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Seven Tips on Efficient Bookkeeping for SMEs in Singapore

Seven Tips on Efficient Bookkeeping for SMEs in Singapore

As you establish your business, you need to consider a lot of aspects – from doing extensive research on your target market, creating a positive work environment, managing your staff in keeping financial records. All these factors are essential in having a successful business venture.   

More importantly, you must understand that sound financial management is the key to sustaining any business. For it to be financially sound, you should implement a proper bookkeeping process. But how? Well, most organisations struggle to keep their own financial records. And when negligent financial reporting happens, they suffer. 

The absence of an excellent financial bookkeeping process may lead to low cash flow margins, significant financial problems, audit risks, and missed growth opportunities. As a business owner, what should you do if you are faced with these situations? Start by getting to the root of the problem. If you’re not number savvy, it’s best to avail of bookkeeping services in Singapore rather than running the risk of non-compliance.   

However, if you want to do your own book, consider these tips for efficient bookkeeping for SMEs. We’ve made a list to help you out!


1. Know compliance guidelines and statutory laws.

As a business owner, you need to know the ins-and-outs of your business. You need to understand the compliance regulations set by Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS.)

It’s also good to have extensive knowledge of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) regulations. It can significantly help businesses in claiming tax credits. For example, both local and foreign companies can be eligible for tax incentives.

2. Develop a detailed and streamlined bookkeeping system.

Other than understanding the principles behind bookkeeping for small businesses, the company should streamline its processes. You can even purchase accounting software for convenience and seamless bookkeeping.

Every software program has its own unique features. But more than anything, it can help you achieve your goals and comply with your bookkeeping requirements. So, whether you want to invest in a sophisticated accounting software program or manually manage your books, you must develop a detailed system that addresses your needs.

3. Be consistent in doing your books.

Are you tired of working on piles of source documents? The best thing to do to avoid this situation from happening is by consistently updating your books. Record your business’ daily transactions. When you do it on a monthly basis, it will become a more tedious task than you thought.  

Imagine bookkeeping a year’s worth of financial records. Doing this task will take your time and other valuable resources. So, practice dedicating at least ten minutes of your time for bookkeeping.

4. Record ALL your transactions.

One of the most common problems finance managers experience is that businesses don’t have all the necessary records to address financial discrepancies. And when this happens, they are faced with compliance violations and penalties.   

Be sure to keep the records properly to avoid any financial complications. You can create your own system for the receipts, invoices, purchase, and business expense records, income records, statements, and accounting records to identify each from the other.  

In some instances, it may seem impossible for a bookkeeper to record every single transaction. However, it’s the bookkeeper’s responsibility to comply with the SFRS.

5. Go cashless.

Going cashless is one of the most efficient ways to keep track of your transactionsIf you are wondering why, well, most cash payments give you receipts. And it can be overwhelming to keep track of all them.   

For you to avoid losing a copy of your financial transactions, you can either pay via credit or debit card. This method ensures that you have created records of your purchases because they will be reflected in your bank statements.

These alternative forms of payment will significantly help you to check and trace your business’ expenses.

6. Separate personal and business finances.

Having trouble with your books? It’s likely that you didn’t keep personal finances separate to your business. To avoid recording private expenses in your books, you can do the following:     

  • Pay yourself a salary.
  • Start a bank account solely dedicated to your business.  
  • List all the things you’ve paid for your business and transfer the money to your personal account.   

By doing these things, you can accurately track your finances, both for your personal and business account.   

7. Hire professional bookkeeping services in Singapore.

Starting a business can be an overwhelming and tedious journey. While you’re at it, you need to focus on what really matters for your business. That’s why it is best to outsource your bookkeeping needs.   

If you don’t have the time and skills to manage your business’ booksyou can consider outsourced bookkeeping services in Singapore. Most service providers consist of a team of experts that can take the load off your hands. Whenever you have no idea where to start, seek the help of professionals like Mighty Glory Corporate Solutions.   

