Category Archives: News

Featured Image

Single Touch Payroll

What is Single Touch Payroll?

If you’re a small business with 19 or less employees, you are now required to use Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting.

This rule came into effect on 1 October 2019 , but many small businesses (up to 70% in fact) are yet to adopt it – despite the fact it’s cheap and easy to get started.

What does it mean for small to medium businesses?

STP reporting allows you to report your employees’ payroll information – including salaries, PAYG withholding and super – to the ATO at the same time as you complete your pay run.

This simplifies your bookkeeping requirements as it removes a step from the reporting process. It also improves the timeliness and accuracy of information you send to the ATO.

How do you get started?

To start using STP reporting you need to be signed up to STP-ready software.

If you currently use accounting software such as Xero, Reckon or MYOB you should be ready to start using STP straight away.

Are there free or low cost options?

There’s a wide range of STP-ready software products available – including a number of options that are either free or cost less than $10 per month.

The ATO website features an extensive list of no-cost or low-cost STP solutions.

If haven’t already started using STP reporting, speak with your accountant or bookkeeper and work together to ensure your business is compliant.

B2B Pay and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

Featured Image

Is it better to rent or buy your business premises?

Setting up a business involves a lot of decision-making. While most people focus on customers, products and pricing, one key decision you need to make is whether you choose to buy or rent your business premises.

There are pros and cons of either approach. But here are some of the key questions you need to ask yourself before you sign on any dotted lines.

What can I afford?

Just like buying a home, buying a commercial property requires a lot of cash. In fact, you generally need to put down a bigger deposit to buy a commercial property – often around 25-50% of the property’s value (plus stamp duty and often GST).

This could turn out to be a great investment if the market works for you. It could also work against you if the market drops and you need to sell to access that money. You also need to factor in the ongoing costs of building maintenance, council rates and other levies that you wouldn’t need to pay if you weren’t the property owner.

Renting is obviously much less of an upfront financial commitment – which can free up more cash to spend on your business. But the downside is you’re helping someone else pay off their mortgage. Likewise, if you invest in renovating your premises, you’re adding value for someone else.

How much space am I going to need (now and later)?

You need to think about the future growth of your business. Being the owner of your premises gives you more flexibility to reconfigure your existing premises (without having to ask your landlord for permission – more on that later). But it also means you’re ‘locked in’ to one site that may not suit you forever.

If you change your business model, shift your focus interstate or simply need a bigger premises, it’s much faster and less costly to make a move when you’re renting.

Am I OK with having a landlord?

One big downside of renting is you don’t have the freedom to make all of your own decisions. You generally have to ask your landlord for permission if you want to make changes to the floorplan, put in a skylight or even paint – which could hold you back from creating the workspace you really want.

Also, if your landlord decides to end your lease or sell the property, you may be forced to vacate the premises and find somewhere else at short notice. Or they may increase your rent each year to the point you can no longer afford to stay.

When you buy, you’re more in control of your own destiny.

Do I want to earn rewards points?

Many business owners are rapid accumulators of rewards points because of the ability to pay business bills on credit card.

While you can’t generally earn rewards points on mortgage repayments, you can use a third-party payment service like B2Bpay to pay your rent – and earn full credit card points (including Amex).

If you paid $240,000 per year in rent and other business expenses using B2Bpay, you could earn:

  • 240,000 Qantas Points (or credit card points) every year, plus
  • 2,400 Qantas Points for your business every year (or even more by paying B2Bpay Bonus Billers).

That’s enough points for 2 x return Business class flights from Sydney or Melbourne to London every year, including approximately $1,517 in taxes, fees and carrier charges.

If you’re renting and looking to boost your rewards points, join B2Bpay free below or click here to find out more.

So what’s the verdict – rent or buy?

Every business owner has their own pros and cons to weigh up, and a hairdresser will have very different requirements to a motor mechanic. The important thing is to do your homework so you can make a decision with confidence, then get on with running your business.

Featured Image

Aussie businesses can now earn Qantas Points for getting paid!

