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Tackling the virus: advice and support for your business

As a trusted partner to millions of businesses worldwide, we understand the impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) is having. We want you to know: we're here to help. In this hub you'll find practical, straightforward advice on tackling the challenges you're facing, how you can access government financial support including processing JobKeeper payment through our payroll solutions, quick access to solutions that enable your business to operate remotely, and other useful resources to help you navigate the evolving situation.

Facing the next steps together

Kerry Agiasotis, Executive Vice President, Sage Asia Pacific

COVID-19 has been a defining moment for many businesses. Amongst the many challenges it has presented, it has also created a burning platform for organisations to traverse and accelerate their digital journey.

 

Kerry-Agiasotis

Getting government financial support

Understand the financial help available from government for your business and advice on how to get it, including how you can process JobKeeper payments through our payroll solutions:

Support to retain apprentices and trainees

What is it:Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

Status: Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020.

For: Small businesses employing fewer than 20 full‑time employees who retain an apprentice or trainee.

How to access: Find out how to apply by contacting an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider.

Find out more

Keeping Australians in jobs

What is it: The JobKeeper Payment is a subsidy to businesses, which will keep more Australians in jobs through the course of the coronavirus outbreak.

Status:: The program commences on 30 March with the first payments to be received by eligible businesses in the first week of May as monthly arrears from the Australian Taxation Office.

The payment will be paid to employers, for up to six months, for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and is retained or continues to be engaged by that employer. Employers will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee.

For: Businesses structured through companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders. Not for profit entities, including charities, will also be eligible.

How to access: Eligible businesses can apply for the payment online and are able to register their interest via ato.gov.au

Information and resources: 

Sage Knowledgebase has all the information on how to set up the JobKeeper payment in Sage MicrOpay and Sage WageEasy. If this is your first time visiting Sage Knowledge base, you will first need to sign up.

Sage City is your online community forum available 24/7 where you can ask questions and share product tips, join the conversation for Sage MicrOpay and Sage WageEasy.

 

Find out more

Cash flow boost for employers

What is it:The Government will provide tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses.

Status: Cash flow boosts will be delivered from 28 April 2020. 

For:Small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations that employ staff.

How to access:You don't need to apply. You must lodge your activity statement to receive the cash flow boost. Please visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) site for more information

Find out more

Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

What is it: A temporary increase in the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to such demands. The Government is also providing temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent.

Status:

For:All businesses facing financial distress due to Coronavirus.

How to access:You don't need to apply. These relief measures will apply for 6 months.Please visit the Treasury site for more information.

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Support for Coronavirus-affected regions, communities and industries

What is it:The Government has set aside $1 billion to support regions and communities most significantly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.

Status:The $1 billion will be available for distribution through existing or new mechanisms as soon as practicable. 

For:The Deputy Prime Minister will work with affected industries and communities to develop recovery plans and measures.

How to access:These funds will be available during the next few months and over the year ahead to ensure these communities are well placed to recover. Please visit the Treasury site for more information.

Find out more

Government guarantee of unsecured loans up to $250,000

What is it:The Government’s “Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme” will provide a guarantee of 50% to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital.

Status: The Scheme will commence by early April 2020 and be available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.

For:SMEs with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans.

How to access:You should approach your financial institution for more information. The Government is working with banks and other lenders to ensure loans are available as soon as possible.Please visit the Treasury site for more information.

Find out more

Increase in the instant asset write-off

What is it:The Government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000.

Status:Applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second‑hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this time-frame.

For:Businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million.

How to access: The instant asset write-off eligibility criteria and threshold have changed over time. You need to check your business's eligibility and ensure you apply the correct threshold amount as stated by the ATO. Please visit the ATO site for more information.

Find out more

Accelerated depreciation deductions

What is it: The Government is introducing a time-limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses will be able to deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.

Status:Applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021.

For:Businesses with aggregated turnover below $500 million, purchasing certain new depreciable assets.

How to access: Please visit the ATO site for more information.

Find out more

Working remotely with Sage products

We want to share some quick ways and solutions to support your business continuity so you can keep serving your customers, managing your staff and running your business remotely during this extraordinary time.

Enabling your accounting practice to work remotely

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Helping accountants to work remotely, serve clients and move their practices online.

Process payroll and manage your workforce remotely

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Accessing your payroll software remotely or online and managing your remote workforce productively.

Manage your business finances and operations online

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Enabling business continuity to manage your finances and operations using Sage and 3rd party solutions.

Sage webinars

Stay up to date with our free webinar series as we present information and support specific to managing your business and accounting practice through COVID-19.

Sage Payroll Consulting: JobKeeper Payment set-up

We are also offering a bespoke consulting package to assist you. If you are lacking the time or just want peace of mind knowing it will be set up correctly, let one of our consultants help. You will have a 90-minute online session via webex or similar with a Sage Service Consultant who will be able to complete the following:

  1. Set-up for JobKeeper via STP
  2. Review and Reconciliation of employees leave payments vs JobKeeper
  3. Review and Reconciliation of incorrectly paid employees
  4. Review and Reconciliation of partial payments to employees
  5. Review and Reconciliation of Parental and Workers Compensation and JobKeeper Start/Finish
  6. ATO Pay Day – determine how your pay frequencies align
  7. Answer all your questions relating to this new process


Price: $367.50 (inc GST).
Limited spots are available, please register your interest below and we will be in contact to discuss your requirements.

Register your interest now

We are here to help

We are doing everything we can to ensure our customer community is well supported during this time significant disruption.

Sage Knowledgebase

Access all our support articles - requires registration and sign in.

Sage City

Ask questions and interact with other Sage software users.

Contact Support

Find help for all your product related questions. 

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Sage Legal Disclaimer

The information contained herein is for general guidance purposes only. It should not be taken for, nor is it intended as, legal advice. We would like to stress that there is no substitute for customers making their own detailed investigations or seeking their own legal advice if they are unsure about the implications of trade on their businesses.

While we have made every effort to ensure that the information provided herein is correct and up to date, Sage makes no promises as to completeness or accuracy and the information is delivered on an “as is” basis without any warranties, express or implied. Sage will not accept any liability for errors or omissions and will not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of or reliance on this information or from any action or decisions taken as a result of using this information.