Getting Your Bookkeeping In Order For Each Quarter

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Getting Your Bookkeeping In Order For Each Quarter

Written by: Corey Haynes | Accounting Team


Wow – this year is going quickly, and can you believe it’s almost the end of the March quarter?

We know that the end of a financial quarter can be confusing and even annoying for some people, especially as there are four of them!  At Canny Group, we want everyone’s experience to be as stress and hassle free as possible.

Every quarter a Business Activity Statement (BAS) is due which reports on your GST incurred and paid, the wages your business has paid along with the PAYG withholding, fuel tax rebate, PAYGI (tax) instalments etc. And even if you aren’t registered for GST, quarterly bookkeeping allows you to keep track of your earnings, so if you do ever hit that milestone of $75,000 income in a financial year you can register at the appropriate time.

So, what is the easiest way to have every financial quarter a smooth and straight forward process?  Being organised never goes astray, but really there are several key checks you want to be doing and completing to make each quarter the easiest process it can be.  We’re going to take you through the following checklist and tips to ensure a smooth end of financial quarter for you, no matter what kind of business your run!

Record Keeping + Document Storage

It is important to keep any invoices, receipts and documents for at least five years.  This also includes documentation for any employee information, superannuation and wage records.  Any documents relating to the purchasing and selling of your business must be kept for at least five years after the sale of business.

Questions that we are asked all the time:

  • Am I really supposed to store my documents for five years?
  • Where am I supposed to store these?

We hear you, and as technology has improved, so too has the ability to store documents.  If you use accounting software such as Xero, QuickBooks, or MYOB, you can upload documents straight into them for secure filing storage.  There is also available software such as Hubdoc which provide a safe place to scan and secure all your receipts and invoices.  And with all these different software options, you can link them to transactions coming through your accounting software.`

Accounting System: Accounting Software Tidiness + Bank Reconciliation

It is essential to ensure that your accounting software, whether it be Xero, QuickBooks, or MYOB is kept up to date, tidy and reconciles across the board.  To help you we have the following tips and checks to be doing to keep things nice and tidy for every quarter:

  • Code all your transactions correctly and accurately.  It is vital to make sure that transactions are allocated to the right place, for example, if you buy nails from Bunnings to repair an item for your business, it goes to repairs for maintenance.  Only you know what your transactions are for, and if they aren’t coded correctly or accurately it can make the end of every quarter a hassle to fix them.  An easy tip to follow, any single item purchase over $300 is an asset, any other purchase is an expense.  Anything you owe is a liability, whilst anything you earn is revenue.  And anything personal is equity or a liability to the business.
  • Make sure GST on your transactions are correct.  The ATO have been hammering down lately on GST lodgements, so don’t be caught out!  Make sure GST is being accurately recorded on your transactions.  Check your receipts, if it has GST on it, make sure the transaction is coded with the correct GST figure.  If the receipt doesn’t have GST, then make sure the transaction is GST Free when coded.  Wages, Super, loan payments, Drawings etc. are not subject to GST and therefore should be BAS excluded.  And vehicle registrations and insurance are subject to stamp duty, which do not have GST, so be careful and ensure you split the coding between GST and GST free! Check your invoices thoroughly.
  • With your coding completed your transactions in the correct accounts, and the correct GST on everything, there area few things to check, starting with the bank account balance in your accounting software.  As fantastic as technology has become, it is not perfect and sometimes accounting software misses out on transactions.  So, at the end of every quarter, or perhaps even every month, it is important to make sure the bank balance in your accounting software matches back to your bank statements provided by your bank.  If it doesn’t, then you’ll need to investigate what is missing and bring them into your accounting software.  This helps make sure nothing is missed when claiming on GST & reporting to the ATO.
  • With your bank reconciling, you’ll next want to run your balance sheet and have a look at your receivables and payable reports should match the balances shown in your balance sheet.  If they don’t, something is off, perhaps something was coded there or an invoice hasn’t been done properly and some investigation will be required to get it to match.

Payroll, Superannuation + The Importance Of Payroll Reconciliation

If you process wages, whether it’s just to yourself or to employees, it is an ATO requirement to make sure that wages & superannuation are paid on time, and your pay runs in your accounting software are processed at the same time you pay your employees.  This is called Single Touch Payroll (STP) which is the act of processing and reporting on wages paid at the time they happen directly to the ATO for the end of financial year.  This allows employee payroll information to pre-fill into their MyGov account for tax return preparation and replaces group certificates (payment summaries).  Here is how to keep track of these:

