Pocket Money: Finance For The Young And Young At Heart

Pocket Money: Finance For The Young And Young At Heart

Important Tips Before Hiring a Debt Collection Agency

Posted by and Uncategorized | Comments Off on Important Tips Before Hiring a Debt Collection Agency

A debt collection agency can help you collect on old debts and save you from all the work and effort of setting up repayment plans and other options with your clients and customers. But hiring debt collectors is not something you want to do haphazardly, as you want them to be effective but also to act within the law. Note a few simple but important tips for hiring a debt collection agency. 1. Check their licensing and insurance  Each area will have different laws when it comes to debt collection, so you want to ensure you choose an agency that is properly licensed. This is so you know that they will adhere to the law in your area. You also want to check on their insurance, because even if they seem very professional, there is always the chance that someone may say that they acted too aggressively or did something to violate the law. You don’t want to pay any such claim yourself, so ensure the agency has adequate insurance. 2. Note if they have a specialty Some agencies will specialise in collecting from corporate clients and some will specialise in collecting from individuals. Some might also work more with small businesses or within a certain industry, such as construction or retail. Whatever your business or industry, check on the specialty of any potential agency and choose one that has a history of helping clients like you. 3. Ask about their skip tracing abilities If a debtor skips town to avoid paying debts, a debt collection agency should have access to many different types of databases in order to find them in another city or state. It’s good to ask about their skip tracing abilities so you know how many of those databases they can access in order to find those debtors that move often or that have not left any type of forwarding address. 4. Contingency versus flat fee A flat fee means that a debt collection agency will charge you a certain amount, whether or not they actually recover debt. A contingency fee is a percent of the amount they do recover. If you have dozens if not hundreds of old accounts, such as from credit cards that go unpaid, a flat fee may be good as the debt collection agency will need to work constantly to recover those amounts. If you have fewer but larger amounts owing to you, the contingency fee can be the better choice. Be sure you’ve compared them thoroughly before making your...

read more

A Guide To Commercial Office Insurance Cover Options

Posted by and Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Guide To Commercial Office Insurance Cover Options

If you run a small business from office premises, it’s important to make sure that you have all the right elements of insurance cover in place.  Just like home insurance, commercial office insurance has a number of different cover options you can choose from to form a comprehensive policy.  Here’s a guide to the options available to you to help you make sure you’re adequately covered. Buildings cover If you own office premises you must be insured against damage from flooding or fire, and you’ll need a buildings cover component in your policy.  If the property is rented, this insurance should be covered by your landlord, but double-check before omitting this element from your policy cover options. Contents cover Even if you don’t require buildings cover, you will need to insure the contents of your office against damage, loss or theft.  It’s worth having your office contents valued by your insurer before you take out cover to make sure that you’re not over or under-insured.  Remember to include items like laptop computers, tablets, mobile phones and other portable devices that may be taken off-site by your employees during the course of their work. A commercial insurance policy differentiates between fixtures and fittings, and contents.  This means that you’ll need separate cover for things like carpets, shelving, fixed units etc.  Similarly, if you carry stock at your office premises, this will need to be insured under a separate cover element and valued accordingly. Shop front cover An area of cover that is often overlooked is the front of your office premises.  This applies if your office has an exposed frontage looking out over the road outside.  You may have an awning, signage or a large, plate glass window which could be vulnerable to damage and as such this should be covered under your insurance policy. Business interruption If you were unable to run your business due to damage caused by a disaster to your premises or loss or theft of equipment, your losses would be covered if you have ‘business interruption’ cover.  This is another frequently overlooked cover option that could mean the difference between your business staying afloat or going under if you were unable to operate for any length of time. Legal expenses cover In the event that you found yourself on the wrong end of a law suit, legal expenses cover would protect you from the cost of defending a claim for issues like employment disputes, customer complaints or tax queries. In conclusion Owning a business is hard work and can be stressful.  Making sure you have adequate, comprehensive commercial insurance cover in place gives you the peace of mind to focus on running your office without worrying about what you’d do if things went wrong.  Discuss your requirements with your business insurance broker to find out...

