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Lilydale VIC 3140

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Lilydale VIC 3140

 

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Blog

 

MANAGING YOUR BUSINESS CASH FLOW OVER THE HOLIDAY PERIOD

December is usually the busiest time of the year for retail and hospitality businesses. But businesses in other sectors often find that their sales slowdown and their customers stop paying them for a few months. So cash flow dries up.

 

Whether your business is large or small, well-established or in start-up mode, you need to take a planned approach to managing cash flow during the holiday season. Here are few tips for keeping on top of cash flow management during the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

 

KEEP INVOICING IN THE LEAD UP TO CHRISTMAS

Don’t let your business admin slip in the rushed lead-up to Christmas. This is the most important time of the year to stay on top of your invoicing. You may find that many customers will be slow to pay because their businesses are closed over the Christmas period.

 

SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS

Be clear with your customers that you expect them to pay within the pre-arranged credit terms over the Christmas period. Phone regular slow payers a few days before payment is due to confirm that they’ll be paying on time. The phone is always a more effective method than email. If you’re not comfortable having this conversation with your customers, your accountant or bookkeeper may be able to assist.

 

USE THE QUIET TIME TO WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS

If sales are a little slow in the lead-up to Christmas, use the time wisely to hit the ground running in the new year.

 

The pre-Christmas slowdown is a great time to work through the to-do list you’ve been compiling all year. This might include taking a thorough inventory, searching for more suitable lending alternatives, completing a comprehensive competitor analysis or researching the market for new products and suppliers.

 

WANT TO TALK?

Our measure of success is your success.  Whether it’s budgeting, improving cash flow, implementing better systems or growing your revenue, talk to us about a running strategic planning session, we’d love to share with you THE OC WAY and help you achieve your business goals.

 

Together, let's make 2019 a great year.

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Xero Two-Step Authentication - October 2018

 

The rise in the number of high-profile cyber-crime and data theft incidents in recent years has highlighted the necessity for business owners and corporations to make online security and safety a priority in their standard operating procedures. This is essential given that crucial information (and in many circumstances this could be confidential) is increasingly being disseminated and shared online between multiple parties, be it via cloud software platforms or the good old email method.

 

Xero is committed to keeping your data safe and secure and have introduced a security feature that fortifies the security for Xero user accounts. Two-Step Authentication (2SA), requires users to log in with their respective passwords and input another unique, six-digit numerical code that is randomly generated by an authentication app: Google Authenticator.

 

Why is 2SA such a valuable measure? As the authentication code is app-generated, only the person that is privy to the user email and password and has access to the authentication device will be able to log into the respective Xero account. Hence, it will be much tougher for unauthorised persons to log in.

 

Here is a short video demonstration on how this works:

 

 

Alternatively, we have provided the step-by-step procedures as follows:

  1. Download and install the applicable authentication app for your device.
  2. Open the app on your device and select “Get Started”
  3. It will ask you to add your Google account login details, this is not necessary, simply skip over this.
  4. Back in Xero, click “Account”, then select “Setup” under “Two-step authentication”.
  5. Next, use the app to view and scan the QR code on screen with your phone camera. Then hit “Next”.
  6. Enter the authentication code that has been generated into Xero and click “Next”.
  7. Set up your security questions and answers, then click “Next"
  8. It will ask you to record a secondary email account, this is not mandatory and can be skipped.
  9. Click “Done”.

The next time you log in, you’ll be asked to open your Authenticator app and enter the six-digit code, in addition to your email address and password.  The code resets every two minutes.

 

As noted above, you can add an alternative email address as an additional recovery method, but this is not compulsory. If you do choose to do so, click “Use another authentication method” when prompted for the authentication code during your next login attempt and follow the prompts to set up your recovery email address.

 

We hope this information can be of assistance to you. Should you have any questions or run into any difficulty, do feel free to give us a ring and we will be more than happy to give you hand.

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ATO Scam Warning -July 2017

 

In recent months, it has come to our attention that people are receiving harsh and threatening correspondences related to supposed outstanding compliance obligations and tax debt, be it by telephone or in written format, from people claiming to act for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Following further investigation into the matters and through verification with the ATO, the correspondences have been proven to be scams and are thus fraudulent in nature.

 

OC Partners does not condone the acts of these scam artists. Hence, we have prepared some advice (with reference to materials released by the ATO) for clients to protect themselves from falling prey to scammers.

 

The more common methods used by scam artists to prey on taxpayers are telephone communication, e-mails and text messages. They might also prey on taxpayers under the guise of employment advertisements by requesting for job applicants’ tax file numbers.

 

In case you have received an abusive phone call from someone that claims to work for the ATO (by abusive we mean active threats of arrest and aggressive tones of speech), chances are that it is a scammer trying to get you to part with your hard-earned money or confidential information. If this happens, we urge that you do not give in to their threats and demands. Rather, contact the ATO on 13 11 42 to get a verification on your tax account balances, or alternatively get in touch with us and we can speak to the ATO on your behalf to check if the context of the phone call is legitimate.

 

E-mails that are supposedly sent by the ATO often look legitimate due to the presence of the ATO letterhead and logo, and this makes it hard for taxpayers to doubt the authenticity of the correspondence. In saying that however, there are a few indicators that taxpayers can look for:

  • The e-mail domain does not end with “ato.gov.au”.
  • The composition is laden with poor grammar and vocabulary.
  • It contains a link for you to click on (to make sure, try mousing over the link to determine if the domain is accurate).
  • The message requests for the recipient to verify his or her identity.
  • The message is sent from another account, often a private one.

