SEO Friendly Title: Geelong bookkeeping & Xero accounting services

Flexible bookkeepers servicing Geelong & Torquay

At Diligence Bookkeeping, we help businesses reduce their bookkeeping time while keeping bookwork up to date with our custom Xero bookkeeping services for Geelong and Torquay. Not only will you stay up to date, but our bookkeepers ensure you can access and update your data on the go, so your business always remains compliant. (more…)

Bookkeeping Services

SEO Friendly Title: Bookkeeping services for Geelong & Torquay

Professional bookkeepers save your business time & money

At Diligence Bookkeeping, our motto is “we do books so you can do business”. Our bookkeeping service is the hassle-free, professional financial management Geelong and Torquay businesses can trust.

Our bookkeepers work with more than 150 businesses across a variety of industries and sectors, so we know how to create custom bookkeeping services, tailored to suit your business needs.

The best time to start is now. Call Diligence Bookkeeping for a full-time bookkeeper, Xero support in Geelong or Torquay or advice about tax obligations.

Why choose our bookkeeping services?

At Diligence Bookkeeping we have the experience and software to simply and streamline your bookkeeping – so you can manage everything from the one place, including:

We specialise in simplifying data entry with Xero bookkeeping in Geelong and Torquay, making it easier for you to run your business efficiently and cost-effectively.

Bookkeeping can seem like a tedious task, and it’s easy to let the bookwork pile up until it seems like a literal mountain of paperwork. With the right bookkeping services, there’s no need to waste your weeknights or weekends buried in the books.

Our Geelong bookkeepers take the time to get to know your business – including your goals, budgets and financial management processes. We help you get ahead of your bookkeeping, so you can focus on getting ahead in your business.

Xero Services

SEO Friendly Title: Xero bookkeeping services, Geelong & Torquay

Call the team at Diligence Bookkeeping for Xero bookkeeping in Geelong, Torquay or the surrounding areas. No matter whether you want to transition from existing bookkeeping software, or are looking for the best system for your new business, our team has you covered.

Our Xero bookkeeping services make it super easy to run your business, with a range of tailored add-ons and setup options to suit your industry and business needs.

All Xero bookkeeping services and software is based in the cloud – meaning you can access your business data anywhere and any time.

Get in touch with us and see the difference. Give Diligence Bookkeeping a call and one of our friendly team will be in touch with you today!

Tailored Xero accounting services

At Diligence Bookkeeping, we deliver customised Xero accounting services and software, designed to simplify doing business. Many business bookkeepers find themselves facing a mountain of paperwork, and often leave the bookwork until it becomes tedious and time-consuming.

It doesn’t have to be! Doing the books is fast and simple with Xero accounting services through Diligence Bookkeeping.

We take the time to get to know our clients and their business, providing personalised Xero bookkeeping services including:

Don’t let old, outdated accounting systems hold your business back. Talk to us about seamless Xero conversion for Geelong and Torquay businesses. We take all your data from your existing system and transfer it as part of our Xero software setup service.

Xero bookkeeping business solutions

Xero bookkeeping makes it easy for business owners to track invoices, receipts and payments and manage all business data and reporting from one place. Ask us about how Xero bookkeeping can help improve your business processes, from payroll services to budget planning.

Contact the team at Diligence Bookkeeping to transform your business with Xero bookkeeping.


SEO Friendly Title: Torquay & Geelong bookkeepers news

Our Geelong and Torquay bookkeepers stay up to date with the latest bookkeeping services technology, ensuring our clients can meet all their financial and taxation requirements without losing sleep at night!

The team at Diligence Bookkeeping are the local experts when it comes to advice about Xero bookkeeping services and data entry processes, helping more than 150 businesses improve their payroll management, BAS preparation and bookwork.

Our Clients

SEO Friendly Title: Diligence Bookkeeping clients in Geelong & Torquay

What our clients say about our bookkeeping services

Diligence Bookkeeping works with more than 150 businesses across Geelong and Torquay. See how our bookkeeping services have helped our clients with Xero conversion, data entry, BAS preparation, payroll management and more.


SEO Friendly Title: About Geelong & Torquay bookkeeping services

Experienced bookkeepers for local businesses

Get Steve To Call You

Founded in 2012, Diligence Bookkeeping is a team of bookkeepers working in Geelong, Torquay and along the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula for a large range of clients across many industries.

Led by Steve Miller, an experienced financial planner and lecturer, our team specialises in high-quality, custom Xero bookkeeping, data entry, payroll services, BAS preparation and assistance with tax planning.

We pride ourselves on its professionalism, teamwork, and workplace flexibility in delivering world-class bookkeeping services and compliance for our clientele. Diligence Bookkeeping also partners with Geelong Premier Bookkeeping and Torquay Bookkeepers to provide regional and professional bookkeeping services far beyond what smaller firms can provide.

The best way to get to know us is to have a meeting with our bookkeepers, which we will gladly do whenever it fits the busy schedules of small business people. A no-obligation, no-cost meeting is a great way to start and get to know one another. More often than not it’s the beginning of something great.

Contact us today to find out how our bookkeeping services make doing business easier.


SEO Friendly Title: Contact Diligence Bookkeeping

Torquay and Geelong bookkeeping services

Give the team at Diligence Bookkeeping a call to experience the difference top-quality, personalised bookkeeping services make for Geelong and Torquay businesses. We work closely with our clients to improve data entry, BAS preparation, payroll management and more with custom Xero accounting services.