read more

Choosing your independent financial planner

Posted by and Uncategorized | 0 comments

A financial planner can be a good help when it comes to these tough economic times. They can assist you to save your money, invest and finally make it grow. These professionals can also assist you in tackling a certain financial goal say, buying a new house. However, financial planners are in plenty and just as with any profession, they are not all good. You need to know how to pick the right one considering you’ll be taking money advice from them. Here are some expert tips to know before picking one out. Certification The most significant credential you need to look for is the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certificate. This shows that the planner has been through a vigorous test and knows all there is about the details of personal finance. CFPs are a good start because they need to continue their education on matters concerning financial issues and ethics. Consider their pay structure With planners, there are those who charge by the hour, flat rate or commission based ones. Commission based planners earn their income as commission when someone sells stock or from an investment. These are the planners you should try and avoid when starting out. They may have personal interest in convincing you to make a bigger investment just because they’ll get something from it. A planner who charges by the hour would be your best fit particularly if your needs are fairly simple. These ones are usually much cheaper. Don’t fret if you get one that’s just starting out. They’ll go through great lengths to build their business because they rely on your recommendation. Look for a fiduciary This simply means that the planner has sworn to act in the best interest of their clients at all times and without bias. This is a very critical factor. Investment professionals that are not fiduciaries are usually have lesser standards. They can get you a deal or investment that is simply suitable for you but not necessarily critical or ideal for your situation. Conduct a background check You need to know if your client has been involved in any queer behaviours. Ask them if they’ve ever been under investigation if even if they turned out to be innocent. You should also try and connect with their previous clients who had interest similar to yours and get their view of the planner. Google the planner, search for whoever administered their credentials and give them a call to ascertain it’s valid. For more information, check out companies such as Maddern Financial...

read more

Instant Money? 3 Factors to Consider for Taking Cash Loans

Posted by and Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re currently unemployed or need access to quick cash in between paychecks, cash loans may be just the solution you’re looking for—you simply need to be over 18 and a resident of Australia to apply. Cash loans are financial products that provide instant money to people who are unemployed or are facing some type of financial difficulty, so that they can take care of their urgent financial situation. When applying for cash loans, make sure you keep the following factors in mind. Cash Lenders Need to Verify Income Cash loan lenders usually are more lenient than banks when it comes to credit ratings, so you’re more likely to get advance cash loans, but the loan company will check your financial situation before finally approving your application. Cash loans are usually approved and processed on the same day with the funds deposited in your bank account. Usually companies will ask for the following documents. Your current bank account transaction history A utility bill with your address and name A photo ID Your insurance card Most recent pay slips A current income statement if you receive Centrelink payments (Centrelink is part of the Australian Department of Human Services and offers payments to eligible individuals who are going through major changes) Understand the Terms and Conditions of Cash Loans Keep in mind that cash loans are different from taking regular loans. Read through the terms and conditions outlined by the lender, so you understand them clearly before making the decision to take the loan. This allows you to avoid unnecessary expenses that you may not have realised existed. Because cash loans are smaller sums, lenders usually charge a higher rate of interest and allow a shorter period for loan repayment. The interest rate and payback time may vary with different cash loan lenders. Borrowing Amount Differs Cash loans are usually short-term loans taken for smaller sums of money to meet urgent financial requirements. The amount you are eligible to borrow will depend on your lender, your monthly income and your credit history. Some lenders will limit the amount you can borrow on your first loan and may offer you higher sums after a certain period of borrowing—you must always check the criteria requirements of each lender before you decide on one. Some cash loan lenders may carry out credit checks, while others may ask for references. It’s important to check with different lenders such as Mobile Money Australia if you’re taking cash loans to get the best possible deal you can...

