Update your accounts to benefit from Covid-19 financial support

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Despite the availability of several support packages for companies from all three levels of government, many companies struggle to understand what is available, how to access it or if they are eligible, according to accountant and tax advisor Coco Hou.

“There are many types of assistance and grant programs available, but unfortunately business owners are too busy, tired and stressed out to deal with the challenges and complexity of working through all of the different options that exist. ‘offer to them,’ said Coco Hou.

“Not only do they not know what they are entitled to, but they don’t have time to complete the grant applications. This is something that can be resolved quickly for business owners, but because so many businesses are under pressure and have been for a while, their accounts are very late and need to be updated.

Coco Hou is a Chartered Accountant and Managing Director of Platinum Accounting Australia, a national business advisory, accounting and tax agent service specializing in helping business owners, start-ups, entrepreneurs, trusts and large companies to grow and prosper. The company has a growing network of licensees across the country.

“As we help many companies apply for grants and other types of financial support, we find that one of the biggest hurdles we need to resolve is keeping the accounts up to date,” Hou explained. “To be eligible for many of the types of support offered, you must be able to demonstrate the impact of the pandemic on your business and to do so, accounts must be up to date.”

Hou urges companies to focus on updating their accounts and offers four tips for executives:

Put away your books

“In order to apply for most of the grants and financial aid offered, you must provide past feedback to demonstrate the impact on sales,” Hou said.

“A lot of businesses are short on time and owners don’t have time to update their books. My advice is to find an accountant who can help you. Many accounting firms also offer bookkeeping services. Ask other business owners if they can recommend someone who is good but not too expensive to give you time to update things quickly.

Adopt cloud-based accounting software

“Take this opportunity to move your accounts to a cloud-based system that you can access from anywhere,” Hou said. “Programs like Xero are free up to a point, or the monthly price is negligible. Moving your accounts to a cloud-based system will make your life as a business owner easier and also allow an accountant to work on your accounts from anywhere. It will also speed up the process of updating your books.

“Plus, you can also use apps that integrate with your accounting software, such as Hubdoc, which allow you to scan receipts and automatically add expenses to your accounts. Be smarter about the way you do things.

Asking for help in applying for financial assistance

“Your accountant should be aware of all the types of grants and financial assistance available. This is their job. If not, find another accountant, ”said Hou.

“They should be able to explain not only what kind of support and assistance is available, but also how you access and request it.”

Move fast and connect with other business owners

“The sooner you take action, the sooner you can get the financial help you need,” Hou added. “Some types of assistance will have cut-off dates and others will have specific requirements.”

“Chat with other business owners in your area, as well as business owners in your own industry outside of your region. This way, you are more likely to find out what other companies are doing when it comes to support and what kind of grants they are applying for. “Ask them how they approached things and get advice on how best to maximize success. “

Hou stresses that the important aspect of all of this is to make sure that companies update their accounts as quickly as possible. “This is vital and with the help of a good accountant it can be done quickly – and it has to be done to access all the assistance on offer,” she said.

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