Diligence Bookkeeping
128 Yarra St
03 5222 8886

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Bookkeeping Services: Tax Planning & ATO support

SEO Friendly Title: Tax planning & ATO support

Geelong & Torquay bookkeepers providing ATO support

Getting a call from the Australian Tax Office is something all business owners dread. From time to time most business owners will need to talk to the ATO, and this can be a daunting, stressful and uncomfortable time for anyone. However, with our Torquay and Geelong-based bookkeepers by your side, Diligence Bookkeeping will give you the support and assistance in any and all negotiations.

Our experienced staff have completed many hours of negotiation on our clients’ behalf. We have a great track record of removing or reducing penalties, interest and other costs associated with the ATO.

Our expert team has also been able to structure suitable payment plans on our clients’ behalf to help them receive the best overall outcome for their business. This allows for any business owner to get back on track with their business operations quickly and efficiently, with peace of mind knowing everything has been taken care of.

You don’t have to go through your ATO meeting alone. Give Diligence Bookkeeping a call today and talk to our friendly staff about how we can help and support you through your next ATO meeting.

Whether you’re being audited or they just need to speak with you regarding a set concern, we can help you through each step of cleaning up and collating information, including:

Get in touch today for more information.

Tax planning & tax returns

Diligence Bookkeeping works with accomplished tax advisory and even legal advisory partners on a regular basis for our clients. We team up in order to deliver the best returns.

Tax time can be a stressful time for many people and business owners. With the obligation of putting in a tax return each year, it’s even more important to get it right the first time to avoid any conflicts with the tax office. Being proactive when it comes to your business or personal tax returns is key to whether you’ll get the best return and results possible. This is where we can help you.

At Diligence Bookkeeping we’re proud to help everyday people and businesses with their tax returns to help them get the most back at tax time. Our professional team goes that one step further to talk to you and understand your past, present and future better and ensure all aspects of your business are considered when preparing your tax return.

Without proper preparation and knowledge, you and your business could lose thousands of dollars – which could have been saved if the return was filled out correctly. Our team of professional bookkeepers can help collect and fill out your tax returns correctly, so you can receive the best possible returns for your business or personal life.

Too many hours go into your business and when you lose money on your return, it can hit you and your family hard.

For more information on how we can help you to get the best returns for your tax return, contact us and make your appointment today. Our team is ready to help you get the most back from what you put into your life and business.

Bookkeeping Services: Payroll

SEO Friendly Title: Payroll management, Geelong & Torquay

Professional payroll services

Get professional setup and payroll management with Geelong’s Diligence Bookkeeping. We can set up and manage payroll and HR systems to ensure your team gets paid the correct amount on time, every time.

The greatest asset of any business is its team. Keeping your team satisfied is a key responsibility of leaders, ensuring your employees perform at their best. The quickest way to poor morale and high turn-over of staff is mismanagement of their pay. Unfortunately for many businesses, this occurs more than you may actually believe. Because of this it’s important to have a professional on hand to help you keep your payroll and HR systems in check.

Our payroll services include:

Benefits of payroll management

Operating a large business with multiple employees can be time-consuming and stressful at times. Free up your precious time as an owner to focus on building your business and doing what you do best with the help of our expert team here at Diligence Bookkeeping.

Our payroll management team helps businesses:

Our payroll management services have helped many businesses over the years to keep on track with business operations and to keep employee morale strong within the company for more productivity and less turnover.

Get in touch today for more information on how we can help you with the management and setup of your payroll and HR systems.

Bookkeeping Services: BAS Preparation

SEO Friendly Title: BAS preparation in Geelong & Torquay

Do you know if you need to lodge a BAS statement? Talk to Geelong’s BAS preparation experts at Diligence Bookkeeping about your obligations. Whether you’re stuck behind mounds of paperwork, or falling behind your BAS deadlines, we can streamline your processes.

With registered BAS agents in Torquay and Geelong, Diligence Bookkeeping specialises in helping our clients manage cashflow, avoid ATO penalties and keep your business afloat.

Pick up the phone to talk to our experienced team today.

Save time and money with BAS preparation

In some cases, people are not aware of their obligations to lodge a BAS statement. You are required to lodge a monthly or quarterly BAS statement if your revenue or sales exceeds $75 000.

It is vitally important to keep accurate records and reporting about expenses, wages, payments and all financial transactions made through your business. This ensures you can fulfil your obligations with the ATO, claim entitlements and determine any liabilities before they escalate.

The first step in BAS preparation is to complete a BAS audit, where our team will perform a thorough check of your paperwork and systems to determine if there are any mistakes or errors.

Many business around Geelong and Torquay rely on paperwork and bookkeeping the old-fashioned way, leaving the heavy weight of responsibility on the shoulders of the business owner, partner or a friend.

If BAS preparation means spending hours and hours pouring over the books, chasing receipts, payments and invoices – it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

At Diligence Bookkeeping, we can prepare and lodge your BAS statements, or help you with our Geelong and Torquay Xero software set up services to make BAS preparation simple.

With Xero accounting services, payments are easily reconciled, and lodging a BAS statement is as simple as clicking a button. There’s no drowning in stacks of paper, just clean, simple efficiency.

