5 key changes happening this financial year

Posted on 27 july 2018

Now that the dust has settled on the EOFY and it’s back to business, we look to the year ahead at some of the changes afoot in FY19.
 

Riding the pays of change

With the new financial year came a 3.5 percent minimum wage increase, as well as further changes to some penalty rates in the Restaurant, Hospitality, and Fast Food awards, carrying over from the Fair Work Commission changes implemented in 2017. If you’re feeling the pinch, rostering and payroll tools can provide great insights and help you make more informed labour decisions. It might also be a good time to consider how technology can help you find efficiencies elsewhere, such as hand-held ordering, food prep equipment or even accounting applications.
 
For more information about pay rates, tax obligations and more, visit our handy resource here.
 

STP is a GO

Every Australian business with 20 staff or more must now have their payroll connected to the ATO via Single Touch Payroll (STP). STP is expected to apply to all businesses from 1 July 2019 (subject to legislation passing in parliament). It’s part of the ATO’s move to ensure greater transparency from businesses and improve payment conditions for employees. While it may seem intimidating, one upside is that employers using STP no longer need to issue payment summaries at the end of financial year.
 

$20k write-off to stay

The $20,000 instant asset write-off scheme for small business has been extended until 30 June 2019. Last year, almost 100,000 businesses took advantage of the scheme, which the government says was designed to “improve cash flow for small businesses, providing a boost to small business activity and investment for another year”. This is a fantastic opportunity for Silver Chef customers buying bigger ticket items, as it means they can claim tax deductions for rental payments, and then claim again under the write-off scheme, if they choose to buy the item once the purchase price has dropped below $20,000.
 
Make sure you seek independent financial advice before making any decisions.
 

Bag ban just the beginning

Despite already existing in parts of Australia, the recent implementation of the single-use plastic bag ban in Queensland has stoked the flames of the rising conscious consumerism movement. Almost immediately, it sparked calls for plastic drinking straws to be abolished, not to mention the backlash Coles received for rolling out its plastic-laced Little Shop Mini collectibles immediately after the bag ban. It joins the rise of reusable coffee cups, bio packaging, and waste minimisation. Increasingly, consumers are dictating to businesses what their ethical and environmental expectations are. In order to retain customers and attract new ones, hospitality businesses will increasingly need to meet the needs of this fast-growing conscious customer base.
 

Facebook shake up

If you’ve noticed a steady decline in your Facebook reach and engagement, it’s thanks to a major shake up Facebook has steadily introduced to its all-important algorithm. This is the inner workings of the platform that dictates what content is served to whom. It’s no secret that Facebook has been headed towards a pay-to-play model, but the recent changes are so drastic that industry experts labeled it “the death of pages for businesses”. The drive behind the change was to show more ‘real’ content i.e. posts from friends and less content from pages in a bid to make interactions more “meaningful”.
 
However, there are a number of things you can do to help combat the algorithm. The more engaging your content, the higher it will be ranked in the newsfeed, so video is king here. If the thought of live video scares you and you can’t afford a professional, there’s loads of apps available to help make quality content with text overlays, transitions and even backing tracks. Facebook also highly rates content that encourages interaction between multiple people in the comment section. And no, tagging friends doesn’t cut the mustard any more. So you need to think about how you can serve your content in a way that encourages conversations, and not just likes.
 
 
They say change is as good as a holiday, so whether it’s investing in a new piece of equipment, getting more efficient with your payroll or shaking up your social media game, there’s plenty of opportunity in FY19 to make a change for the better.