The ATO honeymoon is over – Don’t get caught with a COVID hangover

The ATO honeymoon is over – Don’t get caught with a COVID hangover.

With the world starting to recover a sense of normalcy after the ravages of COVID, we are starting to get back to living the lives we led in that seemingly free and easy world of pre-pandemic times.

It was a time when we didn’t have crumpled up face masks stuffed into the pockets of our activewear when we used our car gear sticks as make-shift mask hangers.

Business also did it tough, though the government was able to step in to help enterprises through various fiscal arrangements.

Business has never been on worse terms with the ATO

But now, as we merge back into a sense of normalcy, the ATO, in particular, is less inclined to look past overdue debt and is indeed coming after any business that owes more than $100,000 in tax. The pandemic saw the ATO put such bold actions on hold so Australia could get on with staying in business.

Now the honeymoon is very much over. Any business that is not on the front foot with outstanding debt will suffer the consequences and be hit with a COVID leniency hangover if they don’t act swiftly to ensure the health of their cash flow.

What happened when the stimulus was turned off?

For larger firms, there was work around options such as work remotely and downsize office space to save costs; however, not all industries had such options. For example, hairdressers, chefs, and pet groomers can’t work from home if they are required to go into isolation today – for them, there is no work if they are isolating.

With stimulus now a thing of the past, business costs growing, increasing pressures on the cost of living and wage growth flat, the current economic landscape is perilous for the unprepared. Businesses can no longer delay paying their ATO commitments lest they harm their credit rating.

It is quite clear that now more than ever, Australian businesses need a healthy client book with a steady cash flow.

The perfect storm

The withdrawal of stimulus and concessions will undoubtably impact business in Australia.

Further, acute staff shortages, increases in staff costs due to increased sick leave payments, growing employee demands as a result of the great resignation and the general increase in the cost of living are all adding pressure to an already tenuous economic stability some businesses are maintaining.

Pair this with the supply chain shortages across multiple industries and a downturn in consumer activity, and it’s an almost perfect storm for business failure.

We are all under the same pressure

It’s not just small businesses that have been hit hard recently. We have seen some big players go down, with building companies seemingly falling like dominoes lately. For every business that closes – big or small – the knock-on effect for every link in the supply chain takes a hit.

From the stationery suppliers right through to the accounting and legal firms that support them, every client that goes under comes with associated cash flow impacts. The cost of replacing lost business is significant and there is no guarantee that there will be plentiful new business opportunities in this current financial climate.

How can you weather the storm?

For small and big businesses alike, cash flow is king, and if you can help preserve your client’s cash flow and still get paid what you are worth, you should pursue every opportunity. Professional service firms can no longer afford to be a bank for their clients.
It’s not so much a case of wanting to be paid what you are worth right now; it is more a case of needing to be paid what you are worth, on time.

Acknowledging a client is struggling and offering a payment plan solution will support your client’s needs and provide your business with full, upfront payment so that both can get on with the business of doing business.

If you would like to hear more about how QuickFee can help you avoid the COVID stimulus hangover, support your client base and get paid today, contact our team today on 02 8090 7700.

Fintech Happy Hour – Episode 2:
Top 7 companies or start-ups for accountants in Australia

The Best Accounting Tech Companies In Australia

It is no secret that competition to win accounting clients is getting fiercer and fiercer. With accountants acting as the gatekeepers of small businesses, we look at what technology has come into the market for accounts over the last few years?

One of the greatest changes that has happened in the accounting world is the cloud.

The shift to the cloud has been enormous across the board. It has impacted our ability to work on any file, at any time, in any place. Meaning you could work on client matters at home, during a lockdown, at the office or even the beach.



1.  Xero

The sheer volume of accountants and their clients embracing Xero over the last ten years has been transformational. Before Xero came along, how would you have gone through a lockdown situation without being able to see how your business is performing? The number of companies embracing Xero now and creating plugins is significant. 


2.  Futrli

Futrli helps their clients save money by analysing and finding gaps in their cash flow and then helps them to plug that gap. That not only helps the accountant, but that information can be passed onto the customer, who in turn, can do their own cash flow analysis. It aids the accountant by enabling them to have a visual conversation with their client rather than a spoken one.  


3.  Swoop

It’s not all about tech! The accountant’s job is to interpret what comes out of the tech, and Swoop helps the business to access the money and services it needs to grow. Whether that be funding via government grants, savings on international money transfers or a range of other options that can be better prescribed when you are using the right analytical tools in the first place.


4. Practice Ignition

Practice Ignition takes the routine and mundane tasks of sending and following up on client proposals and makes it seamless – the time-saving value of that alone is significant. In addition, the proposals themselves are put together in such a fantastic way with second to none presentation. Being able to plug into Xero, QuickBooks and MYOB is also invaluable.