But don’t worry if the tax man has come to call – as registered BAS agents, our team can call the ATO on behalf of our clients to mediate issues and negotiate payment plans that work for your business.

Call our Geelong bookkeepers for advice about BAS preparation, including:

We can also help with payroll management and data entry to make it easy to reconcile everything come BAS time.

Bookkeeping Services: Data Entry

SEO Friendly Title: Data entry bookkeepers, Torquay and Geelong

There’s no better time than the present to get your bookwork up to date. Don’t panic if you’re behind – just call our bookkeepers in Geelong and Torquay. We can overhaul your data entry processes and get your bookwork cleaned-up in no time.

In business, things can get busy. When starting up a new business, many owners don’t go into their enterprise thinking that they’ll spend their nights and weekends typing up overdue invoices, finding receipts or completing data entry tasks that should have been done weeks ago.

The professional bookkeepers at Diligence Bookkeeping specialise in data entry for more than 150 businesses in Torquay and Geelong, including:

How our data entry bookkeepers save you time

In a business setup, the bookwork involved is one of the least rewarding and most tedious tasks that is required of business owners. Unfortunately, due to a lack of knowledge, understanding and overall time, many business owners often put their bookkeeping aside while dealing with other more pressing issues. Because of this it can lead you to be behind on a mountain of bookwork that seems never ending. This is where we can help you.

At Diligence Bookkeeping we take pride in offering our services to help you catch up on your bookwork. If your books are behind, don’t waste precious time on the weeknights or weekends which could be spent with your friends or family.

Our professional team of Geelong bookkeepers are skilled and dedicated in helping you get ahead of your bookwork in a quick and efficient manner. You no longer have to push aside new contracts or jobs because you’re trying to keep up with the bookwork.

Being up to date with your bookwork also makes tax planning easier, and can prevent untimely disputes with the ATO.

Get in touch with our friendly staff today and give our experts your mountain of bookwork. You’ll see in no time at all, all your books will be up to date in a quick, accurate and cost-effective manner without delay.

Bookkeeping Services: Budgeting

SEO Friendly Title: Budget planning for businesses in Geelong & Torquay

No matter the size of your business, accurate budget planning plays a key role in how you run and develop your business. At Diligence Bookkeeping, we work with more than 150 businesses across Geelong, Torquay and the surrounding areas.

Our experienced bookkeepers have worked with businesses across a huge range of industries, so we know how to create a budget that fits your business.

Do I need professional budget planning?

There are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if our budget planning services could help your business:

If you’re not sure, or have limited experience in budgeting, don’t panic – you’re not alone!

This is where the Diligence Bookkeeping team comes in handy. While you know the ins and outs of your business, we know the ins and outs of bookkeeping – and together we can plan the best way forward for your business.

Our professional budget planning team helps local business owners in Geelong and Torquay:

We can help businesses with budget planning for a range of different financial targets and ensure accurate measurement and reporting. Knowing how your business is performing enables business owners to make educated decisions for business growth and longevity.

At Diligence Bookkeeping, we recommend the industry-leading Xero bookkeeping services to make budget planning simple. Our team can help with custom Xero software setup in Geelong and Torquay to deliver the best results for our clients.

Please contact us for advice about budget planning across Geelong and Torquay.

Xero Services: Xero Add-Ons

SEO Friendly Title: Xero add-ons for Geelong & Torquay businesses

Xero add-on software has the ability to completely transform your bookwork, making it easy, fast and cost-effective to run your business. At Diligence Bookkeeping, we help businesses benefit from Xero add-ons in Geelong and Torquay.

No matter the size of your business, your profit, your employees or your industry, our bookkeepers can provide advice and recommendations about the best Xero add-ons to make managing your books a dream.

Customised advice about Xero add-ons

We’ve worked with more than 150 local businesses across Geelong and Torquay, ranging from trades and hospitality businesses to retailers, health care providers and professional services. We can devise a custom integration or Xero conversion from existing accounting software.

At Diligence Bookkeeping, we get to know your business and your processes, so we can recommend the best Xero add-ons to streamline:

Our friendly and experienced bookkeepers can provide a breakdown of the pros and cons of each Xero add-on, ensuring you get a highly tailored Xero software setup that meets your business needs and budget.

Give our friendly team a call today and see the difference Diligence Bookkeeping makes for yourself!

Xero Services: Xero Software Setup

SEO Friendly Title: Xero software setup & conversion in Geelong & Torquay

At Diligence Bookkeeping, we’re proud to provide Xero software setup services that deliver the best results for our clients across Torquay and Geelong.

Errors in the set up of your software can be time consuming to fix and costly to your business. Our team of professional bookkeepers have the knowledge, experience, and overall understanding of how to get your Xero software setup right the first time, including a straightforward Xero conversion for data from your existing software.

Custom Xero software setups

Get the professional help you need to set up Xero bookkeeping services in Geelong and Torquay with Diligence Bookkeeping. Our team works closely with your business to set up a Xero software system, customised to your:

Why choose Xero software for your business?

Customised Xero software setups help business owners manage their financial obligations. These programs have the ability to really save time and money for business owners through extensive and accurate real-time analytics and reporting properties.

The problem is that not all business owners know how to set up Xero software programs correctly, based upon your business needs and what you need the system to do. This is where we can help.

