Accountants and bookkeepers have become an integral part of Australia’s frontline COVID defence. The reality is that after a short pause, the profession is back at it, wading through piles of client requests.
Long hours and pressure from clients experiencing financial problems are all too common stressors for our accounting and bookkeeping professionals, most of whom have clocked hundreds of unpaid billable hours over the past 15 months.
“It’s proving to be a very tumultuous time for accountants and bookkeepers across the nation but particularly NSW,” Matthew Rowan, product solutions expert at Dext, says.
Support will flow to thousands of businesses, but the dollar amount will depend on a company’s size, type and drop in turnover. To view the full list of initiatives please see end of article.
But, unlike the cash flow boost made available in 2020, under the umbrella of the ATO, the new measures will be administered by Service NSW. This means that accountants and bookkeepers will have their work cut out for them as soon as detailed eligibility information is made available.
But there is help available.
“There has never been a more pertinent time for accountants and bookkeepers to leverage technology to create efficiencies,” Mr Rowan says.
As such, we’ve pulled together the key questions that clients are asking and how you can use technology to your advantage, allowing you to look after your own health and wellbeing.
Key questions clients are asking and how technology can help you answer them
With businesses able to register their interest with Service NSW since Wednesday, accountants and bookkeepers have (expectedly) been flooded with innumerable questions concerning the latest stimulus announcements.
Luckily, technology solutions that can automate data analysis and tasks are helping accountants and bookkeepers free up time to pinpoint eligibility and reach out to the right customers.
Here is how Dext can help you answer all relevant client questions, helping dispel any queries that come your way:
Q. What’s my turnover? How do I calculate my share of grants? How do I calculate my land tax relief? How much money am I eligible to receive based on my payroll? Will I have enough cash to cover my expenses?
A. Dext Precision offers real-time solutions to help you determine eligibility and more.
More precisely, Precision’s Practice Dashboard allows accountants to churn through key metrics, determining if client data is up to date before pinpointing the exact clients in need of assistance.
“Using Dext Precision's tagging setup and Practice Dashboards in particular can help filter your client list to who is likely to be eligible without it being a huge exercise for your team,” Mr Rowan explains.
Specifically, the Sandbox tool facilitates the creation of comparison metrics, enabling a quick evaluation between the most recent turnover and that of the equivalent two-week period in 2019. Accountants and bookkeepers can also swiftly switch between clients, saving precious time.
Importantly, Precision keeps tabs on all previous changes, which can be especially handy in weeding out those clients that may have tweaked their details to forge eligibility. Accountants and bookkeepers can also segment their clients in several ways, including based on industry, helping them serve their needs more effectively.
Speak to a Dext professional today to discuss how you can leverage off technology to improve productivity and efficiency during this busy time.
Full list of support measures available
New support payments
- Direct payment for entities with an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million who can demonstrate a 30 per cent drop in turnover compared to an equivalent two-week period in 2019;
- Eligible entities, which includes not-for-profits, will receive payments of between $1,500 and $10,000 per week based on the level of their payroll;
- Eligible entities will be required to maintain their full-time, part-time and long-term casual staffing level as of 13 July 2021;
- A flat payment of $1,000 per week for sole traders.
Grants and payroll tax relief
- Eligible businesses with wages below $10 million can claim grants between $7,500 and $15,000 to cover the first three weeks of restrictions;
- A $1,500 payment per fortnight of restrictions for micro businesses with a turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 which experience a decline in turnover of 30 per cent;
- Payroll tax waivers of 25 per cent for businesses with wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30 per cent decline in turnover, as well as payroll tax deferrals and interest free repayment plans;
- A capped grant of up to $1,500 for residential landlords who are not liable to pay land tax who reduce rent for tenants;
- Land tax relief equal to the value of rent reductions provided by commercial, retail and residential landlords to financially distressed tenants, up to 100 per cent of the 2021 land tax year liability;
- Introduction of legislative amendments to ensure a short-term eviction moratorium for rental arrears where a residential tenant suffers loss of income of 25 per cent due to COVID-19;
- Deferral of gaming tax assessments for clubs until 21 December 2021 and hotels until 21 January 2022.