5.  QuickFee

Accountant’s love getting paid and love seeing their clients get paid. If there is a technology that allows your clients to have a positive experience when paying a bill, then that is a game-changer. QuickFee allows your clients to pay in the time they need. Knowing that both you and your client is taking care of is phenomenal.


6.  Business Fitness

Business Fitness has end to end technology that creates efficiencies. The How Now document management product takes the standardised processes and creates productivity.


7.  Paytron

Paytron automates and simplifies processes. They also allow you to handle the international payment all on one platform. It’s convenient and solves a problem that is annoying by taking away the static and friction in a business process and allowing the business to do what it’s good at doing.

If we look to the future – what sectors of the accounting industry may be ripe for disruption in the next few years? Anything routine such as simple data matching processes will likely be replaced. A computer can do a routing process better than any human can, leaving people to what they are good at.

How To Best Tackle Payment Objections

Win more work and have less payment disputes  

You’ve probably been faced with payment objections more than once. We’ve all heard it before: “The price is too high for me”. This can be one of the most frustrating situations for businesses, especially those who are selling services and can spend a considerable amount of time preparing a quote.

Fee objections are common in sales. There are several reasons why prospects would reject a quote. Sometimes, it is only part of an expectation that pushing back on cost will get them a discount. However, a ‘no’ can also mean that the person doesn’t understand the “value” they are getting for the cost. 

Whatever you’re selling, the best response to a price objection is to showcase the most valuable parts of your products/services. You don’t need extensive training to learn how to handle payment disputes. You simply need to further investigate the reasons behind your clients’ objections.


What Motivates Clients To Reject An Offer?

Businesses are in need of advice now more than ever, from legal and accounting to communications and crisis management. Meanwhile, outsourced professional services are often seen as “optional” by prospects who don’t understand how important it is to seek expertise. The ones that need your services the most would often be the most hesitant and reluctant to pay for it.

It is however important to not undervalue the service you are offering as a first approach. While discounting has its place in the sales process, being too keen to reduce your margins could lower your service perceived value. You should get paid what you are worth, and fee rejection offers you a window to really demonstrate your true value.

Price disputes are normally the results of one of these three circumstances:

  1. Unrealistic expectations. One of the reasons why your client might be declining your fees might be that they don’t understand the full scope of what they are paying for. If they say that your fees just seem high, this might mean that they don’t understand the ROI they might get from your services. It puts you in a position to objectively define what is included in your offer. Make it clear what you can accomplish on a short and long term for them and their business. Using clear and concrete examples, or introducing case studies and other clients’ success stories as proof points can reassure them.
  2. Cash flow and budget problems. If your client affirms that they can’t afford your services at the moment, it is important to get a better understanding of where the issue is truly coming from. First of all, you can ask them if the price is the only thing that’s keeping them from signing. This gives the person the opportunity to express any other concerns they might have.

    Once you’ve cleared all other objections, it is time to explore how you can make your fees more affordable. An easy solution to cash flow problems is to offer flexible payment solutions. QuickFee offers client-centric flexible payment solutions that let your clients pay over time instead of in a lump sum.

    Alternatively, you can also explore solutions to fit your services into your clients’ budget. You can ask how much your client is ready to pay and redefine the scope of a project accordingly. If you decide to discount your price, make sure that it serves your business long-term strategy. You can offer a lower fee for a period of time for example and then default back to your normal price, or accept to discount under the condition of signing a longer term agreement.

  3. Competition. Your client might already satisfied with their current providers or they might have found cheaper quotes online. “Expensive” is relative. Once you find out what the person is comparing your product or service fees to, you can then uncover what extra value you’re bringing to justify the extra cost. You must put on your investigator hat to discover your client’s true needs and see if they are being met. 
    Once you find the gaps, you can customise your offer and differentiate on value.


How To Showcase The Real Value Of Your Services?

Lack of trust in your brand or services might be the underlaying problem behind a fee objection, as well as not understanding the need or urgency for a specific service. To convince a prospect, the first step is to address the above. 

Improve Trust In Your Expertise And Your Brand
Improving your ability to present yourself as a trustworthy expert in your field starts by showing empathy, listening carefully to your clients and prospects and investing in your own brand.

It is important to understand that a sale is not about you, but about your client. Make empathy a priority during sales meetings. A sale starts by building the relationship with the client. Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and turn the conversation towards their own needs instead of defending your products or services. The key is to not to try too hard to impress and only offer advice once your client had a chance to thoroughly explain their situation. Positioning yourself as someone who can listen and acknowledge your client’s concerns will present you as a trustworthy, genuine advisor. This quality will increase the value of your services in the eyes of your prospect and help reduce friction when discussing fees.

You might also want to build more brand awareness and create content that showcases your expertise. Case studies and clients’ success stories are a good way to prove the quality of your service. You can also produce white papers, e-books or video clips which include free advice.  Building expert content will help back up your claims and show evidence of your expertise.