  • The first thing that is going to help with this process is processing your pay runs in your accounting software before or at the same time you pay them.  This will help you ensure you are paying your employees the correct amount and tell you how much PAYG withholding you’ll need to put aside to pay to the ATO at the end of the quarter or the end of the month depending on your reporting period.
  • With your employees paid, you’ll need to code the payment to the wages payable or payroll clearing liability account (note that this is BAS excluded, not GST on expense or GST free as it isn’t good service).  Do not get this mixed up with the wages and salaries expense account.  When a pay run is processed, it debits the expense account and credits the liability account.  At the end of every quarter there should be a nil balance in the wages payable/payroll clearing account.  If there is a balance at the end of the quarter, you’ll need to check to see if you paid your employees correctly, the pay was made after the quarter ended, or accounting software picked the payment up late or if your incorrectly coded the wages payment to the Wages and Salaries expense account.  If you find you didn’t pay your employees correctly, you’ll need to make this up, either with a reduction or a decrease depending on if you over or under paid your employee.
  • With the wages paid and coded, you’ll want to look at how much Superannuation you need to pay your employees.  Currently Super is due every 3 months, on the 28th day after the end of each quarter (for example, the 2024 March Quarter super will need to be paid by the 28th of April 2024).  You can also choose to pay it monthly, or at the time it is incurred.  The choice is yours.  PLEASE NOTE: From the 1st of July 2026 it will be a government requirement to pay Super at the same time as each of your pay runs are being processed and paid.
  • Once your super has been paid, you’ll want to follow the same steps as wages, by coding payments to the superannuation payable liability account not the expense account and coding it BAS excluded.  The only difference between the superannuation payable and the wages payable accounts, is at the end of each quarter, the only balance that should be in the account is what you are due to pay on he 28th of the following month.  If it’s a nil balance, that’s even better.  But if it isn’t $0 or what is owing for the quarter just passed, then perhaps a payment was missed.  Missed super payments require an SGC (Superannuation Guarantee Charge) statement to be lodged with the ATO which incur interest and fees.  So, it’s important to stay on top of your super.
  • And our final payroll check, after wages have been paid and our wages liability account is $0, and our super has been paid and our super liability account is $0 or what’s owing for the quarter, is to run our profit & loss in our accounting software, and make sure the amount in our expense accountants for super and wages, match to our payroll reports.  If they don’t then you’ll need to check if something has been coded to these accounts, or if there is an issue with your settings.

Other Documents + Thing To Look Out For

So, with your accounting software coded correctly and accurately, your wages and super paid correctly, what documentation should you provide to your accountant or bookkeeper at BAS time and what else should I look out for?

  • VicRoads Invoices: as mentioned earlier VicRoads registration don’t have GST on the whole amount (only the TAC portion has GST) and registration for a trailer is 100% GST free as there is no TAC charge.
  • Insurance Invoices + Premium Loans: insurances whether is vehicle insurance, business insurance or any other kind of insurance always has admin fees and stamp duty included in their price, and therefore not the whole amount is subject to GST.  If you get funding for your loan, that funding has interest and further fees, so it is very important to read your invoices thoroughly.
  • Motor Vehicle Invoices: motor vehicle purchases like insurance and VicRoads, have stamp duty and other fees included in the price of purchasing a vehicle, but that’s not all, there is also a GST limit that restricts GST being claimed on vehicle purchases.  For the 2024 FY the limit is $6,191, but this changes every financial year, so be sure to pass any invoices relevant to a vehicle purchase.  It is important to pass on any loan documents relating to a vehicle purchase, as these don’t have GST, it is important to separate loan and interest costs from the vehicle purchase.
  • Receipts For A Single Item Purchases Over $300: receipts of your large single item purchases over $300 will be required at the end of the financial year for depreciation purposes, so be sure to keep them all, every quarter.
  • Fuel Statements: fuel Statements typically only apply to those that drive a vehicle to do their job or run machinery, some examples include but aren’t limited to freight services or excavating.  Fuel statements are needed because certain fields of work can claim a portion of fuel purchased at the end of every quarter and get that money credited on the BAS statement.
  • Sale Of An Asset: providing an invoice or receipt of a sale of an asset when it happens is important so that depreciation up to the sale can be determined.
  • Any Receipt Of Purchase Made From A Private Seller: if you buy an item from an individual where it isn’t clear it they are a business or an individual, it is important to ask for a receipt for GST purposes as not everyone is registered for GST.
  • Invoices + ABNs From Subcontractors: like private purchases, not every subcontractor is registered for GST, so keeping all invoices and identifying if they are or are not registered is going to help make sure your GST is accurately recorded and keeping track of each ABN to be able to look them up.  This will be very important at the end of the financial year when your TPAR is required for lodgement.
  • Any other documents relating to adhoc or unusual transactions to capture anything not already mentioned.

Lodge Your Quarterly LeavePlus (Formerly CoInvest) Return

If you employ construction or maintenance workers in Victoria, you must make long service leave contributions to LeavePlus.  All members of the construction industry, including employers, workers, working subcontractors, working directors and apprentices are required to be registered with LeavePlus.

