New Financial Year
We are announcing some major changes on how we conduct our business and we hope you find these beneficial.
Ritnesh has been a big part of our team at Peacocke Accountants for more than six years. He has grown from a fledgling accountant in early times, through to providing clients with advice and handling complex matters. We have all learned from Ritnesh as well – his expert knowledge with client software and determination to improve the quality of client assistance has been an asset to the business.
Ritnesh has become a significant part of our office ‘family’ too – arriving as a bachelor, marrying Sonam, and having their son, Ritson, one year ago – we have taken them into our hearts. Of course, his knowledge of cricket and support of the ‘Blues’ in the State of Origin has also kept us all entertained!
Ritnesh is leaving us to explore other career options. We wish him every success in his endeavours and hope he will remain a familiar face in our office from time to time.
Our service and support to you will continue as before, just ask for John, Jeff, Anne or Jen when you call. We will be recruiting a new accountant soon to provide face to face client support and will keep you updated.
At the end of June, we hired some consultants to look at our work practices with the aim of delivering improved service. They identified some opportunities to improve our practice, and we thought these were worth sharing.
Recommendation 1. Installation of Client Relationship Management (CRM) software: This will allow enhanced communication with you. You will see benefits from reminders and also know that when you email us, all of our staff will be able to view any discussions you have and not be limited to one member’s email account.
Recommendation 2. Standardising work: This one is about again providing improved service to you. Whilst we have prided ourselves on being able to tailor our services to each client, it is dependent on staff being familiar with your specific system and problems will arise when someone is absent. We will still do this but only if required by you.
Recommendation 3. Planning client work: Our consultant advises us that clients like knowing when their work will be done. The new CRM system will enable us to send reminders that your work is due to be started. In this first year, we will only set a start month for every client. From our perspective it will help avoid peaks and troughs. One example is the quarterly BASs in our bookkeeping division. Many of you know we have extensions, and there is a human tendency to leave everything to the last minute. This puts us under a lot of pressure. So for our BAS reviews from now on, we are going to contact you and suggest a week for quarterly work to be submitted. In some cases, we will be asking for work to be brought in monthly.
We will be soon contacting you to set a start month for this in the future. Alternatively, you can call and let us know a suggested time that works best for you.
Recommendation 4. All bookkeeping clients to receive quarterly reports. It was noted this has been spasmodic. But the new CRM will enable us to schedule this in and enable us to see if it is not done. This way there should be no hidden surprises. Whilst this was targeted for bookkeeping clients, any client using Xero will be able to request this. Of course, you may be doing your own but maybe you need a prompt for review.
To ensure a smooth transition, we have taken on some additional staff to assist us while we find a new accountant.
Living the dream
John’s wish is for:
- All bookkeeping work completed by 31 August
- All Xero client work completed by 31 October
- All other work by Christmas
Just because we do your work early does not mean we need to lodge early. Our tax software now has provision to suspend lodgement to a future date if required. You will know well in advance of any tax you have to pay.
Staff are wondering: “What will we do for the rest of the year?” Well we believe (along with our consultant) that with real time data available from cloud accounting software that we can help you run a better business and make more money. Through our newsletters, we have been promoting resources to provide this service such as farm management software Figured which links to Xero.
The annual ASIC fee can be painful if you forget to pay on time. So, if you have not yet received your Company Statement from ASIC, then we will pay your ASIC fees. Any late payment and we will be liable.
You will still receive your annual solvency statement to sign and an invoice from us. If you pay us late or fail to return the solvency statement, we can deal with that.
Knowing your fees is a win/win
According to client surveys, the majority of business owners like the certainty of fixed pricing and flexibility on payment options. Many of you are now on our fixed fee arrangement. Payments can be monthly (10 payments from August to May), quarterly or even on completion. The benefits to you are knowing your fee in advance and the ability to schedule smaller payments if required. Another advantage is that you can ensure we are providing the kind of service you want.
Our fixed pricing does not include any one-off work, such as RAA loan applications or cashflows, unless specified.
Our win is that clients paying on a regular basis makes our life and cash flow much easier.
As a Chartered Accountancy practice, we are required to hold engagement letters about our services. At the moment, our files are outdated and we have a compliance need to update them.
While this means more red tape, one way of avoiding the additional burden will be to include it in our fixed fee proposal.
We have installed new software to automate this process, but we will confirm with you that we are sending out the right kind of proposal. We will be in contact in the coming weeks to discuss.
Single Touch Payroll
The introduction of Single Touch Payroll on July 1 is compulsory for clients with a payroll of more than 20 staff. There is an exemption for employers who only seasonally employ staff such as shearing and crutching but all others will need to comply. The good news is that for those on Xero and using payroll, there is hardly any difference. Essentially, it is just one extra click.
Single Touch Payroll is part of the government’s drive to minimise paperwork. Of course, it also adds potential for real time audit. With super funds now forced to report monthly to the ATO, they will be able to know if employer superannuation is not paid on time.
Next year, all employers will have to be registered!
If you are interested, let us demonstrate how easily Xero handles this and your quarterly superannuation at the same time. Xero has its own clearing house and you can pay directly to funds (including SMSFs) with just a couple of clicks.
No charge for Xero software
John’s signature contains a link to his diary so that you can make an appointment easily. This can be done online and include video, the ability to share screens or can just be done from your mobile. Sean will receive a present for being the very first to use this system.
Some of the information we need you to bring to help us prepare your income tax return is a debtors list and creditors list along with stocktake as at June 30. Our new CRM system will provide a checklist reminder when your job is due. For a more detailed checklist, visit the website at https://peacockeaccountants.com.au/tax-checklists/