Accounting for Trades People

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Over the years we have assisted a large number of builders, plumbers, carpenters and electricians with their accounting, tax and financial affairs. In fact, the building trades have become a real niche area within our firm.

We understand 'tradies' and appreciate the the long hours and physical demands Oof being a trades person. We acknowledge the amount of time you spend on-site and on the road and the impact it has on your business administration and bookkeeping. While GST, BAS and tax payments often represent some of the largest financial obligations for tradespeople, a lot of plumbers, electricians, carpenters and builders struggle to manage their tax affairs.

In the digital age, technology has changed the way tradespeople run their businesses. The days of manual invoice books with carbon copy paper are gone and we help our clients embrace technology that lets you prepare quotes, invoices and schedule your appointments from your tablet or smartphone while on the road or on a job site. If you want to work smarter not harder then technology is available that lets you manage your client database, produce financial reports and process client payments at a push of a button. We can set you up with supporting apps that are specifically designed for tradespeople that talk directly with your Xero accounting system.

Here at the More Than Numbers we have mentored a large number of tradespeople through the start-up phase of their business. We understand the pitfalls and can help you with everything you need including your business structure, invoicing and software selection. When it's time to employ apprentices and sub-contractors we can help you comply with the regulations and this is in addition to the usual small business compliance issues of GST, BAS, PAYG, Annual Taxable Payments Reporting and Superannuation.

We are not your average firm of accountants who just keep the 'score'. Our mission is to help you grow your business, your profits and your wealth. As you'll read below, we can help you with your marketing, website and branding plus provide you with valuable marketing resources to help you win more customers and clients. With more than 20 years experience with the building trades you can benefit from our experience and you can also access some specific e-books we have published for tradespeople including: 

11 Things Every Trades Person Should Know (pdf)
Accounting For Trades People (pdf)
Industry Benchmarks for Trades (pdf)
The Motor Vehicle Tax Guide (pdf)

As you'll see from the table at the foot of this page, we service more than 40 different types of trades and just like you, we recognise the need to deliver timely, quality advice and services. Our approach is personal and you will enjoy support, guidance and accessibility together with cost effective strategies and solutions. Small business is our passion and we are much more than just Tax Accountants. We are business and profit builders who genuinely care about the success of your trades business. Your tax return and financials are the start of the client process (not the end) and we offer you strategies to grow your business, your profits and your wealth. If you’re looking to grow your existing trades business or get your new business off to a flying start, contact us today.

THINKING OF STARTING A TRADES BUSINESS?

If you are looking to start a building, plumbing, electrical or carpentry business we have built a reputation as as business start-up specialists. When starting your trades business or buying an existing business there are numerous issues to consider including your business structure, tax registrations, insurances, accounting software and vehicle finance. As accountants and business advisors we can assist you in all of these areas plus provide advice on HR matters, payroll and the preparation of a business plan, marketing plan and a cash flow budget. Over the years our team of accountants have helped dozens of trades people get their business off to a flying start. We offer you experience, technical tax knowledge and most importantly, an intimate understanding of the building trades.

Starting a business is a bit like building a house and you need solid foundations. In a business sense these foundations include the right tax structure, accounting software, insurances and marketing. Your choice of business structure is critical and there are a number of different options including sole trader, partnership, company and trust. When it comes to selecting the most appropriate tax structure for your 'tradie' business we always recommend you ‘start with the end in mind' because Australian tax laws are complex and changing your business structure at some point in the future can trigger a capital gains tax event that could prove costly. Whenever we provide advice on business structures we always take into account issues like:

  • Income Tax Minimisation
  • Maximization of Asset Protection
  • Allow for the Admission of New Business Partners or Investors
  • Comply with all Legal Requirements in your Industry
  • Risk Profile of Your Industry (a big factor in the building trades)
  • Consider Future entitlement to Discount Capital Gains Tax Concessions

As a consequence, we often find the business structure is a compromise based on the relative importance of each of these issues.