Mighty Glory Corporate Solutions is a virtual accounting practise that offers bookkeeping and accounting services for small businesses in Singapore.   

Our team is proficient in different accounting software and platforms to help you with your requirements. Want to know more about our services? Let’s arrange a meeting to discuss more. Call us at (+65) 6677 4258 today!

Overview of GST Reverse Charge

Overview of GST Reverse Charge

In Budget 2018, two regimes to levy GST on imported services, are announced to be implemented from 1 January 2020 onwards, namely Reverse Charge regime for Business-to-Business (“B2B”) supplies and Overseas Vendor Registration regime for Business-to-Consumer (“B2C”) supplies.

Reverse Charge Regime subjects the B2B procurement of imported services to input tax or GST. The current GST rule only requires input taxes to be applied on services procured from local GST-registered persons. The Reverse Charge (RC) regime stipulates the transfer of GST obligation to the buyers of imported services intended for business use.

The advent of technological advancements initiated the influx of virtual business solutions. This offered an option for Singapore businesses to procure service from outside of the country. The goal of the changes is to level the GST treatment for services procured locally and those obtained overseas.

Example

Company A obtains payroll services in Singapore from Payroll Company who is based in Singapore, and marketing services from an online marketing solutions provider.

In the current GST rule, Payroll Company has to report the GST on the payroll services in its GST return, while no GST is chargeable for the marketing services.

With the RC regime, Payroll Company will shoulder the GST for the payroll services, while Company A will be accountable for the GST on the marketing services.

Who are subjected to RC?

The following are covered by the changes in the RC regime;

  • A GST-registered entity who is
    1. A business not entitled to claim input tax in full;
    2. An organization who carries out non-business activities (such as charities or welfare groups who offer free or subsidised services, and investment holding companies which derive dividend income) and receives non-business receipts, is not entitled to claim input tax in full; or
    3. A fully taxable person who chooses to apply RC.
  • A Non-GST registered business
    1. Whose total value of imported services, procured within a 12-month period, exceeds the S$1 million threshold; and
    2. Who is not entitled to claim input tax in full even if it was GST-registered.

Exceptions to the Rule

By announcing these changes in the announcement in Budget 2018, this move gave the affected businesses about 22 months, providing ample time to prepare. Once the law takes into effect, no extension will be granted to anyone who might attempt to request for leniency. However, there are exceptions to the rule:

  1. Businesses that create and provide non-taxable goods and services may qualify for partial GST claims. Products and services include but not limited to:
    • Tax-exempt supplies under the 4th Schedule of the GST Act.
    • Zero-rating supplies under Section 21(3) of the GST Act.
    • Non-taxable government services under the Non-Taxable Government Supplies Order of the GST Act.
  2. Businesses that provide free or subsidized products and services.
  3. Regulations 28 of the GST General Regulations or the De Minimis Rule is not satisfied.
  4. RC is not applicable to supplies that have been previously taxed in Singapore.

Example

Singapore Corporation engages Foreign Services to conduct a market research for $20,000. Foreign Services will outsource the job to Local Research Firm for $15,000. After the completion of the project, GST computation is as follows;

Local Research Firm will bill Foreign Services $15,000 plus the 7% GST of $1,050 to get a total of $16,050.

Foreign Services will bill Singapore Corporation $20,000. Singapore Corporation will account for 7% GST on $5,000 as the $15,000 has already been taxed. GST charged to Singapore Corporation for this transaction is $350.

Which transactions are affected?

Although the law was announced as early as 2018, the blanket implementation of the rule is on 1 January 2020. RC will apply to all transactions of the affected services paid or delivered, whichever is earlier, on or after the implementation date.

