Monthly Archives: August 2019

The ATO are auditing Healesville (and Hornsby)


The ATO’s audit and review processes continue to expand – both in number and the way they are conducted. The ATO has just announced that it is heading off to Healesville where it will visit 400 small businesses within the next month.

They are also off to Sydney.

The ATO’s press relates states that “people from the Healesville area have told us about some building construction businesses getting an unfair advantage over their honest competitors by not paying by the rules.” Their press release went on to talk about taking action against the black economy and specifically about non-compliance employer obligations.

At the same time, the ATO are running information sessions to assist small businesses; including Single Touch Payroll (STP).

So if the focus is on building and construction within a smallish country town, then it looks like they will match up all the transactions between businesses that operate within that sector.

Such a pilot program was undertaken in the Hunter Valley some years ago. It focused solely on plasterers – both plasterers themselves and those that provided good or services to them.  It was so successful that it lead to the reporting of all contractor payments (Taxable Payments Reporting) within the building and construction industry.  And that system has been so successful, i.e. raised money and fines and interest, that it has now been expanded to include couriers, security and computer programmers.

One can only suspect that if they find under declared wages then they will rightly notify WorkCover.

It will be interesting to hear what they find.


National Scam Awareness Week

The National Scam Awareness Week was actually last week. However conversations with clients and others revealed just how exposed we all are.  It should also be said that being aware and protecting oneself from scams is an ongoing task and not just and activity for last week.

That said, one can largely protect themselves through just common sense, awareness up-to-date software and scanning programs.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has a terrific homepage.

You can learn more about the various types of scams at

You can read the latest news and alerts at

You can also view their tools and resources page at

And from accounting perspective, always remember the ATO is not in a ring and ask you for personal details nor ask you to pay a debt immediately over the phone.


We are also happy to recommend an IT specialist to set up and monitor your computer system.


What you will doesn’t cover

Do you know what your will doesn’t cover?  Many people don’t. 

A will cover assets in your own name.

It therefore doesn’t cover:-

  • Jointly held assets such as bank accounts and the family home they go straight to the surviving partner).

  • Assets held within discretionary trusts.

  • Super (see future article).

  • Life insurance policy (goes to the owner).

Some people own everything in their own name.

On the other hand, other people have little in their own name. It is no uncommon to see a millionaire under age 65 have little in their own name, particularly if they are in business or can be sued for other reasons.

Everyone should have a will. It is your chance to set out who your assets are to be distributed to.  Proper planning ensures this is done in the most efficient and tax effective manner.  You therefore not only need a lawyer but often a financial planner as well.  It should never be done on the cheap if the bulk of your toil and investments reside in a trust or self managed super fund.


Bad debts are death

Bad debts are death particularly if you trade on narrow margins.

A bad debt of a $1,100 invoice will not have a GST impact if you are registered on a cash basis.  But a $1,000 of income at a 20% margin will require another $5,000 of sales to cover that loss.

So think twice before selling to customer who you doubt will pay you. 

Or perhaps take payment up front.

Or perhaps set up a payment facility and don’t do anything until accepted.

Or ring us as we have dozens and dozens of solutions and strategies gained from years of dealing with different clients in all sorts of industries.