Weekly Digest – 25 November 2020

Weekly Digest – 25 November 2020

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well. Please read on for this week’s updates and some ideas that will help us all overcome this crisis.

Australia Opens Up More Borders in Domestic Travel

Australia will lift more internal state border restrictions in a boost for tourism as new COVID-19 cases slow to a trickle, while the first vaccines could be available in March.

Queensland will allow visitors next week from New South Wales and Victoria, after closing its borders in August. Meanwhile, NSW will ease restrictions on arrivals from Sydney on December 1 and will allow restaurants, pubs, and cafes to increase capacity.

NSW and Victoria opened their border on Monday, while the South Australia-Victorian border opens fully next week.

Imports Bounce Back, Trade Surplus Shrinks to $4.84 Billion in October

According to recent data, imports of goods for October 2020 increased 8% or $1.98 billion, while exports rose 6% or $1.80 billion. With this, trade surplus for October declined to $4.84 billion.

Australian Shares at Near 9-Month High

Australian shares hit their highest level in almost nine months on Tuesday, led by energy stocks. This comes on the back of news regarding the positive developments of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Employers May Need to Give Employees More Super Choices

A change to the law means that you may need to offer employees more choice in relation to the super fund that you pay their compulsory superannuation contributions to.

All workplace determinations and enterprise agreements made on or after 1 January 2021 must give employees the right to choose their super fund.

Once a new determination or agreement is in place, you’ll need to give a Superannuation standard choice form to:

  • existing employees who request to choose their super fund
  • all new employees.

You must then pay employees’ compulsory super to their nominated fund. We will keep you informed of the updates but please feel free to chat to us if you have any questions.

Missed or unpaid super amounts?

Business downturn due to COVID-19 may be affecting your business and you may have missed, or not paid in full, regular payments.

This includes your employees’ super guarantee (SG) for the quarter ended 30 September 2020.

By law, the ATO can’t extend the due date to pay super.

To meet your obligations, lodge a Superannuation guarantee charge statement by 28 November 2020, even if you can’t pay in full. Doing this will mean you avoid penalties and we can work with you to set up a payment plan that suits your circumstances.

You can find more information from the ATO here, but please contact us if you need any help

Business Growth Fund Launched

The government-backed Australian Business Growth Fund has launched to ensure small- and medium-sized businesses have access to equity finance, as the country recovers from the COVID-19 crisis.

Initially, the Australian Business Growth Fund will have an initial investment capacity of $540 million, with a goal to grow the fund to $1 billion.

The government is making a $100-million investment, while major banks including ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and Westpac have also committed $100 million each.

The fund will allow Australian businesses to apply for long-term equity capital investments between $5 million and $15 million, where they have generated annual revenue between $2 million and $100 million and can demonstrate three years of revenue growth and profitability.

If you need help in assessing your eligibility or to consider other financing options, don’t hesitate to contact us for guidance.

FREE Team Collaboration Tools for Small Businesses

As remote work arrangements have become far more common than ever, team collaboration and communication tools have become necessary to keep the work running smoothly. If you are looking to cut down on your monthly expenses, below are some FREE tools that can help.

Best Tools for Chat

Slack
Slack sorts out team communication into various messaging channels so everyone can stay in the loop. Its free plan will give you access to unlimited messages, video calls, and channels.
Flock
A great alternative to Slack, Flock makes it easy for your team to stay in touch. The free version comes with unlimited one-on-one and group messages, 5GB of storage for each member, and access to up to 10 different channels.
Microsoft Teams
Initially exclusive for companies with Office 365 subscription, Microsoft Teams now has a free plan for small businesses and startups. It is free for up to 300 users, offers unlimited messages and channels, and can integrate with over 140 different popular apps.

Best Tools for Video Conferencing

Zoom
Currently the most popular video conferencing app today, Zoom offers video and private chat options, screen-sharing capabilities, and private chat options. The free plan allows up to 100 participants, unlimited one-on-one meetings, and group meetings limited to 40 minutes.
RingCentral
RingCentral is also a reliable way to host video and audio calls. You can also share screens, record meetings, unlimited one-on-one calls, engage in group or private text chats, and group calls limited to 40 minutes.
Skype
Also a widely used video conferencing tool, Skype provides audio and HD video calls, public and private chats, group calls for up to 25 participants, and screen sharing. What makes Skype unique is its voice translator which supports 10 different languages.

Best Tools for Project Management and File Sharing

Google Drive
Google Drive allows you to collaborate with your team over documents in real time. Signing up to Google Drive also allows you to gain access to Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Trello
An all in one project management tool, Trello boards let you manage every aspect of a project from start to end. Users can assign tasks, due dates, tag other users in comments, share documents, and create built-in workflows.
Asana
One of the best apps for assigning tasks, staying on top of your team’s progress, and improving team communication, Asana is free for up to 15 team members.

Need more expert business advice and tips? Get in touch with us for a FREE one-on-one consultation!

Our new App was launched few weeks ago. Have you downloaded it? 

It was with a great pleasure to launch  our App few weeks ago. Many of of our clients have already downloaded it and have given us some feed back about it. Interestingly, we have noticed that some people who are not our clients have also downloaded the App. We expect more people to downloaded the App in coming weeks. It can be downloaded from App store and Google Play.

The current version of our App is the result of many months of hard work including research, planning and exchanging hundreds of emails and making many phone calls with the company that built the App for us. It will be regularly supervised, maintained and updated by the same company which is an Australian company based in Melbourne.

I sincerely believe that we should use latest technology in our day to day business operation in order to make things easier and better for our valued clients so they can focus on their work and more importantly their life. That is why we are constantly improving our communication and interaction with them. Last year, we introduced our portal which most of our clients are using it now and are very impressed with it. Early this year, we started to send out weekly newsletter to people on our database which is read by many people. Now,  it is the time for us to take the next step to introduce our new App to make things even better and easier for our valued clients.

Some of the features of the App are:

  • Digitally sign your documents. No more printing, signing, scanning, and emailing. So easy.
  • Access your documents anytime, anywhere. So convenient.
  • Be alert and informed about your due dates and important news and updates.
  • Update your details on our system anytime. No need to call us for this purpose.
  • Make appointments with us anytime. No need to call us anymore.
  • Pay your accounts and even refer your friends and loved ones to us anytime.
  • Access to latest news on “Australian Financial Review” and “Australian Stock Exchange”
  • Check how much Stamp Duty you should pay on a property purchase in any state in Australia.
  • More features are also available in one beautiful, secure, and easy to use App.

Instruction to download, register and subscribe

  1. Download “Countax” App from App Store or Google Play;
  2. Click on “i” symbol at the top right-hand side of the screen to register as a user;
  3. Enable “Push Notifications” and subscribe for one or more categories;

Please note to receive our notifications and updates, you need to register yourself when downloading the App.

Download our App TODAY and enjoy great features. You will love it.

Get in touch

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We’re here to help.

Have a great weekend.

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