Are you aware of your reporting requirements for business?

Don’t cop penalties or fines because you are unaware of your reporting obligations to the ATO. You may be best using a professional to set your business up correctly.

In a previous post, we talked about the government initiative called Standard Business Reporting (SBR), and which cloud accounting systems are SBR-enabled.

We also touched on how SBR speeds up the reporting process, because cloud accounting systems like Xero automatically populate questions from government reports and excludes the ones not relevant to your business.

Which businesses need to report?

Any business with an annual turnover — that is gross revenue or income coming into the business minus GST — of $75,000 or more must register for GST, which means you’ll need to withhold GST and file regular activity statements — quarterly usually, but sometimes monthly.

You’ll also need to register for GST if you’re operating a registered not-for-profit organisation with an annual turnover minus GST of $150,000 or more; taxis, limousines, Uber drivers, and any business providing travel for passengers in exchange for fare must also register for GST.

Businesses that are registered for Pay As You Go (PAYG) tax withholding for employees, must also register and lodge activity statements with the ATO.


When you need to report to ASIC

Besides lodging regular activity statements, there are some businesses that are required to report to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Generally, companies that must lodge reports with ASIC are:

  • Public companies
  • Companies limited by guarantee
  • Large proprietary companies that are not disclosing entities
  • Registered managed investment schemes
  • Foreign controlled small proprietary companies
  • Small proprietary companies directed by ASIC to report.

Public companies that have already lodged their financial reports with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX), Vienna Stock Exchange (VSE) or the Sydney Stock Exchange (SSX) are exempt from reporting to ASIC.

Reports to file with ASIC

The companies that must report to ASIC must file their annual financial reports, containing the following documents:

  • End of year financial statement
  • Profit and loss statement and other comprehensive income for the year
  • Cash flow statement
  • Changes in equity if consolidated accounts are not required by accounting standards
  • Consolidated financial statements (this may include parent company information)
  • Note to all financial statements
  • Directors’ declaration
  • Directors’ report and auditor’s independence report
  • Auditor’s report.

Being annual reports, they’re required to be filed with ASIC within three months of the end of the financial year.

Monthly ATO reporting

Businesses with an annual aggregate turnover of more than $20 million will be required to lodge and pay GST each month, requiring their business to also lodge their business activity statements each month.

Monthly GST reports require the following to be reported to the ATO:

Total sales
Export sales
GST-free sales
Capital purchases
Non-capital purchases
GST on sales
GST on purchases
Wine equalisation tax (WET), luxury car tax (LCT) and fuel credit obligations and entitlements, if any.

Under the SBR method, if your bookkeeping is up-to-date, most of this information will already be accounted for in your cloud accounting system; you just need to run the report and lodge through your accounting system to the ATO.


Need help setting up your accounting and reporting systems? 

Many small business people require the help of a professional to set up their business processes, even if they intend to do the day-to-day bookkeeping and accounting themselves. At National Bookkeeping you’ll find a list of qualified bookkeepers and registered BAS agents located across Australia. Many are accounting-degree qualified and are looking to work from home or remotely, and more than qualified and experienced to help you out on a once off or ongoing basis with your business’ bookkeeping needs. National Bookkeeping can provide you and your business with a host of training options to suit your needs and budget. Find out more