You might have seen ASIC in the news lately. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has been busy in the Financial Services Royal Commission and post regulatory control spaces. You might think this is solely to do with financial services, but it isn’t – there are things that impact small business too.
Regulatory control is becoming more and more important in Australia. Currently topics of concern include mandatory reporting of data breaches, and ATO community visits. There are also increasing risks like cyber-attacks, such as on the Victorian Hospital System just this week. Protecting yourself has never been more important than it is now, so what can you do?
1. Review your structure
Are you using the best structure for your circumstances? Are you minimising tax and risk? Are there any entities you have that aren’t doing anything? If so, do they need tax forms lodged, even nil returns?
2. Is the information correct?
Are your addresses and shareholders detailed correctly? Are there others that should be included in your structures, such as an alternate director or trustee?
Are you protecting yourself from ASIC late fees and other compliance matters?
Talk to your accountant about how they can help with Corporate Registry Services.
3. Is your estate planning up to date?
Have you considered your business structures in your estate planning? Are there family members who should be included in relation to these entities but aren’t? Are there complicating factors not explained such as split families, households with family members acting as carers, an uncle looking after his nephew and niece?
4. Are you taking ‘common sense’ precautions?
A recent presentation on Cyber Security shared some practical tips:
- Passwords are like underwear – change them frequently and don’t share them.
- A 16-character password (with letters, numbers and special characters) would take 74 million years to crack.
- Use a protected password app on your phone, rather than the notebook you leave by your desk or the sticky note on your laptop.
- Are you using software that is still protected by the manufacturer? Windows 7, for example, will no longer be supported with security updates at the end of this year.
- Have you got a pass code, touch ID or face ID to access your mobile?
- Do you secure your physical backups in a safe place, with password protection?
In these days of increasing regulation and concern over privacy, it makes sense to do everything you can do to protect yourself and comply with regulations.
Talk to your Accru Adviser today to see if you’re up to date.