  • To mark a successful first year B2Bpay, in partnership with Qantas Business Rewards, has announced an exciting enhancement to reward Australian businesses even more
  • B2Bpay is now rewarding businesses with Qantas Points when they get paid as well!

Backed by Qantas Business Rewards, online payment platform B2Bpay is revolutionising how SME’s do business and to celebrate the 1-year anniversary since its launch an exciting enhancement has been announced to deliver even more rewards for Australian businesses.

The popular online payment tool announced in April that it will be expanding its reward offering to now also offer additional Qantas Points to businesses when they get paid by customers.

“B2Bpay has had such a successful first 12 months and we are thrilled to be celebrating through introducing a major enhancement to the platform that delivers even more value to Australian business owners and their customers,” says General Manager Kevin Butler.

“We have learnt that many of the SMEs we’ve helped with simpler more rewarding ways to pay their bills also need support with how their customers pay them. Business owners often struggle to know where to start when accepting card payments. B2Bpay offers an easy solution that also boosts lucrative Qantas points balances not only for your business but for your customers as well,” adds Kevin Butler.

Businesses receiving payments on B2Bpay will now earn 1 Qantas Point for every $20 paid to them by Visa or Mastercard and their customer also earns 1 Qantas Point per $100 in addition to the points provided by their credit card.

“The Qantas Business Rewards program makes it easy for business owners to earn Qantas Points on their everyday business expenses and it’s been wonderful to see so many businesses taking advantage of the B2Bpay platform over the past 12 months. In recognition of the first anniversary of B2Bpay’s launch we are very pleased to be expanding rewards to businesses when they get paid,” said Eric Jelinek, Head of Qantas Business Rewards.

Is it easy to get set up?

With B2Bpay, it’s super easy to get set up. Simply fill in our Online Enquiry Form to get started, and we can get you set up within a day with your own branded payment portal. Then your customers can start paying you online, 24/7. What’s more, it’s completely free to get set up. The only cost is the card processing fee, which you can choose pass on to your customers.

So how does it work?


Step 1 – Invoice your business customers
Simply place the B2Bpay ‘pay now’ payment details on your invoice

Step 2 – Customers pay you
Customers click (or enter URL) to pay by credit card on your dedicated payment page

Step 3 – Funds are sent to you
Funds are transferred within 3 business days to your bank account with reference details

For more information on becoming a B2Bpay biller click here.

For more information on the Qantas Business Rewards program visit Qantas Business Rewards.

Featured Image

Download your Tax Statement in a few clicks

As a business, you can likely claim your credit card processing fees as a tax deduction at tax time. The good news is, this is very easy to do using B2Bpay. Simply login and in a few steps you can get a printed statement, download an Excel file or import a file into your Accounting software system (Xero, MYOB etc).  Then all you need to do is share with your Tax Accountant.

Instructions

  • Log in to B2Bpay
  • Click the “View Payment History” button on your Dashboard
  • Once there – select the dates you would like to view (eg. for this financial year you would select 1July 2018 – 30 June 2019)
  • Then select how you would like to download the statement. You will see 3 buttons: Print Invoice, CSV Download and OFX Download (see details of each below).

Print Invoice

This option gives you a printed Statement which shows your customer tax invoice summary

CSV Download

This option allows you to download a CSV file which you can then open in Microsoft Excel

OFX Download

This option allows you to download an OFX (Open Financial Exchange) file, which is a text file containing payment data. You can then import this file into your Accounting Software package (such as Xero or MYOB). See instructions for importing into Xero here, and MYOB here.

Log in

Featured Image

Top tips for Australian businesses this EOFY

End of Financial Year can be a stressful time but there’s some great tools and incentives for Australian businesses to take advantage of this year.

Kevin Butler, General Manager of Australia’s leading payment solution provider Zenith Payments has shared his top tips for this End of Financial Year.

Kevin Butler’s top five tips for Australian businesses this EOFY

 

1. Think about what purchases you could make before 30 June – and use B2Bpay to pay by card so you can ‘buy now, pay later’ as your card statement won’t be due until next financial year.

2. Read up on the now $30,000 instant asset write off scheme – the threshold was recently increased to $30,000 so take advantage of this before June 30 this year.

