasting. These are essential for strategic decision-making, securing loans, attracting investors, and ensuring compliance with legal and tax obligations.

Why Bookkeeping Matters

Efficient bookkeeping is the cornerstone of a healthy business. 

It ensures accurate financial records are kept, which is not only a legal requirement but also critical for understanding your business’s financial health. 

Regular bookkeeping helps in budgeting by categorising revenues and expenses, providing a clear view of where the business stands financially. This clarity is essential for planning future growth or addressing potential shortfalls.

Moreover, bookkeeping plays a vital role in tax preparation. With accurate and up-to-date financial records, preparing for tax season becomes much more straightforward, ensuring that you can claim all your entitlements while also meeting your tax obligations.

Bookkeeping is more than keeping records

Bookkeeping is not just about keeping records; it's about setting the foundation for your business's financial health and strategic growth. 

A bookkeeper is a key player in your financial team, working alongside accountants to ensure that your business not only survives but thrives.

If you're looking to improve efficiencies in your business to save time and money, or if you need expert advice on managing your financial transactions and selecting the right Addon Apps for your business, do not hesitate to get in touch

Our team specialises in providing tailored bookkeeping solutions that meet the unique needs of your business. Let us look after your books, so you can focus on what you do best: growing your business.

Christmas gifts for your customers and team

Christmas gifts for your customers and team

Christmas gifts for your customers and team

As the festive season approaches, it’s a great time to let your customers and team members know how much you appreciate them. 

In a year that has presented its challenges, when it comes to deciding on Christmas gifts for your customers and team, finding the right balance between generosity and sensitivity is important. It’s not easy to know how much to spend or whether it’s appropriate to throw a party.

Let's explore some Christmas gift ideas that go beyond the traditional, and are appropriate for both your clients and team.

The traditional route: gifts, cards and donations

The traditional approach often involves food-related gifts like hams, hampers, or bottles of wine or spirits. While these can be easily ordered online and delivered, it's essential to consider potential delays and the possibility that recipients might be working remotely. To navigate these challenges, opt for non-perishable items or those with extended shelf life.

For clients who you have a close relationship with, consider personalised gifts that align with their personal interests.  This more personal approach demonstrates your attentiveness and can strengthen your professional relationship. Additionally, a handwritten card adds a personal and cost-effective touch that resonates well during the holiday season.

Another option is a making a donation on behalf of your clients or team members. This adds a meaningful element to your gift-giving as many people really appreciate an email or card that lets them know you’ve donated money to a charity on their behalf. For that extra touch you can include details like, “The local foodbank will use this donation to feed families on Christmas Day.”

Building Stronger Connections: Coffee, Lunch, and Face-to-Face Interaction

Treating high-value clients to a coffee or lunch can be a powerful gesture. This not only allows for a more personal connection but also creates lasting memories. While this approach may involve a higher cost, the impact on client relationships can far exceed that of a traditional gift.

Consider the preferences of your team when deciding on gifts for them. While hampers are a classic choice, it may not be universally preferred. A Christmas bonus is appreciated, but it's essential to consider the tax implications. A supermarket voucher, on the other hand, retains its full value, providing a practical and tax-efficient alternative. Engage with your team to understand their preferences; some may value a paid day off more than a physical gift.

Budgeting for Generosity: Tailoring Gifts Based on Relationships

Working out how much to spend on each client can be challenging. One approach is to categorise clients based on their spending with your business and their overall value to your business.

Consider giving high-value clients more substantial gifts, while smaller clients may receive more modest yet thoughtful tokens of appreciation.

Need help with Christmas budgeting?

If you find yourself wondering how much each client has spent or are unsure about your Christmas gift budget, we're here to assist.

Get in touch with us, and we'll analyse the numbers to provide insights tailored to your business. We'll help make sure your generosity aligns with your financial capabilities, making this festive season memorable for both you and your clients.

Get in touch and we’ll run the numbers to give you the insights you need.

