Taking Opportunities/Upgrading Your Accountant's Role

Empowering SMEs (Issue 068)

Greetings from ESS Small Business – government clarifies ongoing support from JobKeeper and JobSeeker.

The Australian government made a number of very important announcements this week, including the JobKeeper extension which, from 28th September 2020, will comprise 2 tiers with a reduction in the fortnightly payments payable to people who qualified at 1st March 2020.

Tier 1 applies to people who were worki15323708g more than 20 hours per week at 1st March 2020.

Tier 2 applies to people who were working less than 20 hours per week at 1st March 2020.

In both cases, the people must still be employed by the business/charity.

Tier 1 payments from 28th September 2020 to 3rd January 2021 will be $1,200 per fortnight and from 3rd January 2021 to 28th March 2021 will be $1,000 per fortnight.

Tier 2 payments from 28th September 2020 to 3rd January 2021 will be $750 per fortnight and from 3rd January 2021 will be $650 per fortnight.

For businesses/charities to be eligible for JobKeeper payments after 28th September 2020, the business must have suffered a 30% turnover reduction in the June 2020 and September 2020 quarters, when compared to the corresponding quarters in 2019.  From 3rd January 2021, the turnover test will also include the December 2020 quarter.

There is an expectation that two-thirds of firms will lose their JobKeeper subsidy payments as these new regulations are brought into account.  The government also announced that, from 28th September 2020, there will be changes made to the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Loans.

A new loan limit of $1 million will be introduced for terms of up to 5 years, with these loans being available for negotiation with banks and other financial institutions until 30th June 2021.  The Australian government will still guarantee 50% of the loan amount, but the ability to have 6 months interest holiday will not apply.  The loans can be used for purposes beyond working capital.

As part of the supporting evidence for the loan applications, businesses will need Budgets, Cashflow Forecasts, Business Plans, financial accounts and taxation returns for the year ended 30th June 2020.

If you have been accessing the JobKeeper Programme, we suggest that you calculate whether your business/charity qualified on the June 2020 quarter turnover performance.

If you wish to apply for the new 50% Government Guaranteed Loans, we suggest that you contact your accountant to prepare the required documentation at your earliest opportunity.

In the next COVID-19 Survival Panel webinar for SMEs, to be presented on Wednesday, 29th July 2020, Matthew Pinter, Managing Director of Billfolda (a Crowd Sourced Funding Intermediary) and the chair of the “Crowdfunding Industry Association”, will make a presentation “Taking Opportunities in a Crisis”.  Matt will highlight the opportunities that companies have to raise capital direct from the public, which wasn't an option in earlier crises such as the Global Financial Crisis.

Peter Towers, Managing Director of ESS BIZTOOLS, will be the other keynote speaker on 29th July 2020 and will discuss the opportunity that businesses have to upgrade the services that they require from accountants, more in line with the types of services that would be expected from a Chief Financial Officer.  What this means is that your accountant would be available to supply financial input on a range of business matters, not just the preparation of annual financial accounts in the preparation of an income tax return.

During the COVID-19 Coronavirus, thousands of accountancy firms have provided a broader range of services to assist SMEs to prepare the information required by the Australian Taxation Office to access the JobKeeper Programme and also to apply for loans from banks which required the preparation of Business Plans, Budgets and Cashflow Forecasts and other information to support the loan applications.

Click here to register for the free webinar on Wednesday, 29th July 2020 at 12-noon AEST.

In the last COVID-19 Survival Panel webinar for SMEs, Renee Chilton, Acting Regional Manager, North Queensland, AusIndustry, gave an interesting summary on the grants and other support available from the Entrepreneurs' Programme which has 140 expert contacted consultants available all round Australia to assist businesses with a range of free programmes and grant programmes which includes the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant, which is a grant funding of up to $1 million, on a 50% contribution basis, to assist companies with turnovers from $0 to $20 million to fund expenses necessary to complete the “commercialisation phase” to bring a new product, process or service to a situation where the first commercial sale can be completed.

“What Can Management Accounting Do For Your Business?” was the title of the presentation by Kevin Thiele, Director, Working Better.  Kevin is an experienced accountant who utilised his knowledge of management accounting to give an interesting overview of the uses that businesses can make of cost accounting reports prepared by a “management accounting process” which supplies significantly more information to assist in the successful operation of a business, then the annual financial accounts that are primarily prepared for lodgement with the Australian Taxation Office.

You can view the recording of our most recent webinar, targeted at small businesses and medium-sized enterprises, by clicking here.  You can view the PowerPoint slides that were utilised by Renee Chilton and Kevin Thiele by clicking here.

We would like to invite you to visit the ESS Small Business website è Survival in Difficult Times è Learn More where you will find details of the products ESS Small Business has developed to assist small businesses and medium-sized enterprises to gain a better understanding of strategies which will assist you to survive in your business during 2020/21.

If you would like to have a discussion with us relative to the implementation of strategic planning strategies for your business and possibly getting investment ready to be able to raise capital, why not contact us and we can arrange for a free Zoom webinar presentation to be made to you to give you a better understanding of how this process works.  If you are interested in accepting our invitation or wish to obtain any further information about the services that ESS Small Business or our affiliated accountants offer, please send an email to:

If you have a friend or colleague who you think might find this article interesting, we invite you to pass the article on to them.

Stay safe!  Have a great day!

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Episode 068 - Taking Opportunities/Upgrading Your Accountant's Role

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