read more

Asset Based Loans

Posted by and Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are seeking to finance the purchase of new equipment for your business, you might want to consider an asset based loan (ABL). What is an asset based loan? An asset based loan is a business loan secured against company assets.  Asset based loans are set up to offer a revolving line of credit.  This means that a business is allowed to borrow money secured against its assets to meet expenditure or investment as required on an ongoing, rolling basis.  An ABL can provide a useful injection of finance to a business that is experiencing temporary cash flow problems or that needs working capital for growth and expansion through the purchase of new equipment. What types of businesses qualify for asset based loans? Asset based finance is usually offered to stable companies of small to medium size that have assets available for financing.  These assets may be in the form of premises, high-value plant and machinery, inventory and accounts receivable.  Any assets that are to be used as collateral must not already be pledged to another lender, nor must the company have any major tax issues, legal cases outstanding or accounting problems that could mean the assets are encumbered. The ‘borrowing base’ The borrowing base refers to the amount the lender will offer you as a loan.  The borrowing base is calculated on the determined value of the assets you have pledged as collateral.  In the case of accounts receivable this figure is usually between 75% and 85%.  For equipment and inventory the figure is lower, at around 50% or less. The borrowing base fluctuates because the value of the assets against which it is secured are variable.  This is because of depreciation of plant, variation in property values linked to the general economy and settlement of receivable accounts.  For this reason, your lender will regularly inspect your company ledgers and assets to update the value of the borrowing base while the loan is in force. Due diligence and the cost of the loan Before an asset based loan can be offered, the lender will complete its ‘due diligence’ process.  This process enables the lender to determine the value of your assets, check for encumbrances on the collateral and inspect your company accounts.  The cost of your ABL will be dependent on how much you are borrowing, the type of assets you have and the perceived risk to the lender.  In general, loan costs are calculated using the annual percentage rate (APR) which can be anything between 7% and 17% depending upon current market conditions. In conclusion If you are seeking finance for the purchase of new equipment for your company and your business owns significant assets, an asset based loan might be the ideal solution.  Contact your business financial advisor to determine whether an ABL would be right for you.   For more information, contact a business such as SMA...

read more

Are You Eligible For A Tax Refund?

Posted by and Uncategorized | 0 comments

Tax refunds can provide a significant financial relief to anyone during these hard economic times. What you need to ask yourself is, are you eligible for a tax refund, and if yes how can you claim it? According to the Australian authorities, one must satisfy at least one of the following conditions in order to be eligible for a tax refund. You have been an Australian resident for at least half the tax year (6 months). you intend to be or have been an Australian resident continuously for six months or more during which time you will be working and living in the same place. You have continuously worked for one agency or employer for four months. You have continuously worked for more than one employer for five months. If you satisfy any of the above statements, then you are eligible for a tax refund. The amount, you can claim, will depend on several factors, such as the type of work you have been doing, the amount of tax you have paid in relation to your earnings and your personal situation. Workers who have been in Australia for more than six months are considered residents for purposes of taxation and are subject to a maximum of $18,200 tax-free earnings if they have been in the country for a full tax year. In case you currently do not reside in Australia but have previously worked and paid tax there for a considerable time, there is still good news. Those of you who were once employed in Australia on a temporary visa, for example, working holiday, are also entitled to a refund on their superannuation contributions. Superannuation contributions are contributions made by your employer towards pension. In case you qualify and cannot file for a tax refund yourself for whatever reasons, there are several registered tax agents who can offer assistance for a fee. However, if you have the time, you can avoid paying fees to agents and file for your refunds through the government’s online services such as, myTax and e-tax. Most tax refunds filed online are processed and issued within 12 business days. A final reminder to all those who wish to claim a tax refund, make sure you have all relevant documents such as payslips and receipts in order to make the process smooth. If you have misplaced some of the required documents, you should make an effort to replace them before filing for a rebate. For more information, contact a business such...