  1. General Rule – The earlier of when the invoice in respect of the supply is issued and when the payment is made.
  2. Consistent Application – Businesses may also account for RC at the earlier of when the invoice in respect of the supply is posted and when the payment is made, if all GST returns are prepared on the same basis.
  3. RC Business Applying RC At The End of Longer Periods – The day immediately after the last day of the longer period. If the accounting period end on 30th June, the time of supply is 1st July.
  4. Special Rules
    • Intra-GST group and interbranch transactions – The earliest of when the invoice in respect of the supply is issued, when the payment is made, and 12 months after the basic tax point. This rule done not apply to continuous supply of services.
    • Transactions straddling the registration – Services performed before registration can be (a) excluded from RC or (b) the time of supply set to the service date or when the service was rendered.
    • Transactions straddling the de-registration – Services performed before de-registration are subject to RC, with the time of supply set to the day immediately before the de-registration takes effect.
    • As an administrative concession, GST-registered businesses who are unable to accurately determine if they will be partially exempted from year to year, they may elect to apply RC only at the end of the longer period.

Mighty Glory Corporate Solutions provides accounting and tax services, bookkeeping, payroll services, and more corporate solutions in SingaporeConnect with us today to know more about the Reverse Charge Regime and how it may affect your business. We look forward to helping you identify your business needs and provide customized, efficient and holistic solutions.

GST Implication From Customer Accounting

GST Implication From Customer Accounting

Starting from 1 January 2019, customer accounting for prescribed goods is mandatory required under the GST regulations. This is applicable to the supplies of certain prescribed goods acquired by a GST-registered customer intended for business use, provided that it is (a) a local sale of prescribed goods with a GST-exclusive value of over S$10,000 and (b) not an excepted supply.

Customer accounting transfers the responsibility of GST accounting from the seller (or supplier) to the buyer (or customer). The changes are aimed to counter non-reporting and other fraud schemes where the supplier or seller absconds with the collected GST.

Under the Customer Accounting (CA) scheme, the sellers are not allowed to charge and collect GST from their customers. They are, however, required to issue a customer tax invoice that reflects the customer’s GST registration number and a statement to inform the customer of his/her GST accountability, and the application of CA in that purchase. The seller will also have to report the transaction in his GST returns.

What are the Prescribed Goods?

The application of CA is limited to the prescribed goods, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Mobile Phones – Examples include smartphones, Blackberry, or tablets that can transmit and receive calls and messages over a cellular network. The purchase of a mobile phone is, however, excluded from customer accounting if it comes with a post-paid mobile subscription plan by a local telecommunication service provider. Satellite phones, walkie-talkies, smartwatches, mobile landlines, phones over 17.5 cm in screen size, and smartphone accessories such as chargers, screen protectors, and batteries are not included in the CA scheme.
  • Memory Cards – This category includes memory sticks, Secure Digital (SD) cards and CompactFlash. The exclusions are solid state drive (SSD), thumb drive, dual in-line memory module (DIMM), random access memory (RAM), portable external hard disk, hard disk drive (HDD), and other smart cards with embedded chips such as ATMs, SIM cards, and credit cards.
  • Off-the-Shelf Software – The software included in this category are those that are not specifically customized for the customer. Such software is stored in a CD or similar storage device; or the product can be accessed through a product or license key, activating or other similar code which is provided as part of the purchase. Prescribed goods for CA include software sold in physical boxed packaging like anti-virus, accounting, gaming, design tools, etc. Pre-installed software is not prescribed for CA. Software back-ups stored in CD or similar storage device, Xbox Live, software downloadable from the internet (whose key or code for access is provided via email), and PlayStation Plus are examples of software not qualified for CA.

‘Excepted Goods’ which are not subject to CA, are the supplies of goods made under:

  • Gross Margin Scheme – The computation of GST is based on the gross margin, not the full value, of the goods supplied. This scheme is applicable if (1) the primary business activity is dealing with used goods and (2) the second-handed goods are purchased free of GST.
  • Approved Third Party Logistics (3PL) Company Scheme – Under certain conditions, no import duty or GST is applicable on the supplies of goods from the overseas customers of these approved logistics companies.
  • Approved Refiner and Consolidator Scheme – Either the approved refiner or consolidator can enjoy the certain GST benefits, which are specially designed to ease cash flow and relieve indirect taxability on refining activities for investment precious metals (IPM).
  • A deemed taxability arising from the transfer or disposal of goods at no cost.

