Flexibility in the Workplace

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Did you realise that in some cases, flexibility is legislated by the ‘The Australian National Employment Standard’ (Fair Work Act 2009 ‘NES’).

There have been countless articles in regards to 4-day work weeks, flexibility and remote work environments.  The concept is not new, combinations of these work solutions are already in place and adopted by a variety of businesses.  The tides are changing.  Slowly.

I think it’s clear now that these arrangements have a positive effect.  They create more inclusive and diverse workplaces, better morale, higher engagement, longer-term employee satisfaction and access to a key group of worked – individuals staying home during child rearing years.

The 2017 census results concluded that an ‘estimated 246,700 (42%) women had started or returned to work since the birth of their youngest child.’  That is a staggeringly low percentage of women returning to work following childbirth and note this is after the birth of their youngest child.  If families have 3 children, it’s unlikely that they will be able to return to work for a minimum of 6 years and at this point, many will require part-time employment for several years.  Six years out of the workforce makes for a very difficult return to the corporate world.  Increasingly, as many fathers opt to remain at home with children they will inevitably come up against the same issues, albeit not to the extent of women simply due to the remaining unconscious bias’s that still exist. 

It’s no secret that many organisations are now under requirements to include women in leadership positions.  This can be difficult for organisations with fewer women available to climb the corporate ladder once they have become mothers.  Imagine if the pool of women was greater, that women hadn’t left the workforce but continued their journey, acquiring more experience.  A simple change in flexible arrangements and the pool would be fabulously rich and diverse; quotas would soon be a thing of the past.

As families become more reliant on double incomes to support their lifestyles, the cost of child-care is becoming prohibitive however necessary for workers who need to stay in the workforce to keep their employment eligibility.  Let’s not forget that this inevitably leads to less disposable income, affecting the economy; the livelihood of brick and mortar business’s, the hospitality industry, the list goes on.

How can we work to remedy this? 

Flexibility is a great solution

I have first-hand experience – flexibility has allowed me to build a top rated Bookkeeping business in Perth.  I write this article from my home desk, with a cat and a dog sleeping soundly next to me.  I get to pick up the kids from school and I can keep going while they argue in the background, or at a more convenient time.  My bookkeeping business keeps five people in employment and each of us has the option to work flexibly.  We come together for a weekly catch up or more, when necessary.  This is our ‘normal’ and it works.

Not every workplace will be able to adapt to this working arrangement however it is imperative that those who can, unreservedly adapt and make flexibility available to all employees.

How to navigate the End of the Financial Year

The end of the financial year wraps up June 30. That means from July 1st, it’s tax season. Sole traders and partnerships- you’ll need to lodge by October 31st, or if you’re lodging through a registered tax agent, they can advise on the date. Small companies generally need to lodge by February 28th, though – again – if you’re going through a tax agent they will let you know when to lodge. Whenever your deadline is, there’s a lot to get through, and there’s more to it than tax. Make the most of this busy time and keep stress to a minimum with these tips!

Single Touch Payroll

Recent research from Xero found one in five small businesses (20 percent) wrongly believed that STP did not apply to them. All companies are encouraged to register for Single Touch Payroll (STP) by July 1st 2019, which is a new reporting requirement introduced by the ATO. Small businesses should work to transition to STP with their accountant and bookkeeper in order to become compliant now! Bilanz Bookkeepers are Single Touch Payroll Certified with Xero, making it easier than ever to transition now.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Xero works for STP. Contact Bilanz today to set up an obligation free – one on one training session.

Purchase large assets before July

Thinking of purchasing assets for your business?

The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased to $30,000 and extended to 30 June 2020.

If you purchase an asset (new or second hand) costing less than $30,000 and it is used or installed ready for use from 7:30pm AEDT on 2 April 2019, you can claim a deduction for the business portion. Another thing to consider this EOFY is an in-depth review of all fixed assets.  Have a look at any unwanted assets and consider whether they’re worth keeping around. Sales of unused assets can generate cash and reduce storage costs. Or you might want to look at hiring out items and equipment instead.

Get organised and choose the right professionals to help you do that!

Over the course of a year, your business will accumulate a decent paper trail… even if you’ve moved to the cloud. Sorting through bills, invoices and paperwork can be extremely time consuming if you’re not currently organised. In order to avoid being bogged down next year – choose to plan ahead by chatting with an accountant or bookkeeper.  They can advise on all the necessary records needed and keep everything streamlined for you moving forward. It’s very important to pick the right accountant or bookkeeper. Always look for someone who has the relevant qualifications and are registered with the correct professional body.

Check the Tax Practitioner Board (linked below) to make sure they are a registered agent for lodging Income Tax and BAS. Did you know Bilanz is a registered BAS Agent ready and willing to help your business succeed!

Lodging your Business Activity Statement? check here for registered BAS agents in Perth.   

Bilanz for business logo

Hopefully these tips helped you in some way as you navigate this EOFY (we also heard wine helps too)! As always, we are only a phone call or email away. Please do not hesitate to drop us a line at business@bilanz.com.au if you have any questions about EOFY or our Xero, Quickbooks or MYOB Bookkeeping services! Finally, download this handy checklist below to ensure you’re staying on track: Good Luck!

Checklist for End Of Financial Year