Tag Archive: Chartered Accountant

Tax Planning – Strategies & Opportunities for Business Owners

Posted on November 12, 2019
by Tim O’Brien

4 min 30 sec read

Contents

  • Taking Time for Your Bottom Line – Why Tax Planning is Important
  • What does Tax Planning involve?
  • How to get Started – Questions to Ask Yourself
  • Questions to Ask Your Accountant or Business Adviser
  • When Should You See Your Accountant or Business Adviser?
  • Little Effort, Big Gain – Next Steps

As a business owner you probably have some goals you want to reach for your business. Do you know what strategies to put in place to get there or have a trusted adviser guiding you?

One strategy that all businesses should have set up is tax planning. As a business owner tax planning can be an exciting process – as it’s a real opportunity to stop, reflect and take charge of your business by planning ahead and focusing on the numbers of the future rather than of the past.

Achieving your business goals is much simpler with tax planning, but it’s equally important even if you don’t have goals and just want to make sure the business is running smoothly. It’s not until someone delves into the business that you realise there are improvements you can make.

Unfortunately, not all accountants offer tax planning or business advice, so if you work with an accountant it’s worth asking them about it. If they do then it’s a great opportunity for you to move forward, but if they don’t then we suggest seeing a business adviser to guide you through the process.

Taking Time for Your Bottom Line – Why Tax Planning is Important

Why does our team at BLG believe tax planning is one of the most important annual events for all our clients?

For business owners, it’s a great opportunity to down tools for 5 minutes and take stock of where they are at. It’s also as good a time as any to take a moment to be proud of what you have achieved, critical of what you haven’t, and envisage where you want your business to be in 3 months-time, in a years-time, in 5 years-time depending on your goals.

As business advisers, tax planning is an opportunity for us to help business owners be proactive with their business, provide valuable input around their projected earnings and tax position and show you how the business is performing as opposed to how you think it’s performing. This planning is extremely important for the long term success of any business.

Make tax planning that one time of the year where you actually do set aside a day to step back from your otherwise hectic schedule to assess the health of your business (and yourself for that matter). There’s a good chance your customers, employees, family and friends, and business bottom line will thank you for it!

What does Tax Planning involve?

In more detail, tax planning means reviewing your current business, asset, and liability position before the end of the financial year, and will give you an understanding of where the money you are making is going. It also involves identifying any opportunities or areas of concern in your business so you can make financial decisions in the short to medium-term that are well-informed. Through tax planning, business owners have the option to implement strategies before 30 June that manage your tax position.

How to get Started – Questions to Ask Yourself

If you are unsure about seeing an accountant or business adviser it’s a great idea for you, as the business owner, to review your business by asking some key questions. Answering these questions will help create a picture of how your business is tracking:

  • Are your sales in line with your expectations? If not are there opportunities to reach out to new customer bases? Are less profitable customers impeding your ability to service your better ones?
  • Do you have issues with collection of debtors? If not do you need to address your payment terms? Are you chasing your debtors promptly and regularly?
  • Are you incurring unnecessary expenses? Are you getting an adequate return on any advertising spend?
  • Are there expansion opportunities within your current business? If so what do you need to put in place to explore these?
  • Are your investments providing the returns you were hoping for?
  • How does this year’s performance compare to last year?
  • Are there any opportunities you should be taking advantage of?
  • Have you provided for any potential tax liability?
  • Are there any strategies you should be implementing prior to 30 June to manage your tax liability?

Once you’ve answered these questions it is our hope that you will feel comfortable with your business position and ready to forge ahead. Or maybe the results were not crash hot like you were expecting and you need some direction. Whatever your review turned up, setting up tax planning is the recommended next step.

Whether you decide to see an accountant or business adviser following your business review, just make sure they offer ‘Tax Planning’, not just Tax Advice, as they require different approaches. We give you a hand with this below.

