Issue 004 SMEs: Some Accountants Can Help You Add Value
Accountants who are committed to offering business advisory services to their clients will contribute to adding value to their clients’ businesses.Accountants who are committed to adding value are very interested in having discussions with small/medium enterprises about some of the opportunities available in 2017/18.
What’s new in 2017/18?
If your company has a group turnover of less than $25 million and assets, on a group basis, of less than $25 million and the company is not listed on a Stock Exchange anywhere in the world, then your company, irrespective of the company’s age and the type of business you’re operating, will be able to give consideration to raising up to $5 million per annum as capital from the public which, in the legislation, is referred to as the “crowd”.
This process becomes available from 29th September 2017.
To utilise this way of raising capital your current proprietary limited company will have to be converted to an “unlisted public company”. The government has indicated that the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) will be introducing procedures to implement this conversion without excessive cost or time having to be spent on the process.
You might ask why would you think about raising capital?
If you currently have loans in your business from banks, finance companies, relatives, friends etc., then you might like to give consideration to raising capital so that you can pay out those loans.
Alternatively, you may have expansion plans that you would be happy to undertake with finance provided by investors.
There is a potential downside to accepting investment from people who are not known to you. These include:
- you will have other shareholders in the business;
- there will normally be other directors appointed; and
- obviously, the current shareholders will not own the same percentage of the company as they do at present.
If you are interested in finding out more information about Crowd-Sourced Funding, why not have a discussion with your accountant or alternatively have a discussion with one of the accountants that are listed on the ESS Small Business Website. (See later)
Early Stage Innovation Companies
Do you have a company that is under three years old, that has produced some new products processes or services and you would like to be able to raise capital to commercialise the research and development activities that you have conducted?
If that situation relates to your company, you could be eligible to be deemed to be an Early Stage Innovation Company.
An Early Stage Innovation Company can raise any amount of capital however there is a restriction on the amount of investment that a retail investor can make; this is limited to $50,000 per annum.
We expect that many investors will be seeking well-run companies that could be deemed to be an Early Stage Innovation Company because investors will be able to obtain a tax rebate of up to $10,000 for a retail investor and $200,000 for a sophisticated investor. Investors will also be able claim capital gains tax exemption. if they hold the shares for longer than 12 months and less than 10 years.
If you are interested in finding out more information about an Early Stage Innovation Company there are some articles on Early Stage Innovation Companies on the ESS Small Business website.
The government is issuing new grants all the time. One of the most recent grants is for the Mining Equipment Technology and Services Industry, where grants of up to $3 million are available for a consortium of businesses which collaborate for the development of new technologies.
Business plans are like maps for tourists; if you don’t know where you’re going to go how are you going to know when you get there?
An accountant, who is committed to offering business advisory services, can act as a facilitator for the preparation of a business plan. This will ensure that a professional business plan is prepared which can be used as a “living document” to guide your team in their day-to-day activities as they strive to achieve the targets set out within the business plan.
Every business should be preparing Budgets and Cashflow Forecasts at least on an annual basis and then monitoring actual performance against the Budgets and Cashflow Forecasts. Accountants committed to offering business advisory services can assist you in this process.
Board of Advice/Directors
Running a business is very lonely. You can help in overcoming some of that loneliness by establishing a Board of Advice or Board of Directors, which would meet on a monthly or quarterly basis, to review performance and to act as a group of advisers in assisting you to plan the future operations of your business. Your accountant can assist you in the organisation of a Board of Advice/Directors.
Succession planning is something which should be thought about within a business on a regular basis. Succession planning is not just for the owner or key management personnel. Succession planning applies to virtually every position within a business.
Some Accountants Can Help
Accountants who are committed to offering business advisory services to their clients and other businesses can help small/medium enterprises with the items which we have discussed in this article.
If you would like to talk to an accountant who is committed to supplying business advisory services, please visit www.esssmallbusiness.com.au click on “Find an Accountant/Adviser” and then enter your postcode.
You will be supplied with the names and contact details of accountants/advisers located in or near your postcode who are committed to providing business advisory services to small/medium enterprises. If you wish you can then contact them to have a conversation about the types of services they can provide.
If you wish to receive future editions in the Empowering SMEs series, you can visit our iTunes – Podcasts - Empowering SMEs and subscribe to our podcasts. If you have any questions or suggestions on future items to be covered in Empowering SMEs, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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Empowering SMEs Episode 004 - SMEs: Some Accountants Can Help You Add Value
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