3. Check out Corporate Prepaid Gift Cards,  which is a great way to use up marketing budgets with branded pre-paid credit cards you can use to reward staff or customers in the next financial year.

4. Use B2Bpay to pay for all business purchases and:

  •  Reduce cash flow concerns by using your credit card’s up to 55 days interest free period;
  • Earn credit card reward points;
  • Pay ATO bills and earn full credit card points;
  • Receive Qantas Points on EOFY purchases and all other expenses

5. Get some advice from your accountant and check out how your business can benefit. You can even earn credit card and Qantas Points when you pay your accountant using B2Bpay!

“The end of financial year is a great time to do some shopping for your business. Businesses can take advantage by maximising tax deductions before the end of year. What’s more, the government’s $30,000 instant tax deduction initiative is a great tax break for small businesses.”

“Cash flow can often limit the ability of businesses to take advantage of these tax breaks. That’s where B2Bpay comes in by allowing you to use your credit card’s interest free days to hold your cash longer” says Kevin Butler, Zenith Payments General Manager.

“Powered by Zenith Payments B2Bpay is an innovative solution that allows small businesses to pay all business expenses via a single, secure online portal.”

“Using B2Bpay will negate the usual loss of points that occurs when paying the ATO directly by credit card. Instead our customers are rewarded with a much-needed silver lining at tax time with full credit card points and additional Qantas Points too.” adds Kevin Butler.

With B2Bpay, business owners can maximise credit card rewards on all payments in addition to boosting cash flow, productivity and tracking of business expenses.

Log in

Featured Image

The upside of Amex changes in April 2019

B2Bpay still the most profitable way to pay all of your business expenses.

On 15 April 2019, American Express made changes to points earning and redeeming rates. You can visit their website here and see how your card has changed.

The good news is, regardless of which card you have; you are still better off using your American Express card to pay all your business payments using B2Bpay to earn credit card points, and to earn Qantas Points on top of that. Although the points transfer value has reduced by up to 50% when transferring your American Express Rewards Points to airline points, the earn rate has doubled or more than doubled on some cards.

As Steve Hui ‘The Points Whisperer’ founder of iflyflat.com.au helps business with strategies to earn more points says “ensuring you have the right card is the first step, then deciding where to travel is the second step”. “Then you can focus on using it to maximise points and that’s where B2Bpay comes in by helping you earn full points on bills like your ATO BAS bill and by earning extra Qantas Points too”.

B2Bpay is reducing American Express card processing fees

Some more good news is that as of 17 April 2019, B2Bpay reduced card processing fees for paying with American Express cards from 2.4% to 2.2% (1.54% after tax deduction) excluding GST.

So which cards earn more points than before?

A good example of this is the  American Express Platinum Business Card and the American Express Platinum Card.

B2Bpay payments fall into the ‘all other spend’ category’ ,with this earning rate:

Before 15 April:              1 Membership Reward point per $1

From 15 April:                 2.25 Membership Reward points $1

In addition to these changes to the points you earn, American Express has also halved the redemption rate for when transferring Membership Rewards points to airline or hotel points.

But, because the earning rate has more than doubled, you are still ahead and will earn more points than before. Plus you will pay the reduced B2Bpay processing fee.  Winner!

Example:

Let’s use paying the ATO as an example of how you can earn even more points using B2Bpay after 15th April…

A customer uses B2Bpay to pay a $10,000 ATO bill (or any other bill):

Before 15 April:

Earn 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points

= this can be transferred to 10,000 Qantas Points

Plus at least 100 Qantas Points from B2Bpay

TOTAL: 10,100 Qantas Points 

From 15 April:

Earn 22,500 American Express Membership Rewards Points

= this can be transferred to 11,250 Qantas Points

Plus at least 100 Qantas Points from B2Bpay

TOTAL: 11,350 Qantas Points

 

 

 

Featured Image

Now you can be rewarded for paying bills and getting paid.

 

Innovative payments fintech B2Bpay has just announced that it will now offer Qantas Points to small businesses when they accept payments. SME’s will receive 1 x Qantas Point for every $20 paid to them via the B2Bpay portal.

