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Not all professional services are the same

Not all professional services are the same

New calendar year. A calendar year that I hope will be an excellent year financially and health-wise for us all. I would like to begin by explaining the value of our service. Not so long ago I received a phone call from a long-term client complaining about the fees she is paying whilst expressing her great satisfaction from our services. Comparing tax agents who charge less is both irrelevant and a mere waste of time since our firm has much greater value than any simple tax accountants. So, I would like to personally share what the importance of choosing the correct service provider to our valued clients. Whether it is lawyers, accountants, doctors, electricians, hairdressers, etc, choosing a trustworthy and professional service provider is of utmost importance. Why does one choose one professional service provider over the other? Businesses are failing because of bad advice which causes harsh damage, individuals’ lives are changing as a result in trusting someone who disappoints you and so on. Deciding who it is you choose to trust is one of the most important life decisions. Personally, I know clients who depended on the wrong lawyers and lost their case as a result. By the same token, I also know a couple who chose a babysitter and now the husband is married to the babysitter, the wife however- not so pleased. As I said, you need to choose wisely.
Saying all accountants are the same is like saying all teachers are the same, all universities are the same, all countries are the same. So, to answer the question, why we are charging higher fees than someone with less experience, knowledge, education or expertise is a pointless rhetorical question.
Here at JMP Accountants we provide services of optimal excellence and we pride ourselves knowing we are delivering quality of services to you all. So, the moral of the story is that a firm of accountants that navigates you with all aspects such as helping to find the best lawyers, financial planners, advisors, insurance brokers, mortgage brokers, electricity brokers and the list goes on… On top of providing the best professional service in its field- should and will charge appropriately for its services.

What you need to know about the PPSR

There is a simple step that many businesses can take to better manage the risk that can attach to certain assets.
Not so many years ago, a new scheme was introduced, which also established a national register, that could affect anyone who answers “yes” to any of the following scenarios- are you in business, and do you:

  • Sell goods on retention of title terms?
  • Hire, rent or lease out goods?
  • Buy or sell valuable second-hand goods or assets?
  • Want to raise finance using stock or other assets as collateral?
  • Work as an adviser to clients wo conduct these activities?

As you will gather from the very wide-ranging scenarios listed above, the scheme (the Personal Property Security Register, or PPSR) can potentially cover a significant proportion of Australian business.
Many Australian businesses are still not familiar with the practical implications of the PPSR. But you may potentially be putting your business at risk when buying, selling, leasing or hiring our goods, or selling valuable goods on consignment. For example, do the goods you are buying have money owing on them? Or will you get your goods or money back if your customer goes broke?
You cannot avoid these common transactions, but you can protect yourself.

For example, someone may try to sell you used goods, such as a van or piece of machinery, without telling you they still have finance owing on it.
If they stop making payments on the loan there’s a very real chance the finance company can turn up on your doorstep and take those goods away, without paying you a cent for your loss. The PPSR lets you check that goods you want to buy are likely to be free of finance debt, and safe from repossession.

HOW CAN I PROTECT MY BUSINESS?

This single, national online noticeboard (the register) can show you whether someone is claiming an interest against goods or assets.
You can also make a registration, so others know when you have retained an interest in goods you are supplying. This means that if your customer does not pay, or goes broke, you are in the best position to get your goods, or their value back.

EXAMPLES OF PERSONAL PROPERTY
The PPSR is a national register of security interests in personal property. “Personal property” is a legal term for any property that is not land, buildings or fixtures.
Examples include:

  • Crops, cattle and other livestock
  • Stock in trade, artworks and equipment
  • Motor vehicles, boats or aircraft
  • Other goods, new or second-hand, whether owned by businesses or individuals
  • Intangible property, such as patents, copyright, commercial (not government-issued) licences, debts and bank accounts
  • Financial property such as shares, cash or cheques.

The register offers your business risk protection, and can also be a tool that can help you raise finance using your business goods and assets.

WHEN BUYING GOODS
Searching the register lets you know if the valuable goods you are interested in buying are being used as security for a debt or other obligation. The register will not tell you the value of the obligation, but it allows you to know who the obligation is owed to so you can research more.
 

WHEN SELLING GOODS ON RETENTION OF TITLE OR CONSIGNMENT
Making a registration shows searchers that you are claiming an interest in the goods or assets you are selling on retention of title terms or have consigned to someone else to sell on your behalf. This interest means the goods or assets secure the debt or obligation that someone owes you. The registration protects your interest in the goods or assets should the customer default or go broke.
If you don’t make a registration on those goods or assets and your customer goes broke before they have fully paid you, your assets may be sold to pay secured creditors first. If you are not registered, you will be an unsecured creditor in any insolvency settlement, and may not recover much, if anything, of what you are owed.
If you register as early as possible, you stand the best chance of being first in line over other creditors. It also helps you protect your interest even if the goods or assets are sold on, mixed or installed onto other assets.

WHEN LEASING, RENTING OR HIRING OUT GOODS
If the lease or hiring arrangement was entered into on or after 20 May 2017 and is for at least two years, or an indefinite period that will last for more than two years, then this applies to you.
Note that some lease and bailment arrangements are considered “security interests” and can be registered on the PPSR.

THINK YOU’RE ALREADY COVERED WITH A CONTRACT?
A retention of title clause (indicating that title remains with you until goods are paid for in full) in your contract or invoice may no longer protect you on its own.
If you don’t make a registration, it may not be certain that your retention of title clause is going to stack up against others when you need to rely on it. In other words, someone else who has registered an interest is ahead of you in the queue should your customer default or go broke.
 
 
Using the register is optional, but many businesses rely on it as an effective risk management tool. Ask Jmp Accountants to find out more.

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