When to Apply Customer Accounting

To apply CA, the following conditions must be met;

  • The customer must be a GST-registered person;
  • The purchase of prescribed goods is conducted in the ordinary course of a business; and
  • The value of the prescribed goods exceeds S$10,000.

Connect with us today to learn more about customer accounting and how this may affect and/or apply to your business. We look forward to helping you identify your business and personal needs, and providing you with efficient and holistic solutions.

How To Choose A Suitable Accounting Software For Your Business?

How To Choose A Suitable Accounting Software For Your Business?

It is necessary to have accounting software to monitor the cash movement and financial health of your business. The application of choice will ultimately help you manage projects and monitor bills. However, choosing the right accounting software can be challenging. Different software offers different features and specifications at different prices. Here are the three basic things to keep in mind when choosing an effective accounting software.

  • Usability: The number of users involved will affect your choice of an accounting software. Usability also includes the preferred access to the system – from anywhere or from desktop only. The option of having an additional mobile app to facilitate use or access to real-time information should also be considered.
  • Cost: It is a trade between advanced features and cost-efficiency. You have the option to get either basic inexpensive or advanced and dynamic accounting software. The more sophisticated software will offer more features, great support and better usability, which will also cost more.
  • Features: The more advanced software offers more features, while the basic software generally provides the minimum applications and features. Your choice will depend on how and what applications you need for your company. What reports do you need the software to generate? Do you want to have both account payable and receivable tools?

 Support and Accessibility

To choose the best software for your company, its intended use should be carefully considered. How, when, what and where? Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Multiple business support: A software that can support multiple small businesses under one account is convenient and cost-effective too. Otherwise, the handling of several different accounts can be complicated and costly.
  • Multiple user access: How many users need or have access to the business accounts? Yourself, your partner, bookkeeper, procurement managers, sales managers and more. An accounting software that allows multiple users to access with different permission rights is ideal. Some systems provide this function at no additional cost.
  • Cloud software and mobile access: A cloud accounting software will let you access the accounts anytime from anywhere, provided that you have a computer and active internet connection. This allows you to run the business from home or on vacations.

 Are you familiar with Million Accounting System? Check out this article, The 5 Advantages of Using Million Accounting System for SME’s in Singapore.

After a choice is taken, necessary set-up must be properly completed so that the product can function, as mentioned by the vendor.  Feel free to contact Mighty Glory for a meeting in person (free of charge) so that we can understand your expectation(s) or requirement(s) to assist further.

Eight Ways Technological Innovations Changed Small And Medium Business Accounting

Eight Ways Technological Innovations Changed Small And Medium Business Accounting

The forward-thinking accounting firms in Singapore advocate cloud computing and the use of an accounting software. The benefits of using a software ideal for the needs of the company far exceed the costs and temporary disruption it might cause. The migration of files, adaption of the new system, recruitment of the right people and installation of the applications could be a hassle. But you also have the option not to go through all these! They can be delegated to the experts in the accounting firms in Singapore.

Here are eight of the top changes and benefits brought about by technological advancements to small and medium business organizations:

1. The Paperless Office

Modern business technologies shrunk the office spaces. We no longer need the bulky filing drawers, the stacks of office documents, and most of the quintessential office equipment like fax machines and photocopiers. The use of paper has gone down to the minimum. The modern and more environmental-friendly office setup only needs computers, internet connection, desks and chairs. Thus, offices are more space-efficient, clutter-free, and productive.

2. Cloud Processing

Instead of the extensive office filing and storage system that includes filing cabinets, drawers, paper files, and complex access and safekeeping management, we now have cloud computing. This is the digitized equivalent of the paper-based filing system. All office files, documents, and reports are digitized and uploaded to a central server where access is efficiently managed and security is optimized through an off-site storage facility.