Our bookkeepers can tailor a Xero software set up to simplify your data entry and streamline all your bookkeeping obligations, from BAS preparation to payroll management.

Xero conversions in Torquay and Geelong

At Diligence Bookkeeping, our team has provided hundreds of hours of Xero support for Torquay and Geelong businesses, working with owners in many industries to set up accounts and Xero software the right way.

We specialise in Xero conversions – meaning we can take your data from existing software and transfer it over to a highly personalised Xero software setup. We can convert data from MYOB, Reckon, Quickbooks and other accounting software for a smooth, simple and fast Xero conversion.

Our experience with both large and small businesses gives us the edge and experience that you need to help get your financial bookkeeping accounts up to date and ready for business.

Call Diligence Bookkeeping to set up your new bookkeeping program. Our Xero conversion and software setup services can help you to get back to business in no time at all.

Xero Services: Xero Support

SEO Friendly Title: Geelong & Torquay Xero support services

Diligence Bookkeeping provides professional Xero support in Torquay and Geelong, allowing our clients to save time and money and get the best results out of their Xero software. Our team has worked with small, medium and big businesses in various industries, so we know how to maximise and manage Xero software.

Xero support, tailored for your setup

Our experienced bookkeepers provide specialised Xero support, determined by your specific Xero software set up. We offer personalised teaching and education for businesses to get the most out of our Torquay and Geelong Xero accounting services.

We aim to make it as simple as possible for businesses across Geelong and Torquay to receive the Xero support they need, whether over the phone, via email or in person.

In business, keeping your books in order can be a challenging and daunting task – especially when you’re starting up a new enterprise or it scales faster than you thought it would within the first few years.

Many businesses start to struggle as bookwork piles up due to a lack of knowledge, experience and understanding of how to manage bookwork.

This is where Diligence Bookkeeping can help you. Our professional team of bookkeepers can help train business owners to manage their books in an efficient and effective manner.

Whether you have a small, medium or large business, our Xero support team can help you understand your role as your business’s bookkeeper and how to fill out your bookwork accordingly to ensure there are no mistakes and everything is up to date when tax time comes around.

We can provide Xero support and training for:

Our Xero support and training solutions give business owners the edge when it comes to managing their business more efficiently. If you’re a business owner struggling with bookwork and looking for help and training to organise it better, we can help you.

Give our team a call today and find out how we can help you manage your business bookwork more effectively.


Scrappy Freelancer to Premiere Digital Agency – How Diligence Bookkeeping Transformed A “By-The-Hour” Consultant Into A Profitable, High-Impact Marketing Company!

In this blog post, our CEO Steve Miller talks about how Diligence transformed a little marketing consultant’s scrappy freelancing business model into a profession and profitable Digital Marketing Agency!

Dean is a superstar in digital marketing.

He reads more marketing, leadership and technology books than most people read newspaper articles. He is well educated, tech-savvy and a Guru of all things on the Internet.

His consulting business came to Diligence to assist with the menial and basic bookkeeping tasks behind a small entity. However, during the conversation, we also discussed his business model and the way he makes his money.

We discussed his income profile, which is something most people don’t discuss.

(In fact, a lot of people are afraid to even discuss it!).

We talked about whether his business makes money on a predictable or unpredictable basis. We probed further, and then got talking in regards to whether his clients and him knew what they were going to make on a month-to-month basis.

What we found out was that Dean only charged by the hour, which left him in an unpredictable holding pattern which leaves so many freelancers caught between chasing work and fulfilling the work.

When we found out this, we sent him away with a few ideas for his business.

The Result: He’s Now Flying!

We enabled him to make some minor changes in the way he offers his product, which has made some major changes in the way his cash flow and business work.

Rather than being on the hunt for the next client every time he needed income (because the client was engaged on a project by project basis), he is now able to build long ongoing client relationships, rather than having short-term higher and lower income patterns.

Your bookkeeper will see and monitor your income and expense patterns and it’s the interpretation of these that is the difference between exceeding your own abilities and just accounting for them.

Being in business for over 30 years in small business, finance and corporate settings, I’m more than thrilled for our clients (who look a lot like you ;) ) to bounce ideas off and help you predict what might be coming.

Ultimately you might come to Diligence Bookkeeping because you need a bookkeeper but you might find yourself with a lot more than just a solution for your GST issues.

Looking to see how you can improve your cashflow profile in your business? Contact Us Today and ask for Steve – he’s looking forward to hearing about your business and discussing how we can help you build a better business!

Become A Financial Triathlete – The Three Pillars To A Prospering and Profitable Business Owner

In this blog, Diligence Bookkeeping CEO Steve Miller reveals his business-profit blueprint that enables local business owners to make the most of their tax planning this financial year.

Recently it dawned on me that to really get the best tax outcome there are three different disciplines you need to master, a little bit like a triathlete.

As you know, a Triathlon consists of three key disciplines: Swimming, Cycling and Running. The key in a triathlon is not only to do only a single discipline well but to exceed in all disciplines in order to win the race.

Funnily enough, Business (in particular, taxation outcomes) is just like that.

So I’m calling The ultimate businessperson “The Financial Triathlete” because you need to be able to master the three key pillars: bookkeeping, accounting, and finance; to be able to get the most tax effective outcome for any financial year.

Bookkeeping: The Swim Leg – Where it All Begins!

