Sullivan Dewing News

Our blog has the latest news and insights on tax, accounting and growing wealth, to help you build a successful business that will achieve your financial goals. To get Sullivan Dewing news straight to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter.


Is your business or company name protected?

Jennifer Palmer - Oct 2013

Many people think that registering a business or company name means they own the name and can protect themselves from business identity theft, but this is not the case. Protection and ownership of your business or company name requires a trademark registration. Read More


Are you deducting tax on sub-contractor payments?

Jennifer Palmer - Oct 2013

In a recent case, an employer was liable for $150,000 of tax that should have been withheld on payments to sub-contractors, in addition to a penalty of 25 percent for failure to withhold. Although the business was liable for $182,500, it could have been much worse; the penalty could have been 100 percent of the tax not deducted. Read More


R&D tax incentive

Jennifer Palmer - Aug 2013

Companies with a turnover of less than $20 million that are undertaking research and development (R&D) may receive an uncapped, fully-refundable offset if they are in tax loss.  Read More


Quick Q&A: Super

Jennifer Palmer - Aug 2013

The rate of super guarantee contributions will increase to 12 percent gradually, beginning with an increase to 9.5 percent on 1 July 2014. The rate will then increase by 0.5 percent on 1 July each year until it reaches 12 percent on 1 July 2019. Read More


10 mistakes that will cost your business

Jennifer Palmer - Aug 2013

Every small business owner makes a mistake every now and again. Unfortunately, some mistakes can seriously damage your business, so it’s important to know what to look out for. Read More


Happy New Financial Year!

Jennifer Palmer - Jul 2013

Just as you use a map on a driving holiday to get to your next destination, you need a road map for your finances so you can figure out where you’re heading and how you’ll get there. You also need to look back and see whether you had any bumps on your journey, so you can avoid them moving forward. Read More


Thriving, not just surviving, in tough times

Jennifer Palmer - May 2013

Small business owners can certainly prosper in these tough times, so long as sound business management practices are in place. Now is the ideal time to step back and finetune your business, making sure you know its strengths and weaknesses, so that you can take action where you need to.


To assist you in this process and to help boost the financial performance of your business, Sullivan Dewing has developed the “Business Performance Index” focusing on the key business drivers of Leadership, Strategy, Products, Marketing, Team, Systems & Finances.


It’s a real time check on your business, with a snap shot on where you are so you can quickly realise your weaknesses & thus your opportunities. As you stand back and take a look at your business think about some key drivers of your business such as:

Identifying your Key Financial Drivers: These are the influencers that really drive results and can have a huge impact on profit and cash flow. Drivers such as price, sales volume, direct costs, overheads, inventory turnover, accounts receivable and accounts payable days. A small change in any one of these can have surprising results, particularly in tough times. Identify, then measure them.

Developing a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): KPI’s record and measure the “heartbeat” of a business over the long term. They must be specific, quantifiable, and achievable. Finely targeted KPIs that are aligned with your business goals can help create real improvements and put you back in control.

Preparing a budget: This is critical to any well-run business … it is the tool you use to set your desired result from your business. Then you make it happen. Your budgeting process should be a bottom up approach. With no budget in place you have no idea if you are performing well or poorly and you have no plan.

Monitoring cashflow: Every business needs a cashflow forecast and it needs to be updated every month at the very least because people will often pay you later than you expect, and you need to know there’s going to be money there to pay the bills. By managing your cashflows you will ensure you have the funds to cover any unexpected costs and capitalise on any opportunities that may arise.

Keeping an eye on margins: The gross profit margin is one of the key performance indicators of your business and indicates whether the average mark up on goods or services is sufficient to cover expenses and make a profit. Don’t go chasing sales for sales sake, make sure you maintain your margins otherwise you will fall into the discount trap and your business will suffer.

Weeding out unprofitable customers: It may be time for a cool-headed assessment of your customers and stop dealing with the unprofitable ones. You know the ones … they take up your time, drain your energy and then take forever to pay. Sort them by revenue and margins, it won’t take long to find out who they are.


The key drivers of a business will vary from business to business. But by using our Business Performance Index checklist, you will be able to more accurately assess where your business rates, whether it is a high performing business, whether you are well positioned to tackle the tough times or if you are more likely to be trampled in the rush.


Only when you know where you stand can you take action to improve. Taking the test is easy. Once you have completed the survey, I guarantee that you will know more about your business than before you started.

 Read More

End of Financial Year – Tax Tidy up Tips!

Jennifer Palmer - May 2013

Now is the time to focus on Tax Planning and any Tax issues that affect you before 30 June.  Follow these handy tips. Read More


Grease & Oil Check Your Accounts

Jennifer Palmer - May 2013

What is a “Grease & Oil Check”? Read More


Proposed Changes to Superannuation

Jennifer Palmer - Apr 2013

The Government announced proposed changes to superannuation on 5 April 2013. These proposed changes are not law and have a long way to go before they become law. There has been a lot of media hype and discussion on what these announcements mean.  Read More



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