The beauty of B2Bpay for small businesses is that not only can they can offer their customers the opportunity to earn Qantas Points when they pay them, but now they can also earn Qantas Points for themselves when getting paid.

Since the launch of B2Bpay a year ago, customers have been earning 1 Qantas Point for every $100 spent via the portal.

B2Bpay General Manager, Kevin Butler said “B2Bpay has been very successful to date and we attribute it to the fact that we are very customer centric and enjoy nothing more than rewarding them for paying their everyday bills,”

“Recently, we decided that we would like to extend the Point earning potential to our billers – small businesses that are accepting payments.”

“Being able to reward small businesses for getting paid is a first of its kind in our industry and we are very excited about it,” Kevin said.

B2Bpay has found a unique angle to provide Australian small businesses with an extra incentive to do business and benefit from processing payments.

 

How do I become a B2Bpay Biller?

It costs nothing for you to become a B2Bpay biller and you can also opt for your own branded payment portal.

We can help you get set up. All you have to do is add a link to your invoices (eg. pay.b2bpay.com.au/ yourcompanyname) so they can start getting paid online via credit card at any time of the day.

 

Get paid quickly and save time and hassle

Getting paid by card is faster and by offering online payments you make it more convenient for your customers to pay you, at any time of the day or night.

Cut down your manual work and time on the phone because you don’t have to cross-check bank statements or card details.

Watch our video on how it all works here.


If you would like to have a chat to us, please call 1300 205 575.

Featured Image

Lease renewal coming up? An experts advice on things to consider

Things to consider when it’s almost time for lease renewal

If your lease is coming to an end soon, there are some important things you need to consider.

  • Do you have any options?
  • Do you understand market rent?
  • Is it time to relocate?
  • Do you have a plan B?

Have a think about your business’s next movements at least 18 months prior to your lease ceasing. Will you change locations? Or will you renew your lease? Or could you negotiate the lease on better terms? Take your time in assessing what is best for you and your business. Consider assessing your options early and the landlord will likely work harder to cooperate with you to avoid a vacant property.

We have listed the various options and some suggestions on how to go about each:

If this space is no longer meeting your needs, you should consider vacating.

Always consider other options such as relocating to a smaller space to fit your budget or possibly returning part of the premises to the Landlord (if the set up allows for this). You need to give your landlord a good amount of notice that you no longer wish to be in this space and that you will be moving on. In a commercial property, you will be required to ‘yield up’ at the end of a tenancy. Depending on your lease, you may have to return the property back to the way you first found it, often including any additions you have made to it. Make sure to have a good read over the requirements in your lease, as each agreement can be different. You don’t want to end up having to pay significant amounts out for works that you don’t have to.

Do you have any lease options?

If yes, what is the length of the option lease and is this suitable for your requirements? Lease options are for the benefit of the Tenant and allows you the opportunity to secure your occupation for a further period of time at your discretion. Ensure you take note of the date by which you must exercise the option and the method of review.

Do you know what market rent is?

I can’t stress to you how important it is to know what market rent is for your property. You can’t always assume that the rent the Landlord is asking for is fair or market. Do your research and find out what similar properties have leased for and if they were offered any incentives. If you are a Tenant under the Retail Leases Act in Victoria or your lease agreement allows, your rent can potentially reduce at a market rent review, so it is crucial that you have this information at hand before you negotiate.

Do you have a backup plan in case things don’t work out how you want them to?

If negotiations are prolonged and your lease expires, it puts you in a vulnerable position whereby your Landlord may give you notice to vacate the property (usually with only one months notice). Commence negotiations on your lease renewal as early as you can and consider what you will do if the negotiations don’t work out as you had hoped. This can include alternative properties that you could lease or maybe other terms that you could agree to in order to secure the lease, for example a five-year lease instead of three.

When the time comes to negotiate, make sure you have done your research and understand the market in your area.

This article was written by Teree Clare from Eve Property Group. Teree assists commercial tents with all their leasing needs – you can get in touch with Teree here.