Questions to Ask Your Accountant or Business Adviser

So what about us? What should accountants or business advisers be able to offer to create an effective tax planning strategy for your business?

To determine whether the accountant or business adviser you are meeting with can help you in the right way, you should really only need to ask two questions to receive the necessary feedback. But make sure that any advice they do offer is tailored for your business. Following are the questions and the types of responses you should be getting back.

  1. How does your tax planning process work?

The accountant or business adviser should offer the following:

  • A review of your year-to-date performance in comparison to previous financial years
  • Feedback on your business performance compared to industry standards
  • Commentary on any trends or areas of concern in your year-to-date figures
  • A review of your financial structuring
  • Business profit and income tax projections which in turn assist in all important cash-flow planning
  • A projection of your year end results based on our knowledge of your business
  • The ability to implement any changes that need to be made before the end of the financial year
  1. What are some of the tax planning strategies you suggest?

On the back of the above business analysis they should then suggest some strategies to help manage your tax liabilities and strengthen your balance sheet. Some of these include:

  • Taking advantage of any government incentives like the $30,000 instant asset write-off
  • Reviewing the remuneration packages of related employees
  • Maximising your superannuation contributions following past reforms, and detail any impact the reforms may have on you and your family group
  • Advising the minimum pensions to be paid from your superfund for the fund to maintain its tax exempt status
  • Assessing the viability of any salary-sacrifice options
  • Reviewing your current business structure
  • Review of the groups assets and liabilities
  • Ensuring compliance with Division 7A in relation to Director’s loan accounts and unpaid present entitlements (unpaid trust distributions)
  • Reviewing your ledger for potential unrecoverable debts or obsolete items of stock or equipment to be written off
  • Reviewing your Estate Planning and Succession Planning
  • Managing and advising you of your estimated tax position

At the end of a tax planning process with your accountant, you should expect to walk away with more insight into your own business, a greater level of surety to make short to medium-term financial decisions, and therefore be in a better position to take advantage of any opportunities available to you.

If you are ready for the next step to make sure your business future is strong and secure, feel free to take our team through the tax planning hoops and get the answers you deserve here.

When Should You See Your Accountant or Business Adviser?

When it comes to tax planning there are specific items that need to be performed ahead of the end of financial year. So it’s important to decide on an accountant or business adviser you are happy with now and meet with them in the last quarter of the financial year to ensure your strategies are set up in the right way.

Making sure you have covered all your bases ahead of financial year end will put you in good stead and may save you thousands or even tens of thousands off your tax bill. Like many other aspects of your financial life, through knowledge and understanding comes clarity and improvement.

Little Effort, Big Gain – Next Steps

No matter how big or small your business is, tax planning is worth considering.

Remember, it’s not just about tax, it’s about gaining a better understanding of your business as a whole and putting goals in motion. With the right advice you can achieve more than what you expect.

Although the process may involve an extra trip to the accountant, I believe it is an area of our work where we provide further value for money.

Your business is your livelihood so make sure you meet with a trusted accountant or business adviser for your tax planning.

If you are investigating a number of business advisers before making your decision, our team at BLG are available to delve into your business and show you a clear direction. There is no cost involved in an initial discussion with us about your business, and if you feel we aren’t the right fit for you then there’s no obligation to work with us, so why wait? We encourage you to get in touch today and get things moving!

Keep in mind your tax planning will need to be done prior to 30 June, ideally early in the last quarter of the financial year, so that any necessary action can be taken before year end.

Wishing you every success!

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Harry Gehrig

Posted on February 14, 2019 by Grace Dawson

Graduate Accountant

 

With an ongoing interest in numbers, Business Studies and Commerce, Harry started his Accountancy course at University and knew that it was the right decision. When looking to start his career, Harry wanted to work in a fun and friendly environment where he could learn as much as possible. He knew BLG was the perfect fit and joined us four months ago, proving to be an invaluable member of the team.