Another brick in your business foundations is your choice of accounting software. Up to date, accurate financial records let you to make informed business decisions and the wrong software can prove a major headache. Poor record keeping is one of the biggest causes of business failure in this country and when deciding on the most appropriate software program to use we recommend you match your business needs with your level of accounting skill. Too often business owners produce ‘computerised shoebox’ records that cause frustration, waste time and create additional fees. This conflicts with our mission of helping you slash the time and cost associated with bookkeeping and compliance.

Here at the More Than Numbers, we want to be your accountant and business advisor, not an expensive bookkeeping service. You’ll find we support a range of different software options but we do have a preference for cloud based solutions like Xero because of their flexibility. You can access your financial data via the internet and invite your accountant or bookkeeper to view your accounts at the same time. This means you can get bookkeeping support and valuable advice in real-time. These cloud based programs let you log-in online anytime, anywhere on your Mac, PC, tablet or smart phone to get a real-time view of your cashflow. Your data is automatically backed up and users have access to the latest version of your financial data plus you never need to worry about installing software or program updates.

To build a house you also need the right tools and when 'constructing' your business we have developed a number of tools including a start-up expense checklist broken down into various categories including: 
-  tools and equipment
-  professional advice and software
-  information technology costs
-  marketing and signage
-  vehicle and trailer costs

This checklist will help you identify all your potential establishment costs and these figures then filter through to our cash flow budget template and allow us to produce a projected profit and loss statement for your first year of trading. These reports can also tuck neatly into our business plan template that is designed to help you secure funding from external sources like a bank. Another useful tool is our business start up checklist that walks you through key business registrations you might require, insurance options, legal issues, branding items and the domain name registration for your website.

For a trades person, your vehicle is arguably your most important business tool. To learnmore about the alternative methods of claiming your vehicle expenses and the distinction between a business and private trip, you can download our Motor Vehicle Tax Guide from the resources section of our website  In addition, through our affiliate partners we can also assist with vehicle finance (chattel mortgage, CHP or lease) and get you fleet pricing on your new car, ute or light commercial van that could save you thousands of dollars

Through another affiliate partner we can also help you source funds to finance your business purchase, equipment or franchise fee (if applicable). Pricing is absolutely vital to the success of your business and we can do some price modelling plus we use benchmarks to compare your business performance against your peers so you know what is working in your business and what needs working on.

If you're contemplating starting a business you don't need to reinvent the wheel as we have all the tools and resources to help you get your trades business off to a flying start.

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS

For small business owners including tradies, your marketing can be the difference between gloom, doom and boom.

Most builders, plumbers, electricians and carpenters rely on their reputation and referrals to grow their business. While these ingredients remain important, in the digital and social age you need to shift your marketing focus online. Increasingly Google searches like ‘Electrician Erina’ are driving traffic to your website which is often the first touch point with a potential new customer. As you know, in business, you only get one chance to make a good first impression and your website is your 'online shopfront' and silent sales person working 24/7 to promote your business.

One of our biggest points of difference compared to other accounting firms is our marketing expertise. We can assist you with your branding (business name, logo and slogan), your corporate brochure and help you harness the power of social media to win more referrals. Over the past few years we have worked with dozens of clients in the building trades to help them create affordable, quality lead generation websites that are responsive to smart phones and tablets.

We can provide advice and guidance with your website content including video production and if your website lacks calls to action or lead magnets we'll help you build them. In addition, we'll introduce you to strategies like re-marketing and search engine optimization to drive more traffic to your website. If you aren’t using some of these marketing techniques, your trades business probably won't reach its full profit potential.

The marketing process begins with your branding and we have worked through the process with dozens of clients over the years and using some online resources we can help you build a modern brand that resonates with your target market. We can even help you develop your stationery at a fraction of the cost of engaging a graphic artist or marketing consultant.

