Weekly Digest – 20 January 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Australian Consumer Confidence Clouded by COVID-19 in January Survey

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer sentiment released today fell 4.5% in January, from December, when it rose 4.1%. This is due to new outbreaks of COVID-19 in Sydney and Brisbane, though the spread has now been contained with relatively few cases and no deaths.

The index is still 41% above a nadir hit back in April when COVID-19 lockdowns were at their height, and 14.6% up on January last year.

NSW Restrictions Could Ease From Next Week

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian is thrilled with all the testing yesterday (almost double the number of tests than Monday). She says the health advice is that they will wait another week, but they are hoping to ease restrictions then if case numbers remain low.

Australian Households and Businesses Amass $200 billion in Savings During Pandemic

Australian households and businesses have saved more than $200 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic due to economic lifelines and reduced spending opportunities. According to the Treasury, deposits into savings accounts by households alone grew by more than $100 billion in the 12 months to the end of November.

According to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, an additional $200 billion is now on household balance sheets that was not there last year. He is confident that much of this money would go towards boosting the country’s economy.

Upcoming JobKeeper Key Dates

The following are the upcoming key dates and required actions for entities:

28 January 2021 – business monthly declarations due for December JobKeeper fortnights

Eligible entities can complete their business monthly declaration from 4 January 2021 to be reimbursed for payments made to their eligible employees in JobKeeper fortnights 18, 19 and 20 (23 November 2020 to 3 January 2021).

The ATO will continue to process monthly declarations to reimburse employers for payments for the month of December past the usual due date of the 14th of the month, until Thursday 28 January 2021.

31 January 2021 – meet wage condition for JobKeeper fortnights 21 and 22

For the JobKeeper fortnights 21 and 22 (starting 4 January 2021 and 18 January 2021), the ATO is allowing employers until Sunday 31 January 2021 to meet the wage condition for their eligible employees.

This is to make sure that employers have paid their eligible employees before claiming JobKeeper payments in their February monthly business declarations.

Contact us if you have any questions.

Upcoming Tax and Superannuation Deadlines

Here are the upcoming due dates you need to look out for:

21 January 2021

Lodge and pay quarter 2, 2020–21 PAYG instalment activity statement for head companies of consolidated groups.
Lodge and pay December 2020 monthly business activity statement except for business clients with up to $10 million turnover who report GST monthly and lodge electronically.

28 January 2021

Make quarter 2, 2020–21 super guarantee contributions to funds by this date. Those who fail to pay minimum super contributions for quarter 2 by this date must pay the super guarantee charge and lodge a Superannuation guarantee charge statement – quarterly (NAT 9599) by 28 February 2021.

31 January 2021

Lodge TFN report for closely held trusts if any beneficiary quoted their TFN to a trustee in quarter 2, 2020–21.

If you need help with your taxes or superannuation, drop us a message so we can do it for you.

Government-backed COVID-19 Loans Extended

The government is extending its small business COVID-19 loans scheme until June 2021. If you need help to access these loans or you want to find out if you are eligible, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

Building Digital Resilience in 2021

Digital resilience gained momentum in 2020, as businesses across industries increased their adoption of digital tools and systems to maintain certain levels of activity amid the pandemic. In this Forbes article, different ways to boost digital resilience were shared including:

  • Build a pipeline of digital initiatives– You can leverage what your business already has or capture and develop new ideas from various sources. Many companies have digital pilots already in place which were previously considered “nice to have”, but upon careful consideration were deemed essential in times of crisis.
  • Invest in a core digital infrastructure– Integrate new digital initiatives with existing IT rules, systems, and capabilities. Keep in mind that digital transformation is an end-to-end process closely tied with back-end business processes and systems.
  • Design for privacy and security– At the height of the pandemic in 2020, over 18 million scam emails per day were spotted by Google. Businesses can be prime targets for attacks such as phishing or malware. You will never predict when you’ll be hit by a cybersecurity crisis, so design an effective cyber resilience plan to mitigate risks.
  • Increase visibility into your supply chain– Digital supply chain management leads to faster response time, working capital reductions, and increases in product availability. While digital supply chains may mean different things to each business, end-to-end visibility of inventory and control can be helpful during a crisis.

Have you yet to embark on your digital transformation? It’s time to get started. If you want to get rid of your traditional spreadsheets and move the accounting side of your business into the cloud, get in touch with us. Aside from making your financial data more accessible and protected, cloud accounting also streamlines processes and can get things done faster.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.