Managing finance



Case study You have recently been appointed as the business manager of A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd having been a store manager for the past three yearsA2Z Solutions Pty. Ltdis a 15 store retail chain located in Melbourne.A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd is the leading home wares retailer, catering to the growing need for furnishing new and renovated dwellings in the greater Melbourne area.  The assortment on offer of bathroom fittings, bedroom fittings, mirrors and decorative items together with the recently added lighting fixtures has positioned A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd as a leader in homewares retailing in Australia. A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd has grown over the past five years from a single store to the current chain. A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd prides itself on superior after sales service which has been a key reason for the continued growth in sales and corresponding profit increases. Today A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd employs over 150 staff.  A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd is a proprietary limited company (ACN 34 765 234 02) registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. The registered address is with A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd.’s solicitors (Mars Lawyers, 537 Queen Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000) and the principle place of business is 506Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000.
Computer software requirement The current accounting information system has not adequately provided sufficient analysis of revenue and expenditure and has made it difficult to make informed estimates of future profits. Estimates have relied on the ‘gut feel’ of the experienced traders on the board and of the senior managers. The board sees the need to apply more analysis to past results that they believe could be done with the introduction of state-of-the-art computer software. A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd. wants to upgrade their existing accounting system which will manage the company accounts more efficiently in the long run. They request that the new system you recommend to them to be compliant with all legislative and statutory requirements for small to medium businesses.  None of A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd.’s products are GST free, however the accounting information system records the GST collected as well as the input tax credits earned on the purchases of stock and assets. These amounts are reported and paid in accordance with the business activity statement (BAS) schedule determined by the Australian Tax Office. They have 100 fulltime and 50 part-time staff, but only 10 of the staff will have or need access to the financial system. Some staff are paid on a salary sacrifice arrangement that attracts fringe benefits tax. The staff with access to the financial system want software that is a single purchase with no ongoing license fees, and a plan to keep using it for the next 3–5 years, while the organisation continues to grow. They are anticipating that within five years they will have over 250 full-time staff, and at least 20 staff will require access to the financial system by then. The payroll system deducts withholding tax from the employees and remits this along with the firm’s pay as you go (PAYG) instalment each quarter as reported on the firm’s business activity statement. Income tax return for the company and its annual statement is completed by the firm’s accountant. Taxes and fees due are paid by the due dates. Financial records are kept at A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd.’s principle place of business. A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd has just upgraded their computers and has five new desktop PCs which will be used by the finance staff. They are current (for 2011) specification machines with i5 CPUs and 4Gb RAM each, and all have Windows 7 Professional and Norton’s 360 installed with the professional version of Microsoft Office Small Business as well. Other staff will use their machines at various times, so it is important that the software requires a login to access data and that data stored by the software cannot be accessed in any other way.
Corporate details Jimmy Retro, the CEO, has asked you to prepare some financial budgets for the 2011/12 financial year as a preliminary overview of the financial year ahead. He asked you to first prepare a 12 months budget and then break it up over the four quarters. The areas he is particularly interested in seeing is: 1. Sales budget for 2011/12 by department by quarter. 2. Profit budget (including detailed expenses) for 2011/12 by quarter. 3. The cash flow result per quarter of the GST after adjusting the GST collected by the allowable GST tax credits. 4. The anticipated aged debtor’s summary at the end of each quarter. The CEO wants to be given all the budgets except for the aged debtors’ budget which the accountant and accounts receivable clerk can monitor. The CEO produced a summary of the current business plan that covered the budget year to highlight some of the key goals, objectives and strategies he would like incorporated into the budget.