Featured Image

Take advantage of low-cost, user-friendly technology to transform your business

Transform your business with new technology that can take your company to the next level. You don’t need to be a tech expert to unlock the potential of these easy to use, but effective tools. There’s a range of cutting-edge online tools that will save you time, boost your business and make a positive impact on the bottom line. Check out our top tech recommendations!

  • Make the most of easy-to-use graphic design programs.
  • Create professional customer-responsive email marketing.
  • Increase efficiency and reward your customers with online payments.
  • Sign up for software that will simplify your accounting.
  • Make project management easy.
  • Get those small but necessary jobs done with efficient outsourcing.

1. Graphic Design

Design your own graphics for print, website or social media with easy-to-use online platforms and apps. Ideal for small businesses – these programs have a range of templates that you can drag and drop to create professional designs for your business.

Canva and Crello are graphic design programs that are easy to use for people who are not graphic designers.

Canva uses drag and drop functionality to easily produce marketing materials, design presentations, social media graphics and more. Founded in Australia, there are tonnes of templates and graphics to choose from.  Find out more at https://www.canva.com/ 

Crello is a free, easy-to-use graphic design editor with 30 different formats and 10,000 free and ready-to-use templates. You can create social media images, ad banners, posters, email headers, and other formats. Try it here at https://crello.com/ 

2. Email Marketing

Get to know your customers and give them the opportunity to keep up with your latest offers and news with a professional email marketing campaign.

Mailchimp is a global platform for marketing automation and email marketing for small businesses. Design and send branded emails to your customer base and gather insights on your most successful campaigns. Easy to use, Mailchimp has built-in analytics so you can see who’s opening your emails, what they click on, and what’s working. See what you can create here at https://mailchimp.com/ 

3. Online Payments

Improve your cash flow, get paid on time and reward your customers for their loyalty with Qantas Points when they pay your invoices online.

B2Bpay can set you up with a branded payment portal within 24 hours, so you can start receiving payments online. Receiving card payments has been found to reduce payment chasing by 61% and improve cash flow in 73% of businesses. You can also reduce manual processing (eg. over the phone) in your business, with no cross-checking bank statements or need to store card details. Find our more and get started here https://www.b2bpay.com.au/billers/ 

4. Accounting

Keep track of accounts with reliable accounting software that will make short work of routine tasks, so you get paid faster and keep on top of your business. With a free trial, you can find out if they are a good fit for your business.

Xero is a cloud-based online accounting software that manages your business finances, from paying your staff to better control of your cash flow. Rated highly for customer satisfaction, Xero is recommended by consumer review and comparison website Canstar Blue, with a five-star rating for ease of use, ease of integration, reporting, value for money and overall satisfaction. You can see Xero for yourself at  https://www.xero.com/au/ 

MYOB offers business management solutions for business to help with accounting, payroll, payments, retail point of sale, CRM and professional tax solutions. Designed in Australia for local businesses, MYOB works with the ATO so you’re always up-to-date. Their software includes quotes, invoices, expenses, payroll, BAS and GST and more. Check out MYOB at https://www.myob.com/au 

5. Project management

Project management can be a challenge for small business, so make it easier with online software.

Trello is a free web-based project management program where you can list all the tasks you need to complete a project, and get a visual overview of what is being worked on and who is working on it.

Trello is very easy to learn and use, so it’s no wonder it’s being adopted by small and large businesses alike. See how it works at https://trello.com/ 

6. Outsourcing

Make short work of small projects that need a quick turnaround or special expertise with outsourcing platforms that can find you the right person for whatever job you need done.

Freelancer.com is an Australian listed company that boasts the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and projects. You can hire freelancers to work in areas such as software development, writing, data entry and design right through to engineering, the sciences, sales and marketing, accounting and legal services. Post job opportunities that require specific skill sets, costs, or scheduling requirements at https://www.freelancer.com/ 

Upwork is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely. With the Upwork platform you can interview, hire and work with freelancers and agencies. Upwork analyses your needs then searches the database to find talent that’s a good match. See more at https://www.upwork.com/l/au/ 

Make technology work for you, invest some time looking for the program that fits your requirements and start maximising opportunities and growing your business.