Brand expert Stephen King once said: “A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique. A product can be quickly outdated; a successful brand is timeless.” Make sure to emphasise the authority your business has in the market. Positioning your brand right can help convince your prospects of the extra value you offer and justify higher fees. 

Reinforce The Need And Urgency Of Your Services For Your Clients

Are your services truly aligning with the needs of your prospects?

Pause and listen to your clients before responding to understand your client’s needs. Once you’ve acknowledged your client’s objections, ask open-ended questions to clarify and understand what are their current objectives. They might not realise how much added value your services could bring to help them reach their goals faster.

If you see an opportunity, present them with an overview of what results they could get by hiring your services. Make sure to give concrete examples and include numbers if possible. It is also time to share relevant stories and expert content you might have created. Relatable clients’ testimonials can create more confidence in your services.


Offer Your Clients Flexible Payment Options

If cash flow problems are still an issue, expanding your payments options could help you win more clients and reduce payment objections. QuickFee offers a wide range of flexible payment options that suit every client’s needs. 

If you’d like to learn more about flexible payment options, schedule a demo with one of our experts to learn more.

How including flexible payment options in your marketing strategy can help grow your legal practice?

Why Payment Options Should Be Part of Your Legal Marketing Strategy

The 2020 annual benchmarking study conducted by the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) has identified revenue growth, cashflow and lock up as the main financial challenges for law firms, with work in progress (WIP) and debtor days often exceeding 90 days.

As clients seek certainty in fees and flexibility when it comes to payment, many firms had to move away from traditional billing, looking into alternative to ensure their practice’s profitability. With the impact of COVID-19 and many clients accessing Government stimulus and Job Keeper programs, it is now, more than ever, time to rethink your
payment collection strategy.

Consumers are making decisions based on their favourite payment methods, so offering greater flexibility can help you convert more prospects. Best of all? It’s incredibly easy to include payment options in your legal marketing strategy.


4 Easy Steps to Showcase Your Payment Methods

Step 1: Offer alternative payment methods.

Want to really stand out from the competition? There are several flexible payment
frameworks offered on the market. If you are seeking a client-centric approach with payment plans specifically created for legal services, QuickFee offers solutions adapted to your client’s needs. Here is a list of the different payment solutions currently offered:

Step 2: Create a dedicated payments or pricing page on your firm’s website.

Did you know that pricing and payment pages tend to be the most visited spots on websites? All you have to do is add an online payment portal link or payment landing page to your site’s navigation bar. It’s not the only thing prospective clients will consider, but it might help get them in the door. See an example here

Step 3: Give your clients a payment link at every single touchpoint.

Online payment methods are appealing because they’re convenient. Increase that convenience by adding your online payment portal everywhere. That means including it on invoices, flyers, and any other communications so that the link will always be available.
As a bonus: This can also help reduce your accounts receivable over time.

It’s a good idea to include your payment link(s) in all the following places:

  • Invoices
  • Emails
  • Web pages
  • Banners
  • Table tents
  • Flyers

Step 4: Include payment methods in your call-to-action.

If your firm is already committed to a strong legal marketing strategy, it’s even easier to start promoting payment options in your PPC campaigns. Add “Now accepting flexible payments” to every call-to-actions, on your forms or web pages.

Fintech Happy Hour – Episode 1:
5 things businesses can do in lockdown

Five things businesses can do in lockdown

At some point, we all go through a challenging time, and these are especially exacerbated during lockdown. Here are five things you can do during a lockdown or testing times with your business.



1.  Continue to connect and engage with your team.

The pandemic is completely redefining the way teams communicate and work. It is important for businesses to continue and connect with team. Some ways teams can engage online can be activities like Pino and Picasso and team zoom online drinks.


2.  Taking a break

Sometimes we get caught up and working long hours. Whether it be going out on your lunch break and taking a walk in the sunshine or taking it a step further and taking a day of annual leave or a couple of weeks of leave, it gives you time to reset and comeback reinvigorated.


3.  Look after your customers

Now is the time to build loyalty with your customers. After all, these are people whom you have worked so hard to get on board to become your clients. It can not only build a stronger relationship, but it can become a better business environment.  It may be as small as a check-in phone call to see how they are going or holding a virtual event with them.


4. Utilise technology

We live in a technology-driven world, and many of these platforms can help streamlines your business. For example, Slack is used both within QuickFee and to connect externally with people outside of the business and can be used across many different platforms too.


5.  Block out time for creative thinking

While working remotely has many advantages and can save you time, it can mean you lose some of the valuable time you may have previously used for creative thinking. Such as during the drive to and from the office. Ensure you block out some time in your diary or calendar to have time to yourself and allow creative or inspiring thoughts to develop.