If you want more sales, more clients and more profit so we also give you access to one of the world’s most successful marketing programs, the‘Business Growth System’. It contains more than 80 breakthrough marketing strategies supported by videos, templates, checklists and 2,500 pages of instructions. Access to this ‘vault’ of resources would normally cost you $500 per month, however, as a client of the More Than Numbers you get FREE access. In addition, you also get unlimited access to the ‘Grow Your Business in 5 Days’ video training course that could have a massive impact on your future business growth. That's over $7,000 of valuable marketing tools just by coming on board with us.

We will introduce you to the Four Ways to Grow A Business plus identify the key profit drivers in your business. We can walk you through a number of profit improvement strategies and even quantify the profit improvement potential in your business. Our role is to make sure you don't leave any profit on the table and if you're a tradesman we offer you a range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:

  • Start-Up Business Advice for Tradies - from Plumbers to Plasterers (see list below)
  • Advice regarding the Purchase or Sale of your Business
  • Tools including the Start-Up Expense Checklist and Templates for a Business Plan, Cash Flow Budget, Letterhead and Business Card
  • Advice and Assistance with the Establishment of Your Business Structure
  • Tax Registrations including ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
  • Preparation of Business Plans, Cash Flow Forecasts and Profit Projections
  • Accounting Software Selection and Training – Bookkeeping, Invoicing, Quotes & Payroll
  • Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
  • Preparation of Finance Applications
  • Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
  • Income Tax Returns and Tax Planning Strategies
  • Wealth Creation Strategies and Financial Planning Services
  • Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
  • Vehicle & Equipment Finance (Chattel Mortgage & Lease)
  • Assistance with your Marketing including your Branding, Corporate Brochure and Website
  • Monitoring and Controlling Labour and Sub-Contractor Costs
  • Advice & Assistance with Pricing your Services and Claiming Vehicle Expenses
  • Recession Survival Strategies
  • Advice regarding Employee Relations and Workplace Laws
  • Business & Risk Insurances (Income Protection, Life Insurance etc.)
  • Business Succession Planning

To get to know more about us we invite you to book a FREE, one hour introductory consultation to discuss your business needs. You can expect practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice that could have a significant impact on your bottom line. To book a time, call us today on (02) 4389 7500 or complete your details in the box at the top of this page and let's get to work ON your business so it is more profitable, valuable and saleable.

THE BUILDING TRADES WE SERVICE

The various trades we service extend beyond plumbers, builders, electricians and carpenters. In fact, we have clients that span more than 40 different trades including:

  • Air Conditioning Mechanics
  • Arborists
  • Bathroom Renovators
  • Blinds - Repair & Installation
  • Bricklayers
  • Builders
  • Carpenters
  • Carpet Cleaners
  • Carpet Repairers
  • Ceiling Repairers
  • Commercial Cleaners
  • Concreters
  • Domestic Cleaners
  • Electricians
  • Electrical Appliance Repairs
  • Fencing & Gates
  • Floating Floors
  • Floor Sanding
  • Furniture Assembly
  • Fencing Contractors
  • Guttering
  • Garden Maintenance
  • Gas Fitters
  • Glazers
  • Handymen
  • Home Security
  • Insulation
  • Interior Decorators
  • Joinery
  • Kitchen Renovaters
  • Landscape Gardeners
  • Lawn Care
  • Painters
  • Paving Contractors
  • Pergolas
  • Plasterers
  • Plumbers
  • Rendering
  • Retaining Walls
  • Reticulation
  • Roller Doors
  • Roof Tilers
  • Roofing Repairers
  • Rubbish Removalists
  • Security Doors, Gates & Grills
  • Swimming Pools & Spas
  • Telecommunications
  • Tiling
  • Timber Floors
  • Tree Loppers
  • Vinyl & Carpet Layers
  • Window Cleaners
  • Wrought Iron Gates & Balustrades
  • Welders

More Than Numbers - Build Your Business & Grow Your Wealth