Harry characterizes the way BLG works with clients. He feels that when you start working and speaking with clients you understand that what you are doing is more than just a tax return or financial statement – it’s about helping them achieve their goals and helping them with their problems. The business advisory side of work for individuals and businesses is the area that Harry likes taking on the most. He also appreciates BLG’s team approach to work, and how someone is always willing to help and ensure you are doing the best you can.

When he is not enjoying the social side of BLG, Harry loves doing anything outdoors; going on hikes and bike rides, as well as going to the beach.

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Georgia Glennon

Posted on February 14, 2019 by Grace Dawson

Graduate Accountant

 

Throughout her childhood Georgia loved art-related activities, from learning new languages, like Spanish and French, to participating in choirs and musicals. While studying a different degree at University she found herself being drawn to numbers and business-related subjects, so eventually found Accounting was her field. Georgia joined BLG over a year ago and is a great member of the team.

Georgia loves the diversity of her job, from the range of industries our clients come from to the specifics of tailored services we provide for each of them. While Georgia undertakes a range of work, she most enjoys creating tax planning projections for large client groups. She then analyses the results at year end to see how their business has performed and provides answers and updates for the client. Since starting at BLG, Georgia has gained a great deal of knowledge from the other team members, Managers and Directors who are always supportive and encouraging.

Outside of BLG, Georgia and her fiancé can be found with their puppy in the park or by the beach. Georgia is learning another language, Mandarin, and believes it’s important to invest time in other interests you have in your life outside of work.

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Cem Ozer

Posted on February 14, 2019 by Grace Dawson

Graduate Accountant

 

Cem has made an impact since starting at BLG over two years ago, greatly assisting the BLG team with his IT knowledge and accounting skills. From an athletic kid who has always loved soccer, Cem has now formed a grand final winning BLG indoor soccer team, complete with branded shirts.

Enjoying the variety of clients he engages with and the office culture at BLG, Cem’s daily role generally involves the preparation of financials and taxation advice. As a very customer-centric firm, Cem also enjoys gaining a deeper understanding of a client’s business so we can provide advice that adds real value where it matters.

When he’s not at BLG he could be playing soccer with the BLG team, spending time with family, or indulging in food, lots of food!

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Emily Curnow

Posted on February 14, 2019 by Grace Dawson

Graduate Accountant

  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accountancy) and Bachelor of International Studies

 

Growing up Emily was always drawn to stories surrounding art and history, but it was during University she discovered that she really enjoyed accounting. Emily was offered a position at BLG in her second year of University which allowed her to put her studies into practice. Over four years later and Emily has been a great success at BLG and a wonderful personality to have in our office.

Communication is key to her approach with clients. Emily enjoys providing solutions, whether in taxation or business advisory, and being able to help clients solve any challenges they may be facing. Her favourite aspect of BLG is the people – working in a great team environment as well as building strong relationships with our clients.

Outside of BLG, Emily likes to catch up with friends and spend time with her fiancé. She also tries to hit the gym regularly and enjoys a good Netflix binge every now and then.

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Gabrielle Bow

Posted on February 14, 2019 by Grace Dawson

Graduate Accountant

 

Gabrielle took a chance on BLG when a cadetship came up and five years on Gabrielle has flourished into an extremely talented member of the team. Graduating in Accountancy as a Deans Scholar at the University of Wollongong, Gabrielle has continued her great results in the final module of her Chartered Accounting qualification, being merit-listed across subjects.

Gabrielle is dedicated and perceptive, always ensuring our client’s expectations are understood and exceeded. She loves the type of innovative thinking we do at BLG, providing invaluable advice that helps clients move forward or solve issues they didn’t even know they had. The work Gabrielle takes on day-to-day is very versatile. From training BLG’s younger team members and enabling them to provide the service our clients value, to preparing forecasts for management accounts, assisting with tax planning and more.

When she’s not at BLG, Gabrielle will usually be at the beach, either volunteering at her local Surf Club or spending time with her family and friends.