read more

8 Kinds of Deductions You Can Claim from Your Tax Returns

Posted by and Uncategorized | 0 comments

When filing your tax returns in Australia, you can claim deductions for some expenses that directly relate your income. These allowable deductions are subtracted from your total income to arrive at the income. Allowable deductions must not include capital, domestic or private expenses. In cases where the expense is both work-related and domestic or private-related, you can only claim a tax relief for the work-related portion. Discussed below are some of the work-related deductions allowed by the Australian authorities. To make a deduction claim, you must have incurred the expenditure in the course of earning your taxable income. Travel and vehicle expenses Trips from between your place of work and home are considered private travel and are, therefore, exempted from allowable deductions. However, trips and travel expenditures directly related to work can be claimed. Clothing, dry-cleaning and laundry expenses The costs incurred in purchasing occupation-specific clothing, unique distinctive clothing and protective clothing is exempted from taxation. However, expenses on typical work attire such as suits are considered a private and are not deductible from your taxable income. Gifts and donations You have at one time or another offered donations or gifts to other organizations in your official capacity. Gifts and donations can be taxable or tax-exempt depending on the status of the recipient. For gifts to deductible gift recipients (DGRs), you can make tax deductions. Home office expenses You may be eligible to claim deductions for home office expenses including electronics such as computers or phones that you are required to use for work purposes. Records for such must be kept to assist in the tax claim. Running costs for the home office equipment may also be deductible. As a general rule occupancy costs are not deductible for an employee. Dividend, interest and other investment income deductions If you incur expenses earning dividend, interest or other investment income, you can claim a tax deduction. Self-education expenses For studies that are work-related, you can claim a deduction. Recipients of taxable bonded scholarships can also claim a deduction. Equipment, tools and other assets If you buy equipment, tools and other assets to aid you in earning your income, you can make a deduction claim on all or some of the cost. Other deductions There are other several expenses that you can make a deduction claim on that are not mentioned above. As a basic rule, if the expenditure was to earn income, you can claim it—over time or as an immediate deduction. To receive as large of a tax return as possible, consider talking to taxation services such as P. Stokes & Co (Aust) Pty...

read more

4 Benefits of Hiring an Accountant Rather Than Doing Your Own Taxes

Posted by and Uncategorized | 0 comments

When it comes to tax time, there’s no reason to panic or get overwhelmed. Hiring an accountant to handle your taxes for you can be the best choice for alleviating the stress of preparing your taxes on your own, but he or she can also offer you some other benefits as well. Note why everyone should consider hiring an accountant to work with them throughout the year and to prepare their taxes come tax time. 1. Laws change from year to year Last year you may have been able to claim certain deductions, or certain expenses were not counted as deductions, but this year the laws may have changed. You may be in a higher or lower tax bracket, or there may be other changes that will affect your overall tax bill. An accountant will stay current on these laws and ensure your taxes are filed accurately. 2. It’s easy to overlook deductions This is especially true for homeowners, parents, and those who operate small business owners. Many of their expenses can be claimed in order to lower their tax bills, but it’s easy to overlook these deductions if you don’t know you’re eligible. Your accountant will know about all these deductions and will know to ask you about your situation so he or she can claim every deduction that applies to you. 3. You need to ensure all your paperwork is in order A surefire way to be audited by the government is to be missing paperwork or to use wrong forms on your tax returns. When you make a deduction you need to have certain paperwork included in order to back up your claim, and you may need to provide other forms to prove income and assets. Without this paperwork you may set yourself up for an audit and this can prove to be both unpleasant and costly. An accountant can ensure that all your paperwork is filled out accurately. He or she can also ensure it’s included with your taxes and that you have the copies you need for yourself once your taxes are filed. 4. An accountant can help you with an audit If you are ever audited, an accountant can be there with you during that time and ensure all questions are answered. This can reduce the risk of getting a tax bill after the audit. It can also make the process much less stressful on you overall. For more information, check out companies such as Brookman...

read more