During the week I was a guest of Rural Finance for a breakfast presentation.
The presentation was organised to update stakeholders on the ownership and operations of the business, as well as an opportunity to hear the delightful Jane Bunn speak (and I couldn’t let the opportunity for a photo go past either!).
Question for you…what is fine? Is it:
- A – a sunny day?
- B – no precipitation?
Jane is well known for her weather presentations on television for WIN News and more recently the ABC News…and in an exciting new venture she will commence reading the weather on the Seven Network from Monday 8th December, 2014.
Did you know that Jane holds a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Atmospheric Science)? And did you know that she holds a Graduate Diploma of Meteorology? And did you know that she was previously a forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology?
With such enthusiasm for the subject of weather, I enjoyed her presentation and learnt a thing or two that will help me decipher the weather forecast in the future (always helpful when planning what to wear?)
If the subject of weather is one that interests you, you can keep up with Jane through her website, Facebook and Twitter!
Oh, and the answer is B – no precipitation! So a fine day means no rain but not necessarily sunny…I guess this means my favourite days can be described as “fine and mostly sunny”!
PS Here’s the photographic proof!
Each year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) collect the financial information as presented on the income tax returns and activity statements of small businesses…and compile a set of small business benchmarks.
Small business benchmarks are financial ratios that are developed to assist business owners and their advisors in comparing the performance of similar businesses (based on turnover), in a particular industry.
I recently completed the financial statements and income tax return for a catering services business, and the owners were interested to see how they compared with other businesses in the industry.
According to the latest small business benchmarks released by the ATO, a catering service with turnover between $50,000 – $200,000 should have:
- cost of sales/turnover of 34% – 46%
- total expenses/turnover of 65% – 79%
- labour/turnover of 17% – 24%
- rent/turnover of 6% – 12%, and
- motor vehicle expenses/turnover of 4% – 7%
The ATO use the small business benchmarks to identify businesses which may be operating outside the expected range for their industry, which may indicate they are not reporting their financial figures correctly.
While there may be genuine reasons for operating outside the benchmarks, businesses should review their results and ensure their record keeping practices are up to date and complete.
If you would like The Tax Chic to review your operating results against the ATO benchmarks for your industry, please use the Contact form!
An annual general meeting (often abbreviated as AGM), is a meeting that many groups and associations which involve the general public (including companies with shareholders), are required by law to hold.
If you take an interest in community events in your local area, or read the “Public Notices” section of your newspaper, then you will have seen a number of advertisements for “Annual General Meetings” of late.
The rules and requirements for organisations differ according to their structure, however most organisations are required to hold their AGM within 5 or 6 months of the end of the financial year, hence November is always busy for AGMs.
Other requirements include providing notice of at least 14 days to the public and members of the organisation, having a quorum at the meeting and preparing an agenda and minutes of the meeting.
The AGM does have an official purpose, and most will include:
- election of chair, attendances, apologies, proxies and quorum
- confirmation of the previous meeting’s minutes
- report from the manager (if applicable)
- report from the committee (if applicable)
- acceptance of the financial statements and appointment of auditor (if applicable), and
- election of committee
Quite often, particularly in the case of non-profit entities, the organisation may introduce a guest speaker or a presentation regarding the organisation’s work – this is always an interesting part of the meeting!
I usually find there are many occasions where I would like to attend the AGM of an organisation, however time constraints and other commitments often mean I am unable to attend. At the moment I have committed to three meetings, including one where I will be presenting the Finance Report.
In any event I know I am able to obtain a copy of the annual report of the meetings I have missed – and you can too, simply contact the organisation of interest.
FACT: I am required to hold a valid P I Insurance policy at all times.
P I Insurance is the shorthand for Professional Indemnity Insurance.
As defined by business.gov.au, P I Insurance “protects advice-based businesses from legal action taken for losses incurred as a result of professional negligence. It provides indemnity cover if your client suffers a loss – material, financial or physical – directly attributed to negligent acts, errors or omissions.”
As a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and the holder of a Certificate of Public Practice – I am compulsorily obliged to maintain the minimum requirement for P I Insurance.
All P I Insurance policies have the common renewal date of 30th November…and I am pleased to advise my clients that my policy has been successfully renewed!
Depending on the nature of your business, you should definitely consider liability insurance (including public liability and product liability) as part of your risk management strategy.
Speak to your insurance broker for more information.