3. Real-Time Postings

Cloud computing and the use of accounting software can provide real-time updates and reports. As most accounting software can now be integrated with bank accounts, payroll and productivity software, billing, and collection, users can generate financial reports that are updated and accurate. Updated reports and financial statements can be generated whenever required, any day of the year. This leads to better decision-making, forecasting and auditing processes.

Related: Why Companies Outsource Their Payroll?

4. Work Anywhere

The most significant change in business technology has impacted how we work today is the freedom to choose how, when, and where we work. Connectivity and accessibility enable us to work anywhere and anytime we prefer. Through cloud computing, work files can be accessed and shared from anywhere around the world. Thus, you can still check on your company numbers while on vacation, during your commute, or from home.

5. Simplified Work

Most accounting software, used by outsourcing firms in Singapore, already features integration with other business accounts like bank accounts, payroll features, billing and collection functions, and even inventory. Any updates are automatically posted, and the system is updated real-time. Thus, reporting is streamlined, accuracy and correctness are guaranteed, and staffing need is reduced.

6. Enhanced Securities

One key element of cloud computing is its off-site, third-party storage facility. This removes the physical files from your office and care. Everything is stored in the clouds, where access can be restricted, and file management is easily regulated by passwords and permissions. With the sophisticated security protocols in place, file loss due to thief, fire, and unauthorized access are prevented.

7. Cost Efficiency

Accounting services in Singapore are at the most affordable today. Business innovations and technological advancements allow small and medium enterprises to enjoy the best and expert services from accredited corporate service providers in Singapore. Whereas before where you need to buy the entire software, build your technical infrastructure and hire professionals, the company only needs a stable internet connection, subscribes to an accounting app service, and assign an external accounting firm to do the work.

8. Effective Delegation

The latest state-of-the-art business apps and platforms enable businesses to efficiently delegate tasks, reduce the worry. This allows the busy startup entrepreneur to focus on growing his or her company, or the team to concentrate on innovations and creative endeavors. Why go through accounting books when you can hire the best corporate service provider in Singapore? Learn more about cloud computing – its benefits, challenges, risks and your options. Choosing the right software for your business is key to a successful migration to the clouds.

Today, let’s fix a date with us to have an initial meeting. We are very glad to help you in identifying a suitable cloud computing system that will best fit your business needs.

Replacement of FRS 17 With 116 (IFRS 16): Leases

Replacement of FRS 17 With 116 (IFRS 16): Leases

In 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published a new accounting standard IFRS 16, Leases.  The Accounting Standards Council (ASC) of Singapore, in following the IASB, announced the equivalent standard for leases, FRS 116.  This will come into effect from January 2019 onwards, replacing the current FRS 17, with early adoption permitted.

This Standard is applicable to all leases, including leases of right-of-use assets in a sublease, except for those leases which are applying other standards.

The primary change that FRS 116 entails is that lessees will now use a single lessee model.  Previously, under FRS 17, leases could be categorised as capital or operating leases.

FRS 116 implementation is expected to be challenging for businesses with many lease contracts.  This stems mainly from the high financial obligations of implementing it, which includes establishing a consolidated database of the existing lease contracts and transactions, as well as revising prior accounting information to meet the requirements of FRS 116, where necessary.

The financial implication of implementing FRS 116 is the expected increase in leverage ratio (long term solvency) due to the increase in financial liabilities and decrease in equity.  Current ratio (liquidity) would be decreased as well; current liabilities will increase, provided that the current assets remain at status quo.  Meanwhile, the non-current assets amount is not reporting the exact value of assets owned by the business because leased assets are included in the lessees’ books. Businesses might consider purchasing assets rather than leasing and prioritising service contracts over leasing assets.

Nevertheless, FRS 116 assists in enhancing transparency because of the disclosure requirements in the financial statements, such as the net effect of the sale and leaseback transactions and expenses on leases of low-value assets and short-term leases.

Do you have other questions regarding the new accounting standard FRS 116 in Singapore or any concern about accounting works on leases? Talk to the accounting experts in Singapore. Contact Mighty Glory Corporate Solutions today and discuss with us your needs.