Employers contribute a designated percentage of employee gross wages (this is currently 2.7%) to the Long Service Leave Fund each quarter along with the eligible days of service for each employee.  LeavePlus quarterly returns are due for lodgement and payment by the 14th day of the following month after the end of the quarter.

Identifying If Payroll Tax Is Required + When To Pay It

Payroll tax is a state-based tax that applies to every business that pays remuneration above the payroll tax threshold.  You are required to register for payroll tax when your monthly or annual exceeds the tax-free threshold.  This varies from state to state.

For Victoria, the monthly threshold for the 2024 financial year is $58,333 and the yearly threshold for the 2024 financial year is $700,000.  The rate depends on if your business is regional or metropolitan.  The metropolitan payroll tax rate in Victoria is currently 4.85%, whilst the reginal rate is 1.2125%.  You must pay your payroll tax liability monthly and payment is due by the seventh day of the following month.

June Quarter Bookkeeping

So, with all your bookkeeping kept up to date for the quarter, the coding is done and accurate, wages and super paid and correct, invoices and documents saved and provided throughout the year and your quarterly LeavePlus returns lodged.  We get to the end of the financial year.  And with the end of financial year comes some yearly bookkeeping that is required, but don’t stress!  Because if you’ve done everything correctly this will be easy for you.  So, what is required for the end of the June quarter?  Let us break it down for you:

  • Finalise Payroll + STP For The Year:  At the end of every financial year, you pay wages, you need to report and finalise your payroll for the financial year.
    • Make sure all your payroll has been processed correctly for the year including the final pay run of the year;
    • Run a payroll report and cross-check it against each of your employees STP figures, if the figures are out, you’ll need to investigate why; and
    • If this all matches, you’re good to submit your STP for the year.  This will allow all your employees to complete their tax returns for the financial year.

PLEASE NOTE: The STP completion date is the 14th of July.  If you would like Canny Group to do this for you, you will need to contact us and “opt in” for canny to complete your STP finalisation before the due date.

  • Prepare your TPAR (Tax Payable Annual Report):  If you make payments to subcontractors and you fall under one of the sectors below, you’ll need to complete and lodge a TPAR at the end of the financial year:
      • Government Grant Providers;
      • Courier Services;
      • Cleaning Services;
      • Road Freight;
      • IT Services;
      • Security Services; and
      • Building and Construction.

A TPAR reports on how much a subcontractor has earnt in the financial year, along with how much GST they received.  This allows the ATO to keep track of whether they have claimed the correct GST, or if they have earnt over $75,000 for the FY but not registered for GST, or if they reported less than what they actually received.  This is why it is important to keep invoices and have access to their ABNs as you pay your subcontractors during each quarter.

And lastly; complete your “Declaration of Ratable Remuneration” form in the WorkCover Online Employer Services account.

If you pay wages of any kind, it is a requirement to have WorkCover.  WorkCover is a workers compensation insurance should anything happen to them in the workplace.  The cost of WorkCover is based on the wages paid in the previous year, and the estimated amount of wages and super you will be paying for the year to come.

Quarterly Bookkeeping Summary

So, in short, what goes into bookkeeping for a quarter and what is required?

  • Keep and provide bank statements for all bank accounts from the start to the end of each quarter (E.g. 01/01/2024 – 31/03/2024);
  • Code your accounting software accurately and correctly;
  • Make sure your bank accounts reconcile;
  • Check your accounts receivables and payables reflect correctly in your balance sheet;
  • Make sure your payrun (payroll) is processed on time and correct amounts are paid;
  • Ensure superannuation is paid by the due date;
  • Keep all receipts and invoices for unusual or large purchases and provide them to your bookkeeper or accountant (for example asset purchases, subcontractor payments, loans etc.);
  • Any other documents you would normally send through that relates to your quarterly BAS; and
  • Lodge your Quarterly LeavePlus on time.

Once you’ve got your bookkeeper, it’s important to know what makes a good accountant, should you need one!  Luckily, we’ve got you covered with another article; How To Choose A Good Accountant: Personally + For Your Business

Canny Accounting + Your Quarterly Bookkeeping.

Keeping up to date with your bookkeeping and staying organised can be a daunting task.  And it can be a lot of information to digest and feel like there are a lot of things to tick off your to-do list.

Our team of bookkeepers are here to help you stay on track and keep your bookkeeping for the end of every quarter!  Even if you’re a little bit behind, we’re more than happy to help get you back on track.

Get in touch with your bookkeeping team today and let us help you take control of your bookkeeping!

Corey Haynes, Bookkeeper. Corey most enjoys finding + fixing the issues no one else can solve to provide high-end bookkeeping, software and BAS (Business Activity Statement) assistance to a varied range of clients in an accounting firm.

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