Business Activity Statement (BAS), GST, PAYG (for employers) and income tax (for sole traders) are mandatory for every business. Make sure you submit these on time – you'll be fined if they're late.
Mandatory GST, BAS, PAYG and income tax
Victorian businesses need to complete GST, a Business Activity Statement (BAS), PAYG (for employers), or income tax (for sole traders).
Set aside a day to do all your monthly tasks – and after a few months it should take less time. You'll be more savvy at identifying issues, and there will be less to do after taking action.
How to do stay on top of payments
- Complete all data entry into your bookkeeping system.
- At the beginning of each month, run reports to show what tax payments are outstanding from the previous month.
- Prepare your monthly tax compliance returns, such as BAS and PAYG.
To help you manage these mandatory financial tasks:
- consider opening a separate bank account, and transfer tax payments due from income received – then they're ready for payment when tax is due
- make sure you have the right bookkeeping system for your specific needs.
Mandatory superannuation tasks for employers
You must complete these tasks if your business employs people.
How to do stay on top of payments
- Keep accurate records of all superannuation allocated at each pay date for each employee.
- At the end of the month, run a report that summarises all superannuation due.
To help you stay compliant:
- consider paying monthly – instead of quarterly – to keep on top of payments
- if your business has 19 or fewer employees, get help paying your super with the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House.
Business loan tasks
You only need to complete these tasks if you have a business loan.
How to stay on top of payments
- Review your business and personal loan summary document.
- Prepare any compliance requirements to send to the bank.
- Make sure all loan repayments have been made for the previous month.
If you're struggling to pay your loan, it's best not to ignore it. Talk to your bank before you default on your loan.
Monthly updates of cash flow
If you're looking at your cash flow, you'll be able to see potential problems before they happen and work to avoid it.
How to do update cash flow
- Complete bank reconciliation for each business bank account so bank statement balances match your bookkeeping bank balance.
- Update your cash flow forecast.
So that the forecast remains current and useful, update your cash flow forecast at least once a month with actual cash flows.
Outstanding debts from customers
Most cash flow problems are due to late payments from customers. Having the following procedures in place will improve payment times.
How to do keep on top of debt recovery
- Run a report that shows all outstanding income from customers (in most bookkeeping systems this is called an 'Aged Debtor Report').
- Review and highlight customers with overdue payments.
- Prepare customer statements from your bookkeeping system and send to all customers with outstanding debts.
To make debt collection easier:
- make sure new customers sign your terms and conditions for supply of goods or services – list them on each invoice for good invoicing practice.
- have followup debt recovery procedures, including a phone call and email
- consider stopping supply or payment plans for extreme late payers or larger bills.
Prepare your profit and loss statement
Review key activities against your monthly profit and loss statement to see issues quickly and save money. Compare previous periods or industry benchmarks to find additional key areas to focus on.
How to do review key activities
- Run a profit and loss report from your bookkeeping system for the previous month.
- Compare this report to last month, last season and/or last year results for the same period or industry benchmarks.
- Update profit and loss budget for the actual months results and review if the budget profit is still achievable.
If you're not sure how to read a profit and loss statement, we recommend booking and appointment with the Small Business Bus to receive free business advice from an experienced mentor.
Back up all business data – locate offsite
Your business will be up and running faster if you have a backup of data you can restore, in case of fire, flood, IT failure or theft.
How to do back up data
- Choose your method of data backup – your accounting software may be able to do this for you automatically.
- Run your data backup process once a week, or check the automated process is working.
When it comes to data backup:
- always keep a copy in a separate geographic location in case of bushfires – try using 'cloud' storage
- see if your accountant offers data backup services.