Board Directors: Consider this Before Approving Financial Statements

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Incorrect Asset valuations

Discrepancy and inaccuracy within your fixed asset register can distort financial results.

Inventory, fixed assets, and accounts receivable may be wrongly stated to inflate company performance.

In the most egregious cases, as board members, you could be prosecuted for fraud.

Prior to COVID-19, fixed asset depreciation was identified as a “Top100” subject of focus by the ATO.

Board Members

Are you are an advisor to a company board(s)?

Are you a board member but not from a financial background?

Boards now deliberately appoint directors from a range of backgrounds for diversity. Thus boardrooms may not have the broad financial understanding of times gone by.

But not being a financial reporting expert does not absolve business owners or directors of their duty to ensure:

  • Appropriate expertise is applied;
  • Due processes are sound;
  • Essential elements of the methods are scrutinised and tested; and
  • Tax and accounting treatments are used appropriately.

Before you ask your client to approve the company financial statements and the valuations and depreciation of fixed assets, you should ask yourself:

Do the financial statements make sense and present the results, cash flows and state of affairs of the company realistically?

What are the risk areas that the ATO and other scrutineers know to focus on as areas of risk; like the Fixed Asset register.

Am I confident to explain or defend the asset valuation/depreciation if challenged?

Fixed Assets – Risk Focus Areas

A recognised major concern, as noted in the ATO Interim findings report top 100 program, is whether assets are recorded in the tax and financial statements at an appropriate amount.

That is, not exceeding their recoverable amount or under-valued for advantage.

Photo of ATO Commissioner- Chris Jordan

We are seeing instances of the incorrect application of effective lives, incorrect calculations and accelerated depreciation. We also have concerns with the use of automated software where the outcomes may not be compliant with the law, the incorrect use of project pools, and the incorrect treatment of balancing adjustments on disposals.

Australian Tax Office

Fixed Assets and the Fixed Asset register

To help you address your concerns about your current Fixed Asset register and the values populating the financial statements, here are a few focusing questions:

Is your Fixed Asset register up to date with current law?

Have fixed assets in the Fixed Asset register been depreciated appropriately?

Is your Fixed Asset register an Excel (or similar) spreadsheet?” (If yes, be alarmed)

Is each formula in the ‘spreadsheet’ that has been used, for years, correct for today?

Fixed assets management includes all the policies and procedures that aim to manage fixed assets throughout their useful life, and when disposing of that fixed asset. A Fixed Asset register, whether paper, spreadsheet or software needs to support these outcomes – accurately.

AssetAccountant™ is free to use or trial (ALL features)
for up to 10 assets

AssetAccountant™ provides effortless accounting & tax depreciation

As you address the risk that the current Fixed Asset register may be deficient or subjecting clients to an avoidable risk, here is how AssetAccountant™ can help:

  • AssetAccountant™ provides an integrated, cloud-based fixed asset register for managing depreciation.
  • AssetAccountant™ combine Tax and Accounting rules with modern interfaces to simplify the process of creating and maintaining fixed asset registers.
  • AssetAccountant™ is designed to suit businesses of all sizes.
  • AssetAccountant™ offers assurance that, when accurate data is entered, the outcome will be legislatively and financially compliant.

What is your level of confidence that your current Fixed Assets register is delivering accurate and complete information for inclusion in your QBO generated financial statements?

But everyone is so busy!

We hear you.

This has been a crazy year.

Every finance department, in every business, large and small, has had to deal with COVID-19, constant changes, updates, interpretations of support and incentives – phew!

It is almost impossible for even the most diligent finance team to keep up with all the urgent work, and it is likely that maintaining the Fixed Assets register keeps getting bumped down the list.

So why not streamline something that can be time-consuming and cumbersome?

Experts here to help

We don’t want to add to the finance department’s burden.

We want to make both Fixed Asset register conversion and maintenance easier both now and into the future, with:

We constantly monitor the ATO and make the updates without your finance team needing to understand the ‘ins and outs’ or needing to make changes to the Fixed Asset register themselves.

AssetAccountant™ can help you and your business to manage risk, time and give you confidence in the quality and compliance of the Fixed Asset register and financial reports.

Mike Roberts - Taxlab Team Member

In our engagement with both accounting firms and corporates, we have identified there is clearly a need for a world-class fixed asset solution to work alongside Taxlab. Having searched the market for suitable partners, we are thrilled to be working with AssetAccountant to provide a best-of-breed model to our users...

Mike Roberts - Managing Director, Taxlab Australia


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Australia/ New Zealand

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