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Lauren Sheldon

Posted on February 14, 2019 by Grace Dawson

Graduate Accountant

  • Masters of Professional Accounting and Bachelor of Science (Conservation Biology)

 

No stranger to multi-tasking and taking on challenges, Lauren was torn between two career paths so decided to take on a double degree at University. Lauren was always drawn to science, but when she discovered she was good at accounting topics ended up developing a liking for it. This led to her first encountering BLG during work experience, and following this she kept an eye out for open positions here while at University. BLG is thankful that accounting turned out to be the career path Lauren wanted to follow as she has now been with the team for nine months.

Lauren works closely with clients to fully understand their individual situation and what they really want from her, so then the right strategies and solutions can be implemented for the best outcome. She finds it rewarding to see the final outcome of the compliance work and advice she undertakes for groups of various entities, knowing the complexity of some groups. She has a strong customer service focus and enjoys BLG’s diverse client base which gives her insight into a wide variety of business industries. The full suite of business advisory services that BLG offers has also enabled Lauren to expand her knowledge to encompass commercial and management accounting.

Lauren likes to stay active by playing sport, going to the gym or going for walks. She also enjoys eating yummy food!

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Lorenzo Mascarinas

Posted on February 14, 2019 by Grace Dawson

Graduate Accountant

 

While playing football was Lorenzo’s main activity growing up, he always enjoyed economics, maths and business studies, so accounting was the career that ended up appealing to him the most. Lorenzo’s first job was tutoring university students as part of the Business4Success program, until he decided to start building his accounting career alongside experienced and knowledgeable individuals while completing his studies. When BLG offered him a job he went for it and has been delivering great results here for 18 months.

Lorenzo enjoys learning about clients and their background stories before starting a job, and works closely with them to determine their situation so clear, workable solutions can be created. Year end work also allows him to come up with strategies that help clients achieve great results. Lorenzo likes working with the people at BLG. He finds the whole team, from his colleagues to the Directors, very easy to work with and always willing to help or offer advice.

When not working at BLG, Lorenzo enjoys watching music gigs and supporting his favourite artists, as well as turning up to Sydney FC soccer matches whenever he can.

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Victoria Morozov

Posted on February 6, 2019 by Grace Dawson

Chartered Accountant

  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accountancy)
  • Member of Chartered Accountants Australia + New Zealand

 

With a love of history and foreign languages to coaching tennis, Victoria discovered accounting at University, and her inspiring lecturers kept her there. After completing her Chartered Accounting qualification she moved from Sydney to Wollongong in 2017 and soon came on board with BLG. We have now gained the benefit of Victoria’s hard work and team spirit for over a year.

Victoria builds trusting relationships with her clients by providing valuable advice and proactive assistance, particularly with year end tax planning and accounting compliance work. With the regulations around self-managed superannuation funds and other accounting systems getting more complex, Victoria likes ensuring our clients can maximise opportunities and deal with changes proactively. Victoria also loves the dedicated team at BLG, who she says are amazing to work with on a daily basis.

Outside of BLG Victoria loves spending time with her husband and children and travelling.

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Sarah Cross

Posted on February 6, 2019 by Grace Dawson

Chartered Accountant

  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accountancy)
  • Member of Chartered Accountants Australia + New Zealand

Knowing she wanted to be an accountant from a young age, Sarah went to University and worked while she was studying in a different role, but thankfully discovered BLG and made the move to work here. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant and BLG have had the pleasure of her outstanding work for 6 years.

Getting to know her clients and their business is a major part of Sarah’s role, ensuring she understands what it is they are trying to achieve and how BLG can help them achieve it. She naturally maintains strong client relationships, and also trains and mentors our new BLG team members who benefit from her patience and knowledge. Sarah loves her job and believes BLG is a testament to that.

When not at BLG, Sarah loves catching up with family and friends, playing board games, displaying at Lego exhibitions, or simply going on a random drive to explore!

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