Building and Construction Industry Bookkeeping

Building and Construction Industry Bookkeeping

Building and Construction Industry Bookkeeping

Are you looking for expert bookkeepers in the building and construction industry?

We know it's a complex industry, and it's been hit hard recently. Getting professional help to get your business finances under control will help ease the stress of pressures that many in your industry are facing.

Engaging a bookkeeper who is a specialists in your unique industry can help you to sustain your business and even thrive in difficult times.

There are many areas of bookkeeping for the building and construction industry that we often see could be managed better (and more profitably) with sound advice and the right software.

  • Tracking work in progress
  • Applying customer and supplier deposits
  • Allocating progress payments
  • Accounting correctly for retentions
  • Complex payroll and contractors
  • Accurate job costing
  • GST and BAS payment planning
  • Managing the fixed asset register
  • Control of inventory stock levels and costs
  • Taxable payments annual report
  • Accounts payable and receivable management
  • Cash flow forecasting and budgeting

Just like your construction work, using the right administration tools always makes the job easier. Businesses often start with simple accounting and business management software but don't upgrade the admin, payroll and accounting tools in line with business changes or growth.

Talk to us if you’re ready to review or upgrade your current bookkeeping and business systems. 

We can advise on the best accounting software and related add-on solutions for your business and help implement best practices to streamline the administration and accounts.

Let us help your business to thrive.

When to Register Your Business for GST

When to Register Your Business for GST

When to Register Your Business for GST

Should you register your business for GST?

Many business owners register their businesses from day one, regardless of income. Others, for example, many sole traders, choose not to register for GST until it is mandatory.

However, it is common that new businesses don’t realise they have exceeded the income threshold at which they must register! This can result in having to pay GST on sales to the ATO even if you haven’t included it in your prices – so you could lose one-eleventh of your income.

When is GST Registration Compulsory?

Your business must register for GST when it makes $75,000 income within a financial year. If you’re regularly making $6,250 or more each month, it’s time to check whether you should register for GST.

It’s good practice to check your turnover every quarter, and when you are getting close to the threshold, check every month. If you’re not yet using online accounting software, talk to us about your options, as this will make reporting and preparing for GST registration much easier.

You must register for GST within 21 days of reaching the threshold.

Special Rules

  • You can voluntarily register even if your turnover is less than $75,000. This means you can complete an annual BAS if you prefer.
  • If you’re making money through a ride-sharing platform like Uber, you must register for GST immediately. All commercial driving income, regardless of turnover, is subject to GST registration.
  • If you want to claim fuel tax credits, you must register.
  • If your business is a not for profit, the registration threshold is $150,000 per financial year.
  • If you’re not an Australian resident business, the rules for working out GST turnover are different, so talk to us before registering.

Need Help?

When starting a new business, there are many decisions to make, and GST registration is just one of them. Get in contact about the benefits of registering, and we'll help you get set up on appropriate accounting software to help you on your way to business success.

The differences between a contractor and an employee

The differences between a contractor and an employee

The differences between a contractor and an employee

The terms "contractor" and “employee” can be a bit tricky to understand, but it's important for businesses of all sizes. When you're not sure if someone is really an independent contractor or employee-the penalties are severe!

There are a few reasons why a company might want to hire someone as a contractor instead of an employee. For example, the company might think that the person can get tax benefits, or they might want more flexibility in their workforce.

However, by law, it is determined by the nature of the employment relationship whether someone is an employee or contractor.

There are no exceptions to this rule.

This means that everyone has to abide by basic employment standards and entitlements, as well as statutory tax and superannuation requirements.

A breakdown of the differences between a contractor and an employee

There are some differences between contractors and employees. Here is a breakdown:


People who work for a contract company are called employees. They work under an agreement or contract that says they will serve the employer.

Employees usually have to work in specific places and at specific times, and they usually work for only one company.

Employees are paid by the hour and their pay includes things like PAYG (Pay As You Go) taxes and other benefits.

They are also eligible for superannuation, which is a retirement savings account.