Let’s start here. If you’re doing your books incorrectly, it’s all going to be a nightmare at the end of the day. As the old computer saying goes “Garbage In, Garbage Out” and it’s totally true for your Business’s financials too.

If you ensure that your bookkeeping is cost-effective, timely, and accurate, then it’s going to be a lot easier when it comes to predicting financial outcomes for your banker. With the right information, your banker can successfully determine how they can assist you in raising finance for tax-effective investments towards the end of the financial year. Now that – that’s smart!

But before I go any further, let me please reiterate the key point here.

Before we move onto the next discipline, let me ask you this: Are you operating your accounts in such a way that it makes it easy, and that reconciliation and tax affective investment is recognisable and deductible?

Accounting: The Cycle Leg – Build Upon A Great Swim!

The second layer is the accounting, because with affective accounting you can look forward into the new financial year and make investments That align with your business goals.

The accounting component needs to be balanced with the bookkeeping and finance. This is important because the treatment of your different expenses and investments needs to be in harmony with your ability to make those investments and project into reports for your banking.

Finance: The Run Leg – Finish Strong And Get Your Best Taxation Outcome!

The third discipline is finance. What we mean here is this:

A great example of this is somebody who wanted to Reduce their total income after having a very successful first nine months of the financial year. There are a couple of ways they could achieve this, one would be to make investments back into their business, another way would be to prepay expenses for the following year. Neither of these possibilities is going to be able to be taken advantage of and if they don’t have either money in the bank or access the borrowed funds.

If you are not prepared or fit, you will miss this opportunity.

Would you like a little bit more information on how you can be more prepared And more tax affective? Contact Us Now and ask to speak to Steve on how you too can become a Financial Triathlete in your business today!

Torquay business using Xero to manage cashflow

One of Torquay’s best cabinetmakers is a guy called Robert. He is a bit of a legend down on the Surf Coast and like most businesses in the region his busiest time of the year is summer and around Christmas. Robert does put his family first though and loves to get away in January and take a well earned holiday. When he gets back to the tools at the start of February he usually has to outlay a fair bit of cash for new materials, as the investment is needed to kick start the business back into action.

What this means is that when it comes time to complete his BAS from December and pay the GST owing, his cashflow is at its lowest and his capital has taken a battering with the holiday and the new materials, while not doing much in actual sales. This is actually a pretty common problem for many business owners, especially tradies.

One solution for this is to go cap in hand to the bank and get an overdraft to smooth out the bumps in the business’s cashflow. Robert wasn’t keen on this so he asked us at Diligence Bookkeeping to find a better solution for him that would help his business and not leave him vulnerable to the banks.

We took a two-step approach to this problem.

Out first action was to move Robert’s books onto Xero accounting software. This meant creating a database to store all of the accounting information onto the cloud, which is safe, secure, fast and so easy to use.

Second step was to make a call to the ATO. Our registered BAS Agents can do this on behalf of our clients and save them all the time of being on hold and talking to the tax office. Under Robert’s direction we were able to negotiate a plan with the ATO, that allowed Robert to complete a payment plan that fitted his budget, ensured there was no penalty interest and got him back on track ready for the rest of the financial year.

This is a real win:win for Robert, as he can manage his cashflow, avoid bank or ATO interest and work to a plan that works for his business. Most businesses do not understand the inner workings of the ATO, so it is really important to engage someone who has the experience and can lead you towards these types of solutions.

Especially if you are a Torquay or Surf Coast business, and you have been affected by either the floods or recent fires, you may be able to negotiate some favourable outcomes with the ATO to help you through these tough times and Diligence Bookeeping are to help guide you through the process.

Why cooking the books isn’t such a great idea

Ignore this tale at your peril – Cooking the books could kill your business

Recently in Geelong another new restaurant closed. This new restaurant had been going for two years and in its first two months was very well received and very successful.

The owners knew that although one was good as a chef and the other was good with the front of house and customers, neither of them were good at the bookkeeping.

From day one the front of house manager started paying staff “off the books”, because he didn’t know how to do payroll. What this meant was that every time he had to declare income he was declaring a very high income because he could not deduct his largest expense, his staff.

When bills arrived, he would only partially pay every bill, with the idea that he would save a little bit of money on each bill in case he needed some for the next bill. What this meant was that he never fully paid any bill.

And herein lies the problem…

When it came time to do his BAS statement he was unable to claim his GST on partially paid bills and as such was not getting a very good BAS return at all. He had good income (too good in fact) but he was unable to claim the GST on his expenses.

Within a few months it became very clear that he had to start listening to what his bookkeeper was saying, particularly to do his payroll properly and fully pay each invoice so that he could claim his staff expenses and claim his GST return properly.

Within the first 12 months we calculated that this front of house manager cost his business over $10 000 in deductions and because the books weren’t able to be correctly completed, the bookkeeper ended up spending a great deal of time just to reconcile the partially paid invoices. Effectively every invoice had to be worked on at least twice, some even more.

To make things even worse, he continued to pay suppliers in cash. The outcome of paying cash for his produce was that he couldn’t claim a deduction for these supplies, again making his income seem higher, and increasing his GST bill.

He sometimes paid personal expenses from his business account and business expenses from his personal account. The issue of using his personal account for business expenses was that to accurately capture his deductions his bookkeeper needed to go through two bank accounts, not just one.

