The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced a widespread crackdown on businesses engaging in tax underpayment this year, primarily focused on unpaid superannuation payments, and the black economy. Now, the ATO is also taking aim at payroll taxes.
In the past century, most jobs required workers to focus on and apply a single well-defined skill-set in a relatively static and predictable way. Currently, and in the future, workers are going to need additional soft skills to improve their flexibility in the workplace.
Small businesses face an uphill climb when it comes to finding and retaining top performing talent. Experienced and talented workers often tend to aim for jobs with high rates of pay, excellent employee benefits, and job security with a clear path for advancement. Unfortunately, all of these are difficult for startups and small businesses to provide, particularly compared to what larger competitors can offer.
When she joined Ventas in 1999, Debra Cafaro found herself at the head of a business on the verge of financial collapse. Just 10 years later, the company was named the most successful publicly traded company in the first decade of the new millennium. In the past 19 years, she oversaw and implemented a strategy that brought the company’s market capitalisation from $200 million to over $24 billion.
The $20,000 instant asset write-off is Australia’s most popular tax initiative, considering that 96 per cent of business leaders have voiced support for continuing it beyond its projected expiration date of June 30, 2019. In light of this, it’s particularly surprising that a national survey by H&R Block and Officeworks found that 85 percent of respondents had never used it. Worse, 58 per cent had never even heard of the scheme.
Most small business owners launch their businesses using a fixed amount of capital, often their personal savings or a business loan. To give themselves as much time as possible to establish their business and become profitable, entrepreneurs tend to work with very tight budgets, keeping costs trimmed down as much as possible. Unfortunately, for many businesses, that means keeping wages low, and often hiring entry-level employees that aren’t fully qualified in hopes of saving money. Often, this turns out to be a mistake.
Though many small businesses rely on equity investment for their startup funding, most entrepreneurs still use their personal savings, private loans from friends, and financing resources to launch their business. This leaves them with a small, fixed amount of capital with which to establish themselves. As a result, most small businesses operate on very tight budgets that leave little room for extraneous spending, and that leaves businesses vulnerable to cash flow issues.
Wages are always a touchy subject with employees, and for many small businesses, it’s getting increasingly complicated. Despite a strong jobs market and persistent economic growth, Australian wage growth has stagnated. As a result, Australian households now have less disposable income, on average, than they did in 2013. This means that regular workers are feeling the financial pressure.
Business owners don’t start companies with the hope of just getting by. Rather, entrepreneurs pour their time and resources into their business because they’re passionate about what they’re doing, and they want to realise a greater vision. That means not just establishing their business, but growing, innovating, and taking a leading position in their industry. Doing so successfully, however, is tricky, and requires a lot of preparation.
A new analysis on payment times for Australian businesses in the first quarter of 2018 by Illion indicates that businesses are paying their bills in a more timely manner than in previous years. From a 2017 average payment delay of 15.3 days, the first quarter of 2018 has come in with a much-improved average 11.7 day delay. Most significantly, the percentage of businesses that paid bills promptly rose dramatically from 59.8 per cent in March of last year, to 68.8 per cent in 2018.