Featured Image

Our hot marketing trends for 2019 and top tips for business success

We’ve reviewed small business news, checked the on-trend blogs and found the highlights that are worth sharing. Here are five hot marketing trends and our tips to make the most of your marketing strategies in 2019.

  1. Don’t be invisible! Busting the mystery of Google rankings

Trying to get a good ranking on Google when a customer searches online for your business can be a mystery. If you have a website, but you’re wondering why it can’t be found in a Google search, you’re not alone. Telstra’s 2018 report on Business Intelligence shows only 50% of small businesses are online. And only 26% of small businesses are using search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies. It’s time to help your existing and future customers find your business. Read the report: https://smarterbusiness.telstra.com.au/2018-telstra-small-business-intelligence-report

Hot Tip! Visit Google’s platform for small business (Google My Business) to take advantage of the free tools so your business will rank on Google. If you have a website, it will show you how to maximise your business profile. If you don’t have a website, it will take you through the process of building one and provide tips for SEO.  Whether your customers use their smartphone, tablet or computer, they’ll find you fast. Check out the Google insights: https://www.google.com/business/

  1. Look who’s talking! The growing importance of smartphones

What’s the most important device for accessing the internet?  In 2018 laptops and desktop PCs, iPads and tablets were overtaken by smartphones. Phone are now the preferred device for online tasks. Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey 2018: Behaviour Unlimited, reported that 88% of Australians now own a smartphone. This is up from 84% in 2017.

Users now prefer to browse and purchase via their mobile. People between 18-34 more likely to use their mobile phones when purchasing products online. With smartphone use on the increase, 2019 will see the development of complex algorithms to tune apps and websites to specific interests and contexts. Read more here: https://www2.deloitte.com/au/mobile-consumer-survey

Hot Tip! Make the most of your marketing strategy by ensuring your website is optimised for mobile. Include SMS in your customer contact preferences. Sending SMS can be highly targeted and is a great way to send short term offers and promotions, with fast follow-up for results.

  1. The new buzz word: Hyper-personalisation

Sending the right information to the right person is the key to positive customer response. According to US software company Marketo, this is the age of hyper-personalisation. Savvy email marketers leverage customer data to create a more relevant consumer experience. In 2019 there will be a growing focus on personalisation, both online and face-to-face. Customers like to be remembered and recognised whenever they interact with your business. Finance education portal ZUU Online predicts personalisation of email boosts click-through-rates by 97% and open-rates by 26%.

Hot Tip! Personalisation means more than using the customer’s first name in the email. Wherever you are interacting with your customers, make them feel you appreciate their loyalty to your business. For a great online customer experience, include tailored content online and in emails. Make sure you include information relevant to your customers purchase history and interaction with your business.

  1. The pulling power of social media: Facebook and social media are key

Social media promotion will continue to play a strong role for small business in 2019. Facebook is still the leading social media platform for small businesses with the Infusionsoft report showing 47% of business owners use Facebook in their marketing mix. Adobe’s State of Digital Advertising 2018 shows that for retailers, social media beats traditional media hands down.  With triple the marketing response in driving visits from non-customers. See the insights here: https://www.slideshare.net/adobe/adi-state-of-digital-advertising-2018

Hot Tip! If you are not already active in social media, it’s time to get on board! Start by working out what you want to get out of social media and create a company social media policy. If a blog or Facebook is your preference, accelerate from ad hoc updates to regular updates with relevant news that will boost your business. Social media can be a minefield so make sure you keep up-to-date with trending themes.

  1. Keep on clicking: email claims number one spot for effective communication

Email has generated the highest ROI for marketers 10 years in a row, according to email marketing gurus Campaign Monitor. And personalisation is the most effective tactic for getting customers to open your emails. Campaign Monitor stats show emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. 57% of marketers say personalisation is their most effective email marketing tactic. For more information: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/

Hot Tip~  With email open rates of 61% on mobile devices, it seems a no-brainer that your emails need to be mobile-friendly. Make 2019 the year you use responsive design so your customers get the best view of your message and respond to your offer!