Text messages can be tricky since the SMS is indeed a valid method of communication used by the ATO. The only possible indicators are if a link is attached to the message or the sender has asked for your personal or credit card details.

 

In summary, here are the four “Nevers” for our customers to take note of:

  1. The ATO will NEVER threaten a taxpayer with arrest.
  2. The ATO will NEVER cold-call taxpayers to demand for immediate payment, nor will the ATO request that the taxpayer settle the debt by purchasing merchandise such as gift cards.
  3. The ATO will NEVER show up at a taxpayer’s doorstep without making an appointment.
  4. The ATO will NEVER ask for any confidential information from a taxpayer through e-mails or text messages.

Should you receive suspicious correspondences but are not sure whether to disregard them, do give us a call and we can liaise with the ATO to determine the authenticity of the communication. We are here for our customers so please do not hesitate to contact us. If you prefer to contact the ATO personally, please dial 1800 008 540 between 8am and 6pm, from Monday to Friday, and the support officer will provide you with further advice on the necessary steps to be taken, and may ask for some elaboration on the contents of the correspondence.

 

General advice disclaimer

General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.

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Tax Debt -April 2017

Do you have your tax debts under control?

From 1 July 2017, a new tax measure will come into play for small businesses, and we’re here to help prepare you for this tax change.

Businesses that haven't engaged with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to get their tax debts under control could have their tax debt information disclosed to credit reporting agencies by the ATO.

 

Initially, the ATO will be applying this new disclosure measure to businesses with a tax debt greater than $10,000 and is in default (at least 90 days overdue). If your tax debt is disclosed by the ATO, your credit rating will be adversely affected for the next 5 years.

 

What do you need to do?

 

If you have a tax debt that is 90 days or more overdue, you need to secure a payment arrangement with the ATO before 30 June 2017, regardless of how big or small the tax debt is.

 

We also encourage everyone who has outstanding tax payments not yet in default, to get these paid as soon as possible.

 

Tax debts, once disclosed to credit reporting agencies, will go on your credit rating file for 5 years which could greatly impact your chances of securing finance in the future or enter in to credit arrangements with your suppliers.

 

So, it is important to get your tax debts under control as soon as possible, and well before 1 July 2017.

 

How we can help you!

 

As your tax agent, we can help you negotiate an effective payment arrangement with the ATO without negatively affecting your cashflow.

 

Get in touch with us today to discuss your options and get control of your tax debts.

 

General advice disclaimer

General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.

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SAAS Software - December 2016

I am going to call it – in today’s day and age the failure to engage with software as a service (SAAS) products such as Xero and Happy HR is business suicide.

 

The reason for this is that the majority of your competitors would be taking advantage of them and this is because it is well known that these types of products can make your business more operationally efficient giving you more time and everyone knows that time = increased productivity which = more money. The more time and money your competitor has the more time and money they have to put towards blowing you out of the water.

 

SAAS products are available for a whole range of services. To help you out today I have highlighted the main services with SAAS products that you should at least be invested in.

 

Accounting

One of the most challenging aspects of modern business is keeping track of all the money coming in and leaving a business. Thanks to advances in Cloud based technology, business owners are now able to automate and digitise a range of old bookkeeping and account practices to help them streamline these processes. In addition to this, businesses are getting real time analytics and reporting in order to help ensure that they are staying on track towards probability and meeting other financial and business benchmarks. So say goodbye to the shoebox filled with receipts and say hello to your smart phone for helping you maintain your record keeping requirements.

 

One of the most challenging aspects of modern business is keeping track of all the money coming in and leaving a business. Thanks to advances in Cloud based technology, business owners are now able to automate and digitise a range of old bookkeeping and account practices to help them streamline these processes. In addition to this, businesses are getting real time analytics and reporting in order to help ensure that they are staying on track towards probability and meeting other financial and business benchmarks. So say goodbye to the shoebox filled with receipts and say hello to your smart phone for helping you maintain your record keeping requirements.

 

Sales

While access to software in the sales function has been around for some time advances in this space have led to an enhanced user experience allowing businesses to tie in marketing and other business technologies together reducing the administration required to maintain a CRM and automating key functions already set within the business. The options are endless and the sky is the limit so jot down what you want out of your CRM and start shopping.

 

Marketing

As marketing is increasingly driven through Social Media, a range of new platforms have come along that easily integrate into these mediums in order to seamlessly push out content on a pre-determined schedule making it easy for those social media novices out there to take advantage of everything social media has to offer.

 

Point of Sale

As with many of the software mentioned above, the Point of Sale technology has gone from clunky barcode scanners and MS DOS platforms to streamlined and mobile Point of Sale options. Business owners are finding that the integration of these different platforms are driving further time savings and analytics for their business. Now when an item is sold, it automatically generates an entry into the Sales CRM, creates an account in the Accounting software, and any other inventory software that may be coupled in with it. This has many businesses crying out “Where have you been all my life!”

 

Human Resources

One of the areas of advancement in the SAAS product space is in the area of Human Resources. The HR function is one of the most complex and sensitive areas of a business and lots of businesses are doing this wrong. How do I l know this? Well this is not only my area of expertise and I see this on a day to day basis but it is also evidenced by the increase in Fair Work cases over the last 12 months and the prediction by Fair Work that this will continue to increase in the coming 12 months. Access to a simple to use software that can ensure businesses can be legally compliant with HR is now an option for business owners and this is definitely a SAAS product they should jump on now!