By doing personal expenses in the business account, it meant that the bookkeeper had to continue to charge these expenses to his personal income which also meant that there was a double handling of his affairs.

The saddest part of this story is that all along this business had an extremely well-qualified bookkeeper helping them. The problem was that the front of house manager did not fully hand over the responsibility for the bookkeeping to a person with adequate skill and experience.

It is quite common when people start a small business that they either ignore the bookkeeping or they hand the bookkeeping to somebody without appropriate expertise.

In the case of this restaurant, it is very clear that if they just had listened to their bookkeeper they would’ve had better cash flow and would have been able to pay invoices properly, record them accurately, disclose them to the tax office, and receive the full returns they were entitled to.

In many cases it is the spouse of the business person that gets thrown into the deep end of bookkeeping. Often they do not call for help until they are almost drowning.

Many times new systems can be created, backward reconciliations can be done and negotiations with the tax department can be conducted by qualified BAS agents, but not always.

If you are starting a new business or managing the bookkeeping for someone and you know that you could use some support, the sooner you call out for that support, the better.

Recently the expert bookkeeper that was sent to help that restaurant called us to say the restaurant was for sale. Sadly even when the business was for sale the poor bookkeeping and incomplete paper trail was going to cost this business a lot of money because the person buying the business was not going to see the full strength of what begun as something wonderful.

It is important to mention that after six months of trying to assist this business, we were told that the bookkeeping should not be taking so long and that we should be getting him better returns. When we explained why the systems were not working he was not prepared to change so we parted ways.

It seems the saying that “you can’t help someone who is not prepared to help himself” is true.

Are you concerned that you too may be playing with “ATO Fire”?

Even if you’re just a little concerned, we encourage you to contact us immediately to see whether you’re on the road to cashflow success or business death by a 1000 cuts.

Give us a call today – we are here to help!

Using Xero and a bookkeeper saves you money

Rob has been a truck driver for 25 years. He can drive any truck there is, and has the licenses to prove it.

He has always preferred to be the subcontractor rather than being an employee, as it gave him better flexibility and tax deductions. He always used to say that once he made $1200 for the week he would go home and spend time with his family, rather than taking on too much. This was in the time when $60 000 per year was enough to provide a very good standard of living.

In 2011 Rob accepted an offer to work on a gas pipeline in Queensland. Long days and great income were normal, and Rob moved his family to a newly purchased home in Geelong. There looked like being no further problems ahead for this honest, hard working man.

The problems started when Rob started to make over $75 000 per year – that is the threshold for having to lodge GST returns.

Because Rob didn’t love doing his bookwork he always made a point of at least saving every envelope in the side door of his truck. Even though a lot of the envelopes were not open, he had everything. In that pile of papers was the letter that said he had to register for GST.

Keeping documents is an important part of good bookkeeping. However what Rob wasn’t doing was reporting back to the ATO what he was doing each quarter, and because he didn’t have a BAS Agent he had no access to the ATO to know what they were expecting from him.

When Rob decided that the next step was to buy his own truck, he needed his books to show the bank. The bank also asked to see a copy of the ATO portal printout for Rob. This is where the plan fell over, but because Rob had kept all of his documents it made the catch up a lot easier.

Rob had an accountant five years ago, who, for many years had done his work and who had done a great job. But this accountant retired and Rob moved from New South Wales to Geelong.

Rob didn’t know many people in Geelong and he was very busy with work, often working seven weeks in every eight.

As with many sub contractors, Rob was unsure about who should be paying superannuation, what his BAS obligations were, whether he should have registered for GST, and where he stood as far as tax was concerned. Because Rob was so busy on the pipeline when he moved to Geelong, he started to earn over $75 000 per year consistently. This meant that Rob needed to register for GST. It also meant that Rob should have lodged many BAS returns.

Unfortunately the result was that the ATO garnished Rob’s account one Friday just before Rob was about to pay his mortgage, as there were many fines and much unpaid GST.

The phone call we organised and made to the ATO (as Rob’s new BAS agents) was a bit scary for Rob, because he thought he was going to be in very big trouble as he had been garnished.

In fact when the call went a lot better than expected, Rob was able to relax a bit and we agreed that we would meet each time he came back from the pipeline, with a view to reconciling his tax bill and getting his plan back on track.

Rob worked three weeks on and one week off for eight months and successfully paid off all of his back taxes and in that same time, with our help and by using Xero, reconciled all of his transactions.

During the process Rob started to gain confidence in his financial situation and together we were able to negotiate a payment plan for the ATO that meant there was enough money remaining to renovate his family home.

After eight months Rob was ready to work a lot closer to home and asked for our help to create a business plan for buying a new truck. When Rob went for the loan, his house value was higher, his ATO portal report was clear, his income was good and stable, and he was successful in applying for enough money to buy his own truck.

Because Rob had been using Xero and because it’s such a simple to use system, Rob now had confidence that he would be able to understand and operate the books in his new business, after such a difficult time.

It is over one year since Rob successfully applied for funding for his new truck now and now he is looking for a new driver for the second truck!

Rob’s invoices are made automatically for his regular monthly truck hire rates. All payments are easily reconciled through Xero, and when it comes time to lodge his BAS return, it can be done with the press of a button and it is extremely fast and cost effective.

The most interesting result for Rob is that for what he used to pay his accountant he is now getting all of his bookkeeping done instead of doing it himself, and he’s getting his BAS statements lodged for the same price.