Business plan summary 1. The anticipation that the coming financial year would maintain the same sales growth as the growth that took place between 2007/08 to 2010/11. 2. To budget for an increase in inflation to 4% per annum and that all costs subject to inflation should incorporate this particular increase. 3. A new car costing $97,466 including GST has been planned for in the coming period to replace the five year old vehicle currently used by the chairman. This fuel inefficient car will attract a luxury car tax. 4. Sales breakup over the departments is anticipated to be bathroom fittings 30%, bedroom fittings 25%, mirrors 15% and decorative items 10% together with the recently added lighting fixtures 20%. 5. Profits are to be built on securing a growing customer base which will generate loyalty sales. The superior after-sales service is the key strategy to achieve this. 6. Reduction on the principle of the loan by a payment of $100,000 on the 31 December 2011 from the profits generated by the business. 7. One objective in this plan is to manage the debtors more efficiently in the current period. This will involve an analysis of the debtors to identify ways to reduce the amount of cash tied up in outstanding debtors. 8. The expectation that 2011/12 would be a difficult trading year but that the budget net profit should target the same result as achieved in the 2010/11. The strategy to achieve this in the business plan included three key elements: a) To reduce the expected gross profit rate by 1% on the 2010/11 result in the hope that lower prices on the products would help maintain the sales growth even in difficult trading conditions. b) To increase the advertising budget by $70,000 over the 2010/11 results in the hope that A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd. can secure a greater market share in a constricting market. $200,000 is planned for the first quarter with the balance apportioned equally over the following three quarters. c) To increase wages and salaries by $172,500 over the 2010/11 amounts in the hope that allowing the existing high number of casual staff to earn commissions on sales that should help to maintain A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd’s sales growth.  After going through the business plan summary, the CEO gave you the previous year’s financial reports and asked you to speak with the accountant Reema Mehta to get some of the figures and detailed expectations for the coming year. You arrange a meeting with Reema Mehta, A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd’s accountant, and she gives you the following insight into the historical expense relationships and the current statutory compliance liabilities.
Sales and profit budget information Reema explained that the only budget she monitors on a day-to-day basis is the cash flow budget and the store manager is primarily responsible for the sales budget. These are the notes you take at the meeting:  The overall sales for 2011/12 target set by the business plan should be apportioned across the quarters in the same % as was achieved in 2010/11.  This was:   Cost of goods sold is the inverse of the gross profit rate determined by the business plan and is determined by the quarterly sales budget.  Accounting fees have been negotiated for the year at a fixed amount of $10,000 to be paid in equal amounts each quarter.  The interest charges on the bank loan are anticipated at a reduced amount of $84,508 due to an agreed repayment of some of the loan principal. This is to be paid in equal amounts each quarter.  Bank charges are expected to be the same as 2011 and paid in equal amounts each quarter.  Reema has requested that a new expense (store supplies) be recognised in the new budget that was previously included in with the cleaning expense amounts. Store supplies in the 2009/10 results was $3,500 of the cleaning expense and $3,605 of the 2010/11 result. Cleaning expense will then be lower but identify the real labour costs involved in the cleaning expense.  Depreciation is expected to be the same as 2011 and allocated in equal amounts each quarter.  Advertising is to be apportioned to each quarter based on the business plan. The following expenses are expected to increase by the determined inflation rate in the business plan summary: ○ Insurance – apportioned in equal amounts each quarter. ○ Store supplies – is calculated for to each quarter using the same % as determined by the sales for each quarter. ○ Cleaning – is calculated for each quarter using the same % as determined by the sales for each quarter. ○ Repairs and maintenance – apportioned in equal amounts each quarter. ○ Rent – apportioned in equal amounts each quarter. ○ Telephone – is calculated for to each quarter using the same % as determined by the sales for each quarter.




Based on the information provided in the case study, answer the following questions: 1. Identify the current statutory requirements for tax compliance and list and calculate the tax liabilities for A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd. Under taxation legislation. 2. Identify the current compliance requirements and liabilities for this organisation under the Corporations Act 2001. 3. Review commercially available financial management software to select the most suitable software for A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd. and outline the reasons that led you to this recommendation. 4. Explain how you can apply the following principles of accounting in developing the budgets required for this task: a. matching principle b. account groups c. time periods 5. Explain and discuss the implications of probity when preparing and revising budgets 6. List the items you would recommend for inclusion in the budgets for A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd 7. List the critical dates and initiatives that will require or generate resources for A2Z Solutions Pty. Ltd in the next financial cycle


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