Accounting for Trades People

Over the years we have assisted several hundred builders, plumbers, carpenters and electricians with their accounting, tax and financial affairs. In fact, the building trades have become real niche within our accounting firm.

We appreciate the fact that the long hours and physical demands associated with the 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 tradespeople struggle to manage their tax affairs.

Over the years we have mentored a large number of plumbers, carpenters, electricians, builders and sub-contractors 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, invoicing and accounting software selection. When its time to employ apprentices we can help you comply with the regulations and this is obviously in addition to the usual small business compliance issues of GST, BAS, PAYG and Superannuation.

We are not the 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 various building trades you can benefit from our industry knowledge and experience. 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, carpenters and electricians. 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?

Trades people are one of our specialist client groups and we help you build a better, more profitable and valuable business by combining the knowledge of your industry with our consulting tools and marketing expertise. As you can see from the above listing, we service clients in a broad range of trades and pride ourselves on being a business start up specialist. 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.

When starting any business you need to make the right opening moves. The wrong business structure for a carpenter, plumber, electrician or builder can be financially disasterous. The wrong accounting software can also prove costly and our mission is to help you minimise the cost of compliance. Too often we find self employed tradesmen using accounting software beyond their business needs and level of accounting skill which usually leads to considerable frustration and records that amount to nothing more than a 'computerised shoebox'.

If you don't understand debits, credits and journal entries then you'll probably struggle to cope with the more sophisticated double entry accounting programs unless you undergo extensive training. If you just need to track your receipts, payments and GST we recommend Cashflow Manager. It lets you generate tax invoices, track your debtors and produce monthly customer statements. If you have staff or apprentices you can add the wages module to process pays, print pay slips and generate annual PAYG Payment Summaries.

Our approach is designed to fast track your business success and our team offer plumbers, carpenters, builders and electricians a range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:

  • Start-Up Business Advice for all the Building Trades
  • Tools including the Start-Up Expense Checklist and Templates for a Business Plan, Cash Flow Budget, Letterhead and Business Card
  • Advice and Establishment of Your Business Structure
  • Tax Registrations including ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
  • Preparation of Business Plans, Cash Flow Forecasts and Profit Projections
  • Accounting Software Selection and Training – Bookkeeping, Invoicing, Quotes & Payroll
  • Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
  • Preparation of Finance Applications
  • Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
  • Tax Planning Strategies
  • Assistance with your Marketing including your Branding and Corporate Brochure
  • Assistance with your Website Development, Content and SEO
  • Wealth Creation Strategies and Financial Planning Services
  • Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
  • Vehicle & Equipment Finance (Chattel Mortgage & Lease)
  • Monitoring and Controlling Labour and Sub-Contractor Costs
  • Advice & Assistance with Pricing your Services and Claiming Motor Vehicle Expenses
  • Recession Survival Strategies
  • Advice regarding Employee Relations and Workplace Laws
  • Business & Risk Insurances (Income Protection, Life Insurance etc.)
  • Business Succession Planning

Just like your trade, we recognise the need to deliver timely, quality advice and services. Our approach is personal and you will enjoy support, guidance and accessibility together with cost effective strategies and solutions. Small business is our passion and your business success is important to us. Contact us today on (03) 5331 2600 and let us help you build a more profitable and valuable business.
 
Cooke & Foley Small Business Advisors - Build Your Business, Grow Your Wealth

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