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  • Writer's pictureSkyward Financial

Business Finance Update - July 2022

This update includes stories on:

  • Australian economy gets big tick

  • Vendor beware when selling property

  • ATO gives FY22 tax return warning

  • Businesses hit with staff shortages

Read more below.

Australia officially has one of the strongest economies in the world. That’s after Moody’s affirmed Australia’s AAA credit rating, making Australia one of only nine countries in the world to have a AAA credit rating with the three major ratings agencies. "Australia's economy continues to demonstrate resilience, underpinned by its scale, diversity and high incomes, as well as its highly flexible labour, product and capital markets, well-regulated financial system and floating exchange rate," Moody's said in its report. "These features enabled the economy to rebound quickly in the wake of the covid pandemic, while proactive and effective monetary and fiscal policy support limited the impact on employment." Moody's also noted signs that Australia is making "productivity enhancing reforms", such as "lifting women's participation in the workforce through support for childcare and gender pay equity, a large-scale infrastructure program focused on improving transport systems, support for innovation and the response to climate change". Australia's economy grew 3.3% in the year to March, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Want to expand? Call me for a loan

Every business knows the importance of ‘buyer beware’ when purchasing a commercial property. But it’s also vital to meet certain legal obligations when you’re the vendor. Otherwise, the buyer might have grounds to cancel the deal or take legal action. The vendor is required to disclose all material facts to the buyer. This is a subjective standard, which is why it’s important to get expert advice from a commercial property lawyer. Rules vary from state to state, but you might need to disclose whether the property:

  • Has any unregistered easements (e.g. overhead power lines)

  • Is contaminated or contains asbestos

  • Has structural problems

  • Is subject to any authority notices

  • Is prone to flooding or is in a bushfire zone

  • Contains any mining tenements or graves

You might also need to disclose whether:

  • Other parties are allowed to use the land (e.g. telecoms or government agencies)

  • The tenant has first right of refusal to buy the property whenever it gets listed for sale

Finally, you might need to disclose the property's zoning status.

The Australian Taxation Office has warned small businesses it will focus on three main areas when assessing 2021-22 tax returns. The first area the ATO plans to examine closely is overclaiming on expenses and claiming deductions for private expenses that are unrelated to business income. The second area is the potential omission of certain income streams, such as revenue from new business ventures or the sharing economy. Finally, the ATO will hold businesses accountable for their record-keeping, including insufficient or non-existent records that are needed to substantiate claims. ATO assistant commissioner Andrew Watson said if businesses are feeling overwhelmed or are behind with their tax, they should inform the ATO as soon as possible so the two parties can work together to find a solution. "No matter what your situation is, it’s never too late to ask for help. Tax time is also a great time to discuss ATO debts with your registered tax professional or the ATO – and set up a payment plan if you need one," he said. For more information, refer to the ATO's tax toolkit for small businesses.

An Australian Bureau of Statistics survey of about 2,000 businesses in June found 31% were having difficulty finding suitable staff. The most common reasons given by businesses were:

  • Lack of job applicants (79%)

  • Applicants not having relevant experience (59%)

  • Pay conditions (26%)

  • Uncertain economic conditions (24%)

  • Job location (24%)

Businesses plan to respond to this staffing challenge in a range of ways, the most common being to:

  • Increase wages (30%)

  • Increase staff numbers (27%)

  • Retrain existing staff (23%)

  • Rearrange job roles and responsibilities (21%)

  • Increase staff hours (19%)

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ most recent labour data reveals why employers are finding it so hard to attract and retain staff right now. Australia’s unemployment rate fell from 3.9% in May to just 3.5% in June, the lowest since 1974. As a result, there is now just 1.0 unemployed person per job vacancy, compared to 3.1 before the pandemic. I can help you get a business loan


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