This is what Xero can do by adding confidence, access to information and ease of use.

While Rob was away working he could log into his Xero account at the same time as his bookkeeper and discuss how the plan was going. Obviously when he was in Queensland, phone calls to home were more special and important to him than the call to the bookkeeper, however he did say that the calls to the bookkeeper made it a lot easier to keep going for the last eight months up north.

He says now that he has caught up and has had great help, he will “never look back.”

We say welcome home and well done.

How to free up 5 hours a week in your business with Xero

This story is one that will show you how Tony, a small business owner was able to free up five hours a week every single week in his business by moving to Xero bookkeeping.

Tony has an earthmoving business. To be ready to start work at 7am he needs to be up at around 5am. There is plenty to do. He loads the excavator, bobcat and truck, fills everything up with diesel and drives to the first job for the day.

Once on site he conducts the safety checks, drives the machinery, removes concrete, dirt, trees and whatever else the owner or developer requires. At the same time he is responsible for taking phone calls from new clients and discussing new projects. He rarely has time to make a packed lunch or cook himself a hot meal to bring on site.

At the end of the job he cleans up, packs up, puts grease on his machines, loads everything back onto the truck and trailer and goes to his next job. Day after day he repeats this process.

Tony’s wife works shift work and has never really been great with numbers. She mightn’t be great with numbers but she is a fantastic nurse. By the time they both get home from work they are exhausted and on weekends when they finally do get some time together, it is the only time they have to try to fit in some bookwork. Tony sits at his old computer trying to find all the bits of paper and enter in all the jobs into his MYOB system that was set up for him a while ago.

It takes hours and there is plenty of other stuff he would rather be doing.

On 1 July he contacted us to see if we could do his tax and to see if there was a better option for his bookkeeping. Of course there was.

Two nights later he was logged into his new bookkeeping system with Xero. So, in 48 hours we were able to get him set up and transfer his bulky MYOB stuff over to Xero including all of his contacts and addresses.

It soon dawned on Tony when we showed him the Xero app for his iPhone that he would be able to do his invoicing from the site, so that the customer paid him to complete his invoice before he left the site rather than that job having to be done on his time when he finally got home to his wife.

As he started making invoices we kept adding the invoicing and inventory items like Bobcat hire, truck hire and concrete removal and gave them little codes.

We did this while sitting next to him (showing him how it was done along the way) and because Xero is all one system, as we loaded it he could use it. Tony was so happy.

We were also able to load the whole year’s worth of bookkeeping into Xero in a really short time, for the purposes of his tax return for 2014-2015. This also translates to saving hundreds of dollars in accounting fees.

Because Tony banks with ANZ he was able to download an entire year of transactions for each of his accounts and with a bit of help loaded them straight into his Xero the following day. His Xero was populated with all the info and ready to reconcile for his tax return.

Tony saw first-hand that with great software and support he and his wife were going to:

Tony does about 20 jobs a week. Each invoice before Xero used to take him around 10 minutes to complete and he often left it to the weekend. Because he would often wait till the weekend, he always missed out on time with his family. Not only that, he always found things to get distracted from doing the invoicing, so his three hours of invoicing often took him five or six hours – that’s a whole day gone just trying to get paid by his clients.

With his iPhone app for Xero, Tony thinks he’s going to be able to complete an invoice in five minutes and do it before he leaves the customer site – and even email the invoice before he drives off.

He says it’s a revolution and any tradesman can really benefit from it.

Neither Tony nor his wife want to become bookkeepers and never did, they just wanted to run a successful business.

Now with the right systems they don’t have to become bookkeepers and they can get on with the job.

Looking to free yourself up like Tony? Contact us now and find out how Diligence Bookkeeping’s services can help you get your business back on track!

Xero accounting services for Geelong bookkeepers

Recently Diligence Bookkeeping in Geelong, was approached to do the bookkeeping for a bookkeeper! Peter is a great bookkeeper, and was so busy that he never had time to do his own books. Incredibly it meant that he was over four years behind in his returns.

In some ways this was great news. Peter was able to help us to bring all of the data from the last four years into the right format, and very quickly show us the pattern of his trading. Once we had this it was really easy for Diligence Bookkeeping to create a database for him.

Peter’s database was set up on Xero accounting software within 24 hours. By converting his digital bank records and paper transactions into data it was possible to complete four years of bank reconciliations in just one day. This meant that Peter could lodge all of his old returns, and essentially catch right up in no time at all.

Is this possible for any business person? Simply, yes. Although the process of getting the transaction information into raw data is sometimes time-consuming, once that has been done it is possible to group all of the data alphabetically and not by date. Once data is sorted alphabetically it doesn’t matter how many years of data there is, if the transaction says BP, it is very likely fuel and so bulk transactions can be treated in one go.

It is important to note that in all cases where you want to claim a deduction, you must keep the receipt for that expense. It is likely in the event of an audit that if there is no receipt, there will be no allowable tax deduction.

These kinds of solutions for “leaky taps” are very possible and the conversation that needs to be had with the ATO is one that Diligence Bookkeeping have had for many of our clients successfully in the past.

Geelong bookkeepers advice about subcontractors

Employee or contractor? That is the question.

Advice from our Geelong bookkeepers about how the ATO views your subcontractors and the expensive audits that come along with it.

