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 niche within our firm.

The long hours and physical demands associated with the building trades often mean bookkeeping and administration don't get the attention they deserve. While GST, BAS and tax payments often represent some of the largest financial obligations for a business, many trades people struggle to manage their tax affairs.

Over the years we have mentored a large number of trades people through the start-up phase of their business. We understand the pitfalls and can help you with everything you need including your business structure, website, branding and software selection. When its time to employ apprentices and sub-contractors we can help you comply with the regulations. This is obviously in addition to the usual small business compliance issues of GST, BAS, PAYG and Superannuation.

We are not your average accounting firm that just keeps the 'score'. Our mission is to help you grow your business and with over 20 years experience with clients in the trades you can benefit from our experience. To illustrate our expertise we have produced a number of specific e-booklets for the trades that you can download 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)

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

STARTING A TRADES BUSINESS?

As you can see from the above listing, we service clients in a broad range of trades and they are one of our specialist client groups. By combining the knowledge of your industry with our consulting tools and marketing expertise we can help you build a better, more profitable and valuable trades business.

As a business start-up specialist our team of accountants have helped dozens of plumbers, carpenters, electricians and builders get their business off to a flying start. We offer you experience, technical tax knowledge and most importantly, an intimate understanding of your industry.

In a sense, starting a business is a bit like building a house. You need solid foundations including the right taxation structure, accounting software, insurances, a marketing plan, website and a social media presence. Your choice of business structure is critical and there are a number of different options such as company, sole trader, partnership and trust. When selecting a business structure asset protection is a key consideration as well as your family situation, forecast level of profit and your future plans regarding the admission of new business partners.

Accounting software is another brick in your foundation wall and the wrong choice can be catastrophic. Poor financial records are one of the biggest causes of business failure in this country and up to date, accurate financial records let you make informed business decisions. Your software program needs to match your business needs with your level of accounting skill because too many business owners use sophisticated double entry accounting programs and produce 'computerised shoebox' records. One of our priorities is to help you minimise the cost of compliance which in some cases includes training you to use the software. We support a number of programs but do have a preference for cloud based solutions like Xero.

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 that dissects your start-up costs into categories like equipment, IT costs, professional fees, marketing costs and a website. These figures then slot into a cash flow budget template and form the basis of your first year profit and loss projections. For a trades person, your car or ute is arguably one of your most important business tools and you can download our Motor Vehicle Tax Guide from the resources section of our website. It explores the alternative methods of claiming your vehicle expenses and the distinction between a business and private trip for tax purposes. 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.

We take great pride in being a business start-up specialist and if you are looking to start a trades business talk to us about our comprehensive 45 page booklet, 'Starting or Buying a Small Business'. It is a valuable resource available to clients and explores all the key business start up issues including alternative business structures, GST and tax registrations, record keeping, legal issues, claiming car expenses, finance, employing staff and preparing a business plan and cash flow budget.

MARKETING YOUR BUILDING TRADES BUSINESS

Most trades people rely on their reputation and referrals to grow their business and while these ingredients remain important, you need to shift your marketing focus online. Increasingly local searches like ‘Electrician Pakenham’ are driving traffic to your website and often your website is the first touch point with a potential new customer. As you know, you only get one chance to make a good first impression and your website and marketing can be the difference between boom and gloom in your industry.

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 to help them create affordable, quality lead generation websites. We'll make sure your website is responsive to smart phones and tablets and provide advice and guidance with your website content including video production. If your website lacks calls to action or lead magnets we'll help you build them plus we'll introduce you to strategies like re-marketing and search engine optimization to drive more traffic to your website.

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.

We recognise the fact that business owners want more sales, more customers 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 details of more than 80 breakthrough marketing strategies supported by videos, templates and checklists. Access to this ‘vault’ of resources would normally cost you $500 per month ($6,000 per annum), however, as a client of the firm you get unlimited FREE access. In addition, you also get FREE access to the ‘Grow Your Business in 5 Days’ video training course that could have a massive impact on your future business growth.

We are more than just tax accountants. We are ‘business and profit builders’ who provide strategic advice and practical business solutions designed to give you a serious competitive advantage in your industry. We work hard to understand your business and over the past decade the building industry has become a niche area within our accounting practice. If you're looking to get your building business off to a flying start or you want to boost your current business results, contact us today.

If you aren’t using some of these marketing techniques your business probably won't reach its full profit potential.If you're a committed and ambitious trades person looking to accelerate your business success we invite you to book a FREE, half hour introductory consultation to discuss your business needs. You'll get practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice designed to help you build your business and grow your wealth. To book a time, contact us today on (03) 5941 4868 or complete your details in the box at the top of this page.

R J Tyrrell & Co - Your Business is Our Passion