Employees have all the minimum rights required by law.


A contractor is someone who works for themselves under a contract.

This means that they are not employed by anyone else, but instead have a contract with one or more people or companies to do a specific job or set of jobs.

Contractors usually provide their own equipment and systems for doing the job, although this may not be the case in all situations.

They also take on more commercial risk than employees (although this also depends on the contract).

Contractors are not paid through payroll, but rather invoice for their work and receive payments directly from their clients. They have most workplace rights but different tax, insurance, and superannuation responsibilities.

An essential difference between an employee and a contractor

There is an essential difference between an employee and a contractor.

"An employee works for your company and is part of it. A contractor is their own boss and runs their own business."

How to identify if you are employing a contractor or an employee

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has developed a tool to help you decide if someone working for you is an employee or contractor for tax and super purposes.

We recommend using this tool to help you understand if your worker is an employee or contractor for tax and super purposes.

Using forecasting to help your decision-making

Using forecasting to help your decision-making

Using forecasting to help your decision-making

Producing regular management information is one way to help improve your business decision-making. But looking at historical numbers can only tell you so much.

In business, you want to know what the future holds. And to make truly informed decisions about your future strategy, it’s important to use forecasting tools to project your data forwards in time. By running projections, based on these historical numbers, and producing detailed forecasts, you can get the best possible view of the road ahead – that’s invaluable.

Run regular cashflow forecasts

Positive cashflow is vital to the short, medium and long-term success of your business. Without cash, you simply can’t operate the business efficiently. Running regular cashflow forecasts helps you overcome this challenge. With detailed projections of your future cashflow, you can spot the cash gaps that lie further down the road, and take action to fill these cashflow holes.

Income can often be unpredictable, especially in challenging economic times. If customers fail to pay an invoice, or suppliers increase their prices, this can all start to eat into your available cash. Using forecasting, you can extrapolate your numbers forward to which weeks, months or quarters are looking financially tight. And with enough prior warning, there’s plenty of time to look for short-term funding facilities, or to get proactive with reducing your spending.

Run sales and revenue forecasts

Keeping the business profitable is one of the key foundations of making a success of your enterprise. You want your sales to be stable and your revenues predictable if you’re going to generate enough capital to fund your growth plans. And you need to know how those revenues will pan out over the course of the coming financial period.

Revenue forecasts work much like a cashflow forecast. Instead of looking at your future cash position, a revenue forecast gives a projection of your sales and how much revenue is likely to be brought into the business in future weeks and months. With better revenue information, you’ll be more on top of your profit targets. You can manage your working capital in a more practical way. And you can improve your ability to invest in new projects, additional staff or funding of the long-term expansion of your business.

Run different scenario plans

What’s going to happen to your business in the future? None of us have a crystal ball to predict this future path exactly. But by looking at different possible scenarios, you can run projections to see what the potential outcomes and impacts may be.

These ‘What-if scenarios’ can be exceptionally useful tools when thinking about big business decisions. What if there’s an economic recession? What if our sales increased by 25%? What if we raised our prices by 10% next quarter? What if we lost a quarter of our customers? By plugging the relevant data into your forecasting engine, you can run these scenarios and see how each option pans out. That’s massively useful when the worst (or the best) does happen.

Update your strategy, based on your forecasts

By making the most of your forecasting tools, you give your board, your finance team and your advisers the most insightful data and projections to work with.

A good business plan is designed to flex and evolve to meet the needs of the changing market – and the changing needs of your own business strategy. By making use of your cashflow forecasts, revenue projections and what-if scenario planning, you give yourself the insights needed to update your strategy and your business plan. You can make solid, well-informed decisions and keep yourself one step ahead of your competitors. In the dog-eat-dog world of business, that’s a competitive edge that can make a huge difference.

If you want to delve deeper into the positive benefits of forecasting, please get in touch. We can showcase the latest forecasting software and apps, and show you the value that’s delivered through well-executed forecasting and longer-term projections.

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