Charlie is a plumber in Geelong, who has been working here and down the Surf Coast for years. He now has five guys working with him that he pays every week, but one of his guys, Tommy, is only keen to work three days a week, so the question arises, is Tommy still a subcontractor, or isn’t he?

The drama started with a call from the ATO stating that Charlie was about to be audited – and just before Christmas. What a nightmare for him!

When Charlie first engaged Diligence Bookkeeping to look after the bookkeeping needs of his business, a full filing and records audit was conducted and the last seven years worth of records were put in order as a part of the Diligence Bookkeeping service, as requested by Charlie.

He was very smart to have had this done, because when he called us to say the ATO wanted to audit him, it was pretty straightforward, even though they wanted wage records, super payment records and more, all the way back to 2012. The ATO also asked for the lists of contractors that he had engaged, for as far back as 2012, including an invoice from each, their ABN, address and contact details.

What the ATO was looking for was whether Charlie was actually correctly subcontracting, or whether he was dodging his employer obligations by subcontracting instead.

In the end over 70 contractor invoices were provided from the past four years, all were complete with all the correct details. However, there were a few contractors who did not send through tax invoices, even though Charlie had paid them.

One missing invoice was from Tommy, the three-day-a-week cruiser. As a part of the generosity shown to Tommy, Charlie always paid superannuation into Tommy’s super fund account, with a view to covering a potential liability he had heard about where a subcontractor should get their super paid if they don’t work for many other contractors during the year.

So what happened with the audit?

The outcome went as follows:

  1. The subcontractors who hadn’t provided invoices that included an ABN will be getting contacted by the ATO for their own audits. They should always have quoted their ABN and are likely to face strict penalties for avoiding the tax that comes with this. Also, if they wish to work for Charlie again he has to withhold 49 percent of the payment until he is provided with an invoice that includes an ABN. It is also the responsibility of Charlie to ensure the ABN is valid by searching it out on the ABN Lookup website.
  2. Tommy was assessed by the ATO as an employee and now Charlie has to pay sick pay, holiday pay and superannuation for his slackest guy. Why? Because Tommy’s payments were almost always the same amount, they happened weekly, he got super paid by Charlie, he didn’t often give quotes for jobs, and his invoices rarely if ever included materials. Even his business marketing was shoddy – no Facebook, website, yellow pages, nothing. So when the ATO looks at it, it all says one thing.. Tommy is not running a business he is an employee.

Charlie got lucky this time as no penalties were imposed, but he was staring down the barrel of back-pay and “entitlements” for Tommy as well as being held responsible for “failure to withhold PAYG (as you would for an employee).”

What is there to learn from this..?

The final lesson to be learnt here is to talk to your tax agent, bookkeeper or accountant early to avoid being caught out some time in the future when you least expect it.

Transitioning from MYOB to Xero software in Geelong

How Diligence Bookkeeping helped a Geelong business simplify their accounts with Xero software.

In 2010 Charlotte and her husband went to their accountant. Her husband Ben, is an expert polisher, one of the best in Geelong, and she is raising four young children. The accountant told Ben, that he should “get MYOB software and do his own books to save money.” Although he is an expert polisher he is not an expert with computers or software or bookkeeping for that matter.

This became evident when in 2012 the family brought their books back to the accountant. The accountant got upset and said “I told you that you should get some bookkeeping software and do the books yourself.” After a difficult and disagreeable meeting it was suggested that Charlotte do the books for the family business. The accountant told Charlotte “this is exactly how you do it. Don’t worry about how Ben used to do it. I want you to do it this way from now on. Ideally I want you to go back through what Ben has done and also do it exactly this way.”

Charlotte tried and tried over the following year to do the past two years and the current year using the software, and at the same time trying to learn how to become a bookkeeper and raise four young children while Ben was at work.

In 2013 when Charlotte and Ben returned to the accountant, the accountant said that Charlotte and Ben were “hopeless.” Shortly after that the accountant informed them that he was no longer willing to “help.”

After much disagreement with Ben, Charlotte agreed to try again and started compiling her books and the all the mail from the tax office. At the school crossing one day Charlotte saw one of the Diligence Bookkeeping cars with the contact details on it, and gave the number a call. Immediately Charlotte was shown the Xero software package and how it was able to capture large amounts of information. All of the past financial years were compiled into the database.

Because Charlotte had all of the information she was able to compile the data for:

In total the family had five accounts at the tax office. It was a complex structure and very difficult to comprehend.

Last week, after four months of working through the last few years worth of transactions together, Charlotte was able to say that she was totally up to date and she had lodged all of her outstanding tax and BAS lodgements to the ATO. With the help of the Diligence Bookkeeping BAS agents, Charlotte was able to negotiate payment plans on those accounts that she was able to afford and that the ATO would accept.

In summary, somehow it became Charlotte’s fault that:

If you ask us that’s just not fair.

Now she’s up to date and Diligence Bookkeeping have put systems in place to keep her up to date and she is a very happy mum again. She has learned a great deal about the systems and software, and will do some work herself and whatever she does not get done, she knows who to ask.

As a final note, when our BAS agent told this story to the ATO they showed clemency. They remitted all of Charlotte’s fines (over $17 000) and her interest too.

It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t her fault and now she’s moving on thanks to the ATO, Xero software, her persistence and the help of her bookkeepers.